Why Do They Cut Cocker Spaniels Tails? [Answered]

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The cocker spaniel is a medium-sized dog who adores being outside and discovering new places.

You’ve definitely seen adult Cocker Spaniels with small stumps where their tails should be, especially at dog shows or similar events.

You could then question if Cocker Spaniels have tails, which is understandable.

Yes, all Cocker spaniels are born with full-length tails, exactly like any other breed of dog.

When working outside as hunting dogs, their tails are docked (or cut shorter) to minimize snagging and injuries in vegetation, or to conform to common breed standards in dog exhibitions.

Is it necessary to trim a cocker spaniel’s tail?

Considering the welfare of the Cocker Spaniel breed and the purpose it was bred to do.

As well as the welfare of all Flushing Spaniels, the American Spaniel Club’s Board of Directors continues to promote docked tails for Cocker Spaniels.

And also for all Flushing Spaniels as a desirable trait.

Why Do They Cut Cocker Spaniels Tails?
Why Do They Cut Cocker Spaniels Tails?

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Why are the tails of Cocker Spaniels docked? There Are Two Different Reasons

The first reason for docking is to keep the dog safe while he is at work.

The cocker spaniel is the tiniest of the Spaniel breeds, yet his natural passion to hunt makes him a capable hunting dog when properly trained.

When hunting, a worker cocker’s tail is frequently wagging wildly.

The majority of a cocker spaniel’s job is to cover terrain ahead of the hunter.

This is usually done in highly forested areas with long grass, fallen trees, bracken, and other settings that hide wild creatures.

The tail can be injured by slamming the ground against this cover with great power.

The Cocker Spaniel breed was designed more than 100 years ago for this hunting mode.

Because adult spaniels’ tails are usually docked three to five days after birth, they have shorter tails.

The tail of a spaniel is usually docked to three-quarters of its natural length, so only the last quarter is removed.

This is around three inches in length.

Is it true that Cocker Spaniels have longer tails from birth?

Cocker Spaniels have long, full-length tails when they are born.

The majority of spaniels have their tails docked when they are young because they are working dog.

That’s possibly why some people aren’t sure if they have any longer tails at all.

A dog’s tail is an important part of his or her existence, and docking a cocker’s dogs tail more than a quarter of its natural length is unethical and unneeded.

Because the bones are still fragile and the neurological system is not fully developed.

Cocker Spaniel puppies must have their tails docked before they reach the age of five days.

The tail docking of a Cocker spaniel is usually done when the pup is three to four days old.

The treatment should be performed by a trained veterinarian, and the puppy will recover quickly.

This is why docking should be performed at a young age.

Docking a spaniel’s tail when he’s three days old is far less cruel than if the dog needed a tail operation as an adult due to tail injuries.

What Are the Consequences of the Cocker Spaniel’s Tail Docking Procedure?

Tail docking has resulted in the deaths of a number of cocker spaniel puppies in the past.

This usually happens early on, not long after the docking surgery.

The majority of these occurrences have occurred as a result of the procedure being carried out by unqualified personnel who do not properly tail dock.

If the tail docking process is done incorrectly, it can lead to physical issues or tail injury such as nerve injury, which can cause pain later in the puppy’s development.

If you have cocker spaniels that need to be docked, you should have them done by a veterinarian. In certain places, doing it any other manner is even illegal.

When done under the supervision of a veterinarian at a young age, tail docking treatments are virtually painless.

Docking your cocker spaniel at a young age is a highly humane and safe process if you frequently go hunting with it.

The only time you should consider docking an adult Cocker Spaniel’s tail is if it has been injured.

This should only be done if your veterinarian recommends it and only as a last resort.

While the springer spaniel is sleeping, a trained veterinarian should do the procedure.

Docked Cocker Spaniel Tails: How Common Are They?

There are a lot of full-tailed cocker spaniels.

Docked tail are becoming more prevalent as regulations prohibiting tail docking continue to be implemented.

Docking a dog’s tail is banned in the United Kingdom unless there are special reasons for doing so, such as working cocker spaniels, and should only be done by a veterinarian.

In the United States, there are no particular docking regulations.

Cocker spaniels are known for their constantly swinging tails.

Their tail is always perpendicular to their body, and their chest is well-structured.

It’s also a good idea to take your dog to a professional groomer a few times a year.

Personally, I prefer the look of docked spaniels to that of undocked spaniels.

Cocker spaniels with undocked tails should be groomed and clipped on a regular basis, just like the rest of their bodies.

In comparison to docked horses, they will require more grooming and attention to keep them clean and safe from injury.


Is it true that cocker spaniel have tails?

Yes, they’ve had them since birth!

Many cocker spaniels have had their tails clipped to short lengths for breed conformity, thus it’s logical that people would ask this topic.

Others have had their tails docked to prevent them from damage while hunting or working.

Whether you agree with docking or not, cocker spaniels have tails, and you have the option of docking them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why do breeders cut off dogs tails?

Purpose. Tail docking was once supposed to protect animals from rabies, strengthen their backs, boost their speed, and prevent injuries while ratting, fighting, or baiting.
In current times, tail docking is done for preventive, therapeutic, aesthetic, and/or harm prevention objectives.

What is a golden cocker?

The Golden Cocker Retriever is a mixed-breed dog that is a hybrid between the Golden Retriever and the Cocker Spaniel.
These puppies inherited some of their parents’ best attributes, including sweetness, playfulness, and intelligence.
The Golden Cocker Retriever is a dog that is both friendly and playful.

Is it cruel to dock a dogs tail?

It isn’t harsh, but it isn’t essential for the majority of dogs.
When a puppy’s tail is docked, a piece of the tail is removed, usually when the puppy is just a few days old.
In the United States, breeds like cocker spaniels and Rottweilers have typically had their tails docked. (In some countries, tail docking is prohibited.)

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