Fri, 06/07/2024 - 6:22pm

Question of the Week

More dogs of breeds that were traditionally exhibited with docked tails are now regularly shown undocked. Your thoughts?

Libby Naimo

Ellendale, Delaware

Docking of tails was originally done to prevent the dog from harm when it was working at its job. Nowadays, our show dogs often don’t work in their original jobs, so perhaps that reason no longer applies. That said, I have heard folks who hunt their long-tailed Springers overseas, where docking is banned, say they wish they could still dock, due to the injuries sustained. As a judge, I don’t prefer one over the other, but as a breeder, I do still dock my Springers’ tails in case they go to performance homes, and because many judges will ignore a long-tailed English Springer.


John Constantine-Amodei

Nokomis, Florida

Showing a traditionally docked breed with an undocked tail is fine if the standard allows for it or if the parent club has put out a communication about it. But for those parent clubs that do not put out a communication explaining to judges how they feel undocked tails should be addressed, I believe there should be a heavy penalty for not presenting the dog as defined in the standard.

For parent clubs like mine that have changed their standard to address undocked tails, I believe judges need to follow that clarification. We, the American Miniature Schnauzer Club, changed our standard to make it a “severe penalty” to show an undocked dog in the hope that judges would respect that. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, some have not, although it is the only severe penalty/fault in our standard. 


Melissa Grueninger 

Belleville, Illinois

I regularly show tailed and docked Schipperkes. I was lucky enough to show one with a tail in the U.K. on a visit more than 20 years ago and now have a few tailed imports.

Schipperkes are all born with tails. (Perhaps 0.1 percent may not be — that’s another topic.) 

The tail is a manmade fault. (A tail is not a DQ in Schipperkes, and actually we just voted to change the standard, and the majority of the Schipperke Club of America voted yes to adding tails to the standard. In addition, the majority of the club’s board of directors, which I am on, voted to add tails to the standard.)

Right now it is considered a fault to have a tail on a Schip. Judge it how you like; however, it is not a fault for which you are to withhold ribbons or toss a dog out of the ring. We are supposed to be showing breeding stock, and when judges continue to put up dogs with faults that will ruin our breed (not double tracking or, worse yet, trimmed), it is disheartening as a breeder to see those types go up. We can cut off the fault (tail), but you can't cut off that bad front or rear. 

Judge the dog as a whole and pick which would be best in a breeding program. Just as any breed should be judged.


Kay A. Backues, DVM DACZM

Tulsa, Oklahoma 

As a veterinarian of 30-plus years, I have docked hundreds and hundreds of puppy tails. Most of the time I see absolutely no complications from the procedure and have never seen a serious complication. Minor complications such as the mother dog licking the stitches open and or a scar developing at the dock site are minor and easily resolved. We use sterile instruments, a drop of quick-acting lidocaine on the tail stump, suture and glue the dock site. Puppies cry initially but stop immediately and go directly back to their dam to nurse as soon as the procedure is over.   

Having also worked emergency practice and seen traumatic tail (and dewclaw) injuries in older dogs, I understand why the original developers of some breeds preferred to dock a tail and prevent injury in the first place. Our purebred dogs were developed to have jobs, and their appearance, from size, to coat to tail or docked tail were designed to accentuate their ability to do those jobs.  

I feel some disappointment when I see traditionally docked breed representatives with tails in the show ring. In my opinion the entire look of the dog is changed, and not for the better. The dock had a purpose when the breed was developed, and for generations these breeds have not been bred for any aspect of their tail, so the tail length, width, overall size and whether its straight or curled are all over the place. 

In addition to inconsistency in appearance, if the breed was originally docked to make its job easier or safer, why change the standard? These breeds are supposed to be bred to be able to do their original jobs even now in the present day, be it field work, protection or hunting, and the tail dock protects the dog from injury from brush, attacker or prey. For some breeds, such as the Doberman, the tail is a thin, weak, curly thing that really distracts from the dog's overall appearance, in addition to being a critical weakness that could make a dog unable to perform its original purpose as a personal companion and protector. Breaking a tail on such a dog would be easy and immediately remove it from working in any situation.     

In a study from the veterinary literature in Scotland, there has been a reported increase in tail injuries in undocked Sporting breeds since tail docking was outlawed in that country. Obviously, the tail dock was done historically to prevent these injuries in working Sporting dogs, and it was effective for that purpose.  

