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The Campaign Against the Docking of Dogs' Tails


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Three Legged Cocker Spaniel using its tail for balance

Quotes post Animal Welfare Act
A docked Spaniel puppy came into a puppy class a few weeks back.  The owner  said  "Oh they are all done."  When it was pointed out that it was illegal unless she held a valid Veterinary docking certificate and corresponding microchip certificate, she could not grasp the fact.  It was pointed out that she needed a certificate of legal docking (which she will not be able to get, as  this dog is not working stock) and that she could be prosecuted if she has not got one.  She kept saying that Cockers always have their tails cut off. 8/08
Quotes pre-Animal Welfare Act
The science is watertight - why would the NHS be spending a small fortune in analgesia and anaesthesia for foetuses and neonates if it wasn't? ……..I agree with you that ???? seem not to understand that the CDB are mostly concerned about preserving the value of their breeding lines and they honestly believe that the CDB will play 100% by the rules and not use loop holes! ………    It seems all wrong to spend charitable money patching up dogs with badly docked tails when you could stop them being docked at all!      3/2/2003
I have not carried out any studies on the tail docking of dogs, however, my position on tail docking of dogs is clearly set out in the RCVS statement included on your www site and I am disappointed that it continues to be necessary for you to lobby. There appear to be many ways of delaying changes to the law and people who are able to ignore or find questionable reasons to dispute what appears to be clear evidence.   13/6/2004
Professor Dan Weary, from the University of British Columbia, argues that conventional husbandry methods should be rethought on the basis of the animals' reactions. In one experiment, half the male piglets on a farm were castrated and the other half were handled as if they were going to be. Only the pigs who were castrated made high-pitched squeals, and only at the time of the castration. Some farmers believe that the younger the animal, the less painful the operation, but these pigs squealed no matter what age they were. The experiment indicates that animals' calls are a good way of assessing their actual pain, rather than the expectation of pain.   From the Independent Newspaper 16/2/05
Thanks for this - even if it does make my blood boil!!! I rather suggest that ????? tries reading and understanding some of the "so called scientific research" before he spouts forth on the matter.   If it is good enough for the medical profession it should be good enough for us.   The days of practitioners being right just because they are vets has long gone and unreasoned and unsupported prejudice does the profession no favours.   The idea thet we can do what we like to animals because we are vets is long since discredited.  not member 2/6/03
........................., but I think most/all of the 'Breed' judges are for docking.   As for my experiences with docking, I joined the CDB & was led up the garden path about how it would be painless for my 'little children'. Everything was arranged for the 'deed', so one winter's night about 3 years ago I set out on my journey with a box full of 'babies'. I set them up with hot water bottles and made everything perfect for them. Upon arrival at the destination, I was met by the 'Vet'. He started with the dew claws, "Oh! We've got a little screamer have we!"   Then the time for the tail! I was horrified with what I saw! I had to leave the building, for 'his' sake.   Then 'Silence', "That's it! They are all sleeping again!" 'Yeah Right! Traumatic Shock!' We got home & all hell broke loose! I cant believe how puppies sound like injured children!   'Stella', the mother, was devastated, she had been so good with the pups!   She really trusted me to look after her puppies!   'What had I done!' That guilt will stay with me forever! Anyway, all that night I sat in the whelping box in tears. If the vets where open, I would have gone and had the litter put to sleep, to ease their suffering.    'No dog deserves to be treated like this'    13/4/05 member
'In my experience, both as a working VN in practice and owner of 3 'working' gundogs', there is no justification in removing a limb from a dog for the simple reason of a percieved future risk of injury. This exemption to the total ban would be impossible to enforce as at 2-3 days of age it is impossible to pick out the puppies from a litter which may have a 'working' future. In my experience in practice Labrador Retrievers are just as likely as an undocked Springer Spaniel to be presented at the surgery with tail injurys, but this is not a breed that is cutomarily docked. An undocked pet Spaniel that is walked and exercised as a breed of this energy requires has as much chance of injuring its tail as a working counterpart.    I currently work at a practice where none of the 3 partners or assistant Vet would ever consider docking any puppy as they consider this practice to be an unnecessary and painful mutilation of an animal and not without risk to the animals future health. I do however have the experience of having to deal with the effects docked puppies when the stumps have become infected. '  Member 3/06

I have had springer spaniels all my life, and I have bred and trained them I have never docked any, in my view is barbaric.
I have never had a working dog injury its tail while working I understand that other folk have strong veiws on the subject but to to me a springer working with it full tail wagging is a thing of beauty taken from a blog 9/2/07 Horse and Hound
Yes we all know that if a dog gets even the tiniest injury to it's tail that it looks like a blood-bath, even when the injury is incredibly minor.
My long-tailed spaniel works in dense undergrowth and flushes most days and has never injured her tail or any part of her body, although she has come home with a number of bramble thorns stuck in her head on occasion.....of course the head does not have the same structure of blood vessels that a tail has, so thankfully I don't need to chop her head off for her to do her job properly! blog Horse and Hound
Yes I have seen puppies been docked, which is why in all my for 45 years of breeding dogs I would never have my dogs touched !
They all have their natural tails, the working dogs all do a full days work and I have never seen a dog with a tail injury.
A first class well trained working dog is a joy, I just like to see mine as nature intended. blog Horse and Hound
Working in heather is not going to damage a dogs tail! When was the last time you were on a grouse moor?
But it does rub their bellies raw - hence mine get covered in vasaline prior to them working on the grouse moor. Horse and Hound blog
...One of my labs did a day on a grouse moor last season and ended up with raw nipples...i'll definately try the vaseline on her belly next time
.... My field cocker has his whole tail, he regularly works and has nver injured himself. In most vets would agree that is it rare. People often tell me my dog looks 'weird with a tail!', time to come out of the dark ages - docking is cruel and should be banned. horse and Hound blog

Breeder of Working and Show SPANIELS Springers and Cockers:- 'I've studied for many hours how the dogs use their tails for balance as they negotiate climbing amongst the brambles and rocks in the quarry. Their tails move so naturally to aid their movement and curl to one side to add weight when needed.  Their heads are down following a scent until all of a sudden the rabbit is found and the chase begins.  They start crashing through areas so dense we loose sight of them with their tails pointing straight back to add to the streamlining then automatically as they break through the gorse the tail once again becomes a vital aid to balance as the rabbit is either seen off or caught.'          'The above dogs who have received no training and are pets complete with full tail and dew claws. My own bitches who I have bought in for breeding and have had some basic training but have been docked and dew clawed will often not attempt similar chases, unfortunately they don't appear to have the balance skills and have to give up.  I'm not qualified to say why but have a pretty good idea from the studies I've done. ...' ADA member 3/07

