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View Full Version : Why do people ask me if I'm going to dock puppy's tail?



Cookiemonster
12th February 2009, 03:21 PM
Several people have asked me this now. I do not agree with cutting off a puppy's tail and it is something that disgusts me about breeding dogs just for show. I will never cut off my dog's tail. I find it unnecessary and downright cruel. (The only people who have asked me are male. I have no idea why!)

My standard response is "you don't dock a cavalier's tail, they get gorgeous tails". This man yesterday was totally unconvinced (because, at 17 weeks, her tail doesn't look much different to a rat's :D). I'm not a particularly confrontational person, which is why I give such a response. I feel that if someone is so ignorant that they would ask a person such a question - and I am talking about people who don't know me from adam, just people I bump into while out walking - then there's no point in engaging in any real conversation. But I wouldnt stop them in the street and say "why the feck (pardon my French) did you slice your puppy's tail off, is it because you're a barbarian?".

Now I'm not trying to start up a debate here on whether or not docking is okay for a dog, really if you do dock your dog's tail then good luck to you (and to your dog, who may well need good luck in the future). I'm just voicing my opinion AND would like to know how other people with undocked dogs deal with these intrusive, almost accusatory questions. I will happily continue to say that it's not standard to dock a cavalier's tail, whereas it does happen a lot with the king charles spaniel, which is a different breed of dog (as they continue to shoot me sceptical, you're-so-thick looks. And no, I'm not being paranoid, unfortunately that's just how it is!! I encounter more tail-less dogs while out walking that I do intact ones, I think half of Ireland must be hoarding dog tails!).

The thing is, I just can't think up of a witty response to have at the ready. So that they next time someone dares stop me in the street and ask when I'm going to cut my puppy's tail off, I can have even half a chance of making them feel uncomfortable in their own skin. Does anyone have any constructive ideas or experience to help me out? Thanks!!!

chloe92us
12th February 2009, 03:29 PM
They are probably asking b/c they think she is a cocker spaniel, which in the past normally have docked tails. However, I think this practice is no longer acceptable in the UK, but is still allowed in the US...not sure about Ireland.

Bottom line; people are ignorant. You can calmly state "Tail docking is no longer performed b/c it is considered to be cruel and for no purpose other than aesthetics. Aside from that, Cavaliers are meant to have full tails."

Daisy's Mom
12th February 2009, 03:35 PM
That's weird -- I know people used to dock Cavalier tails a third of the way down or something, but thank God, I thought no one did that anymore. That's why I think it's weird that you are being asked that. No one has ever asked me about it. But maybe it's different in the U.S. I do get asked sometimes if I ever have her trimmed because it looks like all that hair would require a lot of grooming. (I don't, and it doesn't require a lot of time -- just a quick brushing every day.)

I do think it's barbaric to cut off an animal's body part without aenesthesia, purely for looks. That's one reason I didn't want to get a poodle because I wouldn't agree to docking its tail.

As far as witty comebacks, I don't really know. I would be halfway tempted to ask him if there's a body part he would like to dock off himself if he's so keen on the practice.

sins
12th February 2009, 03:44 PM
I've been asked that before, I just reply that you don't dock a cavalier's tail as it turns out be be one of their best features and that it's a very beautiful tail with lots of decorative hair and feathering.
Unfortunately some people hear the word spaniel and expect tails to be docked.I don't think we ever docked springer spaniels' tails either and they were working dogs,they looked just grand with tails.
You can still continue to dock tails in Ireland.
According to an article in Dogstoday magazine if you plan to dock your dog and you're a Uk breeder,you can bring the bitch to whelp in Ireland(North or South),register pups with the IKC,have them docked by a vet and then return the pups to UK as legally docked dogs and eligible to show.
There's always a loophole!
Sins

Cookiemonster
12th February 2009, 03:55 PM
I'm glad there's not a backlash of people telling me to get a life anyway! I like the suggestion of asking him where he'd like me to start snipping :eek: hehe. Taste of own medicine and that!
One (elderly) man last week thought her tail should be partially docked. A man yesterday was convinced that it all needed to come off. Today I spoke to someone who has a spaniel with a docked tail, but they didn't want her tail off, that's the way she came when rescued from a farmer that was going to drown her. I suppose that losing her tail was a small price to pay for gaining her life.
I think Ireland must have the most lax rules in Europe with regard to tail docking?! Spaniels, jack russels, westies, rotties, bulldog, boxers... I could go on. Sigh :confused:

Ciren
12th February 2009, 04:02 PM
I AM NOT DEFENDING THE PRACTICE AT ALL!

in the past it was done to certain breeds as they were used for hunting and getting them smacked about on tree's etc would cause nasty injuries.
now of course its just another disgusting thing humans do to our beloved dogs

i would try something like, why dont you get your ears cut off they look really silly.

misty
12th February 2009, 04:16 PM
How strange!

