Tail Docking - Yes or No?

Should I Have My Cocker Spaniel's Tail Docked?

Should I Have My Cocker Spaniel's Tail Docked?

On the 2nd of February 2014, I was given a 5 week old golden brown cocker spaniel whose tail wasn't clipped yet. Is there a health risk if kept long? I will be speaking with my vet in a few days when he goes for his first wellness comprehensive visit, but I would like to be well versed on this topic.

So in essence, is it best short or long?

Reply from Pauline (Web Owner)

Hi there!

There is certainly no health risk to your dog by leaving his tail as it is - so please don't worry about that.

I'm not sure where you live, but in many places this is now illegal.

Tail docking used to be very popular and it was fairly normal for the breeder to have their puppy's little tails removed within the first week of birth.

The reason for this was mainly tradition and it created the standard cocker 'look'.

However, where the cocker spaniel was used in the field (hunting, shooting, etc) and rummaging amongst the undergrowth, the tail would often get snagged and badly damaged and it was very necessary to have it removed.

It is for this reason that working cocker spaniels often have their tails docked and it's my understanding that vets still have the discretion to remove tails where the dogs are working.

There are many cocker spaniels with full tails and personally, I love the look, although I wasn't sure at first!

My dog has a docked tail but that's because the breeder automatically had it removed when he was one week old - as I said it used to be tradition up until 2007 - but I love him as he is!

Hope this helps.

Comments for Tail Docking - Yes or No?

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Looking For An English Cocker Spaniel With Natural Tail
by: Anonymous

We have been searching for a show type English Cocker spaniel with a natural tail, anywhere in USA!? Anyone know of a breeder? Thanks

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Leave Their Tails Long
by: Jenny

We adopted our undocked English Cocker Spaniel when he was 2-3 years old. He'd been abandoned, so we had no history on him. We love his long tail and think every non-working cocker should have its tail left intact. I can't imagine Ritz Carlton without his beautiful tail.

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Breeders wanted
by: Anonymous

I'm specifically looking for a working cocker spaniel, brown, WITH tail undocked. I've yet to find a breeder which won't dock the tail but surprised as so many on this forum are against it.

If anybody knows of any breeders who may be able to help please could you reply and we can swap details

Many thanks

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Tail docking
by: Anonymous

When I bought my lovely blue roan English cocker girl, I was so pleased with her beautiful un-docked tail.

Rosie has been my companion for 5 years now and to my horror fractured her tail twice!

My older girl is docked, no problems.

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Tail Docking
by: Pauline

Tail docking is now illegal in the UK, however vets are allowed to use their discretion.

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HRH Prince George's English Cocker Spaniel
by: Anonymous

Today looking at the July '16 photos of the little prince's black dog Lupo, I wondered if the dog's tail had been docked and if this custom is still practiced in England. I couldn't find out. A darling dog and an adorable 3 year Prince, they make a charming ccuple and no doubt the breed will once again become very fashionable here and abroad. The prince loves his spaniel!

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Don't Dock Cocker Tails
by: Anonymous

We chose not to have his tail docked ...and now it's a beautiful plume. He uses his tail very impressively and we are thankful we did not take it from him.

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Docking tails
by: Anonymous

Why on earth do we still tolerate this abhorrent act? Superficial, ignorant people is I guess the answer. I would like to send these idiots to jail.

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Tail
by: Sam's Mom

We adopted our Cocker Spaniel Sam from a rescue organization when he was 2 years old. I love that he has his tail. It makes him unique.

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Tail docking
by: Anonymous

All dogs use their tails to communicate - with us & with other dogs. Why would anyone want to cut a pet cocker's tail off?

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Is Tail Docking Necessary?
by: Pauline (Web Owner)

Hello Jenny,

I agree, there's no justification nowadays for having your Cocker Spaniel's tail docked, and I believe lots of people are coming round to that view now, thankfully.

And yes, we'd love to see some pictures of your spaniels!

Thank you for posting.

Kind regards,
Pauline

PS: I guess the only justification for tail docking is following serious accidental damage, or where the working dog's tail is frequently damaged whilst working.

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Re: Docking
by: Anonymous

Hi, please don't dock your spaniel's tail, they look beautiful with their tails, and it's cruel.

In South Africa it is against the law to dock dogs' tails.

Regards, Jenny

NB I could email you a picture of my spaniels with their tails.

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