has anybody else had any problems with the cowboys that do the docking of tails for the CDB i am absolutley appauled.i took my puppies there wednesday and they put a band around the tails two days later (last nite)there was a vile smell.i spoke to someone on here who had also had the tails banded the same thing happend to him.they was infected like a decomposing smell.its cost me a fortune to put them can they fob people off with its safer this way.being a first time breeder i took other peoples advice about contacting the CDB one thing i know is that i will learn from my mistake.and i hopw that other people think twice about using them. chat room/forum champ dogs website 20/8/05
Follow on from above from an ADA member who had asked about the pups:-
I did tell her that I didn't dock and was dead against it, but she said - the same as I had been told - that if she doesn't dock, she'll never sell them, plus if she did sell them she would get next to nothing for them.  I told her I had recently found homes for 12 puppies all from people looking for pups WITH tails, one even went to Merseyside which is a fair distance from Bristol purely for the tail reasons. Plus they were sold at the full price of a docked cocker.  She said she thought it would have been better if the tails were just chopped off .   I told her that hurts the pups too, they scream as the tails are cut off and whimper for hours/days afterwards, which in turn upsets mum!  I really can't see how these people call themselves animal lovers!  member 21/8/05
Follow on from above in reply to the above:-
Follow on from above:-
OMG those poor Rottie babies, that vet should be struck off....I take it it was a vet that docked them?  The sooner they ban it the better I say.  My vet has done a case study of dogs that are normally docked, this has been done over 10 years, she said they had their tails left on and the only dog that got damaged, even working dogs was a labrador and they aren't docked anyway!  So it really makes a mockery of docking doesn't it.  member 22/8/05
There was a woman at the L ----- Show who had a tailed S......... and I talked to her after the class I saw it in - she said that she has left tails on but has no problem and sees nothing wrong in docking, - this in the same breath as telling me that her husband who is a Vet had a litter of baby Rotties taken in with tails that had been so badly docked that the anal gland area had been severed through and the poo was just pouring out - they all had to be destroyed.   Member 21/8/05
Did you know that a group in Sweden has tried to put together a catalogue of cases of damage to tails, after the docking ban, and could not find a single one?   A letter in Dog World complains that the KC does nothing for the CDB cause - I really should write and say that not all KC members are pro-docking.     24/4/04 member
Holly Lee of the KC at the Scottish inquiry Dec 2005 stated that in Sweden there were 23% more tail injuries since the ban. 
An ADA member asked a Swedish breeder if this were true and this was her reply:- QUOTE 'No, that sounds as true rubbish to me. More then every fifth dog having it's tail amputated in adult age??? Some dogs do have tail injuires, some of them are former docking breeds but could as well be other breeds. As the Irish Wolfhound, whom I've seen a few with a bit of the tail missing. I've never heard of a Terrier with a tail injury. I do know a few p/s GS though, three I think. Two of these owned by the same person and the third breed by this same person, maybe some vets are quicker to amputate then others? No dog at ours or from our breeding has had even the slightest injury and I really don't see how that would happend. Well, that was not really true, I jammed the tail of our old Tarra in the door once and it was a bit of a mess but finally healed. They slam their tails in the most different ways but never seems to even notice! I worry a lot less, or not at all, for this then them breaking every bone in their bodies when running like mad dogs out in the woods. Earlier the breed people stated that bird hunting dogs, as Pointer and Vorsteh, damaged their tails during hunting but when asked they couldn't put up the evidence. Sure is that it happens though but hardly 23% of the dogs even in this specific group of dogs. END QUOTE
FOLLOW ON QUOTE I didn't read carefully enough, but a 23% rise of injuries still isn't true. I've never heard any numbers at all and that would have been a something the pro-docking people would have used. Today we rarely hear anyone advocating docking to be allowed again. I would say a large majority of dog people are pro our docking ban and want stricter regulations stopping docked and cropped dogs from participating at shows and trials. END QUOTE Dec 2005 Stockholm
...I have passed this on to all of my friends also.i really do hope that it does become LAW in Scotland real soon.   I did wonder though ,will breeders be able to pop over the border to England and get it done there??   I still think that most   breeders who are doing docking are doing it themselves. Why does the RSPCA and SSPCAa not get involved and prosecute.?? Money? You only have to go to any dog show and all traditionally docked breeds still have no tails. I have heard that vets up here are quizzing people with new docked pups as to where and from whom did they get the pup.   They are also asking for details of the vets who performed the docking.    member 19/5/04
   I have always said I WON'T have a Rottie if it is docked, and hopefully things are heading in the right direction for more breeders to stop this horrible practice.   I worked in a vets' practice when I was in school ( a few years ago now!) and witnessed docking..... never, never, NEVER would I support it. I am pleased to say that our local practice (the same one) no longer performs it all.     member 20/6/2004
It infuriates me that I still see adverts for puppies which "proudly" proclaim that they have been docked. ……………… I also viewed the "Vets4 Docking" page and have only just calmed down enough to write back to you!  There are so many hypocritical statements in it - I don't know where to start in tearing their argument apart -  I am almost apoplectic with rage.  On viewing the vets who have signed up - I notice they haven't got the courage of their convictions to add their address or telephone details.  ……………. On the "Vets for Docking" site it is stated that "the puppies feel no pain unlike a sentient human" - this from a vet, who presumably has done at least 5 years training but obviously didn't learn even the basics of biology.  He also goes on to say "the dogs lead a normal and happy life afterwards" - as if that fact is an acceptable excuse.  I had a colostomy performed 30 years ago.  My entire gut was removed.  It is known that the gut itself has no nerve endings so, theoretically, I would have felt no pain.  I'm damned sure I wouldn't have wanted it done whilst conscious, nor in a non-sterile environment or without painkillers afterwards.  Also, I now live a normal and happy life now but I would still prefer to be "whole".    …  So who's to say what effects a missing tail would have.  A tail has a bone in it and it moves independently via muscles.  Testicles do not - but they anaesthetise to castrate……….Prophylactic -   It's just a word that they are using as a loophole.  I'd be interested to know how many "prophylactic" dockings are done by the PDSA !!  If we could get hold of the statistics I think that would prove that private vets are doing it for the money and not for prophylactic reasons.     member 11/02
  Our new Vet -, is very anti-docking . What she finds very disheartening the RCVS not taking seriously cases of Vets docking whole litters, and especially that a Vet  --  , is the vet in the area that all the CDB lot go to. This Vet is a top breeder and judge of - ,    Member 1/06
The PDSA in one Animal Hospital TV programme last year had a puppy brought to them with gangrene++ in its docked stump (a mongrel!).       22/11/02
  I was walking my dogs on the Hoe on Friday and met up with a 5 month old English Springer which had been docked.  I gently had a go at her owner who, to my amazement, hadn't even realised that the dog should have a longer tail.  He thought they came like that !!  He apparently bought the pup from a farm near Launceston and they, obviously, dock all the pups before selling them.  I shall try to wheedle more information from him if we meet up again.  It's so frustrating to know how widespread it is.  Do you know how it came about that other countries in Europe banned docking?  Was it persuasion from pressure groups, like yourself, or do they have a more enlightened government?
  Remember the undocked pup that a breeder wanted to advertise?  I sent her an Email asking if the pup was an exception or did she leave all her pups undocked.  This morning I received the following reply.  Says it all, I think, and proves that pressure MUST be put on the Kennel Club.
REPLY:-‘ many thanks for adding me to the breeders listing - this pup was an exception - hand reared - dam had no milk, no colostrum and I felt the risk of infection etc too high to risk pups lives being docked. Shame as a couple were quite promising as show prospects, but no chance in the ring in the UK with full tails ... !!'   member
I have 2 Cocker Spaniels with docked tails.  One was obtained from a breeder before I knew the cruelty of tail docking.  The other I got from a shelter, where I had no impact on the tail docking cruelty.  The one I got from a shelter has an infected tail that she bites until it is nearly hairless (because it is always itchy).   I thought your organization might be interested in a picture of it, because it looks very bad.  Member USA 4/9/05
The following is a sequence of letters from an ADA member to the Kennel Club March 2005:-
(bearing in mind that part of the KC mission statement says: The primary objective of the Kennel Club is to promote, in every way, the general improvement of dogs )
ADA member writes to KC:- '.......
i become increasingly concerned at the kc's continued subservience to the practice of docking. isn't it time the kc recognised that many owners, breeders and its own members see this 'tradition' as completely unnecessary, quite apart from being barbaric? How can one justify the removal of any natural part of a body for cosmetic reasons? There will soon come a point when the kc finds its own position untenable, and i look forward to watching how they deal with it. In the mean time i find my own membership of an organisition that claims to put the interests of all dogs at the top of its agenda but clearly bows to pressure from traditionalists, thus perpetuating the pain endured by some dogs at their hands, quite impossible to justify. I look forward to your response...'
In-house reply from KC:  ' I think that this was the reason that the KC underwent the process of drafting tail clauses in the breed standards of those breeds that were traditionally docked. The question of tail docking is part of the new Animal Welfare Bill which, if adopted, will make tail docking illegal, with some exceptions. At that point it will become the law of the land.'
ADA member's reply:  ' well yes but this doesn't answer my question. i realise that you are expecting to deal with canine health questions but, since i could see no more appropriate email address for this question, i wonder if you could pass it on for me. i am fully aware of what tail docking is and the present situation regarding legislation. i would like to know why the kc are supporting the practice and why they claim to speak on behalf of their members when clearly there are many more, like myself who feel let down by the kc. '
In-house reply from KC: ' I guess the problem the KC has is that there are roughly equal numbers of its clients/customers/members that fall on either side of this debate. The real issue that the KC has is to ensure that when a ban does come into place, the position of working dogs that are docked is fully taken into consideration. There is accumulating evidence that working dogs left undocked suffer damage during their working lives that often requires tail amputation, which is far more of a welfare issue than tail docking. '
ADA member's reply:  ' i disagree with your last point but prefer to allow those who have carried out studies to debate the issue. however, if the kc represents members who in 'roughly equal numbers' fall on 'either side of the debate', why do they choose to support only one side?
At this juncture, in order to contradict statments made by the KC above, it is possibly useful to add the following links discussing studies on tail injury in undocked dogs ; none show overwhelming evidence of tail injury as a result of leaving a dog undocked  in a docked breed than it would in an undocked breed.  Nor for that matter, do they show that tail injury is inevitable or potentially greater than any other possible injury that could occur:-
  John Bower Veterinarian
Report to the Animal Welfare Council
regarding an assessment of reports on tail injuries.  by Preben Willeberg, Professor Veterinary Forensic Medicine and Epidemiology
The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Denmark Danish Report on Tail Injury
Swedish Breed Council Report on Tail Injury
1] Having to keep taking a friend with her Boxer to the vet because he was in such dreadful pain from his stump and he kept chewing it. The mutilation was done half way through a vertebre. That and another full vertebre had to be removed to leave enough skin to sew over what was left. Thankfully the vet was excellent and relieved the direct suffering with the op. He stated how sickened by the state of the initial dock, let alone the fact that he considered it unethical and shameful that he was docked in the first place. This was a white Boxer which could not be shown nor bred from so even the ridiculous breeding/showing excuses for mutilating the dog could not be bleated out by the breeder responsible.
2] I was told by a friend yesterday, that many years ago, when working for a breeder, she was shown how to dock and the experience of the screams made it more than clear to her how wrong it was so she refused to have a part in again. She also noted that, of a litter which had two boys docked for stud use [ hmmmm... ], the undocked were readilly mobile at 2 weeks old, the docked boys were not walking without great difficulty from co-ordination problems caused by having their tails removed, until they were 4 weeks old. The breeder apparently then decided never to dock again.
3] *Many* near fights with my dogs not being to read docked dogs signals properly, and have seen the same with many other peoples dogs when faced with those which have been tail mutilated. Two of my dogs are deaf and so can`t distinguish that an apparently aggressively stanced docked dog [ which can`t help how its stance is as a result of so much spine being missing !! ], is *not* growling or otherwise audibly giving warning signals. They can only go by the physical expression, which in docked dogs, is far harder for them to get across when they are being friendly. Its no wonder humans get docked dogs` signals so wrong when considering how hard it is for dogs to read their own species which have their main conversational limb missing !
4 ] As an agility instructor, seeing the clear differences in how docked dogs land and turn, and the extra stress on their backs and legs : Because of this, when approached by owners in the future for them to train in agility under me, I will limit the obstacle heights which their dogs may jump. If they don`t like it, they are welcome to train elsewhere as I am not prepared to be a party to risking their dogs` longterm health. member (forum) Aug 2005
I have had 3 JRs during my life time and always found they were being irritated by the nerve endings or something where their tail was cut off so I am determined to get one this time complete with full tail!     member    N Ireland 18/11/2003
‘Right from the beginning we have strongly supported the anti-docking alliance.   Our own Webmaster, Sarah, has had to wait two years for an undocked Wiemi. Most of our members are also supporters of anti-docking alliance   ………….    but as a small but independent association we feel docking is not now (nor ever should have been) acceptable practice. ‘ member 16/9/2002
Three jailed for mutilating puppies 11 died    email from member 28/52002
I am the owner of a Short Haired German Pointer that has a natural length tail. During her very energetic life she has had a few injuries from the kind of territory covered whilst hunting, however these have been to her ears, legs and feet as running at full pelt her tail is carried straight behind her and so unlikely to be injured. With care and attention from a vet she has recovered from these wounds. I am sure that the tradition of docking hunting dogs tails was based on the fact that antibiotics were not available   or indeed even a local vet.   I am a member of the Norfolk and Suffolk H.P.R. Working Trials Club and it would only be fair to say that most other members would disagree with me but I feel that if a dog is trained to retrieve   a dummie or bird in a straight line regardless of obstacles then adequate care must be sought from a vet.   I should also like to point out that this club is quite small (20-30 people meet regularly) and a lot of the shoots in this area have ceased due to high costs so it is questionable as to how many dogs are actually used for hunting.   I found buying a dog with a tail incredibly difficult as the tails are docked within a few days of birth the breeder has to be contacted before the event. The Kennel Club refused to send me a list of breeders as did the regional   breed clubs. I have found that the breeders involved in the show ring to be even more biased towards docking. Could this be because should dogs with tails suddenly become successful in the show ring they will feel that their current docked dogs have become obsolete. I would be happy to help with any inquiries you may have concerning the above. Yours sincerely member 11/1/2003
all the enquiries I had about German Short-haired Pointer pups were for companion   or show dogs not hunting! member 23/2/2004
ADA to member:-   If you didn't know just thought you might be interested that an undocked   German male Wire haired Pointer (imported!!) has got its 3 Challenge Certificates
I was talking to a friend of mine with Danes who has had more Danes with broken tails,   and couldn't understand why that breed had never been in the   customarily docked breed category. When her Old English had puppies   she left all with tails and the only breed she believes should be docked is the Danes. Member 23/1/04
I would like to say though as a Veterinary Nurse I am   disgusted to see many non working breeds ie Boxers, Weimeranas, Dobermanns, Yorkies etc who are appearing with docked tails, apparently this is being done by breeders by using the elastic bands similar to the way sheep tails   are docked. I contacted the RSPCA regarding the standing and legality of   this and it is prosecutable- I do not understand how so many breeders are getting away with it. I would like to know if you have heard of this and your comments please.    VN member 23/12/03
….I know a breeder in Sweden who works her undocked Weimaraners and she has told me that she has had no problems   with tail damage. So, having heard such very confusing and opposing   stories re.tail damage during the working of undocked Weimaraners, I am   not going to renew my membership of the CDB. Instead, I have decided NOT   to dock the tails on my upcoming litter. I intend to work some of the   puppies from this un-docked litter, so that I can obtain first-hand   knowledge of the whole situation. Once I have that working knowledge, I   will than be in an informed position to decide for myself what is best for my dogs' welfare, and whether to join a lobby group. Funny thing is,   by that time there will probably already be a docking ban in the UK!:)   non member 23/7/02
