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Discussion Starter #1
If our poodle is destined to a life of spoiled luxury (not saying show dogs aren't spoiled), do we absolutely have to dock the tail? Our breeder will do it for us, but I feel like it's unnecessary if we aren't planning on showing him/her at all. Also, for agility do they have to be to the specific breed standard too? Agility is something we might be interested in, something to keep me busy during deployments :)
 

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If our poodle is destined to a life of spoiled luxury (not saying show dogs aren't spoiled), do we absolutely have to dock the tail? Our breeder will do it for us, but I feel like it's unnecessary if we aren't planning on showing him/her at all. Also, for agility do they have to be to the specific breed standard too? Agility is something we might be interested in, something to keep me busy during deployments :)
My last litter I left a natural tail and love it ! There are pics on the forum of Neelix with his natural tail...I do not think that the tail is an issue in agility. I spoke with two separate AKC judges nad they did not feel the tail to be a huge issue .....However if the breeder that you are working with does show AKC they may be hesitant (unless the puppy is paid for in full) picking a pup out for you and leaving a natural tail , not everyone "Likes the look" .. IMHO
 

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if you don't want a docked tail, then don't! It's often not really a choice, as either the breeder does it or not, and at three days old it's hard to be sure who will be the best dog for what family, so no real decisions can be made easily at such a young age!

But if you have a choice, then it is totally personal preference, and won't bar you from any showing, even in the confirmation show ring (docking is preferred, but it's not against the rules to be undocked!) and especially in agility etc. Many agility people much prefer them to have a natural tail for the better balance and 'rudder' effects it can have! Docking is purely cosmetic now days, and while I generally prefer a nicely docked tail, I have seen the odd natural tail that is awesome too. lol
 

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I agree with the rudder affect having wtched Neelix out in the yard it is truly a thing of beauty .. The natural tail that is. The tail is so expressive and I do think that it will not be long before it is more the norm.... However there are lines that have a "Gay" tail or one that is carried up over the back curled like a samoyed and they are not quite so attractive. So we do need to knw what is "Back there" so to speak
And I did pick nee at 3 days of age....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the opinions! If it's done so soon, I can understand that she may do the whole litter, even though our pup will be paid for as soon as the litter is born. I'm hoping for a girl puppy, and we are the first family on her list (YAY!) so we will get first choice of puppy, so if there is only one girl hopefully I can just say don't dock her, please! I'm kind of against doing anything that is purely cosmetic or an unnecessary thing.
 

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Thanks for the opinions! If it's done so soon, I can understand that she may do the whole litter, even though our pup will be paid for as soon as the litter is born. I'm hoping for a girl puppy, and we are the first family on her list (YAY!) so we will get first choice of puppy, so if there is only one girl hopefully I can just say don't dock her, please! I'm kind of against doing anything that is purely cosmetic or an unnecessary thing.
I don't know how a breeder could know by age 3 days if a puppy is show/performance quality or if it is a good match for a certain family. Even if there is only one girl in the litter, she may not be a good fit for your family.
 

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I honestly prefer the docked look; the only natural tails I've seen and really liked were on the Huffish website. (I think it's b/c she grows tons of hair on their tails: http://www.huffish.se/index.html)

Anyway, I think it's more difficult to find a responsible breeder who leaves the tails natural. (Not impossible, just more difficult.) I'm more concerned w/ titles, health clearances, temperment, etc. I'm also not a big fan of shipping, which is going to be more likely if you're set on a natural tail. Docking is a minor thing that doesn't seem to affect the dogs either way. JMO (I don't have a Poodle but I do have a dog w/ a docked tail.) If you really want a natural tail, though, you should go for it!
 
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