The practice of cutting tails was mainly used for hunting dogs so that ltheir tails wouldn't become entangled in forest growth or inhibit their hunting skills. Later, when standards were set for purebreds, tail docking was required for a certain "look." Tail docking removes one method of a dog's ability to communicate. Contrary to popular belief, it is a very painful procedure. Thank goodness that today, in most countries, tail docking is illegal.