I am prompted to write to you following reading the letter in Dog World April 19th and an enquiry for two working ESS pups from a litter due to born at the end of this week. All went well until I stated that I don't dock ( and haven't for the last 20 yrs). I have never had a torn tail and stated that I was not prepared to compromise my principles. If you should have anyone who would be interested in a working ESS with a tail then do please, ask them to contact me.     22/4/02 member
Why don't any of these people commenting on the harmful effects of tail docking ever mention that 'DEATH' is a not uncommon consequence.   Maybe they don't see death as being so bad in comparison to the other side effects of tail docking Member 22/10/04
Weimaraners Some of the comments on there were a little disturbing, one of them basically said that breeders are too scared   not to dock and it will take a lot to get a breeder to keep the tails on a   whole litter, which I think is really sad.   member 21/8/03
Advocates for Animals has today released the findings of an opinion survey of Scottish vets: 1) on how animal welfare legislation should be improved. The survey is released in advance of a draft Animal Welfare (Scotland) Bill, expected by the end of this year and aimed at updating existing legislation  2). Advocates for Animals is calling on the Scottish Executive to include in the new Bill the reforms clearly wanted by Scottish vets, and by Advocates. Vets were asked six questions. Of those that responded:
   *. 78% believe that all tail docking of dogs should be banned except for therapeutic reasons. Most thought that tail docking is unnecessary and that the notion of how certain breeds should look should not dictate the removal of an animal's body part.26/10/04
  I am so frustrated about my dog (M, Minature Schaunzer)  she is going to be 10 years old on feburary 4, 2003.  we purchased our dog from a place called the American Kennel Club, we had thought they were associated with akc we never asked.  we had purchased Muffin when she was nine weeks old, and her ears and tail were already cropped, not knowing anything about cropping we purchased her.  she is a wonderful dog, but i noticed after we had her for a couple of days, she would turn around and look at her hind as if something had bitten her.  over the years this has only become worse.  we have taken her to countless vets, the animal medical center in new york city, they usually stated it was due to impacted anal scent glads, so they always expressed them only to find that they were not impacted.  my wife and myself feel so bad thinking that she is constantly in pain, as she constantly turns and again looks at her hind, and then take off running like something had bitten her.  fleas ticks parasites have all been ruled out.  i am wondering if her tail was improperly cropped and she is suffering to this day.  can you please advise me if you have ever heard of these symptons before or think of anything that might be wrong with her tail, as i have run out of options....thank you ...sincerely     USA 3/10/2002
I found it really interesting especially after a conversation with a member of the Council of Docked Breeds at Crufts this year, the reasons she gave for docking were appalling eg. if you didn't dock a Rottweiler then someone could mistake it for a Labrador and might get attacked, I think it is more than a tail that distinguishes a Rottie from a   lab, and I did like her generalisation of the breeds, I assume she thinks   labs dont bite !!!! Spencer member 21/8/03
A   member has just had an interesting discussion with a foreign owner who had never seen a   banded dock before.   She was very upset about the rawness of the wound once the band and tail fell off.   Member advised her that it was what they called 'dry gangrene' and there shouldn't be any exposed bone if banding is done correctly.    It is thought that the owner's Vet will have to operate on this puppy's stump as it is not closing; it is suspected that   the band was placed on the bone rather than between the joints! 9/03   member
E-mail received 5/04 from Cocker Spaniel Breeder in Scotland:-
‘……I no longer dock and have people queuing up for pups with tails.   I used to give people choice if they booked before pups were born but now nothing is docked and it makes life much less stressful for pups and us.   I could not bear to hear my pups squealing in pain at the Vets and then having this bloody mess of squealing pups handed back to me.   It is very cruel.   Pups with tails get up on their feet much quicker.   I will never go back to docking….'
‘I have Cocker pups who live with people who taken them up hills, down glens and jumping through the heather.   So far no reports of any injuries.   These dogs are pretty much doing what working dogs do.'
‘I have heard that vets up here are quizzing people with new docked pups as to where and from whom did they get the pup, they are also asking for details of the vets who performed the docking.'
  -…There was a photo of an undocked Field Spaniel on her website and she told me that she only left it undocked because it was being exported to Finland ?   she said she would never leave one undocked in this country !     member 14/4/04
I am sorry to tell you that the breeder did it himself : (I have heard recently of other breeders doing it themselves too - someone at ringcraft apparently docks her own Spinone pups - she is a top judge. It saddens me and makes me very cross - but what can I do ?    member 10/6/04
I wish you all of the success you deserve with your campaign, we have just had a new dog come into the rescue today with a butchered tail, it makes me sick.    27/12/02    -   Dog Rescue member
Email received   6/04 from Australia
' I have owned undocked Spaniels for the last 25 years and in all that time have not had a single problem with tail injuries, or hygiene problems associated with undocked tails. My experience has been the front of the dog (eyes and ears) are more prone to damage than the rear quarters and tail when facing cover.   I find it beneficial for the dogs to have a full tail when working as it makes the dog more visible especially when in thick cover.'  
I am glad that I found your website while I was trying to find out information on tail docking in older puppies. I am very much against any type of cosmetic surgery. I have a 5 month old Doberman pup whose tail never healed properly from where it was docked at the breeders. I have taken her to 4 vets about her tail and they have all said the same, that her tail will have to be redocked because the end of her tail is a huge mass of scar tissue. I am feeling quite a bit of trepidation about having this done. Her tail is very ugly and seems to bother her. Sometimes, while she is playing, she will stop and will bite at it like it is hurting, or itchy, I am not quite sure really why she does this. I have told the vets that I will not have this done for cosmetic purposes only, I will only have this done if it is medically warranted. They have told me the same thing, that the large area of scar tissue is what is bothering her and that it has to be redocked.   I am so worried that this will cause more problems in the future. I understand fully that there are no guarantees with any surgery, but this is bone involvement and seems that there would be more of a propensity for infection. Since I live in the States, docking tails and cropping ears (how barbaric and cruel) are common. I am not sure if the vets are pro-redocking her because it is such common practice here. I know that you cannot see her tail and therefore will make it difficult to give advice but any advice at all would be greatly appreciated!! Should I or Shouldn't I has been the question that has taken up quite a bit of time in my thoughts these past few weeks!   Member 6/04
I decided to go with the Boston Terrier and though I did do a lot of reading about the breed, personality, health problems, etc., I failed to notice much on tail docking.   I live in Charleston, SC and looked at the State   Paper on the Internet and found a first time breeder in Columbia, SC.   She   had both the parents and they are CKC registered.   They had 3 puppies.   After several conversations I chose to go to Columbia and purchase a   puppy.   She had all the   proper paperwork and informed me that she (Oreo)   had already been docked and had her Dew Claws removed. Upon bringing   Oreo back home to Charleston we took her straight to   our vet and had everything checked. She appeared perfect. Though we did not mention the tail was docked because we thought this to be normal.   When   Oreo was between 4 and 5 months we started to notice her messing with her   backside a lot and at times walking funny. After a few times of noticing this we   looked her over real good. It appeared her tail was growing into her backside.   We took her to the vet and he said in all his years he had not seen anything   like it. We scheduled surgery and he had to remove some more of her tail   and   some of her backside. Three days later, we have now had to take   her back to the vet because she is not doing well and they are going to do   another surgery and have to put a drainage tube in to help fight off infection   while she heals and possible remove more backside. Also now she is at a greater   risk for not being able to control her bathroom functions. The vet said he did   not know why they docked the tail in the first place? Non member 9/04
A South Yorkshire man has been jailed for six weeks and given a life ban on having custody of any animal after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to a Rottweiler bitch and her five puppies. Daniel Thornton, 35, of Wath-Upon-Dearne, near Rotherham, failed to seek veterinary advice after a ten-inch ulcerated tumour developed on the mammary gland of his dog, Tasha.
Illegal docking
Despite her obvious discomfort he continued to breed from her, and attempted to illegally dock the tails of her five puppies. I've noticed that a lot of dogs now have "only" a third of their tails cut off!   Do they think this is in some way not so bad as having nearly all of it off??   These people lack a sense of logic as well as everything else.    1/03 member
The litter I bred myself were docked which is the reason I am anti-docking I will never repeat that experience!   I was inexperienced at the time and believed that the procedure was painless, I have changed my mind. I want to show my latest pup, and unfortunately undocked dogs do not do well in the show ring!   I believe though, that if there was a total ban on docking it would be a level playing field.   I would like to breed in the future, but until docking is banned I will not do it.      10/9/02 member
I am the editor of the "-----"  magazine, which is published on behalf of "------" pet foods.   The reason I am writing is because we would like to photograph an English Springer Spaniel for the cover of the next issue and I would like to use an undocked Springer as we are against tail docking.
  Both are Gun Dogs! - Cockers are being Docked and Setters are not
  The Royal Veterinary College made a ruling that Vets who carried out docking unnecessarily (therefore on puppies of a week or less in age) could be struck off.   Alas, this has not deterred many vets who still carry out docking. They are often breeders of the traditionally docked breeds and so comply with clients' wishes.     I was the head receptionist at a large Veterinary Practice in Warwickshire when the College made their ruling and my colleagues and I refused to make appointments for clients who wanted to have their puppies docked. However, I have no doubt that other practices continued   to dock.   I am in full agreement that the fault lies in the diehards who run the Kennel Club and had a huge argument with a man in charge of the Schnauzer display at Crufts a few years ago, but was totally unable to convince him of the barbarity of docking   1/2003 member
  ........To that lady I would say let's quote statistics on leg, ear, eye injuries, I could go on - bet they will be much higher.    I have seen a Rottie with a tail and he looked great, and it wagged so he looked far less aggressive, not that I think they look aggressive anyway, it's the owners unfortunately.   I am all for the European Convention, too many breeds have serious problems due to breeding and the KC are to blame for a lot of it by accepting the Standards.     member 1/2004
  Didn't realise docking breeders will sell undocked pups to non-docking countries, but not to their own docking country !!   But I suppose it's not surprising - they want to keep the tradition of docking alive as much as they can in their own country.   A kind of last stand.   But it's a double standard.     member   8/04 ‘I am an owner of both Giant Schnauzers and a Mini Schnauzer, and am  VERY against the docking of tails.    You have my 101 per cent support…………Its still a battle to find a breeder who will not dock Schnauzers,….,  I find most , if not all Schnauzer breeder still dock, and if you want one  as a pup you have to let them know before the litter is born, and even then they are reluctant to leave a tail intact ! makes me so angry……… Hope we are nearer to getting a law into place to stop this awful practise of docking tails, it seems too  long in coming, and too many breeders are just flouting the law now in place, and getting away with it !!! it appals me. . ‘ member 12/01
  Heck, if even Australia can be forward thinking enough to ban it, and lets face it, their general "reputation" on what they think of animals isn't exactly glowing, it makes the UK`s previously proud reputation of being a "nation of animal lovers" look rather shaky at the very least !    8/02 member
Harriet had her 11th birthday on the 16th March and, very sadly, had to have her left hind leg amputated due to a tumour in the upper femur.  However, she is managing very nicely as a tripod and is an absolute inspiration, although I have to face the fact that the diagnosis was osteosarcoma so in spite of being on homeopathic therapy, I really don't know how much longer I will have my precious girl. 
Anyway, I wondered if you would like me to send a picture of her for your website as she is no ordinary dog!   The main point would be to illustrate how having a tail in these circumstances helps her balance, she needs it now more than ever!    member 6/04 (see photo at top of page)
  Giant Schnauzer – ‘….as a puppy I saw how wretchedly uncomfortable he was when asked to sit - his poor little "stump" - inflicted by US - all who do nothing to fight this barbaric mutilation - which is why I wish to join you and try to get something done about it.   I will never forget the pain I   felt (never mind him) watching my dog trying desperately to sit in a manner that did not create discomfort from his mutilated stump     7/02 member
  HUNGARIAN VIZSLAS – ‘No Hungary does not dock any more, neither does Germany. Dogs I saw in Devon (with tails) all UK ones.   Breed Columnist Our Dogs 4/03
  I do not agree with docking never have, and yes we go on to own a breed which is docked.    I do hope that the law bans docking ASP     1/03 member
Our Weimaraner is a rescue and is docked like a Doberman. :o(  She nibbles at her stump sometimes like it irritates her.  I think that sometimes, if she sits quickly, she catches the end of it.  Must be like sitting on a stick!!!       I do wish she had a tail, but you can't put back that which has been taken away!    member 12/3/02
I am sure you don't need me to tell you some of the excuses that are paraded for continuing this barbaric tradition. One show committee member even told me she has a beautiful tailed bitch that she won't show but will breed from. Just because she wants to continue to dock and can't be seen showing a tailed OES. I ask you, what a reason not to show a good dog???    member 1/4/03
‘When I contacted the breeder to tell her of the pups, she went to great lengths to explain how to dock the pups and where to get the vet to cut, if I wasn't doing it myself. When I told her that I had decided to leave them intact, she said that had she known this I would not have been allowed to use her top stud dog and she would never have signed a mating cert. I was also informed that if I could get anyone to buy the pups, then they would most probably go to sub-standard homes and be badly neglected. I sold three of the pups, and could have sold 33, if I'd had them, I only had one request for a pup that I was told would be docked later, needless to say the pup never went home with that particular buyer. Of the three dogs still alive, all still have their tails and not a bit of tail damage anywhere. I was also told that I'd need to sell them cheap to get them away, well they were sold for £200, not a bad price for 1990.
I was also accused for altering the breed but had to explain to the poor woman that altering something was changing it from the original, Aysha is as she has always been, so has never been altered.        6/02 member
I am the proud owner of an English Springer Spaniel complete with bushy waggy tail. She is almost 2 years old and at the time i got her i didn't have much of a problem finding a litter with tails. I have now been looking for another Springer for about 6 months but all have been docked. On questioning i have been given a variety of reasons from they can't work with them and one man even told me they were not born with tails when i informed him my Springer was he suggested that his puppies must have dropped off! I dread to think what really happened to those poor dogs.   I would be really grateful if you could help me find an English Springer puppy or give me details of breeders who don't dock as i would prefer to wait for a litter to be born or even bred if needs be than purchase a dog with no tail.     5/03 member
Last week I met, whilst at an hotel in France, a Dutch hunter with his UNdocked working Springer Spaniel (bought from a breeder of working Spaniels in Scotland).   He has never had a problem with the tail!   ADA March 2004
I have done field trial training on & off with all my ESS over the years but none of them have actually worked to the gun in the field. (I don't like shooting things!) Having said that, they probably spend many more hours rushing through the undergrowth with the natural enthusiasm and high spirits common to ESS than most   dogs trained to the gun working in a controlled manner. I have NEVER, in 25yrs of owning/ breeding Springers, had one with a torn tail.   11/1/03 member
I've been breeding Boxers for almost 30 years and quit tail docking about 10 years ago. I do not see the point of mutilating puppies strictly in the name of fashion, however trying to get that point across to the public is another matter.    Several years ago I had puppies for sale and a man phoned and said it was a shame their tails weren't docked as they couldn't run as fast with a long tail!     I have never had any problems with my dogs injuring their tails. At present I have 8 adult Boxers, 4 docked and 4 undocked, I also have 2 litters of puppies that have their tails.   member N Ireland 27/11/04
When I read the total craziness of how maggots fail to attack a docked dog but will attack a tailed one. I sit so confused. my gosh, every Beardie owner would stand on line to have the tail eliminated as would every dog owner if they believed maggots were sure to come if there were a tail. Non member USA 2/03
