Docking : a quick note for the canine owners

Removing a portion or the tail as a whole is a cosmetic
surgery performed in about 45 breeds of dogs. This is said
to improve(?) the appearance and is needed to meet the
breed standards. Established kennel clubs have
prescribed standard guidelines for the procedure.
Scientifically, removing the part of the tail is referred to as
'docking'. This is usually done about one week after the
birth in puppies, often before their eyes are open.

Also, in adult dogs removal of tail is necessary when there
are serious injuries for the tail. Tail is removed by incising
the skin and disarticulating the coccygeal vertebrae at the
inter-coccygeal junction. After the birth of the puppies, the
owner must avail the advice and help of a veterinarian for
performing this surgery.

Given below are standard guidelines for tail docking
in important breeds.

Breed and Length of tail to leave on Dog
-----------------------------------------------------------

Affenpinscher - 1/3
Airedale Terrier - 3/4
Australian Terrier - 2/5
Bouvier des Flanders - 1/2 inch at one week of age
Boxer - 1/2 to 3/4 inch at one week of age
Brussels Griffon - 1/4 to 1/3
Doberman Pinscher - 2 vertebrae
English Toy Spaniel - 1/3
Fox Terrier - 2/3 to 3/4
Fox Terrier (toy) - 1/2 inch at one week of age
Griffon (wire haired) - 1/3
Irish Terrier - 3/4
Kerry Blue Terrier - 1/2
Lakeland Terrier - 2/3
Norwich Terrier - 1/4
Old English Sheep Dog - Not more than one vertebra
protruding
Pinscher (miniature) - 1/4
Pointer (German short haired) - 2/5
Pointer (German wirehaired) - 2/5
Poodle (all sizes) - 1/2
Rottweiler - Not more than one vertebra protruding
Sxhipperke - Not more than one vertebra protruding
Schnauzer (giant) - 3 vertebrae (approximate)
Schnauzer (miniature) - 2 vertebrae
Schnauzer (standard) - 2 vertebrae
Sealyham Terrier - 1/2
Silky Terrier - 1/3
Spaniel (Brittany) - 3 vertebrae
Spaniel (Clumber) - 1/3
Spaniel (Cocker) - 1/3
Spaniel (English Springer) - 1/3
Spaniel (Field) - 1/3
Spaniel (Sussex) - 1/3
Spaniel (Welsh Springer) - 1/2
Vizsla - 2/3
Weimaraner - 3/5
Welsh Corgi (Pembroke) - 1 vertebra
Welsh Terrier - 2/3 to 3/4
Wheaten Terrier (soft coated) - 1/4
Yorkshire Terrier - 1/2 to 2/5

Recently, docking of tail has emerged as a topic of
discussion among animal lovers. Many people view this
practice as an unnecessary cruelty inflicted on the
puppies, for meeting the breed standards set by man and
not by nature.
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