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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The Aussie thing has to do with white and lack of pigment, I believe.  The merleing works on the pigment of eye and ear hairs and they don't function properly.

In my opinion. merle/merle breeding is unethical and should not be tolerated (save for the occasional accident) EXCEPT in breeds whose numbers are so low (or who carry an even worse gene that is so prevalent) that having a bunch of deaf and/or blind puppies is a BETTER option than the alternative.  Deaf dogs don't get to live full lives, as simple as that.

The MAIN factor about the tradition in docking tails and where it started is in England back in the corgi days, dogs were considered a luxury and luxury items were taxed.  If your dogs main purpose was work and not actually a luxury, you signified that dog was a working dog by docking its tail. 

I think there is perhaps an extremely small portion of dogs whose tails have been stepped on and is probably a secondary concern for intact tails but considering other breeds herd succesfully with tails kind takes the steam out of that reasoning.  Because of AKC standards, I do dock tails.  It wouldn't bother me to not dock them but would rather it be made an option rather than outlaw it all together.  There are some breeds and their occupations that do cause tail injuries.  One breed that isn't docked but do acquire tail injuries are Beagles who actually hunt.  Hunting in thick brush commonly bloodies the tails from them wagging like crazy as they hunt.  Other terrier breeds, the shorter tail is used as a handle.  The base of the tail is a lot thicker and doesnt hurt when being dragged back out of a hole as it does to grab the tip.  Guard dogs are another reason,, someone breaking into a home encounters a dog, it is one less sensitive thing for the criminal to grab onto and distract the dog from doing his job, Rotties and Dobies are good examples (also why dobie ears are cropped, less for burglar to grab onto)  So there are legitament reasons for tail docking, especially when it comes to working dogs.  The corgis reason I believe is a little weak, in my opinion. 

Thanks for posting the info on the tax, that makes perfectly good sense.  I also agree with the suggestion of leaving tail docking optional in the American breed standard. That would be a good compromise.

Everything I've ever read about Corgis and working dogs in England matches what Wind Dial says re: it being strictly for tax reasons. Since many herding dogs have tails, I agree that the "they might get stepped on" reason is not valid.

Having also lived with hunting dogs that came back with bloody tails, I can attest to the fact that it's humane in some breeds to dock. Moreover, until you've had to run around the house every day cleaning blood off the walls every time the dog wags, you have no idea what a nuisance it really is.

Corgis, though, have enough fur to protect them and I'd like to see docking become optional in the standard.

Beth, I would almost hazard to guess that tails offer better balancing and able to maneuver better causing them less likely to get stepped on in the first place.  But,,,I do attempt to show my dogs and do what the breed club prescribes.  Some would argue that right now since I've been MIA and showing has been scattered over the past year and a half.  I got married, moved to a different state (living in city limits to boot), had a baby, and now we're moving but only 10 miles so we can be out of city limits but we need to do some remodel to the place before we move so I've just been busy but hope to get some dogs back in the ring once we get moved into the other place. 

To go on with off topic issue about titled dogs.  An AKC CH title is sort of the Gold standard when it comes to titled dogs, they not just handed out willy nilly and are rightfully earned.  Now I'm not going to say that AKC should start handing more of them out, but if you stuck to only AKC titled dogs, you would effectively drive your gene pool into a puddle.  There are breeds out there whose tightly knit breeders have shunned anyone doesn't adhere to that philosophy and the breeds are in very poor genetic health because of it.  It is a delicate balance between being too strict and also being to loose with ethics.  I'm sure there are some out there that disagree with me but it takes a variety of breeding styles to maintain a breeds type and diversity.  You have those who breed only titled dogs but have limited diversity and then you have those don't give a flip about titles and won't have a single Champion or health test as far as the pedigree can tell but yet have healthy diversity.   And then you have everything in between.  You can't have all  one way or the other or the breed will fall apart in either type or diversity.  

I occasionally catch my self falling into the "what are they doing breeding dogs attitude" but have to remind my self, it takes all kinds and surely there is someone who thinks the same thing about me.  In the end, I'm pretty easy going about it as long as the animals are being appropriately cared for and their needs and doggy desires met.

Oh yes, another point.  There are other dog showing venues that simply critique the dog and award a measure to breed standard to gain a title.  It's not a "one winner, rest loosers" format.  You earn a certain rating so many times under different judges to earn the titles.  Then there is a written critique to discern faults, assets, etc.  They do have a 1st place, Best of Breed, Group and BIS but those are just icing on the cake if you move up into those categories, not a requirement of a title.

Love my puppies <3


Thank you all for your advice :) Keep it coming! I love hearing from you!

I just bought my 3rd Corgi and will be bringing her home in a few weeks. I understand all the arguments for tail docking, pros and cons. I would not even consider a Pembroke with a long tail, it is not the breed standard in the US. So, you might want to think about your potential puppy owners and what they might want to do with the pups.

I hope you decided to let them keep their sweet foxy tails. They are not show dogs so why cause them unnecessary pain? There are many, many threads on this forum from people specifically seeking an undocked pembroke puppy to buy as a pet, which shows there is growing interest among the corgi-loving public. It was banned in England and America will have to follow in those tracks eventually! 

Please keep their tails.  It is totally unnecessary to dock their tails.  Most of Europe no longer docks and many international shows now bar docked dogs.  As has been said the majority of puppies are sold to pet homes and there is a demand for undocked Pembs.   For a history of docking in the UK from whence the Pembroke comes see


I am so pleased to say that I have decided, without a doubt, to keep their tails! :) Thank you all for your comments & advice! Your care & concern has warmed my heart, even those who do not share my opinion. Sincerely, Melissa & Adella <3


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