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

  1. #1
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    Default Why do people ask me if I'm going to dock puppy's tail?

    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 ). 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!!!
    1 cavalier puppy: Russo
    3 cats: Cookiemonster , Coco , Sky

  2. #2
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    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."
    Trisha in Southwest Florida
    Cavaliers: Casey, Ollie, & Winston and usually a foster or two! Cats: Pebbles & Benson

  3. #3
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    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.

  4. #4
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    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

  5. #5
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    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 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
    1 cavalier puppy: Russo
    3 cats: Cookiemonster , Coco , Sky

  6. #6
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    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.
    Mommy to Pepper the Guinea-Pig, Adoring fan of Peaches the Blenheim
    http://cirenscall.misi.co.uk/
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  7. #7
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    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.
    Proud member of The Spaniel Trust - putting the trust back into spaniels.
    A Charity registered in Scotland SC038987

  8. #8
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    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 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.
    1 cavalier puppy: Russo
    3 cats: Cookiemonster , Coco , Sky

  9. #9
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    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!"

  10. #10
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    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.

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