Tail injuries and amputation as an adult dog are very painful, requiring general anesthesia, antibiotics and analgesics. The tail at that point is a difficult body part to protect, and dogs often continue to reinjure the area due to movement and continued trauma. Most veterinarians have experienced the frustration of trying to resolve a case of "happy tail" syndrome in which a tail has been repeatedly traumatized from being hit continuously against walls or other objects.  

No breeder should be forced to dock tails, but likewise they should not be prevented from doing so to adhere to the breed's standard, original purpose and the prophylactic prevention of adult injury. 

As far as judging the breeds in the conformation ring, I like to see the preservation breeds remain true to their original standard to be able to perform their original desired function. If I were an AKC judge (I am not one), I would consider the undocked tail a fault in the docked breed I was judging, as that particular dog could or might not be able to fulfill his breed's job effectively and without risk of injury. 


Douglas Johnson

Colorado Springs, Colorado

I’ve been involved with the Old English Sheepdog since 1972. Our AKC standard calls for a docked tail, also referred to as the Bobtail. Mrs. Clark always referred to the OES as the Bobtail when she judged it. I do NOT want to see the tailed OES in our AKC show ring. We have those in our breed who feel that an AKC championship is more important than our breed standard, be it a novelty or one who thinks it's cool.

If someone desires to import a dog with a tail for breeding purposes? Breed it and dock the offspring to conform with the breed standard. We are the last country in the world who are the breed keepers for the Bobtail.


Anne Barlow

Georgetown, Texas

I am disappointed that undocked tails on traditionally docked breeds are becoming an acceptable look — which I find unacceptable. We are allowing the animal-rights people to win this battle (no docking or cropping) without getting laws passed — and remember, they will not stop at tails and ears! We must look at the larger, top-down issues on this matter. I find long tails very distracting and often they can be easily injured. There is a practical aspect to docking as well — the dog's safety and well-being.  


Bo Bengtson

Ojai, California

Pro: They look undeniably prettier when cropped (and docked). It’s part of a long tradition. Personally, I don’t think tail docking is particularly complicated or painful. (Ear docking is a different matter.)

Con: Altering a dog’s conformation by surgery is inherently off-putting to most people. We are never going to convince the average dog lover that this is a good idea!

Has anyone checked whether the breeds concerned have become less popular after the law forbidding docking in Europe?

But maybe we should not take their word for it: As long as thousands of baby boys are circumcised every year in the name of religion and tradition, we as a society are in no position to take the high road …


Kathleen B. Kolbert

Naugatuck, Connecticut

Is it really whether or not you want to dock your dog's tail?  

What it depends on is if you are showing your dogs. All dogs in the ring should be an example of the BREED STANDARD.

If the standard states TAILS ARE DOCKED, you should follow the STANDARD.

If they want to change the standard that is something the parent club and the membership should discuss and vote on.

When you are a member of the parent club, you should abide by the rules.


Anne Schmidt

Appleton, Wisconsin

I really wish that AKC would make one ruling ...

That ALL BREEDS ARE OPTIONAL for crop and dock.

There are many clubs that are already small and having issues, and are being torn apart by these debates.

OPTIONAL is just what it means: You can if you want, or you can leave the dog as it was born. BOTH should be EQUALLY ACCEPTABLE. 


Michele Luther

Anacortes, Washington

I have been involved with AKC-registered dogs since the 1950s. My parents had Boxers, Springers and Poodles (all docked). I had an Old English Sheepdog when I was a teen, later Springers and, for the last 25 years, Smooth Fox Terriers. All these dogs were docked and had dewclaws removed at a very early age without any negative issues (no bleeding, no trauma and no infections). Personally, I have always used my long-time veterinarian for the procedures and will continue to do so. I would NOT be in favor of a ban on docking mainly because originally there were reasons all these working dogs were physically safer doing the work they were bred for. The AKC standards for all recognized breeds hark back to the original purpose of the breed for temperament, size, coat and other issues, including tail set, carriage and length. 

Lisa Knight Somers

Thompson, Connecticut

My breed is a medium-sized Sporting breed with a docked tail. While our parent club has recently revised our standard to allow natural undocked tails, mainly because of the overseas bans, I firmly believe it should remain a docked breed. They were bred to flush game in dense ground cover, and tail docking was done to prevent countless tail injuries and infection. It is our responsibility to maintain the breed for the purposes for which it was bred.