  I have been against docking for many years now since I became fascinated by canine behaviour and interactions in the 1960s. I am so glad there are people like yourself fighting the claims of the breeders and raising awareness among prospective owners.    7/04 member
I've had several docked dogs come to me in the past & it always broke my heart that they could only wag their little stumps instead of a beautiful tail. I did a dog behaviour course too & know just how important a tail can be as a signal for other dogs in their meetings, etc.   We are planning to have an undocked Standard Poodle hopefully at the end of this year & have already made contact with an undocked breeder in Essex.   We are very happy to be new members & hope that more & more people will stop the barbaric act of tail docking. member 1/03 I work as a veterinary nurse, and frequently get asked about docking tails.  I explain to the clients, that are considering mutilating the beautiful tails of the pups, that basically docking involves cutting the end of the spine off without any anaesthetic, explain the pain involved and advise them would they like to have their spine cut without any anaesthetic??   Most people don't actually realise what it involves.  If they are still insisting that the breed doesn't look right with a tail, I advise that they will find it very hard to find a vet to dock them.  I then continue to explain, that by removing the pups tail it takes away a major part of the way that a dog can communicate.  I go, on and on and on, until eventually they get the idea that most modern people now a days, do not agree with docking!! (or so I hope!)   It still amazes me that people think that dogs are just born without tails!!    Any way I shall continue my quest and spread the word to anyone that has the opinion that docking is good!     member 2/2004
I could not find a single breeder who would let me use their stud dog because I was not going to dock the litter - they all spread the word too!   So we were forced to travel 500 miles in order to find a dad!……………………. We have 2 bitches and 3 dogs left.   The week after we advertised them as undocked there was an advert which read "tails done"!   How can you advertise something that is illegal? ……………..Have had a few calls from people who a) think Dobes are born without tails (!) and b) do not want an undocked one until I mention the illegalities of it.   Vet member
Animal Welfare has come such a long way in the last 50 years - how can veterinary surgeons be so passionate about removing a puppies tail? I just find this site incredible! I cant believe these people . I cant believe the RCVS won't prosecute its members for docking either!!!!!!!!! My veterinary surgeons have refused to dock and remove dew claws in puppies for the last 25 years from what I can gather they represent the majority of the veterinary profession! (rant, rant -sorry!) I have emailed and complained to the RCVS!     9/02 member
I have had a very woolly response from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons: they are just as bad as any other bureaucracy, I shall have to write again but ask them to remove their blinkers first!!! In spite of the fact that I wrote the letter in my own words, the respondent was rude enough to open the reply with "thank you for a copy of a standard letter signed by you.....".   How rude is that???   I guess it is what we are up against and they should be on our side with the animals' welfare in mind!!!   I am on a bit of a roll now but I shall calm down before I write again as I know I will then be much more cogent and articulate and less emotional!!! member   2/2003
2/10/2002 ADA to RCVS                Thank you for your standard letter.   I had already in previous months received the RCVS's submission to DEFRA.                It is indeed unfortunate that the RCVS has not seen the need to change the wording from "therapeutic and truly prophylactic" to "therapeutic" only.   The former phraseology has been the let out clause for both the College to ignore and for Vets to continue the practice. This is why as many dogs as ever are being docked particularly for the show ring indicating the cosmetic nature of this mutilation.   If the College really want to see the cessation of docking they should have addressed the use of the word prophylactic". The BVA has changed its wording to therapeutic only.                As I said in my previous email, the failure of the RCVS to discipline a member over an ethical issue leads to others questioning the RCVS's commitment to its obligations and responsibilities.
            It is disappointing to say the least that this far from satisfactory standard letter has been sent out by the RCVS indicating that they are totally impotent or unwilling to act in such matters.
I blame the veterinary profession   ......................for this issue continuing to be a problem - there are very strict guidelines for vets but the RCVS does nothing about it.   The legislation should not have been introduced if they could not enforce it.     Scotland member 28/4/03
I have one of the puppies and my mum has two of the puppies plus the mother and her sister (!) they are all undocked.  The rest of the puppies are all close by except one which went to the owner of the father of the litter (he wanted his puppy docked which caused a big argument, we have now lost touch with him as he went ahead, took the puppy and got it docked, against my mother's wishes, she did try to stop him and the police were involved but the law stood on his side as the puppy was his).  We don't breed, we just did it for this guy (the owner of the father) as his dog was getting old and he really wanted a puppy from him.  It wasn't something we had thought about before as when we got the mother and her sister they were undocked and just looked lovely with their tails.  We reported the vet?? who did the docking and at present the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons are in the process of looking into it.  The puppies are almost a year old now so it is taking its time.   Everyone comments on his tail especially our vet who doesn't have another undocked Doberman on her list.  I have recently bought next years Doberman calendar, and all dogs are undocked in it so things are looking up!     member 31/10/04
I just wanted to add that I have been a veterinary nurse for over 16 years now and have been against docking since taking part in this barbaric procedure at the naive age of 19 as a new trainee nurse. Shortly after this somewhat shocking event, my then-boss decided never to dock any more puppies, called it a mutilation and refused even when a long-standing toy-poodle breeder caused quite a scene. This was, as I mentioned, 16 years ago, and every vet that I have worked for since has refused for the same reason.   I recall a Boxer breeder a few years ago who, after hearing that we would not dock her puppies tails, found a vet who would and drove quite some distance to have them docked with him. Every one of the puppies died following her return home. Several years ago an OESD came to us with fly strike under her tail, which was docked so harsely that it was but a stump. Perhaps the most shocking yet was more recently, when a new client brought in a young puppy that was a Patterdale CROSS breed, with a docked tail. Upon asking why the puppy was docked, the owner said that the breeder had had it docked in case it looked like a purebred Patterdale!   - VN member 31/10/04
I have 2 (undocked) Miniature Schnauzers who are very proud of their tails.   I want to do all I can to abolish this barbaric practice. member 8/2/05
I have found that when one gets out among the general public, that most are against docking.  I have been at several club shows and have had people come and say 'I am glad you don't dock.  Also several of the agility trainers I have trained with are against docking. 1/05    member
Are the CDB trying to say that some breeders will leave their breed because they can't see it's anus?   As that is the only difference I can see in leaving the tail on.   Surely they are not going to try stating this as a reason to retain docking?   Also on one of the other mails you sent me, the CDB stated as part of their argument, that it was a tradition and as such it should remain. Well all I can say it thank God some of our other traditions have been allowed to recede into the depths, other wise kids would be going down the pits along with the pit ponies, women wouldn't have the vote and men would still have the right to rape their wives. Here's hoping that common sense will prevail on this outdated tradition and soon.   I agree with the measures they are thinking of using to save abuse of the exemption for prophylactic docking but do you think that the vets will endorse it?? I truly hope so.     member 9/12/04
You can quote our experience re a litter Giant Schnauzer pups.  Against our advice, the owner who was new to breeding, took the advice of another breeder to have the litter docked as "she would not be able to sell the pups."   The Council for Docked breeds arranged for a retired vet from another area to come and dock the pups.  Every pup developed a serious sepsis of the stump.  Fortunately, with  intensive antibiotic treatment and frequent veterinary examinations the pups survived. The owner of the bitch was extremely ashamed and felt very guilty   BVSc 2/02 non member
ADA to Vet Surgeon. I will certainly quote your experience about the Schnauzers.   Did the lady concerned send him/her your bills for him to pay as a result of his/her unhygienic proceedings.   What come back could she have had if she felt action were necessary?   If retired, would the Vet who did the docking still have had professional insurance for mal practice etc. etc. I wonder?   Would the RCVS have been prepared to take action?   Someone else told me that a litter of hers were taken off her in a cardboard box and brought back to her in a blood bath.   
Having just read the section on docking I was wondering if there is still anything that we can do to help guarantee what looks to be very positive results. I am particularly interested in the case of the HPR breeds and fervently hope there is some way that the tables turn and those owners who wish a docked dog for working have to book a pup before it is two days old and have to pay ridiculously high deposits with no idea of what they're getting. They are, after all, by far the minority of owners of HPR dogs and they should not be allowed to abuse the majority of HPR dogs any longer. Also, is it yet known what sort of timeframe we are looking at before the new regulations become law? They are, after all, by far the minority of owners of HPR dogs and they should not be allowed to abuse the majority of HPR dogs any longer. Also, is it yet known what sort of   timeframe we are looking at before the new regulations become law?    member 10/12/04
Firstly, the argument by CDB and Kennel Club about certain breeds not being bred any more if they cannot be docked seems to me to be totally spurious reasoning.  If a dog has to be mutilated to make it fit to be bred at all, then surely it is time that the breed was allowed to die out?   I'm sure that the breeders of one dog can (in time) transfer their skills from one breed to another (just as fox hunters are now being asked to transfer their skills to drag hunting .... )  At the end of the day, it's all about protecting their incomes and little else (sorry if that sounds cynical).
Secondly, I'm not clear about why certain working dogs are considered to need tail docking and others (e.g. labrador retrievers, sheepdogs) are not. Do you understand the difference?  Can you enlighten me? The conditions for exemption for prophylactic docking sound as though they will be much tighter than previously but I still wonder if the procedure is needed at all.  And it will still be open to abuse.  Who will police it? Who will prosecute it?  Do we need a central record kept of docked dogs? Isn't it the case that the RCVP have still to successfully prosecute any vet for docking a dog?  And how will the public (who buy dogs) be informed of this, since most of them still don't seem to be aware that cosmetic docking is illegal, or certainly not the ones I speak to!  (And I still regularly see docked pups - including Boxers and Weineramers; though have recently seen several Jack Russells with tails!)
And, I would guess that few vets currently in practice will do it (and they will continue to drag out retired vets to do so).    (member) 13/12/04
The surgeon is disgraceful having his "little docking club" for members only! On of my old bosses was an old school vet and would do anything for money but even he wouldn't dock tails.    VN member 23/3/05
When out with my 2 lovely undocked blue-roan Cockers, I'm amazed at frequent comments such as, 'Isn't it nice to see them with tails - it's illegal now, isn't it?' Um, no..... but they don't believe me. When we were searching last year for a puppy to join our family, it was still really difficult to find a breeder who would let us order one with a full tail - our search took months. One breeder said that he'd been docking for 34 years and didn't see why he should stop now. The only tail problem that any of my dogs has ever experienced was over 20 years ago. My very first dog, a docked Springer, got an infection in the stump at about three months old. The cockers' full tails have never got caught in brambles etc, even though we live in the country and go for lots of field and woodland walks.   2/12/04 member
USA- OES   messageboard.   Would you believe that we had 2 OES puppies, Oliver & Ozzy, with tails and our Vet convinced us they HAD to be removed - when they were 6 months old! It was horrible - Ozzy almost died - it was like removing one of their limbs! We were a little naive at the time - obviously!     1/05
Why did your vet tell you they had to be removed??!
Because he was a JERK! I don't remember exactly - but that's what we were used to - always had OES without tails - so we didn't think anything about it. We also didn't realize that it was a MAJOR surgery to remove them at that point. Live and learn....1/05
I also had a conversation with J.P. who owns ………. champion about   docking as she was interested to know why I didn't and how I'd managed to persuade K. to stop docking ------ she really pushed the point about me   NEVER having docked a S…………….   I told her I didn't need to as g/father was a farmer   and docked sheep, pigs and working dogs at home; some died and I didn't like   holding them whilst they died, even though I had no problems working in the   slaughter house that was for food.   Docking was done for no good reason that I   could see.   (R…..n) member 1/05
I   own a 3yr-old female R............ that   I imported to the UK from the Czech Republic, where docking is forbidden! I certainly want to support your   antidocking campaign and it is my wish not to dock puppies from my female.   Best of luck.    Non member
A friend of mine is currently looking for a Boxer pup, and went to have a look at a docked litter at the weekend that are about 6 weeks old. The breeder said if anyone asks you just say you bought them out of the paper that way - I'm hoping the breeder might get a visit from an RSPCA inspector in the next day or two.     member 9/04
Our female (Norwich Terrier) Gizmo came to us with a docking "mistake". Her tail was docked all the way to the bone! What I was told was "the Vet. screwed up"! She came with a good pedigree and a discount, but no tail at all.   Non member 3/05
It is more inclined to prove docking is not necessary, certainly if the hunting stats. are to be believed; I have been hunting with a fully tailed Welsh Springer Spaniel with no problems.   member 3/05
Whilst showing at Malvern I spoke to a Rottie owner who had bred a tailed one and had been showing.   He said he left the tail on as the puppy had been weak and didn't want to risk losing him to docking!   He felt he had not done as well as he could in the ring but nevertheless hadn't done that badly. ADA 26/6/03
At Christmas I had a family come to me for a Cocker pup, she asked about docking and I told her I don't dock, she then went on to say ‘oh well, my sister is a Vet and she will do it for me!!!!!   I was so mad, you can well imagine she DIDN'T get her pup from me!    member 13/3/05
I have just stumbled onto your website and have registered as a member. As a qualified veterinary nurse I am 100% against the docking of puppies tails and would never work for a practice where this took place.     VN 26/8/2004 member
Running a lost & found site and being very out spoken and active for the welfare of all animals, I get to see all manner of mutilations carried out on animals.   Keep up the good work. 16/5/05
-No problems at all with the tail, it has never been injured. Every one comments on her tail and some question what breed she is just because she has a tail! How ridiculous it's like when superman puts on glasses and no one recognises him! I haven't seen any complications in my area but far too many dogs with mutilated tails. I heard of one RAPCA near here that the puppy died after an owner docked the tail trough a massive infection. I looked at the vets for docking site many vets seem to be in the ark just because a puppy is under 10 days old they can't feel anything? That needs more evidence based research to change these crustation minds! I bet that these are surgeons who qualified in the dark ages. If I saw or knew of a surgeon docking tails then I would report them to the RCVS it is unethical completely. Who would you recommend reporting breeders to? The RSPCA in my opinion are chocolate teapots - useless. Convictions are hardly ever reached and fines mean nothing to the breeders a few hundred pounds they should be banned for keeping dogs.   VN member 22/3/05
I know I share your feelings about anyone harming these wonderful creatures. My niece is a veterinarian, you will be happy to know she refuses to surgically alter any animal for cosmetic reasons or to de-claw cats. My two sisters, my niece, my daughter and I all support your efforts. There is far too much cruelty and violence in this world...docking is both cruel and violent. I feel that educating our children is the key to changing the way people look at this. If mom and dad are telling them, dont worry, he wont feel a thing...they need to have other sources of information supporting what children already know in their hearts. It is like hunting, children must be de-sensititized to the pain and suffering of the animal...usually by a parent. If more parents were more concerned about teaching their children about love and compassion rather than making them "tough", what a wonderful world this would be. But since many parents do not do this...other caring adults must step in. Bless you and your fight for this worthwhile cause!     USA 3/4/05
As a Dobermann hobby breeder I pride myself on not docking my puppies. I   have the full support of my vet who incidentally refuses to dock any   puppies for cosmetic reasons. Not because she is afraid to but she is   totally against the process. She has shared an incident she witnessed as   a student when seeing the deed done and watching the pain the puppies   suffered. I just wanted you to read a comment from your counterpart that made me   see red...       I quote... ‘…     All responsible breeders consider the welfare of dogs to be of the    utmost importance. They recognise that docking should be carried out by    competent, experienced individuals such as veterinary surgeons. They   therefore wish to see vets free to continue docking, without the threat   of action for professional misconduct hanging over them.'      It is a shame that these people use emotive wording to gain momentum yet   their argument is a load of tosh. I do feel that if a gun dog is to be   used in the work there could be an argument but I still have yet to see   the argument for the Dobermann or Rottie.    Please quote if you wish as more people need to voice the facts. A   Dobermann tail is raised and not whipping around. It was only docked so   when it when in for a bite the criminal had nothing to hold onto (not    forgetting its ears were cropped for the same reason) as I know you are   probably aware of. The Rottie was done for the same reason. it started   as a herding dog and its tails is strong and has the protection of its fur.   non member 9/4/05
