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Tail Docking

Tail docking is generally performed when the puppy is between two and three days old.  There are a variety of reasons given for docking tails, aesthetics and adherence to breed standard being two of them.  Some breeds have more fragile tails that can actually break when they are mature, leading to surgical amputation when that happens.  Other breeds were historically used as draft dogs and the tails were docked so as not to get tangled in the lines while they were working.  Cleanliness  is another reason  for docking the tails of extremely shaggy or wooly breeds as 'brown stuff' can get stuck in the tail fur unless it is shaved down.  And certainly, a large lab  tail can clear a coffee table of it's contents in record time, whereas a docked poodle tail cannot!  By far, the most common reason today is for adherence to the breed standard.  That being so, there are ways of docking tails that are more kind than others...

The most common docking  procedure is simply to cut the tail at the appropriate length with sterile scissors and then to stitch the skin over the resulting wound for a clean finish.  This is done without anaesthetic as newborn  puppies cannot be put under general anaesthetic... very painful.

A second, less common, procedure is to dock puppy tails the same way lamb's  tails are docked:  with elastic banding.  An elastic band is tied very tightly onto the tail at the appropriate length and left there for five to seven days.  This serves to cut off all blood supply (and nerve sensation) to the end of the tail.  At the end of that time, the end of the tail will often fall off, no differently than an umbilical cord on a baby.  Done properly, this is a more painless and humane way to dock a baby's sensitive tail.

Having seen this work firsthand and having talked to breeders who have been docking tails this way for many years, it is the only way we will  dock our puppies'  tails.

If you would like a poodle with an undocked tail, you must pay for your puppy in full before the litter you are interested in is two days old.  Please be very sure that you are ready for a puppy in your life before requesting an undocked  puppy, as you  cannot change your mind once "your"  puppy's tail is left undocked.
 

Dewclaw Removal

Dewclaws are the equivalent to the human thumb and dogs do use them to help hold  onto things.  However, they need frequent nail clipping as the dewclaws do not get worn down from use as the other nails do.  If left unclipped, they actually will grow in a full circle and grow into the pad.  They are a  common injury  site for active dogs, can bleed extensively if torn off or cut and require a lot of stitches if injured.  Also, it is difficult to keep an adult dog from tearing off the bandages and stitches while this kind of wound is healing, unless they are muzzled constantly (other than supervised feeding times) while the injury is healing.

For this reason, many breeders remove the dewclaws from their puppies when they are a few days old.  Sharp scissors or haemostats are used to cut them off before there is much blood flow to the area.  While it seems a bit barbaric, the puppies really don't complain all that much about the procedure and we salve our conciences with the thought that we are sparing them from a potentially serious problem down the road...


Home l Our Poodles l About our Poodles l Available Poodle Puppies l Upcoming Poodle Litters l Poodle Waitlist
Our Guarantee l Other Poodle Information l Guardian Program l Poodle Prices l Contact Us