Help!! Should I dock my Pembroke puppies tails?

Hello everyone,

I know it is late to be thinking of this as I have six, beautiful, two day old AKC Registrable Pembrokes <3 Mom & pups are doing great :) I had planned all along to dock their tails to the breed standard. Now they are here & I have fallen in love with their little tails! I have one day to decide what to do! I don't want to hurt them :( I don't want Adella to hate me for hurting her pups :(

I have done tons of research & work closely with Adella's breeder. She docks her puppies tails, not to conform with breed standard but to prevent infections later in life. Evidently, they like to curl their tails around their body & are prone to be not very clean.

Does anybody have any experience with pems with tails? Any advice? I don't know what to do!?

Thanks, will post pictures soon :)

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Docking is largely prohibited in the EU, exceptions are made for those who WILL work on the farm. No offense, but that is garbage to say that tails somehow cause "infections" to a dog. Cardigans have largely the same body type, and are a very hardy breed. Their tails do not shorten their lives.

Now, I don't want to pry, but is there a reason you bred Adella?

I agree with Ludi. Cutting of tails or ears is cosmetic surgery for the pleasure of the people, not for the benefit of the dogs.  Why not cut off the ears of all dogs with floppy ears because these breeds are more prone to ear infections?  Now that could make sense medically.... We don't because they would look ugly. If you were the dog born with the tail, you'd most probably want to keep it.  I'm not criticizing those who choose to dock, but let's call a spade a spade.

I'm sorry but docking their tails to prevent infection is ridiculous. And I have to second Ludi's question...what was the reasoning for breeding her? I don't want to sound rude but your breeder doesn't sound like the greatest person for a mentor.

Hi Melissa, I would leave the tails alone for this litter, infection has nothing to do with tails. Your breeder was very irresponsible, Adella should not have been bred, she just turned 2 last month, not to mention other factors in that decision. 

Whoa guys, the deed is done, let's not beat her up over this. I agree the breeding should not have been done and her breeder gave her bad advise. She's asking should she dock these pups. If you are going to register them, I would. If not, leave them alone. They are pups from a pet, most likely two pets, won't be shown, most likely not registered, and will be sold or given away as pets. It's too bad the breeding took place and let's hope it doesn't happen again. These breedings just lead to an over population of, most likely, not great breed representatives.

I agree... What is done is done. NO, don't dock the tails.. The pups will be in pain, it's only cosmetic... If they're just going to be pets, there is no need for the tails to be taken off.

I hope that you decide not to breed Adella again, and if you do, you research extensively yourself instead of listening to your breeder, or finding another mentor-that you would need to research about first,-would be even better, because it really does seem that she doesn't know what she is talking about-not trying to down on her, it's just.. The tail being a cause of infection thing is ridiculous.. It's a tail. What could it do? 

Even still, I wouldn't say that Adella should be bred unless she can be proven to be a champion and has ALL health clearances. Reputable breeders raise pups for the better of the breed.. There are already enough people out there who are making litters simply because they like their dog's personality, or their Corgi is exceptionally cute, or even they know they can just make a "quick buck".. This is not how it should be. 

I really hope I am stating this in a way that doesn't offend or upset you at all, because that isn't my goal.. I would one day like to be a breeder, but I want to make sure that I am doing it for the correct reasons, and will be looking for a certain type of personality, and would like my dogs to excel in obedience. [Of course,this will be probably thirty years away and I want to have a lot of spare time to invest in them, and a large home. If I don't have that, then the deals off lol.]

I agree Karen. I am not trying to make Melissa feel bad - I know it is already stressful enough where she is with a new litter. But I really hope to get my point across that one does not just breed two dogs together (and she plans to do it again, which is definitely frowned upon) because you want to make a family legacy, or to leave your mark on the breed because you think you should. If you cannot come up with objective proof that your dog, above countless others, is bringing something valuable to the table (be it a talent for work, or excellent conformation) then you do NOT breed it. Period.

