Poodles look almost the same around the world. They have one huge difference. In some breeders decide to dock the tails while others leave them as they are natural.
The docking of poodle tails is a debatable topic among breeders and animal activists. Certain countries have banned both ear cropping and tail docking. But, in the United States, tail docking is legal. Let’s learn all matters to do with poodle tail.
The Origin of Tail Docking
Tail docking takes us back to ancient times. In the 17th century, dog owners paid taxes in England if they decided to keep pets, but working animals and farm dogs did not pay any. As a result, dog owners began docking their dogs’ tails to evade taxes. At the same time, Romans docked the seats of their poodles to prevent them from contracting rabies.
In 1886 AKC (American Kennel Club) established breed standards for all dog breeds registered in the club. According to the breed standards, working dogs had to have docked tails, and poodles fall under this category. In two European countries, docking is illegal, and the term is inhumane.
What Is Tail Docking?
Tail docking is also known as amputation or tail bobbing. It involves cutting the poodle tail to create a small erect tail. This procedure involves cutting skin, muscles, seven nerves, and connections between bones and cartilage. In the United States, dock poodle’s tail to meet the Americans Kennel Club’s conformation standards. Most breeders have tails on all puppies docked, regardless of whether it’s show quality or not.
Why is a Poodle Tail Docked?
There are several reasons why breeders dock their poodle’s tail. Let us look at some of them.
· To prevent injuries
Back in the old days, breeders believed that poodles got injured by tossing their tails. So it was normal to “dock the tail” to prevent them from breaking.
· For cosmetic reasons
In recent days, docking tails have been for cosmetic reasons. Dog owners may decide to dock their poodle’s tail or leave it like that, but other breeders may opt to dock their puppy’s seat if it is long.
It is generally accepted that tail docking helps to preserve a unique appearance and to take part in a continuing tradition for a given breed. There is no reason to dock a poodle’s tail if it has no physical benefits.
Back in the day, it was a rule to have poodles docked to perform in shows. This reason made dog owners dock their dog’s tails. There is no reason to do it, especially to pets or companions, if there are points in docking the tail of the Poodles.
· Social status
Dog owners believed tail docking distinguished between the upper and other lower classes. The upper class did not dock their poodle’s tail, whereas the lower class did. For this reason, this differentiated who could or couldn’t hunt.
· To increase swimming speed
Poodles are water dogs. This means they are retrieval dogs, reared to retrieve animals that fell in the water after hunters shot them down. Thus, they docked to enhance the swimming speed of the poodle. The grooming technique, called the pompom at the tip of the tail, assisted hunters in knowing where the dog was in the water.
How is Docking Done?
There are two procedures of tail docking. The first method is tying a castrating band around the tail to cut off the blood supply. After leaving it for a few days, the bottom decays and falls off. Using these castrating bands, some people decide to do this procedure on their own. But leave the bone exposed, thus causing infection and diseases. Vets do this to ensure a sanitary process.
The second method is by cutting the tall off using an emasculator; this method is the fastest. Vets prefer docking Puppies of 3-5 days because they heal within a week. The procedure is more severe and has a high chance of complications if you perform it too much. According to AKC standards, the erected tail should be the same height as the puppy’s head. The prices of docking cost between $10-$20 and may cost you more if they are any signs of infections.
· Toy Poodle Leave of length (about ½ inch)
· Miniature Poodle Leave ½ to ⅔ of length (about one ⅛ inch)
· Standard Poodle Leave ½ to ⅔ of length (about 1 ½ inch)
Risks of Docking a Poodles Tail
Complications are inevitable in any procedure; tail docking is not an exception. A puppy dies soon after the process because of blood loss, shock, infection, and delayed healing. Vets say the procedure is not painful to the puppy because the nervous system is not developed. Researchers argue that amputation is an excruciating process and affects the behavior of the puppy.
Is Tail Docking legal?
Now that you know what tail docking is. Why do breeders dock their poodle’s tail, the procedure of doing it, and the risks involved? The question is, is it legal? In the U.S., this procedure is permissible, but according to expert opinion, this procedure is unacceptable. As a result, in three European countries, it is illegal while others have had restrictive guidelines. Breeders who prefer to continue with the tradition remain vocal. The public and vets describe the docking of poodle tails to be unnecessary and brutal.
Advantages of the docked tail.
· Hygiene – for a docked tail, it is easier to clean. There are no chances of fecal matter creating a problem.
· Straightness – docking of the tail causes the tail to stand straight, as required by the American kennel club rules.
The docked tail does not bump into things. The poodle has quite a long natural tail, especially when it is happy or exciting can spill things over with its tail.
Disadvantages of tail docking.
· Tail docking Is a painful process – Some people assume that the procedure causes mild pain, whereas others say it is pain-free. Because the poodles are still young, and their nervous system has not developed. Either way, it still causes some pain to the puppy.
· It affects a dog communication – the tail is the dog voice, and cutting it off affects the dog’s touch and the ability to use it
· Some breeders report less tail chewing and fewer behavioral problems. Some breeders believe that poodles with their natural tails get along with other dogs better, and they don’t chew their tails.
Tail docking affects the poodle negatively over the advantages. It usually depends on a breeder’s preference if they choose to dock the poodle’s tail or not.
Do Poodles Need Their Tail?
Poodles are born with a long natural tail, but docking them between 1-2 weeks after birth. The tail is a dog’s voice. Dogs use their tail as communication through wagging, regardless of the breed. The rate at which the dog’s tail shifts communicates how strongly the dog feels about its surroundings.
When a dog erects its tail, this means it is trying to get your attention because it is happy. Nonetheless, if it tucks its tail between its legs, this means it is anxious. If the dog has done something wrong, it holds its tail low as a way to express remorse or shame.
For sport dogs, it is an added advantage to have a natural tail. It uses the bottom for balance, taking right turns, and jumping. There is no reason to dock its tail if you decide to keep a poodle as a companion.
How To Care For Natural Tails.
Poodle’s hair grows fast and will tangle, so they should have a bath and brushed as often as possible. A well-maintained natural tail looks elegant. The poodle’s tail tends to mat and get dirty faster, so pay close attention to it when shampooing and brushing it.
Do Poodles Have a Curly Tail?
In the case of poodles, the Labradoodles is a crossbreed of the Labrador and the poodle. Labrador’s is the most photogenic dog on the internet. What is notable in these pics is that some have a straight tail and others have curly tails. This leaves many people wondering do labradoodle has curly tails. It all depends on genetic factors or by minor faults, according to the standard developed by breeders.
The tip of the doodle’s tail should not completely curl on itself or touch the Labradoodles back. According to the AKC standards, they consider the labradoodle a distinct breed, so they don’t have any breeding standard. But the Australian Labradoodle Association of America (ALAA) has set standards for this kind of poodle. Which states that the tip of the tail should not touch or curl on its back, but breeders say it’s expected in the formative years of the labradoodle. Let’s look at some of these poodles with curly tails;
Maltipoos are a crossbreed of the poodle and the Maltese. They are born with a long skinny tail; they curl their tail. On average, the Maltipoo have 3-7 inches long. This kind of breed doesn’t get their tails docked, but some breeders do so to follow the set of guidelines set by the AKC.
The Bernedoodles tail
They are a mix of the Bernese mountain dog and the poodle and are also known as the Bernese mountain poo. These types of dogs are more companion dogs than show dogs. Their tail size may vary, and they are fluffier than the parents. If the breeder decides to dock its tail, it should be no more or less than 4 inches.