So here is something I have noticed since living here: East coast people don't know what a Yellow Lab is.... apparently. At least they aren't familiar enough with them to recognize one without it's tail. See, our dog hasn't got a tail - just a silly little nubbin that makes her do what we call "Wiggle Booty". She had a tail once... and she was a voracious wagger! When she got happy - which was mostly always - she would wag from the ribcage back. The problem was her Yellow Lab/Golden Retriever mixing... most of her tail was thick-and-heavy lab tail, but the final inch or two was fine-boned Golden tail.... so when she wagged like that, she'd break the end of her tail open on the door frame or whatever - then the continued wagging would, well, make a pretty gross mess of blood splatter on the walls as she wiggled around. We tried for nearly a year to beat this, with splinting and wrapping and whatever we could think of. Finally, our vet just said our best bet was to amputate her tail. To be honest, I haven't missed that thing, or the constant bruising on my thighs that she gave me with it.
Now, in Idaho, (where Labs are about the #1 or #2 popular breed) when I'd be out with my dog, people would just ask me "Why did you dock your Lab's tail?" I mean, they recognized what she was - a tailess Lab. They may have found it strange, but not, like, frightening.
Here in Virginia, when I'm out walking my dog, people will look at her with obvious fear, and - sometimes - ask me "What kind of dog is that?" What is that about?? I think - and I'm guessing sort of - but I think that they assume she's some sort of pitbull mix, since that is probably a more "popular" breed around this area, and I guess only mean and aggressive dogs have docked tails....?! I mean, seriously, look at this dog's face and tell me how scary she looks, lol! But I can't tell you how often I get the frightened look, or if I have her off-leash and someone sees her, the "OHMYGO_!!" exclamation as though they expect her to be eating their face within seconds. I find it really irritating. 'Cuz she's about the sweetest dog on the planet.
(the blue in the pic above is me - you can kinda see my hands in my hoodie pocket - she's fully laying on top of me!)