For those of you who question my reasons & intent for breeding Adella. I have been a Corgi owner since I was 16, and have outlived 2 wonderful dogs.  It is not fair that Corgi's lives are so short.  When my last beloved Corgi passed shortly before her 14th Birthday, we had a miserable time searching for a new dog. There are not that many reputable Pembroke breeders in my area.  It is difficult trying to find a new best friend when you are looking at breeders, and spending time with different animals that are all strangers.  My Fiance and I decided that we never wanted to go through that again.  We decided to do some research, find a couple reputable breeders and purchase a pair of breed standard dogs with champions in their blood lines that are suitable for breeding, will improve the breed, and not diminish it in any way.  Our purpose for breeding is to create a heritage for ourselves and our families.  We will never again look to strangers and gamble on what kind of animal we bring into our family.  We found  Teddy Bear, an AKC registered breed standard pup with several champions in his blood lines.  We spent time with him and fell in love with him.  When he was 8 weeks old his breeder agreed to sell him to us with full breeding rights.  Teddy grew into a tall handsome dog with a perfect agility disposition.  He is quite the acrobat!  After almost another year of searching we were lucky enough to find Adella also an AKC registered breed standard pup with several champions in her blood lines.  At 6 weeks Adella was already showing signs of growing into a sturdy dog suitable for herding and working.  We explained our intentions to Adella's breeder, and she agreed to sell her with full breeding rights after she met Teddy Bear.  She thought that the combination of a tall light agility type male and a stout working type female would both compliment the breed, and create a safer breeding situation for Adella.  Our intentions are to breed 2 litters of pups 2 years apart in Adella's prime.  We will share pups with family and close friends.  If a stranger would like one of our pups we will consider a sale, but the animals will be in homes where they will be responsibly kept and loved, or they will be with us.  Our Adella is in her prime breeding age right now.  Both our vet, and the breeders we purchased our dogs from agreed that she should be bred on her 3rd or 4th heat cycle.  We ended up waiting until her fourth.  So, the simple answer to why we bred Adella is.  We love Corgi's, and have lots of family who own and love corgi's too.  (my fiance has 19 aunts and uncles, and we have 7 children)  We are creating a family heritage for generations to come, both for us and our Corgi Family.   Our mentor is a member of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Association who has done Masters level work in the area of genetics.  When she told us about her dog who was born with a bob tail that was not docked she was speaking from personal experience, He had life long issues with infection. 

This is just my humble, complete-stranger advice: Please don't breed another litter. "Breeding pairs" are frowned upon, even if you only plan to do 2 litters. One is already enough. Neither parent appears to be titled in any dog sport or line of work, or in conformation. The term "champion bloodlines" means absolutely nothing when it boils down to one dog mating another. You look at that individual on its own, and what virtues it has been proven to bring to the table. And by "Pembroke Welsh Corgi Association", do you mean the one in Canada? Because the breed club in the U.S. is called the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America.

The fact that this person told you that tails are docked to prevent infection just throws a lot of her credibility out of the window. Her dog suffered from life-long issues for whatever other reason, immunodeficiency may be one of them, but a tail does NOT in any way contribute harm to a dog. Please do not take this person's advice as gospel, whatever you do.

I'm not trying to make you feel bad, but I do hope to make you understand that just because you think two dogs should have puppies, it's almost always not a good idea. To improve a breed would mean taking two dogs who have OBJECTIVELY been assessed to possess excellent qualities mentally and physically. It is not up to us as their very biased owners to decide whether or not our pets can make a difference to the breed. That is why breed clubs exist, why judges are appointed.

Also, I noticed that Adella just barely turned two, which is the age when hip checks are available. Did you test Adella's hips before breeding her? Did you test Teddy's? Did you have them tested for other genetic diseases? These are the kinds of things that go into breeding top quality dogs.

I agree about the testing.   On the other hand, the idea that only the best dogs should be bred has contributed to horrible narrowing of the gene pools and lots of pedigreed dogs are in serious trouble.

Only breeding the best is actually the opposite of natural selection.  In natural selection, any animal that is capable of competing and surviving to adulthood is likely to breed.

I agree there are lots of bad breedings where dogs end up in shelters.  On the other hand, our fascination with top winning dogs has created a huge problem of its own, and thank goodness for pet breeders because in some cases there are genetic diseases that have become rampant in show lines.  Pems tend to be healthy but the same cannot be said of many others.  


I always said the same about only titled dogs (or dogs from breeders experienced enough to assess them fairly) should be bred, but the more I learn about genetics the more concerned I am that this path is leading to inevitable disaster.  Many breeds have such a narrow gene pool that basically there are the genetic equivalent of 5 dogs even though there may be thousands registered.  Something has to change in how we determine breeding stock.


Repeating a breeding once is actually fairly common, even among top breeders.  More than two identical breedings is not looked highly on.

I didn't mean conformation titled, woops. I should have clarified. Even a scampy-looking Pem could be contributing positively to the breed if he's been objectively assessed (i.e., titled or earned a high score) in a dog sport. There's definitely more to qualify a dog than just its looks. I'd be the first to admit that, having seen the deterioration of some breeds first-hand at bench shows. If that dog is fast, sharp as a whip, a great herder, then I say that's contributing great blood to the gene pool. But it does not seem that is the case with Teddy or Adella. Just because they look like they could have a knack for X or Y activity, it doesn't mean you have to breed them. Why can't pets just stay pets, instead of becoming parents?

Repeating sire x dam does happen, absolutely. But it shouldn't between two untested dogs that are just pets.

If you are breeding for agility and pet, I would definitely leave the tails.  Agility people will love you for it; there are some breeders leaving tails on Aussies for agility.

If you ever plan on showing you will need to dock.  

I hope you tested for vWB before you bred;  it's a recessive trait fairly common in Corgis and two carriers should not be bred.  

Good luck with the pups and please post pictures!  

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