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I’m just curious....I tried to google it and nothing really popped up that explained it very well. why so many different lengths? I know now some breeders leave the length when asked not to dock (someone in our litter did that) but I’ve seen 3/4, 1/2 ,1/4 sized and then what I call nub tails with different breeders. I noticed the different lengths more so among poodles than other breeds, so I was just curious on it.
 

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That's because those breeders do not know how to dock a tail, sometimes it is vet that doesn't know how because in reality some dog tails are long than other's so cutting off let's say an inch on one puppy that same inch will look different on a puppy with a shorter tail to start,
 

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You'll actually see similar variation in other breeds as well but maybe not as bad as with poodles. It's usually either backyard breeders docking incorrectly or taking them to vets that don't know the right length. The correct length is supposed to be balanced with the poodle's head. But tails are different lengths naturally, so the percentage you take off to get a balanced length will differ from dog to dog. But it's usually 1/4 to 1/2 taken off.
 

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As Raindropsexplained, each dog is different. Most breeders will either mark the tail for the vet, or will do them themselves. Vets follow a book, one size fits all,,,,, some will dock way too short, there had been a short lived fad a very long time ago for short tails that did not balance the square look of the dog.
 

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As Raindropsexplained, each dog is different. Most breeders will either mark the tail for the vet, or will do them themselves. Vets follow a book, one size fits all,,,,, some will dock way too short, there had been a short lived fad a very long time ago for short tails that did not balance the square look of the dog.
Farleysd, I bet you hold a puppy up to check the length of neck in order to get the tail length right. That's how I used to decide where to dock. Also, I always pushed the skin back toward the base of the tail before cutting so there would be plenty of skin to cover the tip of the dock.

Dewclaws are another matter altogether. I have not bred a litter in years, but if I do breed Zoe, I am going to need to find appropriate scissors to do them. I suspect I'll call on my friend Mickey Kern, a toy poodle breeder, to help.
 

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I’m just curious....I tried to google it and nothing really popped up that explained it very well. why so many different lengths? I know now some breeders leave the length when asked not to dock (someone in our litter did that) but I’ve seen 3/4, 1/2 ,1/4 sized and then what I call nub tails with different breeders. I noticed the different lengths more so among poodles than other breeds, so I was just curious on it.
I have always found that knowledgeable breeders do a much better job of docking than most vets. Vets know lots about dogs, but unless they are breeders too, are not BREED specific. They do not know how long/short a tail should be and generally do not know what the trends are in the show ring. And as has already been said, it is not one size fits all. We have had puppies born with tails like kangaroos, and if you removed 2/5ths, the tail would still be WAY too long. We have also had pups born with tails short enough, that we have contemplated not taking any off. Each puppy and tail needs to be eyeballed and the decision carefully made on what is the best length per each individual puppy. I call the short tails chicken nuggets. On the red pups, that is exactly what they look like.
 

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"I call the short tails chicken nuggets. On the red pups, that is exactly what they look like. " That's really funny! I've never seen a puppy born with a short tail. The toys I bred (in the 70s) were from Britain (hence my kennel name "Britan"). The standards were all from Jaylee. All the standards had to be docked.
 

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"I call the short tails chicken nuggets. On the red pups, that is exactly what they look like. " That's really funny! I've never seen a puppy born with a short tail. The toys I bred (in the 70s) were from Britain (hence my kennel name "Britan"). The standards were all from Jaylee. All the standards had to be docked.
The wee babies with the shorter tails are not chicken nugget tails, but oh so close to not needing to be docked at all.
 

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Farleysd, I bet you hold a puppy up to check the length of neck in order to get the tail length right. That's how I used to decide where to dock. Also, I always pushed the skin back toward the base of the tail before cutting so there would be plenty of skin to cover the tip of the dock.

Dewclaws are another matter altogether. I have not bred a litter in years, but if I do breed Zoe, I am going to need to find appropriate scissors to do them. I suspect I'll call on my friend Mickey Kern, a toy poodle breeder, to help.
Hi Johanna: That is one of two ways I measure a tail, first I will extend the tail down the back let to the tip of the toe, and make a mark, next I will hold the puppy up to compare the length of the neck. Surprisingly it always is!

There are some good videos on YouTube that show different ways of removing dew claws.
 
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