Tail Docking - Yes or No?
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)
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.
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