Yes I do breed & show my Boxer dogs.   But I do not agree with the docking, even though all of my dogs are done. If enough support was achieved by groups like yourself, something would have to be done. A total ban on this barbaric exercise would be great. It's the way that it is done, that really gets to me!   Regards,    Member 11/4/05  
A German import, Byron, could not stop wagging his tail and made all the others look feeble with their little stumps.    More people are coming round to the idea - one ex Sec & past President, an influential person, is leaving tails on. She has always liked them, finds that the pups do better and no problems with the bitch licking the pups. Much easier to control a dog during mating too.   At The AGM, when it was suggested to give cash to CDB the Chairman said, No, not everyone was in favour of docking, and that was that - what a change.   member 11/4/05
I also queries some of the figures the CDB put out, they do not make sense as they are such small numbers questioned, bearing in mind my experience from talking to the wider (excluding the show fraternity) public that most people are against docking.  I don't think a lot of people realise what is going on in dog breeding.    Out of interest, my Vet has just told me of a bad case of docking.  A client obtained a Jack Russell puppy from an acquaintance farmer in the Republic of Ireland (I think, it was certainly Ireland, and although she did not want it docked, the farmer himself docked the tail using a band normally used for sheep at SIX WEEKS of age, I understand the tail was a mess for a few weeks, my Vet couldn't do anything to save it.  The puppy is fine now.    member 19/4/05
What a load of rubbish - non-docking is not at all responsible!!  Yesterday I saw a lovely 9 week old Springer pup with a long tail and the same day a 11 week old docked Boxer puppy with an open sore/callus at the docking site so we may have to re-dock!  Docking CAUSES tail problems!!     Vet 10/3/05
Many thanks for your response - unfortunately our litter of 11 arrived before I read your response.   I am currently feeling most upset as I have had all but 3 of the puppies docked having been firmly told by the stud dog owner and others that I would never find homes for them if I left them undocked.   At the time I felt almost 'outcast' if I didn't have them done.   Apart from W---- H---- I felt under pressure and somehow as though I was in the wrong for not doing so. I do so wish I had been better prepared an not so ignorant. Having stayed with the puppies whilst at the vets the whole business was so unnecessary - though the vet was careful and caring, and stated he only carried out the practice in order to prevent people doing it themselves.   If anything good is to result I now am more committed than ever at stopping this practice.   Unless the KC make a firm stand and eliminate entries for dogs born after a certain age the practice will continue. I have copied the questionnaire below and will carry out a survey as I receive responses to the various advertising I carry out to find out just how many potential new owners really would refuse a docked pup.     Member 22/4/05
A breeder had an undocked N................... puppy and the buyer was most vehement that he would have to dock the tail - at 5 weeks - and he also told the breeder that he had it on authority that the N........... Club was 100% in favour of docking and that she was doing totally wrong to leave a tail on. So E….. would not let the man have the pup and told him to get his facts right because the Club is simply in favour of choice (that damned phrase that they think lets them all off the hook). …. …. you would be very lucky to be there on those days when it went wrong with blood on the carpet and over the walls.     member 26/4/05
Thank you so much!   I grew up with a docked Cocker Spaniel, and was told that they had rat tails, so were docked.   I was 19 when I saw my first undocked Spaniel, and found I'd been lied to.   I'm not crazy about anything done to an animal to change its appearance for humans.      non member 27/4/05
Greetings from a like-minded friend in the U.S.  I found an adult female Rottweiler who already had her tail docked.  Unfortunately, it was not properly done, and there is insufficient skin left to cover the bone at the end of the tail - the skin barely covers the bone, if at all - and it is constantly getting infected and irritating her.  her tail was also docked very short.  do you have any info regarding what kind of repair can be made now to correct this situation - she is a young adult and i don't want her to have to deal with this problem the rest of her life.  I am not wild about the idea of re-docking her tail, and there is not much to work with anyway.  i would appreciate any help or suggestions you can give me.  Keep up the good work!  I hope your movement migrates across the pond soon -    USA 18/5/05 non –member
Your comment about docking reminded me of an incident with a golden litter  many years ago.  The lady had dark goldens and therefore her litter were darker in colour.  She took them to the vet to have their dew claws  removed (which is rarely done these days) and when she went back to  collect them the vet had docked their tails !!!!!  He thought they were a  litter of Cockers !!!!   Can you imagine how the breeder felt, let alone the poor babies who had  undergone trauma unnecessarily.      5/05  
I find docking totally abhorrent and certainly don't want to line the pockets of breeders who take part in this barbaric practice. I can't believe that in this day and age this mutilation it is still so widespread! But clearly it is as I've had absolutely no luck in finding a standard poodle breeder who doesn't dock. They must be out there somewhere but I can't seem to find them! Hopefully you may be able to help?    6/05 member
Yes, Darwin appears to be a hot-bed of dockers.   I was told “first-hand” that someone who was billeted with a breeder in Darwin, was shown a newborn litter of pups; the very next morning it was a case of "Oh dear, the mother has broken all the tails during the night - have to go to the vets and have them docked".   Would you believe, the tails were all broken!   How can people be so brutal and callous in order to get their own way?   And they say they love their dogs.   Yeah, right! >:(     Absolutely disgusting.   (So are the Vets who go along with this.)    member Aus 3/6/05
Just wanted to let you know, we conducted a docking survey on our site basically anyone visiting the site from around the world can fill in the survey - the first results we are publishing in our newsletter and I thought you'd be interested to know them - 13% say they weren't sure if docking was a good idea, 33% agreed with docking and  54% said no to docking!     Members   . 2005
Thanks for the info re revision of the act. I agree that many vets are getting told off for docking but not struck off. I am in the process of reporting a vet I worked with in the past for docking and charging huge amounts of money - to the RCVS. Luckily I have sufficient evidence to back the complaint up which means it will hopefully be a good outcome. We shall see! Not only is this barbaric act awful for the puppies but is very distressing for nurses, I refused to assist but other staff members felt they had no choice.     member VN 9/7/05
Whilst emailing just to let you know when I had a litter of Poodles at the end of last year, I started getting abusive phone calls off folk. said they were enquiring about a puppy but then started saying I shouldn't be breeding and that I knew nothing before hanging up. number was always withheld of course. They never made reference to me not docking but I wondered if that's why I'd got the calls.I have had to withdraw my phone number from my web page etc. Wondered if you knew if anybody else had been getting calls.    member 12/7/05
Trying to talk a friend into not docking Boxer puppies at the moment - she says the kennel club say they have to be docked and dew claws removed!   23/7/05    member
I do not know the person I am referring to you but I am sure that you will be interested in what she plans to do. She breeds Boxers and has a litter of 5 puppies and she has no intention of docking tails with this litter, in fact, she is keeping two puppies for herself and intends to show them, she is very nervous over the reaction she may get from her fellow club members, she is very much against tail docking although she has in the past  conformed with the wishes of the Breed Club and now considers that she must stand by how she feels.    11/04/05 member
  The reason I want to have a Rottweiler with tail are several but the main one is that I just can not see the reason as why to dock the tail and ruining the dog's ability to communicate with other dogs as well as with people! I am from Sweden and there it is a lot more Rotties with tails about and I think they look lovely with their tail and simply just gorgeous as they were meant to be!       If you know of a responsible breeder that does not dock the tails or someone that I could contact it would be very much appreciated !      3/4/05 member
I just have to get this off my chest, one of my clients has a Toy Poodle...Docked, they have been trying for months to find a breeder who doesn't dock, but with no luck so they have bought another 8 week old docked Toy Poodle. A student of mine has just been down to Lincoln area to buy an Old English.....Docked.  But what is really getting to me is, I have just moved to the next Village a few weeks ago & on the same street as me there is a breeder of Boxer dogs...........Docked.........they dock the tails ......not the vet. I know of other breeders whose vet would not dock their puppies tails & have gone to this breeder for help.   Plus!  just 3 miles down the road there is a breeder of Standard Poodles.....docked.     dog trainer member 8/2004
I have had a staffie,a mongrel and a dachshund,all given to since childhood,   high rise flat means it's not possible to keep a pet.I have always despised dog mutilation, a Staff is shown with whiskers, dew claws and an intact tail,for fighting!   So all pro arguments are for profit!     member 12/03
He was greatly admired but unfortunately the judge was not willing to give F----e a place. I was told later that he never gives placings to undocked dogs. Well, I now know not to waste money when he is judging.     Member 6/03
Hi, Lovely photos. I lost my Cavalier and miss her terribly…. It is such a good thing now that docking them has ceased there is just no need of it, great what you do.     regards    UK member 12/2004
I am trying to locate a breeder of Boxers in the UK who will agree not to dock the tail of a puppy for me.   I have approached one breeder and got a severe lecture about tradition and possible accidents etc.   I personally find this act both barbaric and unnecessary and although I really want to get a Boxer puppy I don't want to suffer lecture after lecture about the wonders of docking and how I'm being cruel to the dog by letting it keep its tail! I am hoping you may be able to help with a list of breeders who happily sell puppies with undocked tails.    5/02
I think that my 11 week old puppy has been illegally docked?(we didn't specifically set out to get a docked dog, we didn't really have a preference) She has a bald bit of skin that seems to be getting bigger as she gets bigger.  I was so taken with her when we went to view her that we didn't ask if she was legally docked (stupidity on my behalf).    She is a lovely healthy puppy and i am going to my vets on Monday to get her final innoc injection, and will ask his advise on this matter    2/2004 non member
Someone I knew had a Old English Sheepdog whose tail was docked so short it had problems going to the toilet sadcry.gif- awful isn't it? Gina from a web chat room
Canada   I was phoned this morning and told that D........... the puppy that I exported to the US; now being only at three months of age underwent  anethestic and surgery this week to remove her dewclaws and to dock her tail...I find this so upsetting for the buyer promised me, many times that this would not be done in order to get my best retrieving P........e Puppy from me……… this has been a hard lesson, but hopefully Dolly's pain will not have happened in vain..I'll not be so trusting in the future.   Member 2/04
Just for your info we show our B...... at local shows, we have done a few open and 1 champion show.  At the champion show, the abuse I got from one old lady in a wheelchair was disgusting asking how dare I consider showing him and why would I think I would get anywhere with him.  All people who aren't serious show people or breeders love him, all serious breeders and show people do not like his look and would "give up" boxers if they all had tails.  In my opinion they obviously don't like boxers for the breed then! ADA member 30/8/05
I don't think a show Cocker Spaniel would get anywhere in GB with a long tail? I prefer them docked as they look unbalanced .On the other hand the debate on docking for working Spaniels  never made any sense to me though,as having owned and shown Setters,well they never damaged their tails while out working in the fields in the roughest conditions,only when thumping them against furniture in the house!  Chat room
Well, you know, horses are not usually docked. Only some draught breeds. But at the moment it is the only pet that I have. :) I plan to get a dog, Irish terrier. Luckily in Latvia it is not allowed to dock dogs tails anymore. Or ears. A vet who dares to do it may loose the licence. And I have not heard that any vet was willing to do it anyway. So here all the dogs have tails as God has designed them to be. As this law is not so long ago, there still are dogs (older ones) who have their tails docked. But not the young ones   Member Latvia 1/05
I am getting a lot of flack from a certain breeder in ...... and because she is a breed champ show judge she thinks it makes all the difference.  She is telling people that call her about puppies, I'm usually on the list also, not to purchase a puppy from me especially that I will be keeping tails on.  ....... This particular person is waging a personal vendetta against some of us on the new ....... forum and she has made it clear that I wont sell my litter with tails and I'll never get to be a champ show judge ........... They've all got to stick together i.e. apply the pressure to the likes of me and others so we don't sell our tailed pups so their case for keeping docking going has more clout and meaning.  I firmly believe we need to fall in line with Germany and the other countries on elbow scoring and keeping tails on it's still the same breed with or without a tail and I will always love them and be passionate about them no matter whom I upset and tell the truth to. ............. I'm sick of it all... really shame there is not a higher body than can put a stop to it all and leave us hobby breeders who really care and do right by our dogs and pups alone. Member 2/11/05
She was the last of a litter of ten, all of which had been docked and had dew claws removed. I expressed my concerns and disappointment at the time to the breeder concerned who explained that she had been informed (wrongly) by the Weimaraner.Club of Scotland that undocked dogs would not be considered worthy of the pedigree that her litter had. (see quote below from WCS website):
Q - How much should I expect to pay for a puppy ?
A - £600 - £700 is the going rate for a puppy from proven stock i.e. stock which has proven itself to be worthy of breeding from, either in the show ring or in a working discipline. Obviously puppies from unproven stock are not worth as much, and the same applies to puppies with undocked tails or still having their dew claws. Puppies not registered at the Kennel Club are virtually worthless.
Docking - What he's saying is crap.  They can feel pain from 2 days old cause if the bitch gets out the box and stands a paw they scream!  The cry instantly the bands go tight and then stop, witnessed this many times in the past. Member 11/05
my own girl (JR) has the most gorgeous tail which she uses to express herself to great effect. My little chap sadly has the remains of a brutal amateur's attempt! member 12/05
Because of my close links to the European dog breeding I had an opportunity to witness their fight against cropping/docking ban. While ear cropping is considered barbaric here, the breeders in concerned countries claimed that it is best for the dog as well. Later on, they were writing similar petitions about docking. And they all claimed that they would stop breeding if they were not allowed to crop/dock any more. Well, I am not aware of such a case. I have now heard from several breeders that the long tail is actually quite good for the dog because undocked puppies start walking earlier and that dogs with long tail are better at jumping and generally negotiating obstacles.       Who should we rely on more? On breeders with they narrow traditional view? Perhaps you could say that some charities are primarily driven by compassion. But what about the Vets? They are knowledgable professionals weighing pros and cons and deciding in the best interest of their patient.   Breeders claim they only want freedom of choice. Then why does an undocked dog have only minimal chance at shows? Why wouldn't anybody with a serious interest in showing consider campaigning an undocked dog?  Why do breeders lie to prospective dog owners about docking (examples - long tail would nullify the pedigree, they can legally dock their dogs because they are members of CDB)? I have heard from several breeders that they carry on docking only in order to be able to show their dogs and because they are afraid they wouldn't be able to sell puppies. And how can somebody be so arrogant to say that good breeders dock their dogs? I know breeders who spend large amount of time and money to obtain the best possible breeding stock and to produce superb puppies but because they are not prepared to compromise their principles they do not dock their puppies knowing they cannot achieve any recognition of their work.  extract from Champdog forum 28/12/05
From Australia - I can tell you it really gives you a 'buzz' when you see the Boxers, Rottis, Poodles etc walk past with tails especially when people attract your attention to the point that the dog has a tail. We are seeing lots of them now. The puppies especially seem much happier. I'm sure their tails convey the message of their joyful, eager, innocence and love for Life much more than puppies without tails did. It may all just be " in the eye of the beholder"   1/2006
  From Texas  - Our other dog (he came from a nearby rescue group) IS docked.  This particularly disturbs me, as he most closely resembles a Finnish Spitz with some Chow mix. To my knowledge, neither of these breeds is typically docked.  We fear our dog suffered at the hands of an inept, uncaring fool who docked him themselves before eventually turning him out. He's been with us almost 1 year, and it's been only the last 2-3 months that he seems to have decided he can trust us. He's the reason we've become more interested in the docking issue.  Member 1/2006
