NBT - Natural Bobtail
The different rod lengths are simply part of the Australian Shepherd and in the end the character, the nature and the health as well as the quality should always be decisive than the sole rod length !!!
The Australian Shepherd is not only very different in the variety of colors, but also in the length of the tail. The Aussie has a long tail and a naturally innate stub tail (Natural Bobtail / NBT). The length of a stump can vary and is a genetic predisposition. How the tail length will be inherited in breeding depends on which tail length the dog was born with. If he is NBT, NBT will also be part of his offspring.
Docking rods has been forbidden in Germany since 1998! In some countries including the country of origin of the Aussie (America), the Aussie's tail is docked. It doesn't matter whether the rod is long or half-length. So there is a uniform picture for this breed.
In the countries where docking is prohibited, people are sometimes unsettled about the length of the rod. The trend is towards the fact that many people prefer or know the Aussie only with a long tail.
Why was or is the Aussie's tail docked at all?
The Australian Shepherd is a herding / working dog. It happened again and again that the dogs injured themselves on the tail while working on the cattle. In addition, there was also a hygienic aspect, because dirt, leaves, burrs lead to matting and shepherds back then had no time to brush the dogs every day. In short, it was easier when the dog didn't have a tail.
This is how the breed standard of the Aussie was established at that time. It's just different today! The Aussie has hardly any “work” left on cattle these days. He also has a very nice tail with a long coat. Since the docking ban in 1998, the Aussie is almost only known as long-stemmed or stubby-stemmed.