Is it right to bring back tail docking?


Although tail docking was banned in Scotland in 2007, the government plans to introduce an exemption to allow the tail docking of spaniel puppies and certain other working breeds

Supporters argue it can prevent much more serious, life-threatening injuries later in life, however, animal rights charities argue the figures don't add up and the risk is not worth the pain and cruelty of the practice. 

What do you think? Please leave a comment below.

Alex Turnbull's photo

10th October 2016 by Alex Turnbull 20 Comments

Is it right to bring back tail docking?

Poll results (total votes: 760)

Is it right to bring back tail docking?

10th October 2016 by Heather Fleming


11th October 2016 by Suzie

If you have working dogs you will understand why this needs done! Having been through the ordeal it's horrible

11th October 2016 by Andrea Littlejohn

At least it will stop the dogs suffering horrendous damage to their tails whilst out on shooting days

11th October 2016 by Audrey

If the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is claiming that 500 puppies will have to suffer an amputation for every 1 working dog that actually sustains a tail injury then that's simply not acceptable.

11th October 2016 by jgallagher

if you ever witnessed tail injury in a Spaniel you would have no hesitation in welcoming this decision. only the ignorant uneducated and uncaring on the facts would support this ban

11th October 2016 by Lorna Rankin

It's barbaric and completely unnecessary. No dog should be subjected to such cruelty. All this about it being essential for so-called working dogs is utter rubbish.

11th October 2016 by James Rutherford

Long tails in a working dogs are easily cut damaged and cause dogs lots of pain etc

11th October 2016 by Elizabeth McPherson

I have seen what happens when working dogs don't have their tails docked. They get injured and damaged to the point they have to be amputated anyway! Surely it would be kinder to have this done humanely when they are just puppies before any damage is caused?

11th October 2016 by Elaine Wood

In order that we protect our dogs from horrendous pain and suffering caused by tail damage it is the right decision to have working puppies tails docked.

12th October 2016 by Jo Clements

From personal experience of the pain and distress dealing with a damaged unlocked tail, three operations and seven weeks of pain, not to mention pain from the original injury.

12th October 2016 by D. Budd

Prevention is MUCH better than having any animal suffer the pain of a tail which has been dammaged and is "treated" for weeks before the vet is able to consider removing the dammaged end.

12th October 2016 by Anne Allan

It takes weeks for a damaged tail to heal. All our spaniels have had damaged tails.

12th October 2016 by Sean Taylor

Even non-working spaniels can suffer terrible tail injury if they get adventurous exercise, as they deserve and need. Docking soon after birth, and amputation when much older, are two very different situations for the dog.

12th October 2016 by Morrison

If tails are docked by a vet at an early age of the dogs life, it could save a lot of pain and suffering. Thankfully our springer, ex working, came to us docked, never had any problems. Have seen the pain a dog is in with tail damage is not good.

30th October 2016 by Les Wallace

If tail docking is required to prevent an injury then it's indicative that the activity required of the dog is injurious to its health in the first place. Therefore shouldn't be done. Collies are working dogs, but don't require tail docking to herd sheep. This is what we should be focusing on far too many concessions and accommodations towards elements of the field sports sector who need review and if necessary banned. 'sporting' estates where red deer are stalked traditionally maintain unnaturally high numbers of deer to make their stalking easier for clients. These bloated populations not only graze the hills bare their excess numbers increase the incidence of serious and fatal road accidents due to collisions with numerous, hungry deer seeking forage. So people's' lives are being lost! These issues are linked, big review and reform needed ASAP.

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16th February 2018 by King User

A Big Nooooo..!! <a

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17th March 2018 by Mariana Campos

I study dog communication and behaviour and can say the tail is an essential part of their communication with other dogs and humans. I am also against hunting and using dogs for hunting so I couldn't care that hunters think this is so important! Surely if you knew what is most important in a dog's life, you would know that intra(and inter-)species socialisation is one of the top priorities. And for that, they do need tails! So, sorry if you want them off for the "incredibly important activity" (not!) of hunting.