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Discussion Starter #1
Why is this done, in any breed? Having had a labrador with a killer dew claw which only brought her life-long misery, I understand removing that, but why the tails?

And was my poodle's tail docked? I thought it looked long, but when I asked the breeder she said it was. Then someone else (I think the groomer) noted (happily) that it wasn't, but when I told her the breeder said it was she went onto say the trend must be to leave them longer (why cut them off at all!?).

And please don't tell Miss Bella that I shared such unflattering photos of her. ;) They were the best available to show her tail length. She was about 4 months in these pics.

Thank you.
 

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She is so cute! She looks like a fluffy soft girl. That coat looks irresistible to touch!

I used to only like docked tails. I'm a toy poodle person and think it looks funny to see a long tail on such a little body. On toys, it seems like the tail tends to curl. I don't like the look of a curled tail.

On the other hand, I have seen lots of undocked tails on the standards (in photos). I'm getting where I almost like them better. It balances them out and looks feathery and graceful.

I have met a great dane with an undocked tail. Once you get whipped with it a few times, you will know why they are usually docked. It is very painful. Not to mention when they are excited, they seem to knock over everything in harms way.

I can't imagine a poodle tail being that sturdy. I haven't been around an undocked poodle to know. I have heard that hunting dogs tend to have docked tails to prevent injury that could possibly result in amputation while working in the field.

We know a lot of poodles don't necessarily hunt, so I can see it's more about aesthetics. I can see it being a personal choice and the lifestyle you choose to have with your pet.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
We know a lot of poodles don't necessarily hunt, so I can see it's more about aesthetics.
LOL, on that note I must add that Dh had to bury bird remains he found in the backyard last night. I think Bella was rather proud of herself. Thank goodness she's not a cat and didn't drag it in!
 

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What a good girl! I figure my little tiger will 'hunt' geckos that frequent our part of Texas. I love to see them work.
 

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Actually, BFF, when I get my standards they are going to be trained for retrieving :) and I think the original purpose of some docking was to keep the tail out of the way for their handlers. Though with some breeds like hounds and pointers, the tails are needed on those breeds as markers of the dog to know it's location, and the tails on westies were bred to be as strong as the spine, so you could actually pick the dog up by the tail without harming it (since they were bred to go after rats in holes and can get stuck and pulled out by their tails)

Though it really depends on the breeder, for dogs that traditionally get their tails docked they'll normally dock them. I see a lot more docked tails than I see removed dewclaws in the grooming business.

Your poodles tail does looked like it's been docked, Miss Bella mom, and like Heather said it just looks like it was left a couple vertebrae longer than most standards you'll see. That's not a bad thing! As you probably already know :)
 

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Fluffyspoos, it's neat to learn more about tails and how they can be used. Thanks for the information. I love the idea that you are going to use your Standards for retrieving. I think poodles (from non-poodle people) are only seen for their looks and not necessarily recognized for the work they are capable of doing. Keep us updated on your retrieving.
 

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When we got our male standard poodle he was 10. mo old and had a natural tail. His was extremely long and soooo fluffy, looked like a feather duster, it was beautiful. He is such a happy guy that his tail was actually a hazard, not only to whipping people and knocking over objects and such but to himself as well. I have read about dogs with long tails actually damaging their tails terribly and bleeding to death, this really scared me, due to the fact that Rocky, our male was always whacking his tail into the walls and etc., even letting out a whelp at times. I asked our vet about docking Rockys tail and if this would be a barbaric thing to do to him since he was already 10 mo. old. The vet told us that Rocky would do just fine. We had his tail done, and 2 dew claws at the same time, he did just wonderful. We got a collar for him to wear, figuring he would try to bite at the stitches, but after a day saw that we didn't even need that. About 10 days later his stitches were removed. Now on the other side of Rockys tail docking, Eli, Secreto's Spoo (full BRO, litter mate to our ROCKY), also had his tail docked as an older pup and I believe I read somewhere on this forum that he had a harder time with it, maybe we were just lucky. We have a female toy poo who had a litter of pups last yr. and we had their tails and dew claws done at 3 days old. We do feel that if you are going to have this done, it should be at about this age. I really do like docked tails, but am really starting to like them longer then what they use to be done at. Marlee, our black female Spoo's tail was docked already when we bought her, and it was done to short, even the lady we bought her from, who was the breeder was upset with her vet for doing it as short as he did. She told us that it wasn't what she asked for. Tail, no tail, long or short tail, whatever, I think poodles of any size are the BEST.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
When we got our male standard poodle he was 10. mo old and had a natural tail. His was extremely long and soooo fluffy, looked like a feather duster, it was beautiful. He is such a happy guy that his tail was actually a hazard, not only to whipping people and knocking over objects and such but to himself as well.

LOL, sounds like the tail of a Labrador! We used to just keep things up out of 'tail's reach' when I was a child.

I'm sorry he was hurting himself, though and glad it turned out okay.
 

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I think poodles (from non-poodle people) are only seen for their looks and not necessarily recognized for the work they are capable of doing.
When I tell people the breed of dogs I'm going to get and what I'm going to train them to do, I've had people wrinkle their faces in response. All they see when they visualize poodles is the full continental cut running across the ring in dog shows. This coming from a poodle lover, I think they're gorgeous! But I know a lot of people don't like the cut.

I can't wait to prove them wrong with my retrieving poodles! They'll run circles around their labs ^^ and look beautiful doing it! (Not that I have anything against labs ;) )
 

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Not all dew claws should be removed as many help more then hinder the dog. For tails there are many reason and for the most part I don't buy them :) I belive docking first started as a way to avoid paying taxes. Then some breeders found it made the dog hunt/retrieve/whathaveyou better and they kept it going once the excuse of tax avasion was no longer needed.

FYI Danes tails are NOT to be dock by standard/tradition
 

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I think at this point tail docking is completely aesthetic and really not necessary, regardless of why it first started. Unfortunately it will take a long time for things to change - even in Europe, where supposedly only the natural tail is accepted, dogs are still shown with docked. Things won't change until the public refuses to purchase dogs with a docked tail, and then breeders meet that demand.

It's tough though - I prefer the natural tail, yet it's almost impossible to find a breeder who does all the required testing and responsible breeding (in my area) and keeps a natural tail. So I will most likely end up with a docked pup, even though that's not my preference. :( Some breeders will keep a natural tail for you, but then your pup is being picked out at 3 days, which is not ideal as there's no way of telling how that pup will eventually turn out. It's tough!
 

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His tail looks to be the same length as Taffy's. That would be docked but on the longer side. I like it that way and I wouldn't mind at all if the breed standard would change to full tail. It bothers me to think they have to have their tails cut. I do like the dew claws removed if showing for conformation but I wouldn't want them removed if I were going to be in agility competitions. They help them grasp the ground when they are running.
 

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How does the dew claw help?
Dogs like a Great Pyrenees are required to have their dew claws for show, in fact, the Pyrenees actually is required to have TWO dewclaws per BACK FOOT in show. This is because they're a mountain dog, and it's said that it helps them climb.

All the back dew claws I've seen weren't even attached to bone and were just dangling by skin and growing claws, so I'm not 100% sure on that one ;D
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Awww....well now I feel badly. :( I do hope to do agility with Bella someday. They were already removed when we got her anyway, but still. I just thought about the pain my lab suffered with those dew claw nail trimmings and was relieved.
 
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