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If you have a mini poodle, and his tail is shorter than 3 or 4 inches, it's docked. Docking is a procedure where they clip off part of a dog's tail when he's just a few days old.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
His tail is about six inches long, so I guess it's not docked. Why would anyone chop off a part of a puppy's tail like that, and please do not tell me it's to make it look better or for show, that would be just to barbaric for words!
 

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Midnight's tail is about four inches. I don't know if that is a full tail for a miniature. I will make sure that my next poodle does not have a docked tail. I don't agree will tail docking.
 

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His tail is about six inches long, so I guess it's not docked. Why would anyone chop off a part of a puppy's tail like that, and please do not tell me it's to make it look better or for show, that would be just to barbaric for words!
To make it look better by creating a better over all balance. Ironically, most puppy mill and BYB puppies are docked too short. In fact, those short little bunny tails are sort of the calling card of a Poodle bred by someone who doesn't know what they are doing.

Take heart. Show Poodle tails are getting longer and longer. With the amount of breeding happening between Europe, Canada and the US these days, I think that we will see the end of docked tails in the next 20 years.
 

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His tail is about six inches long, so I guess it's not docked. Why would anyone chop off a part of a puppy's tail like that, and please do not tell me it's to make it look better or for show, that would be just to barbaric for words!
That is exactly why it is done. Until recently, you could not show a Poo with an undocked tail in the ACK or CKC. Now you can show with an undocked tail, but the likelihood of winning with an undocked tail are pretty slim here in North America.
 

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That is exactly why it is done. Until recently, you could not show a Poo with an undocked tail in the ACK or CKC. Now you can show with an undocked tail, but the likelihood of winning with an undocked tail are pretty slim here in North America.
I believe that you have always been able to show with an un-docked tail. However, Poodles with long tails are at a disadvantage because a long tail accentuates every flaw in the tail. Already poor tail carriage look terrible. A low tail set looks lower. A curved tail looks more curved. A gay tail? Yikes!!!! Also, a long tail makes a Poodle look shorter in the neck and takes away from the overall, uphill outline of the dog.
 

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I also thought the original purpose for the docked tail was to act as a "handle" to pull the dogs out of the water and into the boat after a retrieve. Maybe I just made that up, but I'm sure I read it somewhere.
 

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Docked tails arent just as a look for them, they serve a purpose as most modifications to dogs does or did. Tail docking was done on a few gun and service dog breeds to prevent tail injury in the field, many of these breeds don't serve their original purpose anymore but the practice is still done as it has been done for decades or longer.

Ear cropping also served a purpose and still does where with floppy ears are much more susceptible to ear infections, so many guardian service dogs in war times I read (dobies/boxers, ect) were cropped so if dirt and other debris fell into the ears it wouldn't fester and would either fall out on its own or be easier to clean.

Most retrieving breeds like labs and newfies do have their tails as they're used as ruders to help steer through the water.
 

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Here's a more detailed explantion:


Why Are Dog's Tails Docked?
1. To avoid tail damage

A number of working gundog breeds have to hunt game through heavy vegetation and thick brambles, where their fast tail action can easily lead to torn and bleeding tails which are painful and extremely difficult to treat. Docking the end of the tail eliminates the risk of injury.

Working terriers are docked for the same reason. In addition, terriers which are bred to hunt below ground for purposes such as fox control, have their tails docked to a length which is more practical when working in a confined space.

Other non-working breeds which have an enthusiastic tail action, are also liable to damage their tails, even in the home.

Since docking was banned in Sweden in 1989, there has been a massive increase in tail injuries amongst previously docked breeds. Within the 50 undocked Pointer litters registered in that year with the Swedish Kennel Club, 38% of dogs suffered tail injury before they were 18 months old and in 1991, the number of individuals with tail injures had increased to 51% of the group.
2. For reasons of hygiene

Long haired, thick coated breeds like the Yorkshire Terrier and Old English Sheepdog are docked to avoid the hair around the base of the tail becoming fouled by faeces. Even with constant grooming and washing, such fouling is unpleasant. If allowed to get out of hand, it can lead to severe problems of hygiene, or even flystrike and subsequent infestation by maggots.

