Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tail Dock Ban in Scotland: recent article

On Thursday, I posted The Doberman: Do Looks Make the Breed?, and discussed the merits of tail docking at three days versus the complications, healing time, and trauma of an adult dog's tail having to be amputated due to injury.

On, somebody posted an article about the tail dock ban in Scotland. Granted, the article discusses working breeds in the context of spaniels, terriers, and retrievers as working breeds, but arguably (in conformation shows, anyway!) the Doberman is officially labelled as a "Working" breed, as opposed to a "Sporting" breed, which is what I would consider spaniels and retrievers to be.

Anyway, if interested, the article is here: The Tail Wags Dog Welfare (I know they speak English in Scotland, so I'm not sure what the deal is with the title phrasing). There is a picture of an undocked, injured tail, so be warned.


  1. Tail docking and ear cropping is banned in my province of Nova Scotia. I am not a fan of cropping and docking as a personal rule, though I do understand there may be some circumstances in which it is necessary. I also would never judge anyone who has had the surgery performed because it is none of my business.

    Do I believe it should be banned? That's another story. From what I have seen banning often leads to people performing the surgery themselves, as opposed to going to a vet. Which is not exactly ideal to say the least.

    1. I've seen pictures of home crops (ears) and home docks (tails) and driving people to do a home job is really not the way. Of course, some countries that ban it also ban the conformation showing of such dogs unless they're born before a certain date, to avoid both import and (I assume) home jobs.

      No, I do firmly believe that if the procedures are to be done, than a veterinary professional is required to do it.

  2. The docked stumps of tails look similar following amputation.
    Dogs used in field sports are sent into dangerous terrain and suffer from many injuries besides tail damage but field sports people prefer to retain the docking preference as it is one possible injury less to deal with and a dog with no legs would not meet requirements! Often there is no attention paid when selecting for breeding for tail carriage, set, length and movement. A tail albeit a stump is required for sighting the dog when worked. Far better to breed for more consistent and better tails (bearing in mind that other field dogs such as Retrievers, English Pointers are not docked anyway. There are Spaniels with the idela full tail which do not have a circling movement and they also have a steady low set tail carriage, these should be taken into breeding programmes. It is not as if all field sport dogs are bred to a show breed standard (right or wrong as that may be) and mongrels/crossbreeds are often used too.