Should Spaniels have their tails docked?

  • Date: August 6, 2021
  • Time to read: 4 min.

The practice of tail docking has long been a controversial topic, particularly when it comes to Spaniels. On one hand, some believe that tail docking is necessary to prevent potential injuries and promote a healthy lifestyle for the breed. On the other hand, opponents argue that this practice is unnecessary and cruel. In this article, we will explore both sides of the argument to determine whether or not Spaniels should have their tails docked.

Why is Tail Docking Actually Carried Out?

The practice of tail docking has been used for centuries, mainly for working and sporting dogs. In the early days, it was thought that docking tails of working dogs would help protect them from injury and infection, as their tails were often at risk of getting caught in brambles and other debris. It was also thought to improve the aesthetic appearance of the dog and give them a more “professional” look.

Today, tail docking is mainly carried out for cosmetic purposes, with many owners believing that it gives their spaniel a more “handsome” appearance. However, medical and scientific evidence shows that tail docking can actually have a negative impact on a dog’s health and wellbeing.

The Pros and Cons of Tail Docking

On the one hand, the practice of tail docking has been used for centuries, and there are those who believe that it is necessary to preserve the aesthetic appearance of certain breeds. It is also argued that tail docking can help to prevent injury and infections, although medical and scientific evidence does not support this claim.

On the other hand, there are several potential risks associated with tail docking, including pain and discomfort for the dog, an increased risk of infection, and a greater likelihood of developing behavioural problems. There is also evidence to suggest that tail docking can lead to impaired balance and coordination, which can make it difficult for a spaniel to move around and perform its normal activities.

The Risks of Tail Docking

The most common risk associated with tail docking is pain and discomfort for the dog. Tail docking involves cutting off a portion of the tail, which can be a very painful procedure. There is also a risk of infection, as the wound is exposed to bacteria and other contaminants. In addition, tail docking can lead to behavioural problems, such as excessive barking, chewing, and fearfulness.

Alternatives to Tail Docking

Fortunately, there are several alternatives to tail docking that owners of spaniels can consider. For example, many owners choose to keep their spaniels’ tails intact, as this can help to protect them from injury and infection. Owners can also opt to have their spaniels’ tails trimmed regularly to maintain the aesthetic appearance of the breed.

Finally, owners can also take steps to protect their spaniels’ tails from injury and infection. This can include providing a safe environment for the spaniel to play and exercise in, as well as regular grooming and cleaning of the tail area.

Conclusion

Tail docking is a controversial practice that has been used for centuries, mainly for aesthetic purposes. However, it can have a negative impact on a spaniel’s health and wellbeing, and there are several potential risks associated with it. Fortunately, there are several alternatives to tail docking that owners of spaniels can consider, such as keeping their tails intact and taking steps to protect them from injury and infection.

## Common Myths about Docking Spaniel Tails

1. Docking a Spaniel’s tail will make them less healthy – This is false. Docking a Spaniel’s tail does not cause any health issues for the dog.

2. Docking a Spaniel’s tail will make them less active – This is false. Docking a Spaniel’s tail does not affect their activity level or energy.

3. Docking a Spaniel’s tail is cruel – This is false. As long as the procedure is done properly by a trained professional, it should not cause any pain or discomfort to the dog.

4. Docking a Spaniel’s tail is illegal – This is false. In most countries, it is legal to dock a Spaniel’s tail as long as it is done at a young age.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should Spaniels have their tails docked?

No, this practice is not recommended. Tail docking is an unnecessary and potentially harmful procedure that should not be performed on spaniels. The tail is an important tool for communication, balance, and expression. Removing it can cause physical and mental stress to the dog.

Conclusion

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Tail docking is a controversial practice that has been used for centuries, mainly for aesthetic purposes. However, it can cause pain, discomfort and increased risk of infection, as well as behavioural problems. There are alternatives to tail docking, such as keeping the tail intact and providing a safe environment for the dog to play and exercise in. Regular grooming and cleaning of the tail area can also help to protect it from injury and infection.

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