In respect of working dogs, I do understand certain working strains of some breeds being partially docked.

As an example, I do a lot in springer rescue and I know of at least 2 people who have had to have their springers' tails removed in later life, due to constant tail injuries when they are working on shoots. Of course many 'working' type dogs aren't worked, which is a different matter.

Cookiemonster
12th February 2009, 05:21 PM
I only know one person with a working dog (gundog) and her tail is docked. But still, isn't it better to only cut the tail off later in life if and when an injury does actually occur? I suppose it's a bit like circumcision - statistics say that 90% of baby boys born in the US are automatically circumcised. In Europe, circumcision is only performed if and when it's actually needed, and normally around the age of 5 or 6.

But back to dogs :razz: I dont see though how people can think it's okay to look at me sideways because I haven't sliced my darling puppy's tail off.

lorebringer
12th February 2009, 07:01 PM
I am the proud owner of an undocked working Cocker! I can understand the need to dock a working dog; spaniels tend to have very long, flowing tails which get caught in everything when out in a field or gorse and if there is a chance that the dog will cause themselves an injury then this is the only situation that I think it is acceptable.

Docking for a cosmetic reason is, in my opinion, not acceptable in any way. There are so many dogs that don't need to be docked and are and I find this terrible. As far as I am aware, in the UK, showing dogs with docked tails is no longer permitted (unless the dog was docked before a certain date) and in todays worked there is no legit reason to dock a show dog’s tail (or a family pet for that matter). If a dog was supposed to have a short tail then evolution would have given them one.

Perhaps a good reply would be "Would you like to cut a few vertebrae off the end of your spine to make you look nicer? No? Well neither would my dog!"

nicola
12th February 2009, 07:28 PM
We have an Old English Sheepdog from a breeder in Ireland and his tail was docked when we got him. I hate to imagine the pain he went through. I don't think I've ever seen an Old English with a tail. I would imagine it would be quite powerful due to their size...maybe this is why they remove it. I don't agree with docking however and if given the choice I would have preferred he had kept his tail.

brotymo
12th February 2009, 08:27 PM
I only know one person with a working dog (gundog) and her tail is docked. But still, isn't it better to only cut the tail off later in life if and when an injury does actually occur? I suppose it's a bit like circumcision - statistics say that 90% of baby boys born in the US are automatically circumcised. In Europe, circumcision is only performed if and when it's actually needed, and normally around the age of 5 or 6.

But back to dogs :razz: I dont see though how people can think it's okay to look at me sideways because I haven't sliced my darling puppy's tail off.

Having owned working vizslas, where 1/3 of the tail is docked, I have seen the need for doing it, but I think it should only be done if you are going to be working them. Tail injuries are very hard to heal. My breeder has a cavalier with a docked tail. This female was brain injured when she was improperly anesthetized for a c-section. Not only did all the puppies die, but she was never the same when they woke her up. She barked without ceasing, so the breeder actually had to have her de-barked. (I have seen how she still tries to bark CONSTANTLY, but can make very little sound) It was the humane thing to do in her case, otherwise it would have been maddening to even have her living in the house. She also began chasing and chewing her tail. She injured her tail chewing it, and then the bandages interfered with her tail's circulation, damaging her tail further. She wound up having to have her whole tail amputated. So, she is a sweet, happy, mentally challenged, tailess dog. In her case, she lost her WHOLE tail. I'd rather see a working dog with 2/3rds of a tail instead of NO tail due to injury and amputation.
But, most docking is "cosmetic" and I disagree with it, just as I disagree with circumcision. I don't have the right to decide that my son doesn't need part of his God-given anatomy just to pad doctor's wallets. I don't think mother nature goofed up when creating the male anatomy the way it is. That is a decision for him to make one day if he so chooses.

mellie
13th February 2009, 05:35 AM
I have a neighbor that recently had her 5 month old Cocker's tail docked. She got him from a friend that could no longer care for him, and when she took him to the vet, he suggested docking the tail when he was neutured.
She didn't do her research and agreed to have both done. It was the worst decision she has ever made. She felt horrible about it after she brought him home and he cried constantly for 7-8 days post op. She kept him on pain meds the whole time, he was constantly trying to chew the nub, and made it bleed. I felt so sorry for the sweet little guy! She said if she had it to do over again, she would have NEVER done it! It is essentially an amputation of a limb at that age! I just wish she would have told me or done some research before having it done. I would have made sure she knew the consequences and the pain it would cause!:bang: I just hope others consider that before cosmetically docking a pets tail!