Lydia Coleman Hutchinson

Middletown, Maryland

When I am judging I have no personal preference regarding tails. However, if the parent club of a particular breed has made the decision to allow only docked dogs to be shown, then I will not judge any undocked dog. The standard for that breed must either state MUST BE DOCKED or make it a disqualification.


Beth Cloven Hernandez

Oak Park, Michigan

It definitely is a hot topic! I prefer docked tails for the breeds that have traditionally been docked. That said, with more dogs being shown naturally, the parent clubs need to address this in the breed standard. It should state something like “tails docked or natural, docked preferred,” BUT most importantly the carriage and set need to be addressed. There is no breed standard on docked breeds that says squirrely or curly spitz-type tails are acceptable. That needs to be stated very clearly in the breed standard. Breeders choosing not to dock must also take tail set and carriage into consideration when planning breedings. I have seen lovely straight natural tails (on Terriers); it can be done and should be. It is part of the silhouette of the breed.


Garnett Persinger

Conneautville, Pennsylvania

My breed is a docked tail breed. As a hunting dog this is important, because damage to the tail is a common occurrence when hunting in heavy cover. We dock at three to five days, before the central nervous system has closed so the pain receptors are not functional yet. My puppies don't even react to the docking process. 

It is much more painful to have to dock an injured, unhealing tail on an adult dog. The end of the tail does not really heal after being split open, and every time it gets bumped you end up with a bloodbath everywhere.


Annette Koplovsky 

Milton, Massachusetts

I think it is kinder to both the dog and the breeder and safer in that it avoids the more than occasional infection. As a breeder/exhibitor of Labs for many years, I was always grateful that the breed I loved most was neither docked, cropped nor during that time typically had their dewclaws removed. 


Barbara Miller

Brookville, New York

Norfolk Terriers are a low-entry breed, and the gene pool is rather small. I’ve imported Norfolk from the U.K. with natural tails and have exhibited them to their championship. 

It works the other way, too. There have been a few times when I’ve arranged to have a pup I’ve bred sent to the U.K. It must arrive with a natural tail in order to be exhibited in that country. There’s no way of my telling which pup in a litter will make a good show prospect at five days of age, when docking usually is done, so the entire litter remains with a natural tail. 

I believe we all realize nowadays that the world is getting smaller, and our breeds need to expand the gene pool. Some breed clubs such as my own have not changed the standard — we’re still a docked breed — but have informed AKC judges that a natural tail is to be considered if the set is correct and all other parts of the Norfolk meet the standard. 

I’ve just imported a year-old Norfolk and there’s no way I’ll dock her tail; she arrived with a tail and will be exhibited with a tail.


Elizabeth Denning

Somerset, Massachusetts

As so many of ALL breeds are being imported, make docking optional. In English Cockers, the tail was docked because of hunting game birds with nets. I am fairly certain that is not done anymore ... so the reason for docking no longer exists.

In the 1990s, it was the Clumbers, I believe, who added "docking optional" to their standard. Really, how hard is that?


Esther Zimmerman 

Hopkinton, Massachusetts

I have Schipperkes. Just imported one with a tail from Europe. I feel, very strongly, that docking should be optional in all breeds where it is traditional. A vote to change our standard was narrowly defeated. Hopefully it will pass next time.


Kevin Holmes

Thurmont, Maryland

I lived in Switzerland and took my dogs from the U.S. with me when I moved over there. One of them was a Canadian-born Standard Schnauzer with a docked tail. Had he been imported by a Swiss or EU citizen, his import would have been prohibited due to the docked tail. Since I was immigrating to Switzerland, his import was permitted.  

I was hounded about his docked tail while living there, though, much in the way I have experienced harassment and bullying here in the U.S. since moving back when I exhibit my undocked dogs at AKC shows. There is absolutely no justifiable reason for these malfeasant behaviors. And that has to end.  

Many seem to overlook the fact that dog shows are about proving breeding stock. This means we are looking at and evaluating the individual phenotypes — that is, generally speaking, the collection of heritable traits that we can see with our eyes and feel with our hands. We do not and should not give weight to those traits that are acquired by artificial means, such as cropped ears, docked tails, grooming, training, Photoshop, etc. I do believe all too frequently people lose sight of these facts or simply do not understand what it means to evaluate hereditable traits. Unfortunately, some people have been misled into believing that the acquisition of an artificial trait like tail docking can improve inherited qualities, i.e. the shape of the croup. This would be against the rules if it were the case, but it isn’t at all how it works even if it did.   

