The Thing said:Razorwire, Imagine this. You have a fully useless tail, which can only show emotion. When you are hunting, it gets caught in brambles and breaks. With a proper hunting dog, this can happen over 50 times in 5 years. This is one reason dogs tails are docked. It is not painful for the dogs, a tight rubber ring is slipped around the tail, cutting off blood supply and a few weeks later falls off. This is the same process performed on lambs and cows. Lambs are also castrated this way while cows have an injection while their balls are sliced off.
I'm familiar with the mechanism. But you have still not explained why the problem cannot be solved by breeding for, eg, dogs with shorter and smoother-furred tails. Or why you don't hear of this problem affecting any wild hunting animal. What is wrong with the design of these dogs and how can it be fixed without the need for bodge jobs like tail docking?
I wonder whether a docked dog has a phantom tail, like human amputees have phantom limbs?
As for what you said about dogs being outside - personally I'd suggest an ideal arrangement as being one where the dog can come in and out at will, since I've seen dogs display extreme preferences of both the "let me out!" and the "it's horrible out here, let me come in and get warm!" variety. Frequently this was the same dog and less than an hour apart. I agree that it's cruel to keep them shut up but I don't think you should refuse them house space if they genuinely appear to want it.