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Docking Tails (dogs- want your oppinon).

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by monarc23, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. monarc23

    monarc23 Coturnix Obsessed

    Jul 18, 2008
    Indiana, Pennsylvania
    Alllrightie guys!!!

    I'd LOVE appreciate some oppinons from you!!! I have two cocker spaniels, which Im working on training for flushing and retrievial of birds (what they were bred to do in the first place). They are both docked (done by their breeders at 1-4 days old).

    I have decided NOT to dock their future puppies tails. However, I want your oppinons on it.

    TO name a few breeds off the top of my head that are accepted with docked tails

    Doberman Pinchers
    Australian Cattle Dogs
    Australian Shepherds
    Welsh Corgis
    American and English Cocker Spaniels

    So....here's my question....do you think it's WRONG to NOT dock a breed that is normally accepted for having a docked tail? Your oppinon wont' change my mind, however i am just curious what the everyday person feels about this issue.

    I have NOTHING against breeders who dock mind you, I just would perfer not to. It has been prooven docking can cause back issues, not to mention puppies can die from their tails being docked incorrectly or not sanitized properly plus it is done without annastesia and i think 'd cry hearing them cry out in pain. *i've already heard this, however they weren't my own puppies*.

    Docking is said to protect the dog while running through brush....wellll....my thoughts on this is, my cockers are my first breed i've ever owned (other than my past dobie) without tails, all my other dogs run through the brush perfeclty fine...the only injury they've ever sustained was from a rose bush needle in the eye *ouch*. Each Aussy Cattle dog we've owned has had a tail and no problems. So I almost believe that it's few and far between that damaged tails are a problem.

    With all this said I just want your thoughts [​IMG]

    Purebred American Cocker Spaniel with tail (a friend breeder of mines cocker): [​IMG]

    just want some thoughts and oppinons on it out of pure curiosity. Breeders I've talked to are either all for keeping their tails, and the others are show breeders and do not want anything but docked cockers and say its' a saftey precaution.


  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I'm against docking. I believe it's done out of 'visual enhancement desires' and that's not a good enough reason for me to ever dock one of my own dogs. If there really were physical reasons for it to be done where the dog would be better off, then I'd reconsider. I just haven't heard of any (I agree with you on the tail getting messed up in the brush just doesn't cut it here... my dogs all run through the bush with long, hairy tails and I've never had one issue) valid reason. It's done because that's what people expect of certain breeds - that's what they 'think' the dog should look like because that's all they've ever seen.

    Having said that... if someone else wants to dock... that's their decision and I have no problem with it. (I bet the dogs would prefer not to have it done though...[​IMG])
  3. Quail_Antwerp

    Quail_Antwerp [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Mrs

    Aug 16, 2008
    If they are going to be pet quality only pups, I see no point in docking their tails. I have a yorkie who's tail was docked at birth and I was disappointed because I wanted a yorkie with a tail. Breeders don't usually give the buyer the option, they just dock the tails by 4 days.

    I think a dog with their tail is beautiful. BUT there are working dogs that is better safety wise (like cattle dogs) to have the tails docked.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I don't think docking tails is the very greatest cruelty ever perpetrated by man on animals, but I don't think it is hardly ever a fair or justifiable thing to do either (CERTAINLY not just for aesthetic or 'required for showing' reasons - and to the extent there are functional reasons, then people should just breed for shorter stronger tails darnit).

    So I think it's great that you're doing your own thing and not having the puppies docked [​IMG]


  5. Hotwings

    Hotwings Songster

    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    If the docking is done at a very young age when the caritlage is very pliable I don't have a problem. Tail docking is less a problem to me than docking of the ears which I believe is a painful procedure. I have been told that by some people they wish the great dane had a docked tail. I had a boxer, which was a stray and he had a docked tail and I don't think he suffered any. I am a big believer in dew claw removal, as the dew claw is really a non functioning element and is a pain.
  6. reallemons1

    reallemons1 Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    Gloucester, VA
    I like dogs kept natural, except if it's to their benefit to be altered. This is our Bob, Jack Russell mix? with his full tail. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2008
  7. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    Newton NJ
    When I had cujo (pitbull) I wanted to get his tail docked but then I changed my mind. I like natural beauty. So I am against it as well.

  8. Iceblink

    Iceblink Songster

    As a Certified Small Animal Massage Practitoner and Vet Tech, I applaud you for not docking your puppies tails. Tails are important for balance and proprioception. Lack of tails can cause chronic back pain, like you said, as well as hip and knee issues, as often the stub is very painful even later in life, causing the dog to squat instead of fully sit to avoid touching the tail to the ground.

