The Tail Docking Controversy
Image from kushwaha
Considering our stance on dying or coloring dogs, our readers probably know how we are going to feel about tail docking (don’t worry, we have a problem with ear cropping too, that’s a rant for another day).
C’Mon Give Us A Good One…
We’ve seen plenty of “reasons” why it is done and not one of them satisfies us. Anyone who has seen an actual tail docking (or the recovery process) will probably agree. Tails are the way they are for a reason, who are we to question Mother Nature & change them for our own benefit?
History of Docking
Originally docking was thought to help prevent rabies, strengthen back and increase speed. During early Gregorian times in the UK those who owned working dogs were taxed if they had tails. This legislation ended in 1796 but the barbaric practice persisted.
Modern Day Dockers
Modern day docking is done in two different types of dogs.
Hunting & Herding Dogs
Essentially any dog who works in the fields where their tails collect burrs and foxtails.
In several of the brute breeds commonly used for protection and guard dogs, tail docking (and often ear clipping) makes them look more aggressive.
However archaic this sounds, it is a breed registry standard in many cases.
Traditionally Docked Dog Breeds
Bouvier des Flandres
German Pointer (short & wire haired)
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Spanish Water Dog
Old English Sheepdog | Polish Lowland Sheepdog
American Cocker Spaniel | Clumber Spaniel | Cocker Spaniel | English Springer Spaniel | Field Spaniel | King Charles Spaniel | Sussex Spaniel | Welsh Springer Spaniel
Airedale Terrier | Australian Terrier | Fell Terrier | Glen of Imaal Terrier | Irish Terrier | Jack Russell Terrier | Kerry Blue Terrier | Lucas Terrier | Norfolk Terrier | Norwich Terrier | Patterdale Terrier | Russian Black Terrier | Sealyham Terrier |Smooth Fox Terrier | Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier | Welsh Terrier | Wire-haired Fox Terrier | Yorkshire Terrier
Countries That Have Banned Tail Docking (You guys rock!)
The countries below do not allow tail docking.
- Czech Republic
- South Africa
- Virgin Islands
There are other countries with partial bans – in specific areas, pertaining to specific breeds or a ban on cosmetic docking.
Listen To The Pros
If you want more information about tail docking and how (most) veterinarians view the practice.
- World Small Animal Veterinary Association
- British Veterinary Association
- South Africa Veterinary Council
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- Canadian Veterinary Medical Association
Want The Real Deal?
Check out the natural shapes of the dog tail world by learning some of the dog tail shape basics.