I have a personal interest in this matter, in that one of our dogs is a Jack Russell Terrier.  He was he sole survivor of a litter of eight, the others having died of shock and pneumonia as a consequence of an illegal removal of the puppy's tails in an attempt to increase their sale price.   Member 2/1/.06
We have been looking around the CDB website and found some interesting information. If you select "Animal Welfare Bill" from the left hand menu you are taken to a page about the welfare bill, however on the left hand menu of that page is a "Guide to Lobbying" - click that and you get a very useful document. Quite apart from indicating the resources they have put in to the campaign it lets slip the following damning info:
" Meanwhile our ability to ensure that docked dogs continue to dominate in the shooting field, in the show ring and elsewhere has not been lost on those who are against us" . - this bears out the allegation that undocked show dogs are unfairly discriminated against.
"The more people we have who are prepared to support the case for docking, the more we are likely to maintain our traditional docked breeds and, in time, achieve the CDB 's long-term goal of a national register of licensed lay practitioners in docking" . This is a blatant admission that the CDB isn't campaigning to maintain even the present situation but seeks to return to breeders being allowed to carry out docking themselves - no vet (and no vet fees) involved.
"Remember that the CDB conducted a nation wide survey of vets which indicated that although 76.8% of vets may be against docking, 10% are in favour and 13.2% are neutral on the issue. These 13.2% remain to be converted into our supporters!" - T he correct view of these figures (that they have themselves produced) is that only 10% of vets support docking - the 13.2% neutral are irrelevant even if converted because over 3/4 of vets are still opposed.
I would suggest that it could be very advantageous for an email to be sent (or letter if poss) to every MP clearly outlining the information quoted above, specifically pointing out cdb's admission of the strength of opposition from vets, the implications that can be drawn from their admitted"dominance " of the show ring but above all, suggesting that MPs and the general public may have been misled by the cdb about their true aim of restoring breeders rights to dock puppies themselves. 
Regards, Member 5/1/06
It has long infuriated me that bodies such as The Kennel Club are able to dictate how certain animals should look - regardless of how this effects the health and well-being of the animal concerned.  It is even harder for me to accept when these decisions are often being made by a select few people based on personal opinion and aesthetics.      I own a Springer Spaniel that has not been docked (I had to search long and hard to find a breeder that did not dock tails) - as this breed is classified as a working breed (gundog) it is therefore supposed to be more acceptable to dock.     The argument for docking that is presented by bodies such as The Kennel Club, is that working dog breeds can split their tails when going through undergrowth causing pain and suffering.  If this is true, then why is it that Golden Retrievers (a dog in the same classification as the Springer Spaniel and also worked in the same way) is not routinely docked?  In the same way, breeds which are not classified as working dogs or in fact worked at all, such as Toy Poodles are still stated by The Kennel Club as preferably docked.   Surely this shows that the argument is flawed as it is not applied to all working breeds, but only those that are believed to 'look' better docked.      I find it outrageous that The Kennel Club who claim to promote the welfare of dogs seem to be ignoring new evidence and remain against the banning of tail docking which has been proved by many vets and behaviourists to cause distress to dogs at the time of docking and also impact on their balance and ability to express themselves as they grow older.  Tail docking is already illegal in some parts of Europe and it is my strong feeling that is should also be illegal in the UK unless for health reasons.   Member 1/2006
.......................... ,my liver roan boy,jack[ not with us any more] came to me with a very bad tail infection from his took SEVEN months to heal and clear up.he was always very sensitive to his stump[ he was docked] being touched for the rest of his 7 years. also.i have had 3 puppies of my breeding whom all developed severe infections in their docked tails.i did not dock them ..a vet did.I personally have never done docking someone else to do it..i am ashamed to say!!! one wee bitch nearly lost her life to infection in her tail ,it was so bad that no hair has ever grown on the scar.  Member 10/1/06
My poor little rescue Terrier still has infections in her docked tail - after six years! She is also afraid of other dogs as I feel she can't express herself without her tail.  Member Jan 2006
Have been trying to find out more for the last few weeks about a ............  litter that was docked by the owner and as a result some died. ...... and she no longer feels she can support it, ....................a lot of the activity from my breed will stop.  ................................   Member 12/1/06
Met an undocked OES owner a while ago who said- 'We had such trouble with our previous docked OES , now this one with a tail has had no trouble'.   member 1//2006
We are strong supporters and members of The Countryside Alliance and have been on many marches and demonstrations.  My husband is also a member of the BASC. I have been on many shoots in Scotland and England and think that they are wrong to try and separate working shooting dogs from all the other currently docked breeds. I have seen an occasional undocked Springer working in thick cover and do not remember seeing any damaged tails.  Indeed the only damaged tail I have ever seen was on a Great Dane!. On several rough shoots collie/spaniels and setter/spaniels carry heavy and luxurient tails and work without damage. I understand that there are some well known undocked Weimeraners which work regularly  without tail damage.  I will be letting my opinion be known to the Countryside Alliance and wonder where the information (study showed  51% undocked tail damage) regarding the Swedish GSPs came from.  A lot of Scandanavian hunting dogs are of the Spitz group which have full tails carried over their backs.  Member 1/2006
This was a response from a breeder to a very polite enquiry for an undocked puppy:-
hope you find your puppie with its tail coming out of its mouth, who the hell are you, dont reply.???     Jan 2006 
I had intended to dock my litter, I joined the CDB and set the wheels in motion, spoke to the docking vet in advance etc. However, during the weeks prior to whelping, I spent a lot of time researching docking on the internet and became increasingly unhappy about going ahead. At that point we decided to leave tails on.Two weeks after my litter was born an article appeared in Dog World. The vet I had spoken to and made arrangements with to dock our litter had been found guilty of causing unneccessary suffering to her own dogs and had a 10 year ban imposed!! (She was a retired vet.) This was the person I almost allowed to dock my precious puppies tails! This was the person recommended to me by the CDB! No problems homing the litter. Some people lost interest when they realised we hadn't docked, others sought us because they wanted tails. However, stud dog owner refused 2nd pick of litter when she realised tails were included! member 8/2/06
Springer Spaniels - Re tail injuries, over the years I have had docked and undocked spaniels, working and show type and never encountered injuries. I don't work my dogs, but they are walked through all kinds terrain, woodland etc tirelessly flushing pheasants / chasing rabbits but no injuries to tails. 10/2/06 member
I have 2 working springer spaniels, one works most of the shooting season, she is now aged 10 & has had no significant injuries to her
long undocked tail. Indeed apart form an odd occasion when the very tip was slightly damaged, an injury which could well have happened to any dog) I do not recall any problems.
The younger dog, aged 7 is one of a litter of 6 I bred who all have long tails, she does work, but not well! One of the other litter mates also works & I've heard no complaints. Whilst working in general veterinary practice I have seldom been presented with undocked dogs with damaged tails.  Any breed can injure a tail, working, in my opinion does not influence the incidence. 2/06
My 10yr old dalmatian had to have her tail docked through injury 2years ago She now is more aggressive towards strange dogs as she doesn't give off correct body signals It's as if she is aware of her disability of no tail and acts in defense first by showing verbal aggression.  Member 2/2006
I have non docked Yorkshire Terriers 
1) I took the sire of my puppies to Crufts undocked 
2) My dogs live in the countryside and they live a natural life.  In all their encounters with the natural world they have never suffered injury to tails. This includes losing one dog down rabbit warrens for half an hour or so at a time. She has natural terrier hunting instinct. 
3) Two girls will fight each other every time they meet (the two individuals simply do not get on).  I have never had a tail injury. 
4) At home my Yorkies have free access to the garden.  They are in and out of doors constantly.  They have never had a tail injury. 
5) My Yorkies have gone to the USA for very good prices and remain UNdocked.
My Yorkies are sold to Yorkshire Terrier people in this country also for good prices and remain undocked (not docking is the new way of keeping a Yorkie, it shows clearly the  people who care about their Yorkie.) 
6)  There is nothing nicer than the wafting feathered tail of a Yorkie.  Even when the rest of the coat is cut for the summer Yorkie people keep that tail well feathered. 
So what precisely is the problem of those people who keep Yorkies caged in a house and walk them in towns occasionally.  What is the laughable argument about not getting the good price for the dog.  If you care about your dog, if you have put the work in you will ask for the high price on principle. I have absolutely no problems. Indeed now I pick and choose who is to receive one of my puppies. Standards and ethics count.  More to the point more and more people are realising this and are embracing the new standard of showing off that they care by not wanting abused puppies.
Say no to the abuse of puppies.        Member 18/4/06
1) In previous times we used to dock horses.  This stopped, our tradition of showing and racing continued. 2) There used to be a stone wall in the Grand National.  This was stopped our traditional race continued. 3) To the show people who say they won't show if tails go undocked , what precisely are you saying?  That you won't show unless you get to mutilate a tail. 4) Huddersfield Ben,  the original Yorkshire Terrier, was undocked. It is time to get in touch with our other traditions now and leave the temporary fashion.  After all  the horse people who docked left that temporary fashion and have moved on with no ill effect.  Member 19/4/06
I breed working line English Springer Spaniels and I don't dock their tails or remove their dew claws, we also work our Springers and their tails are fine, have more trouble with cut paws 1/06 ADA forum
Posted: 20 Apr 2006 02:55 pm      Post subject: puppies & docking
I am a breeder of American Cocker Spaniels.I have been breeding these for approx 5 years and have never docked a single puppy. I am getting more requests from people stating that they want an undocked pup. This is good news and once people realize that the dogs will need their tails left on to be shown the better it will be ! People need to be educated that dogs come with tails and how they are removed . Most people are horrified to think of their beloved puppy being mutilated this way. Keep up the good work all you anti -dockers! Member 5/2006
I used to do agility with our rescue Weimaraner. I found that she could never turn left or right after landing over a jump and despite everything, had to run a pace or two before being able to turn. Also, she could never simply stop dead when chasing a ball. She would always go past it and return to it. She also nibbles at her stump a lot. Forum 2006
This was posted on the Rottweiler UK forum : 'We had been looking for a Rottie for a while and had put our name down for one from a breeder. Then I came across an advert for a litter of pups and thought we would just go and see. On the way I got lost and asked a man walking a Rottie if he knew where I was supposed to be.     Explained about the pups etc he mentioned a vet had a pup left from his litter. So we eventually found the litter  and although very cute, the father was only 1yr old and the mother 2yr old and very small. The tails had been  docked by the local master of the hunt, not properly in my view, they were about four inches long! 4/6/06
2 Springers working and undocked........... one had injured its tail but it was the one with the shorter tail!  Member June 06
We live on a farm, and our Springers are working even when they aren't working, they go through brambles, thick hedges, they go through anything Their tails are naturally protected by the fur, I also have 3/4 and 1/2 docked springers and both of them have injured their tails, which is the main reason that I think they should keep their tails,as docking certainly didn't work for those two!   ADA forum 2006
Hello : Thank you for your efforts to end the practice of tail docking. Our Springer Spaniel had the joy of living life with her whole tail. Was it significant, yes. Why else would we have named her "WAGS". I wish all breeders and organizations would wake up and realize the wrong the are doing to these lovely animals, all in the name of"Breed Standard". I have never seen a human proudly displaying the stump of an amputated limb, nor do I believe others would find that a "Beautiful Quality", so why is it they think it looks so good on a dog. As you will see by the picture above, which dog looks best, our Springer "Wags" or the Cocker Spaniel with the stump. To me, the choice is obvious. The Springer's tail is feathered just like the legs, and looks so good. It is also a useful tool when she is running, as she uses it as a counter balance. We lost Wags nearly two years ago to cancer, and we are still trying to find a replacement for her, but nearly all breeders of Springer Spaniels, "butcher" their pups in the name of Breed Standard. What a stupid cruel world we live in. Count me a supporter of this movement to end this practice for good.  Regards : Member    Ontario, Canada
I thought you might like to hear this story that I heard today from ----------- who is a healer, chiropractor and therapist for animals and humans and our dogs were having a swim in the hydrotherapy pool  at her Therapy Centre here.   She was working on a horse with a farrier who asked her to check his Jack Russell Terrier who seemed to be in pain.    Years ago, after his tail had been docked, (not sure of the time scale) he started walking with his bottom somewhat tucked   under, tail down and obviously uncomfortable. This improved over the years and he appeared to be all right, until one day it started up again.   She checked him over and was surprised to find that chiropractically he was in perfect shape but she felt a lot of energy about 1 1/2 inches above the end of his docked tail e.g. where his tail would have been. A similar idea to the phantom pain in an amputated limb (which she also does a lot of curing). So she did that flick that chiropractors do to fix your bones but she did it in thin air without touching him, where she had felt the energy. The little dog screamed and ran round and round the yard crying out with yaps and sort of howls and then he stopped in front of her, shook himself, and his tail went up, wagged, and he was right as rain ever since.  Member 27/7/06
Yes I very much work my dogs (Welsh Springers and Brittany), in the past I have field trailed them, all though those dogs were docked. I work the tailed dog now on a local shoot and this year I will be working my young bitch  who also has a tail. I show all my dogs with a tail and last weekend won a class at Welsh Kennel Club.  Member 8/2006
German Short-Haired Pointers - Our dogs are just pets - we do not work them to the gun - although both of them are totally un-gun shy and are good at pointing out game and deer when we go out walking.   I have contacted numerous breeders and they are all adamant that they will be docking the puppies.  I have even offered to pay the full asking price prior to choosing a puppy to guarantee an undocked one and they are not interested!  I am attaching some photos which show the youngster and his glorious tail. member 9/2006
JULY 2004 PARSON RUSSELL BREEDER  said they would leave a tail on a puppy for someone but they would charge £600 for the undocked puppy which would
have to be paid for in advance
whereas a docked puppy would be £350 not paid for in advance! 
ILLEGAL ROTTWEILER DOCKING - A South Yorkshire man has been jailed for six weeks and given a life ban  on having custody of any animal after admitting causing
unnecessary suffering to a Rottweiler bitch and her  five puppies.  Daniel Thornton, 35, of Wath-Upon-Dearne, near Rotherham, failed to seek veterinary advice  after a
ten-inch ulcerated tumour developed on the mammary gland of his dog, Tasha.  Illegal docking - Despite her obvious discomfort he continued to breed from her, and
attempted to illegally  dock the tails of her five puppies.  RSPCA Inspector Sam Sacks told Rotherham Magistrates' Court  how she was alerted to the animals' plight
when a member of the public called the Society,  concerned at Tasha's growth. When she asked Thornton why he hadn't taken Tasha to a vet,  he said: "I don't believe
in vets." And added: "...nature should be allowed to take its course." The Society paid for Tasha's tumour to be removed and for her to be neutered. Thornton signed
over four puppies but would not sign Tasha into RSPCA care.  After
sentencing the district judge confiscated Tasha, signing her over to the care of the RSPCA. She
and her puppies have since been re-homed
The Scottish Parliament is also at it with their Agricultural Business Diversification Scheme promoted by Scottish Enterprise.             
ILLEGAL ROTTWEILER DOCKING 3 people in the Birmingham area  were jailed for 3 months after 11 Rottweiler puppies were  cruelly docked.   All the puppies
in the litter died
9/03 “Banding”/docking.  A  member has just had an interesting discussion with a foreign owner who had never seen a  banded dock before.  She was very upset
about the rawness of the wound once the band and tail fell off.  Member advised her that it was what they called 'dry gangrene' and there shouldn't be any exposed
bone if banding is done correctly.   It is thought that the owner's Vet will have to operate on this puppy's stump as it is not closing; it is suspected that  the band
was placed on the bone rather than between the joints
Vets and dockingIn a ‘phone conversation last week I was told that
someone had approached their local Vets. about docking and was told that they did not dock dogs.   The person concerned then ‘phoned the CDB to find a Vet who
did dock  and was given a number referring to the aforesaid Vets who do it for referrals from the  CDB!