Starting January 1, 2025, dogs that are docked and cropped will not be able to compete anywhere the FCI standard is in use. Further, the Centers for Disease Control has limited the import of dogs to those six months and older starting August 1, 2024. This means that it will be entirely unethical to import a dog and conduct a late tail amputation. Most European breeders have already decided they no longer will work with U.S. breeders, due to U.S. breeders breaking their promises to leave puppies undocked. By proving themselves to be untrustworthy, these U.S. breeders have burned bridges and destroyed networks — not only for themselves, but for others as well.  

These developments mean that U.S. breeders only continue to isolate themselves geographically. For the sake of preserving a tradition — not their breeds — they will cut off their noses to spite their faces. The long-term consequences of these decisions and actions are not being weighed.

We are a very large country occupying the middle of a continent, but we cannot function independently; no institution can. Our population of dogs depends on other populations to exchange genetic information in order to thrive.  

We cannot call ourselves “breed preservationists” while summarily dismissing the rest of the dogs in the world, or isolating ourselves from other breeders, either. We need to be open to networking and collaborating with our peers in other countries — including those dogs that are not docked and cropped — and we need to value those relationships and keep them intact. We need to welcome foreign dogs and breeders at our shows — with their uncropped ears and undocked tails. And we need to be willing to leave puppies in our own litters uncut so that we can exchange the offspring produced with peers overseas and strengthen those relationships. 

I do not advocate for an end to docking and cropping at AKC shows. I only advocate for mandatory neutrality for undocked tails.

Approximately 100 years ago AKC required that all parent clubs of traditionally cropped breeds describe the uncropped ear in their breed standards. It is now time for a similar mandate from AKC for parent clubs of traditionally docked breeds to describe undocked tails. This would be an especially prudent move considering that malfeasant people are interfering with the free agency of parent clubs, which are making efforts to describe undocked tails in their breed standards, while yet others are actively engaging in harassment of individuals at our AKC-sanctioned events when they show dogs with undocked tails.

Just as we have taken a stand as a community against behavior that harms children, we must also take a stand against other types of harassing misconduct rather than continue to turn a blind eye to it. By instituting a mandate that all parent clubs of traditionally docked breeds must describe the undocked tail in their breed standards, AKC can begin to end harassment on this issue, and lead a cultural transformation to follow.  


Mark Francis Jaeger 

Mason, Michigan

Brussels Griffons have traditionally allowed uncropped ears. In 1989, my second champion, an uncropped black rough, was BOS at the national specialty with Anne Rogers Clark judging. The standard did call for tails to be docked to one-third. When I judged the national in 2008 at Louisville, I placed an undocked Russian import RWD. My reasoning was that his tail was a fault, but the rest of his breed type made him worthy of the win. When I judged the roving national in 2014 at Orlando, my WD/BW was a Finnish import with a full tail. Again, I judged his overall quality to compensate for his tail fault.

More recently, the parent club has revised the standard to allow a full saber tail, set high and carried erect. I still see tail faults, but now they are because of too much curl (like the tip touching the top line) or being not carried erect. I still consider the overall type balanced against the exhibit's tail fault when selecting placement. I recommend that other parent clubs take a similar approach, and define a proper undocked tail for their breed.


Barbara Burns

Freeport, Illinois

As an owner and exhibitor of docked dogs, aesthetically it does not matter either way to me. However, the history of cropping and docking is of importance to each breed since there were reasons for doing so. I believe it should be dictated by the standard of each breed for conformation and breeding purposes. As pets, it is a choice of the breeder and potential owner as to the decision to do so or not. 

The animal-rights people decry cruelty in cropping and docking. I had an attorney ask me, "Why crop and dock?" and I said, “Why spay and neuter?” That is probably the only time I heard an attorney say, "Good point." Cropping and docking are less invasive than spaying and neutering. For breeding purposes, cropping and docking should stay true to the history of the breed and to the standard. If it is a pet for other purposes, it's your dog, your choice.  