    I have worked with cases of "phantom tail" or other docked or cropped body parts in dogs. It's so hard to see a dog in chronic pain because the owner or breeder wanted a certain look.

    If the tail really is getting tangled in brush, a haircut is an option no one ever seems to think of, but it really helps. Although it is very rare some dogs can get "Happy Tail" from wagging their tails and hitting them on hard surfaces, causing cuts and bruising that take a long time to heal. Another tail issue is "Limber Tail" or 'cold water tail' where a dog will actually sprain their tail from excessive use. This happens to swimming dogs who use their tails as rudders, and for balancing and can't feel the pain of a 'worn out' tail because of the cold water. Racing and sprinting dogs, agility dogs, and working dogs also use their tail for balance and can sprain it.

    In dogs where chronic tail injury is a problem, many vets will do a partial tail amputation. Sometimes they have to go further back, but often just removing the 'tip' 1/3 of the tail resolves the issue. To see what that looks like, look at a show Visla. They are a Hungarian hunting dog used similarly to working cockers.

    Not having a tail also can put your dog in danger around other dogs as it is an important communication tool.

    In many other countries docking and cropping for cosmetic purposes is illegal.

    To the person who doesn't like dewclaws: some dogs have 'detached' dewclaws, that are loosely attached, and snag on things. Other dogs have dewclaws that are very firmly attached, and a lot of dogs use them they way we use our thumbs, as well as for balance. Border collies doing agility will leave tracks in the ground from where they have turned quickly and used their dewclaws as traction and balance. Many "mountain" breeds have rear dewclaws that they use similarly.

    And as to it being done when they are young making it ok: would you cut a 4 day old human baby's finger off and say it's ok because it's so early?
  9. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    I have owned dobermanns and currently own a rottweiler and a wirehaired pointing griffon. Both had tails docked when we got them.

    Our Griffon, it is normal for them to dock them at 3/4 tail length, so that they have a white tip. This makes them more visible for when they are pointing (when hunting). Otherwise, these dogs are extremely camouflaged. We do hunt our girl, and seriously, having that white tip really does help us spot her.

    Our rottweiler, is also docked, and I am not sure the reasoning for doing this. Maybe since they are used as guard dogs, then a trespasser (or whoever)(and this could apply to dobes too) could not see if they were wagging their tail or not.

    Another reason, at least for the rottie, is b/c their tails are just so thick and hard, when they wag it and it hits something, it hurts (us as well as them)

    As far as the Griffon, I am glad her tail is docked, as it helps her and us in the hunt. The rottie, I probably would do it again, his (our rotties) sister didn't have her tail done, and it was always bloody from banging into things.

    As far as your situation goes, would their tail not be an asset to hunting? They are smaller dogs, who can be hidden by bush. their tails would help you to see them. Safety precaution how?
  10. monarc23

    monarc23 Coturnix Obsessed

    Jul 18, 2008
    Indiana, Pennsylvania
    Quote:I think their tails would help me see them better, a flash of a happy tail on the hunt would possibly make it easier lol good point. As for a safety precaution show breeders say that with a tail they'd rip their tails off in the brush....I think this is a complete exaggeration dont you!? [​IMG]

    I agree to the other poster who said to just consider trimming the tail fur if it gets caught up...however my golden mix has a looonnng gorgeous fluffy tail she's never got it caught in brush and he's a "brush-o-holic" so i'd probably only trim a cockers tail (fur) if it was posing a problem getting stuck in brush.

    OH and as for dewclaws. I plan on NOT removing my cockers dewclaws unless they are detached from the bone and are hanging out as a tag of meat that is just asking to be ripped off...like in the case of my golden mix, my vet practically begged me to get her dewclaws removed i didnt want to because she hadn't had problems but my vet clued me in on how disgusting and how much pain she'd be in if she ever did accidentally some how rip them off (they were on her hind legs, her front leg dewclaws are perfect). A tightly placed to the leg natural dewclaw however, I will not remove, I just dont seet the point, and i agree with the one who said it helps with traction. My golden mix is also mixed with BC, and possible eskie. She's a hyper girl and i'd perfer she keep her traction. [​IMG]

    I want to thank everyone for your thoughts and comments!!! It's the kind of comments i was hoping I'd get validation! [​IMG]

    Oh and again to each their own. If you dock and are for docking, more power to ya! I just personally perfer not to. [​IMG] Basically like hair color, I personally dont dye my hair...but you may and kudos to you! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2008

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