Legislation to prosecute criminally any veterinarian, breeder, or individual who practises docking on any breed of dog in South Africa came into effect yesterday. Breeders are up in arms. What is the situation in your country? Do you agree? Other breeds of animals are castrated etc.

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There was a discussion about this recently that may interest you. I will post the link below.

Yeah, check out that link. We just closed that chapter and I'd hate to see feathers ruffled again, LOL!
One reason breeders are up in arms is because legislation including anti-docking laws and mandatory spay/neuter laws is a tip-of-the-iceberg "win" for Animal Rights organizations who believe that humans do not have the right to own animals as pets...the ultimate goal. As someone interested in Animal Welfare (not Animal Rights) I believe the decision to dock or not dock should be left to the people who most love the breed....reputable breeders.

Corgis are still herding dogs, and tails are docked to prevent the tail from serious injury from bites or trampling by livestock. Breeders/veterinarians humanely dock tails when the puppy is 2-4 days old. That early in life, the breeder has no way of knowing whether the particular puppy will be used as a working herding dog, or a weekend warrior - a sport dog competing in herding events and competitions.

A lot of pet owners can get on the side of the message that "docking is cruel and unnecessary", but readily flip to side with the breeders upon realizing the end agenda of the AR folks, which is to completely extinguish the use of animals as domestic pets.
Thank you for alerting me to the link.

Charlie, do you know what they can do with their ultimate goal ??????????????

Yes, I'd like to do something with their ultimate goal. More people who love pets and believe in having the choice to own pure bred, mixed breed, or any dog or cat should be aware of where these laws are taking us. It's really not just a matter of being for or against docking. It's the whole hidden agenda.

You might be interested in this video produced by one of the AR groups, with the message to stop "breedism" (direct attack against owning or breeding AKC pedigreed dogs). They compare the AKC to the Ku Klux Klan, and that the breeding of AKC purebreds is the same as human racism. These extremists are making headway a little bit at a time through the legal system, taking breeders' right away.


There are two other advertisements on that link. One is another anti-pure breed message, and one is anti-reproduction (spay/neuter all dogs). So if everyone followed their advice, refused to buy a dog and only adopted a spayed/neutered shelter dog...the pet population is extinct in one generation.
Does anybody really know how the docking started? I hear a different answer from everybody I ask: livestock injury, taxation, breed distinction, ....? I don't know whom to believe. Seems to me that the cardies' tails argue against the tail-injury argument, but I don't know anything.

One thing I do believe ( as opposed to "know"): persuasion beats coercion every time.

A rejoinder to bear in mind: "We've got the Congo war, Darfur, human sex-slave trafficking, female genital mutilation, Gitmo, not to mention global warming and wildlife extinction and the greatest disparity of wealth in history... and you're worked-up about my corgi....?!"
I get very worked up if people want to infringe on my right to be loved, adored, and protected by a Corgi.

You forget to add the soaring price of crude oil, xenophobia in South Africa, food shortages, ..........
Thanks Charlie.
If your Pem asked you why it doesn't have a tail, what would your answer be?

I think docking is an objectionable and indefensible practice, but so is foisting one's opinion upon someone else, so I'd like to see the breed standard be docking-neutral so that show dogs are judged equally, docked or undocked (a POOR tail should be considered a fault, but not a good one).

As a flaming Liberal, I really believe in the free marketplace of ideas. Let the people decide. The current "market" is distorted by the arbitrary breed standard set by... whom? A docking bad would be a likewise distorted "market". Corgi tails are gorgeous. Some prefer docked Pems. It would be interesting to see what would happen if people had a free choice. Let the people decide -- since nobody is asking the dogs.
John Wolff, I like your thinking. No discrimination against tailed Corgis.

It would be interesting to learn when the practice of docking commenced - were the tails getting in the way or being trampled on when the Corgis were herding or was it for easthetic reasons.
You've heard different reasons for docking because they all have some truth, so there is not a "Which one is it?" answer.

Early in the Georgian Period (1714-1810) tax laws were passed in the UK. In some areas "working dogs", denoted by docked tails, were exempted from the tax. Many dogs (including non-working dogs) were docked to claim the working-dog tax exemption. In other areas, farmers were taxed for working dogs, either by the length of the dog including the tail, or by just the length of the tail. Pretty much all real working dogs in those areas were docked to avoid taxes. This tax was repealed in 1796. So docking for tax evasion purposes only lasted about 80 years.

One can reasonably infer that during the time docking was carried out to minimize taxes, that owners of working dogs found that they had fewer tail injuries in (herding, hunting and guard breeds), that terrier breeds had an easier time doing their job (going to ground) and that hygeine and grooming was greatly simplified in dogs with fluffy tails. After the tax law was repealed, breeders decided what was best for the dog: go back to a natural tail, or continue to dock for safety or working effieciency.

Look at the breeds currently in the AKC herding group. With a notable exception of the Canaan Dog (which should probably be in the Working Class with Guard dogs), the herding dogs must either have a low tail carriage close to the hock. They may carry their tail straight out back when running, but the tail going above the horizontal back line or curling over the back are severe flaws. Makes sense for herding and avoiding tail injuries. Many of the herding breeds have the standard for docked tails if their natural tail set is too high, or carriage would go over their back or swing out to the side.

The Cardigan Corgi breed is about 3000 years old as a breed and traces back to the Teckel family of dogs (same as dachshund). The Pembroke Corgi breed is about 900 years old, and is thought to have been bred from the Norwegian Spitz (now Finnish Spitz) and Cardigan Corgi. The Spitz dogs carry a high, fluffy, gay tail (curled over the back)....certainly not the appropriate carriage or tail for herding.

As for docking for conformity, though Pembroke's do carry a gene which may produce a natural bobbed tail, the natural bobs are not necessarily close to the butt. They can be anywhere from almost tailess to any number of inches in between tailess and having a "full tail". I expect a lot of the Pembrokes with a natural bob of anywhere from 2" to 9" inches in length might look like they had their tail slammed in a door at some point. Not necessarily "pretty" and also not appropriate for herding.

Link to AKC Herding Group illustrations:

Anyway, that's just a bit of history on docking. Hope someone finds it helpful.
Thank you Professor Charlie, you have certainly shed some light on the matter.


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