While I like a tail, I remain unconvinced that docking done at an appropriate age is actually painful. Unlike ear-cropping, which is surgery + bandages + shaping and I abhor it.
I once lived with a big dog with a tail-tip injury that opened up again off and on for years. Blood everywhere. It was pretty tough to live wit. It was not a breed that would normally be docked, but still I can see where tails can cause problems on some breeds. A springer spaniel, with its feathered tail, cannot really go into briars and brambles, which they love to do. People with traditionally docked sporting dogs in the UK have, to my understanding, had a lot of tail injury issues since the docking ban and keep trying to get it revisited. Even if you don't hunt, your dog still likes the hunting behaviors and will engage in them on her own. Just try to keep a loose flushing bird-dog out of cover...
I share your sentiments. I have seen posts here in the past from people who wanted a Pembroke and had contacted several breeders wanting to reserve a puppy and asking that the tail not be docked. They complained that none of those they had contacted were willing to accommodate their request. I know some of the people here do not dock tails, but I believe them to be in the minority. The tail has specific functions in creating balance for the dog in motion, especially on quick turns. The argument that docking the tail makes Corgis better working dogs is effectively contradicted by the Cardigan!
I agree that Pembrokes don't need to be docked (they usually have a high spitz-like tail carriage and a tail that is hair-covered enough to not bleed if it is banged against things, but not so feathered as to catch in brambles). I too wish more breeders did not dock and would prefer a Corgi with a tail.
That said, my comments were specifically about making it illegal. I am uncomfortable with making something illegal when it is very questionable if it actually hurts the dog. So ear-cropping we know hurts (major surgery and recovery time on an older pup) while docking is probably not really painful. And some breeds when not docked have trouble functioning as intended. It does not matter if you hunt your Springer Spaniel or not; an off-leash Springer WILL move in and out of heavy brush eagerly and by instinct. I cannot imagine that spending an hour and a half pulling burrs out of a tail after every single hike is somehow less painful to the dog than a one-time dock; my own dog yips and starts and even mouths at me when I try to pull just one burr off of him. Therefore the story that it is kinder to leave the tail is patently untrue on certain breeds. A springer not allowed to run through the bushes is not as happy as a springer who is allowed to run through the bushes. So not docking a springer is likely to result in a less happy dog all in the name of laws supported by.... well, by what, exactly? Not the preponderance of evidence.
So in my example above, you have some legislative body saying "Well, I think docking might hurt so let's not have it legal to dock any dog. If it does hurt, the pain is likely short lived. But now I will spend significant time after every outing hurting my dog but at least it has a tail." I don't know if I see the logic in that.
Both docking and ear cropping are legal in the US. And goood luck trying to get a breeder to refrain! Even if you ask not to have the dog's ears and/or tail cropped, you may find the person brought in a butcher or a vet who just assumed all the pups in the litter were to be cut up. This happened with my dobe.
Those people would have a different view if the tail was theirs!!!
Yet society accepts circumcision, for instance. And many who have issues with tail docking for cosmetics are perfectly ok with neutering, which is mostly for behavior purposes. Were we only concerned with reproduction we could choose other methods. I have met a few people who are consistent across the board with their opinions on these sorts of issues. Many, however, have inconsistencies with their moral conclusions. As is true of so much in life; we humans are amazingly fallible creatures. :-)
As is true with most things in life, I am not an absolutist. I would prefer my Corgis undocked and wish more breeders were flexible. I would never want an undocked Springer Spaniel though.
I know someone who had a tailed corgi and after several conversations was able to get the breeder to leave a tail on the one he choose but that's a hard way to pick a pup at 2 days old! The pup and other Corgi are doing great!