Hygiene problems can be greatly reduced or eliminated altogether by docking.
3. To maintain breed standards

Breeds which have been docked over many generations have been selected for specific qualities of build and conformation, but not for tail length, shape or carriage.

If left undocked, it is unlikely that the best dogs would carry good tails. In seeking to maintain the quality of the breeds, breeders would therefore be left with a diminished number of suitable sires and dams. The genetic pool would be reduced, greatly increasing the risk of hereditary diseases taking hold. Some breeds could even disappear for ever.
 

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I mentioned this in another post but the only Poodles I've seen that look great w/ natural tails, have tons of hair on them. (See the Kennel Huffish website.) I would think it would be even more work to get that kind of growth. Grooming for show is already hard work.

While Poodles carry their tails differently, so it really doesn't matter, I've had bruises left on legs from other breeds, there is a dent on a doorway frame in my house from a wagging undocked tail, I've had things go flying off my end tables and worst of all I've seen dogs who's tails are a bloodly mess b/c they've wacked it on something. I don't think docking is purely superficial and I definatley prefer breeds that are either docked or carry their tails upright/over their back. And I have to say I think the OP had an agenda w/ this post. (Going from "what's docking" to it's "barbaric" just seems fishy.) If you don't like docking, you're entitled to your opinion, but it would be nice if you were upfront about it.
 

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My understanding is that it acts as a rudder in the water when swimming right? Whoever docked Misters tail only left him with about 4 or 5 inches, so sad.
 

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To make it look better by creating a better over all balance. Ironically, most puppy mill and BYB puppies are docked too short. In fact, those short little bunny tails are sort of the calling card of a Poodle bred by someone who doesn't know what they are doing.

Take heart. Show Poodle tails are getting longer and longer. With the amount of breeding happening between Europe, Canada and the US these days, I think that we will see the end of docked tails in the next 20 years.
This is Olie - he has stump maybe 4 inces. He's adorable and we love him but sometimes we shake our heads wondering what the people were thinking.:doh:
 

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I believe that you have always been able to show with an un-docked tail. However, Poodles with long tails are at a disadvantage because a long tail accentuates every flaw in the tail. Already poor tail carriage look terrible. A low tail set looks lower. A curved tail looks more curved. A gay tail? Yikes!!!! Also, a long tail makes a Poodle look shorter in the neck and takes away from the overall, uphill outline of the dog.
Suri has a gay tail - not a big deal to me she blends in with the Poms HAHA, BUT I have noticed as I watch shows that there are some curved and/or gay tails going on.

I prefer no tail docking or ear cropping UNLESS it serves a purpose as FS post.

I am curious - why is it called a gay tail??
 

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Because the opposite would be a straight tail? :D

(I really have no idea--maybe it's gay, as in happy?)
LOL, I guess that would be too easy:doh:
 

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I think that people FORGET that couple of centuries ago dogs were owned MOSTLY to "do a job" of some kind and on very rare occasion as "pets".

That said - dog breeders and owners did alter the natural shape of a tail or ears for a reason - not because some hunter was "into fashion or looks " LMAO

They found through experience what works the best for particular breeds in particular working conditions and acted accordingly.

Some breeds (like Labradors) have VERY thick and muscular tail and it was a seldom occurrence that it got injured and thus was left intact in those hunting lines. Poodles have much thinner tail, for example and with a lot of hair and it probably tended to get stuck in brush and get bloody and broken :smow:and hunters started docking them for practical purposes.

We can argue that today most of the breeds are "just pets" and do not need those procedures and it is true. One can decide not to dock but also one can prefer traditional look of a certain breed.

Now - is it "barbaric" or not is really very broad question and can be discussed to no end.

Is circumcision of baby-boys barbaric than also ??????????? In my personal opinion MUCH more so than docking of a tip of a tail :becky:
 
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