AUGUST 2004 -  This has just been emailed :- ‘Boxer dogs..Docked...THEY (the breeders) dock the tails ..not the vet. I know of
other breeders whose vet would not dock their puppies tails & have gone to this breeder for help.  Plus!  just 3
miles down the road there is a breeder of Standard Poodles.....docked.A few months earlier another  member
reported that at ringcraft, a Spinone breeder admitted to docking her litters.

Note this was illegal docking

2) I, however, come from a country where docking has been illegal in almost 20 years. And in those years, I've not met a single dog that has had to have its tail amputated after a injury. Not one. On TV, radio, internet, dog clubs, shows, trials etc etc etc... All of those combined, I have heard of one single case, of a very active hunting springer. If you put all of those together x the 11 years I've been active in the dog world, I think I am correct to say that these injuries are nowhere near as common as pro-dockers want to make them seem. Besides, there are cases of dogs incorrectly docked that have been in pain for the rest of their lives, of which I've heard of several cases. I've also seen it myself in imports, cases where docking has gone wrong and left ugly-looking scare tissue. A fine example was the docked dobermann, where the tail stump ended in a hard, grey, hairless knob. Blogger
one of our Weimaraners who had a damaged stump due, I believe, to the breeders docking the pups themselves.  ....... has a very short tail and when we got her at eight weeks of age - the stump was raw with her constantly gnawing at it.  The vet thought he might have to amputate her already short tail completely, but we managed to save what little tail she has left.  member 1/07

I have listened to both sides of the argument regarding tail docking and have reached the conclusion that this is a barbaric practice which should be banned now, regardless to whether the dogs are working dogs or pets.  I am the owner of two 3 year old boxers who had been docked as pups by their breeder.  In January they had a beautiful litter of 5 pups and suddenly I found myself having to face the issues of docking; whether to follow the 'norm' and have them docked (which in the opinion of many of my fellow Boxer owners, I should do, purely because 'Boxers don't have tails' or to leave them. At this point I had an open mind and scoured the internet for information, talked to my vet and read many articles.  It didn't take me long to conclude that these pups would be keeping their tails! I have watched them as they teeter about using their tails to balance, their delight at mealtimes and playtime, obvious by the manic wagging of tails. These animals were born with tails, they have the right to keep them. I SUPPORT THE CAMPAIGN TO BAN DOCKING member 3/07

USA 6/08 blog I had a Doberman that had an incorrectly docked tail. He was always yelping when he sat down and I had to put salve on it every day as it would get raw. I don't have a problem with the docking where it helps to protect the dog from injury, as with the herding breeds . But with dogs that are strictly pets, I believe the tail docking and ear cropping is mutilation. Let's start new traditions with dogs that aren't cut to please the eye or to fit the “standard.”

When a vet does it, its pretty gory and horrid. The puppies scream and cry and talk about a blood bath! When he came here to do my tails and dews, I assisted and ended up with blood all over me. I wasnt too happy at all. I coulda did a better job myself and not have hurt the pups as much. His wife was also along and she said "Oh, theyre not crying cause it hurts, they just dont like being upside down. Well.....if that aint some B***LS***! ler me cut off one of her fingers and see if she cries from pain, or just cries cause I have ahold of her wrist!..US blog 4/07

Among Lakie breeders, views seem to be softening a little. As people see more undocked dogs, a small but significant proportion were saying that they didn't think it made much difference to the look of the dog overall, although there is terrific variation in undocked length. Some were threatening to give up breeding and showing altogether this time last year - there's no sign of them doing that.
One breeder has run on a bitch purely because she has an unusually short tail - perhaps short tailed lines will be favoured by judges and breeders in years to come?
And (allegedly) a few puppies are having mishaps with their their tails, like other puppies chewing the tip off, getting them shut in doors etc. B******s. quote from a form MARCH 2008
Taken from an Australian Shepherd dog forum 2008 - Should the docking of tails be eliminated, hundreds of otherwise good breeding animals wouuld be removed from gene pools and this could be a huge downfall for the breed.
Forum on docking law
Oct 2008 Blog. What is the best treatment for a 2 week old puppy who has a docked tail that has gotten infected?
see this US blog on her docked dog
10/08 USA Quote from blog - 'YELPS AND JUMPS AND BITES HIS TAIL I have a ten week old male poodle who yelps and jumps into the air its been going on for two weeks.he had his tail docked when he was 3 days old. Could that have something to do with it? When he jumps and yelps he turns to his tail.'
10/08 USA Quote from blog:- Do you have a suggestion on how to keep my dog from biting his docked tail? He is 10 weeks old and refuses to let his tail heal. It is not infected however I think the best solution is to put a collar on until it starts to heal.
10/08 USA Runt was the only Reverse brindle in the litter, also the only one who had a natural tail as she was just so tiny and weak for docking the owners decided not to dock her
11/08 USA BLOG I have an Australian Shepherd, and he does do some work on my horse farm. When he was a tiny puppy, my ex insisted on getting his tail docked and his dewclaws removed. My ex insisted that this would make the dog less likely to get injured while working, but this is something I would never do again. The poor puppy cried and cried, and was clearly in pain following the surgeries, which were done under the most humane circumstances possible, with anesthesia, and performed by an excellent veterinarian. Other puppies, from what I understand, are not so lucky.
11/08 USA BLOG my aunt found this black dog. a cocker spaniel cross terrier. poor thing, she was stranded !! according to my aunt's neighbour, she was out there for 2months already! cruel cruel. worst.. her tail was docked off! with a rubber band.. the tail has not fall off competely yet. resulting a very digusting dangling tail! dangling tail with maggots black dog, something people would avoid =( and that's why no one dared to rescue her any earlier! her tail was infected and the doc HAS to cut it off. now, how is she going to express her joy? sigh, evil.. so evil...
we actually drove all the way to serdang to save her, as the doc in pj cant do anything about it. serdang is far!
she's malnutrished. and she needs lots of care and attention.
11/08 BLOG The tails are docked shorter for Springers who are shown, whereas the working, field-bred Springers have longer tails so as to be an efficient signal for hunting.
11/08 BLOG/FORUM Why does my dog keep nibbling at her tail? I have a 4 year old minpin with a docked tail, and just last night she started biting at her tail. I looked for fleas or ticks or anything, but there is nothing. Her skin does not look raw, but it seems as though something on the very tip of her tail is bothering her. She just runs around with her tail down, looking very uncomfortable, and periodically spins and bites at her tail. Any ideas what this could be?
11/08 BLOG/FORUM Why does my dog keep nibbling at her tail? This Question Was Asked On 15 November 2008 is your site for articles and answers to questions like "Why does my dog keep nibbling at her tail?". We have thousands of questions from people who need answers about Pets . Please help us help them get answers to their important questions. I have a 4 year old minpin with a docked tail, and just last night she started biting at her tail. I looked for fleas or ticks or anything, but there is nothing. Her skin does not look raw, but it seems as though something on the very tip of her tail is bothering her. She just runs around with her tail down, looking very uncomfortable, and periodically spins and bites at her tail. Any ideas what this could be?
11/08 FORUM "After being advised by our veterinarian, we allowed Penny, our 5-month-old Cocker Spaniel, to have her tail docked when she was spayed. Not only did she suffer pain and distress but also phantom pains. For more than a week she screamed and ran in circles while trying to find her missing limb. Penny would scream in pain every time she sat or accidentally bumped her new stub. I have since told everybody who will listen about our terrible experience and strongly counsel others not to do the same."
Dorg Forum on Yahoo 2008 -'OMG CANDY! You cannot do that with a 5 month old puppy! Or even a 8 week old pup.. Tails MUST be done before 4 days a week at the latest or they will bleed to death!
I quit docking tails, it is cruel and there is phantom pain , all kinds of problems. And a lot of breeders do this themselves and do it wrong then you end up with a funny looking stub or infection. Dogs are beautiful natural, leave your puppys ears, tail and dew claws alone and you will have a happy puppy.
You read this site, I mean really read it and look at the pictures, then see what a dog looks like with his tail and ears in-tact.. They are gorgeous. for 25+ years
forum 12/08

