Ask The Dog Guide: Tail Docking

March 3rd, 2007 by Dan

First question of the month:

Question: How long do you dock a Weimaraner puppy’s tail so that it is the correct length (6 inches) when full grown?

Answer: First, docking should be done by a vet. I imagine that any good vet with experience in this will know how to accomplish the procedure to meet your desired length. Please do not attempt to dock a puppy’s tail in any other way.

A note on docking: We do not generally support docking. That said, a friend’s pittie has a docked tail, because she is such a forceful and constant wagger that the tip of her tail was constantly broken and bleeding. In those cases, docking is appropriate; and more humane than a lifetime of tail injuries.

keelybart_tails3.JPG
Keely with her docked tail, mentioned above. Bart, on the right, with his natural tail. They’re getting treats for being such good models.

Historically, docking was perform in working/hunting dog breeds for practical reasons- tails might be injured or permanently maimed in the course of their activities. Presently, docking is done mainly for aesthetic reasons, and/or to meet breed standards when showing dogs.
This is a hot debate across the world among breeders, owners and governments. That’s right, some countries have passed anti-docking laws, as well as some states in the U.S.- New Zealand, Australia and the UK, as well as some locations in Europe, are weighing in on this issue.

To those pro-dockers: Please consider the reasons behind the choice. If they are primarily aesthetic, ask yourself: Would I mind having my little toes cut off if it was considered more attractive?





3 Responses to “Ask The Dog Guide: Tail Docking”

  1. catressa Says:

    I WAS WANTING TO KNOW IF YOU PUPPY’S ARE 8 DAYS OLD IS IT TO LATE TO DOCK THIER TAILS.

  2. Study Claims Tail Docking May Cause Aggression | Dog Reflections Says:

    [...] with 492 dogs and a robotic pooch that resembled a black lab to see how canines react to dogs with docked tails. The robotic dog could be modified to have a full length tail or one that is complete. Biologist [...]

  3. ADA Says:

    ‘so that it is the correct length (6 inches) when full y grown…’

    If you want it 6″ you breed for it. You do not chop it off. The CORRECT length of tail is what the dog is born with!

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