Madeline Erickson

Churchville, New York

I am appalled that this article has been published. This may encourage breeders to disobey the standard's definition of their breed if a docked tail is noted. Being a breeder of Old English Sheepdogs for more than 40 years, I follow our standard. Judges should also be instructed to follow the standard. A dog with a tail can be a pet or imported with a tail but it does not belong in a show ring, and the judge should and must follow our bobbed-tail standard by not awarding that dog. 


Jane Bishop 

Bridgeport, West Virginia

Today more than ever, dogs are imported and exported around the world. Many countries have banned docking and cropping for years. Since those imports would be shown in the U.S., undocked or uncropped, I don't believe showing dogs born in the U.S. that are not cropped or docked should be a problem. Judges should not be aware of where the dogs are born when they are judging, so prejudice should not be a consideration. Even dewclaws are not removed in Europe — and breeders in the U.S. have a choice whether to remove them or not — without prejudice in the ring. It is a personal choice.


Pam Mandeville

Somerset, New Jersey

I have one of those breeds. Because some in our breed import, our standard was amended 15 years ago to permit either docked or undocked. I was initially opposed, but the authors did an excellent job of describing the correct tail, either docked or undocked. I felt that the day might come when docking would be outlawed, and better to have a thought-out standard than one adapted in a rush.

We see some, but not a lot of undocked tails in the ring. While I know some judges don't like an undocked tail, I believe most judges look past that, and for some exhibitors it's a convenient excuse for losing. I left a tail longer than I'd prefer — some asked if I had docked it at all — on a bitch that I finished owner-breeder-handled in straight shows with all majors. I prefer a docked tail and will continue to dock as long as it is legal. Until then, it should be a breeder's choice.


Beverly Vics

Leesburg, Florida

Being of the “preservation breeder" mindset, I believe that we should continue to present our docked breeds docked. Docking had its origins in function. That function should never be forgotten. I think that by not docking we are destroying the preservation of the breed as it was originally developed, with function included in its presentation.


Sue Lackey

Covesville, Virginia

We are going down a very dangerous road when we do not stand behind breeders who wish to continue cropping ears and docking tails. We have lost the narrative on Rescue vs. Responsible Purebreds to our great detriment. Advocating for the primacy of an undocked/uncropped look validates the incorrect perception that these procedures are "cruel." I have docked many, many Standard Poodle tails at three days, and seldom does the puppy even interrupt nursing during the procedure. My current breed is cropped, and when done at the correct age has no negative impact on the puppy's development and no appreciable pain. 

I have absolutely no objection to those who choose a natural look. I would not do so because in my opinion it detracts from a beautiful outline (with rare exception), particularly in the case of docking. To argue that we must allow our dogs to live a "natural life" is to ignore the fact that no beloved or spoiled dog lives a natural life now; they live a life of pampered privilege with every conceivable allowance made for their health, comfort and safety — as it should be. Breeders should be able to choose their options and not be penalized for a "natural" look, but we must also solidly stand behind those who choose to dock and crop responsibly.


Leslie Simis

Temple City, California

The Poodle standard states “the tail is docked to a sufficient length to insure a balanced outline,” and I have absolutely no issue with that. Being that tail docking and dewclaws are done between three to five days of birth, there is limited pain involved and they recover immediately. While I have heard both sides of the issue, I stand firm with my opinion after breeding dogs for more than 50 years. While some may be considered aesthetic, many breeds are docked for valid reasons in their respective breeds. I urge people to do their own research on their breeds to see the benefits involved with those directives. I find in my own breed that a “natural” or even a tail not sufficiently docked detracts from an ideal outline in my eye. But of course, this is only my opinion.

The animal-rights groups have been after breeders for decades with a myriad of inaccurate information and a constant lack of knowledge. It’s simply an attack on those of us who have dedicated our lives to our purebred dogs as preservationists of the breeds we love … and it will never end. I do wish the AKC would dedicate more of a presence in the area of addressing the animal-rights agenda, as I fear the damage has been significant to the purebred dog in general.


Kathleen Gilbert

Naches, Washington

The standard for my breed, the Silky Terrier, says that the tail IS DOCKED and carried between 12 and 2 o'clock. It does not say the tail may be, can be or should be docked. Until our standard is changed, I will continue to follow our standard and have my vet dock tails on all my litters.


Bill Stebbins

Port St. Lucie, Florida

I come from a breed (Great Danes) where a docked tail is a disqualification. I once saw a Dane DQ’d at a specialty for this fault. If memory serves, the reason for docking dogs was begun in England. The government began to tax those who owned dogs. The amount of tax was determined by the length of the dog’s tail. Hence, the beginning of docking.