It seems to have been forgotten in all the claims of tail damage that the AVMA has stated that there is no medical reason to dock tails and crop ears in puppies. They don't want to do it and IMO they shouldn't have to just to satisfy a "breed standard". The only thing I fear is that many puppies will have tails done by breeders who don't know what they are doing. Heaven forbid if they try the ear cropping! BTW, when you look at some of the studies that were done, many of the so called tail injuries were actually complications from tail docking of puppies. One California study involved 12,000 dogs, of those 47 were seen for "tail injury". Some of the studies were tainted, IMO, due to the fact they were commissioned and carried out by clubs and groups with agendas.  My reading has shown that "limp tail" is a very common injury in hunting dogs  and is injury to the muscles at the base of the tail.  Docking would not prevent this injury. I have had a dog with this injury and have known of several others.  The dogs were Labs.  I alos have a JRT who tore his ear flap on a thorn and that was tough to heal and blood would fly when he shook his head but I don't wish that his ears had been removed at birth to prevent this from possibly happening.

I have hunted with English pointers in South Texas brush country so I do have a little experience.  I presently own a Lab mix who has a very long, whippy tail and I won't be surprised if she injures it at some point in her life.  I will deal with it just as I would any injury.  I think tails are important for dogs or they would be born without them.  The hunting argument just makes no logical sense to me if you don't dock ALL hunting breeds with long tails. Again, the docked dogs are docked because someone at some point decided they preferred that look. Hunting dogs face many dangers the average pet never encounters but pet dogs can injure their tails too, so saying that you have to dock a tail to allow the dog to do what it was bred to do just doesn't make sense to me. I know that a bleeding tail is a bloody mess and hard to deal with and I can sympathize with someone having to deal with it.  I just don't believe that the breed clubs that dock do it for the dog. Maybe I'm just dense or maybe I'm just stubborn. Some of you are probably saying " she's both" !  All of the thoughts and input have been very interesting to read and I'm glad we can discuss this without getting our tails in a knot.
Both field bred and show bred Springer Spaniels have docked tails. The difference is, the field bred dogs tail is docked longer. The reason for this is that the tail is an important hunting tool. It acts as an alert signal for the hunter. Re the ones you saw yesterday, the JRT & the Springer would probably have been advertised as 'suitable as family pet or working dogs' .... when I see that advertised I usually assume they would then be docked, as that's the 'excuse' they use to have it done. Not sure how they justify the rest though .... but exactly who's supposed to be 'policing' this law anyway, as I've never heard of anyone being prosecuted or fined or whatever for having puppies tails docked since it became illegal, so if no-one's doing anything about it, they'll continue to carry on as before!!
To be honest, I wouldn't know who to complain to if I saw a dog I thought had been docked un-necessarily .... & don't say the RSPCA, as I can't see them motivating themselves into doing anything about it!!!
'......Hearing the American KC throw military and police working dogs into the mix is laughable. Having treated many police and working dogs through a contract with Miami's Metro-Dade police, I never once removed tails and dewclaws and never saw one dog with cropped ears. ....'
' I've been a wilderness and disaster SAR handler for 17 years, worked with hundreds of other handlers and dogs of scores of breeds and mixes.  I've been a wilderness EMT for a dozen years, and our scope of practice does cover SAR animals as well as humans.
I've seen just about every part of a dog shredded through work.  Tongues, toes, pads, noses, eyes.  Impalements in the chest, abdomen, feet, neck, flews and all the way through a carpal pad.  Many gruesome, though mostly minor, injuries.

Except -- I've never seen a tail injury, an ear shred, or a front dewclaw injured through work. ...'

'Hunting Pups Left Standing with Short Tails After Miscommunication
Dr. A was presented a litter of ten pups for tail docking. The owner discussed the docking with the technician and asked if the tail dock was going to be one-third. Then, the owner made a hand gesture of space of about one inch. The technician left to confirm with Dr. A that yes, the docking would be “one-third” and then the technician relayed this information to the owner. Dr. A cropped the tails leaving one-third on each pup, which is the show or conformation standard for this breed; however, the owner only intended for one-third of the tail to be removed, which is the field trial standard. The difference of leaving a third of the tail versus only removing a third of the tail was the point of miscommunication. The owner alleged the pups decreased in value from $1200 to $300 each. The owner demanded more than $20,000 for the value of the pups, stud fees, and breeding expenses. Dr. A consented to settle the case and Dr. A's insurance carrier is working to negotiate a settlement. (Source: AVMA Professional Liability Insurance Trust newsletter, fall 2008) ' see link

14/11/08 We have a hunting dog which is now 6 years old. When we got him his tail had been docked, but it had been cut too short and very badly. He has a permament scab on the end of his tail which is also very tender and suffers from bladder and kidney problems. He has now started taking fits. The vet says a lot of it is to do with his short tail as it allows the germs to get into his system much easier. We love him so much but we do not think he will live much longer
My boxer gave birth to nine puppies on sat. The puppies had their tails docked today and theyve been crying ever since. They're not hungry though;_ylt=AipN.jAHtDBGpVh_5FBqS8QjzKIX;_ylv=3?qid=20081223172553AARdaHi
Barbados - I personally know of puppies which have been imported from the UK and the owners here have taken them to a vet and had the tail docked as they prefer the appearance of a docked specimen.  One of the puppies I know of, had its tail docked as late as 16 weeks - sounds more like an amputation to me.
'I watched a documentary on ear cropping and tail docking, it wasnt pretty. I heard the pups screming when they aplied the clamp to dock the tails and it has seriously scarred me for life. I feel so bad that my poor girl went through that to get that little stub on her back...'

January 12, 2009 Problem with cocker spaniel puppy tail docking?
I was supposed to pick up my new cocker spaniel puppy on Monday and my breeder informed me the scab from the tail docking has not fallen off. However she said that the vet gave the puppy it's State Health Certificate. Is this a problem and should I expect problems in the future?
Of the four puppies in this litter, ours was the only one with the scab issue.
The tail should have been docked no later than 3 days of age and there should be no remnant of scabbing left at the eight to ten weeks when the pup leaves for home. Something is amiss.

UK 10/99 '.........One litter I looked at the breeder didn't band the tail the right place and the best male in the litter ended up with his tail a tad too long. I was talking to my vet and she said someone just brought in a whole litter of Boxers with their tails in various stages of infection. Some had to keep their tails and the others lost too much tail and the puppies were in pain. ....'
have seen an add for fox terrier puppies that stated the tails have been docked. i have been informed that when she sells them she must supply a note saying that the tails were docked by a vet with his name on.and that the dogs are for hunting.
NOW what is stopping anyone from saying they are for huntting and then get them docked .if the law has been pasted then there should be no exceptions. unless the dog has been born with a defect or has a problem with the tail. a wild fox hunts and has a tail so whats the difference. as i say its law or its not.
Jan 2009 USA She has a tail obviously docked by an amateur. It's not docked at the height of most cut tails; instead, she has a tail about half the length of a normal labrador tail. The end of her tail has a large, hard bump, and I shudder to think of what she probably went through for the sake of vanity.

USA Jan 2009-
'............. Even within the breed standards, there can be a bit of confusion. Hollard's breed, the Sealyham - picture a Scottish terrier, only poofier - is supposed to have the tails cut off, or docked, at birth. In Europe, however, docking is not allowed. "Now, you have dogs with long tails, and it doesn't look right," Hollard said. "Years ago, the standard for boxers was, 'The tail is docked.' Not 'may be.' Not 'can be.' 'Is' docked. But what happened was, more and more dogs started showing up with long tails." So what do judges do then? They wing it. "It's up to the judge to decide what to do," Hollard said. "They can disqualify them or not give them a ribbon, but occasionally, judges will just give a dog a ribbon anyway. Judges have a lot of discretion." ......'

2009 However, with regard to docking, I am against docking. We got our Weimaraner b*tch 5 years ago and she had already had to have another part of her tail amputated following an infection post docking. When we got her home our own vet was of the opinion that we might need to have the rest of the tail taken off so she would be completely tail-less. We managed to save what little tail she had left which is now about two inches long. We have never docked any of our puppies even before the docking ban came into the UK. We have been told by people that because we live in a rural area and have a shotgun licence we will be able to dock our puppies as working dogs. They aren't sold as working dogs and I will not mutilate my puppies just to get a quick sale. I have no doubt that I could sell my puppies at a vastly inflated price if I were to dock them as working dogs but I would never do that. There are cases for docking and against docking at every turn. Leaving the dogs as nature intended is surely the better option? After all, we don't hear of people in the UK complaining that ear pricking (don't know the technical term) should be done because it stops dogs getting ear infections. I believe that to dock every dog of a breed that is traditionally docked just incase it sustains a tail injury is morally wrong. There are more of these breeds used as pets than there are used as working dogs. More of these dogs within these breeds will never sustain a tail injury than will so why dock every dog because a minority may recieve an injury?
I love seeing my previous litter - some come to me for their 'holidays' and seeing them running through the fields with tail held high is a wonderful sight.

FEB 2009 ....'I have personally heard the cries of puppies who've had it done, without pain medicine, and puppies *do not* make those noises - no dog or animal does unless they're seriously hurting. Actually the pups were gaining weight regularly and had doubled in size from their birth weight by day 5, but when the docking was done not only did they not gain any more weight for 4 days - they LOST weight. I know that ear cropping is also done at a young age and that's also torture - now if these things are being done at a later age, with medicine, with the animal unconscious, with pain medicine, I don't think that's actually torture, but I think that very few pet owners would have that done to an 8 week old, or 3-5 month old dog, it's really expensive, risky, a big hassel for recovery, and pointless...... ' '......Ah, I don't mean the initial screams when it was done - I mean they screamed and screetched for 3 straight days after, so much so that they lost weight and weren't nursing as well as they had previously. Finally the swelling subsided in the cut areas, in their case the dewclaws and tails, and they stopped screaming and went back to the business of eating and growing. I think there should be a theory on this really - if tactile stimulation helps dogs develop more quickly, I forget what it's called but it consists of exposing them to different positions, cold, touching paws - then such a massive amount of pain at such a young age, what effect does *that* have on a dog? Doesn't it teach them, profoundly, that there is pain in the world at an age much before they would ever incounter *real* pain? Does it create more fearful dogs?'
USA 3/2009 Having worked for a small animal vet for 5 years, and holding many dobe, boxer ,and other tail dock breeds, I can assure you the puppies DO feel pain, not to mention the trauma to the dam, listening to her babies scream! As far as comparing it to plastic surgery in humans, the human makes that choice, the puppies don`t have that option!
3/09 Barney's tail is a long dock for a working type dog but what I find is odd is below where his tail is docked is a long scar almost as though someone missed where they wanted to go. His dewclaw scars are odd too almost like someone pulled them out, the scar is not straight and sorta curvy and in the middle bit a little deep. It does make me wonder if what was done to him was done legally, he's 3/1 years old so it was within the law to have a vet dock tails. I never met his breeders so I never knew them or the story of his docked tail and dewclaws but meeting his sister her tail is a dodgy sorta dock.
3/09 '........However, with regard to docking, I am against docking. We got our Weimaraner b*tch 5 years ago and she had already had to have another part of her tail amputated following an infection post docking. When we got her home our own vet was of the opinion that we might need to have the rest of the tail taken off so she would be completely tail-less. We managed to save what little tail she had left which is now about two inches long. ......'
4/09 '..... The first excuse is that working dogs are claimed to have a high incidence of tail injuries, caused by the tail being damaged as they run through dense thorny undergrowth. The argument states that it is better to remove the tail before it causes any problems. However, there is no proof that such dogs do have a high incidence of tail injuries. As a vet, I would almost never see a dog with a tail injury due to charging through bushes. I do see tail injuries, but not in working dogs. The injury which I see most commonly is in indoor situations, when dogs wag their tails so hard that they bash the tip against a wall, causing bruising and sometimes bleeding. Cheerful breeds such as Labradors or Golden Retrievers are most commonly affected, yet nobody ever suggests docking their tails....'
4/09 "What idiot would want to have a dog's tail cut off?"
"Never underestimate the power of human stupidity"   quote from Robert Heinlein
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The Campaign Against the Docking of Dogs' Tails