Nancy Dellamura

Venice, Florida

I own and show Schipperkes. They both have natural tails. They are both registered with AKC and UKC. I currently only show conformation in UKC because of the tail issue. One of my dogs is in the UKC TopTen and will be going to the Premier TopTen Invitational in two weeks. He is the UKC number 5 Schipperke. I would love to show AKC but for the docking issue. The Schipperke Club of America recently voted against a change in our breed standard to allow tails. This was a BIG mistake.

In my opinion, docking and cropping are cruel and inhumane practices that have no place in the show ring, nor any place else. The AKC should join the rest of the civilized world and ban this practice. At the very least, AKC should pass a rule allowing exhibitors to show natural tails and ears in the conformation ring. Judges should be directed to judge tails on an equal basis with docked. And this rule should apply to all breeds, regardless of what the individual club standard says.


Dawn Bannister

Charlotte, Michigan

I have been showing Schipperkes for more than 30 years. I have bred or owned around 50 AKC champions, as well as Best in Specialty winners, group winners, and Best in Show and top winners in other countries. My dogs can be found within a few generations of some of the top winners in the breed's history. I docked for many years, and I made the decision, along with several other very successful Schipperke breeders, to stop docking some seven years ago.

First, my decision to stop docking was not a part of an animal-rights movement. We are accused of that all the time, but I still support docking, and I have offered to teach people how to band. It simply makes me happy not to dock. I enjoy raising litters more. I breed some naturally tailless Schips (that is sometimes difficult, as the gene is simple but the tail length will vary), but most of my Schipperkes have full-length tails. I like both.

I would like judges to understand that people who are showing tailed Schipperkes are some of the most educated, successful, long-time breeders out there. We are not outliers. Please do not assume that we are uneducated. I myself have published four books on the history of this breed, equaling 1,300 pages of historical documents. The last time our breed club voted on a standard change, it came back with the majority of the club in favor of the change, including the majority of our board of directors.

I have been asked a few questions frequently. First, which tail is correct? We have a 100-year history of no tail; the tails are going to vary — some are carried low, most curl over the back. I would judge the quality of the dog and make the tail the last thing you consider, period. Second, how should we fault it? There have been a lot of arguments about this, but the truth is, our standard doesn't say how to fault it. You could make it a big deal, or it could be the last thing you judge on. Obviously, we would prefer that, but when you think about it, it makes sense. 

I have told judges, when you are in the ring choosing the winner, ask yourself this: If the dog I choose is the one used for breeding, in 20 years will the breed be better off for my choice, or worse? I really wish judges would ask themselves that every single time. If you choose a dog that has a tail but is otherwise of superior quality, the next generation will get the superior quality, but the decision to dock is always there, and you have made a good choice for the future of the breed. If you choose an inferior dog, one with a poor front, poor rear or bad head, those faults will be passed on to the next generation.  

So choose the best example for our future, please.


Ana Ford

Stanford, Kentucky

I love seeing more and more undocked dogs in performance events. Slowly it’s making its way to the breed ring. I believe standards should be changed to allow undocked dogs to be shown, with no preference to docked/ undocked. In my breed — Miniature American Shepherd — we are seeing many undocked dogs now competing in agility, especially at the higher levels, but it is still rare in the breed ring.

Many world championships do not allow docked dogs to compete, regardless of which country the dog is from. Have a top conformation dog and you’ve dreamed of attending Crufts? Can’t do it unless your dog is undocked. This year the Junior Agility World Championships are in Belgium. There were quite a few juniors who wanted to apply for the team but couldn’t because their dogs were docked, which was heartbreaking for them. It has been illegal to dock dogs in many countries for many years, and they do not allow docked dogs to compete, so even in conformation, the dogs competing are undocked. It is time for the U.S. to catch up!

We get asked a lot out in public about the tail — we have one docked and two undocked — and most people are unaware that they are born with tails. And most people prefer the tail. (There are natural bobs in our breed, but they are also often docked because the natural bobs can be born with half tails, three-quarter tails or little, short tails.) Breeders who have stopped docking have realized that the pet people either don’t care either way, or prefer a tail. More and more agility people prefer an undocked dog. It is time for it to be more accepted in the breed ring, so it can be more the norm for breeders, and American dogs can compete more in the world stage.


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