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Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Chop and very little change

I was reading an article in tonight's local paper 'Shropshire Star' about a Rottweiler puppy who had to be released by firemen when he got his head caught in mesh at his owner's home. I was horrified to read that the puppy was "Six weeks old and had only been in its new home for a week" ?? But even more horrified to see that this poor unfortunate and in my opinion, miserable looking puppy had a docked tail! How on earth can this happen?
but more importantly, who can I report it to? I have been searching web sites without success.
I have a five year old Rottie whose tail was docked before we had her and I think it is the most barbaric thing anyone can do to a dog. I am sure some dogs think my dog is aggressive only because there is an absence of expression ie no tail and I also had great difficulty when we first had her to 'read' her mood from a distance. I would never part with her but how I wish I could give her a tail transplant and give her back what was so cruelly robbed from her.
Look forward to hearing from you ref the little tail less pup
Chris Birch

A few issues ago we exposed a loophole in docking laws which meant that breeders who wanted to continue to dock are now taking their new born litters over to Ireland for docking where it's still legal. We believe some breeders are probably DIY docking at home and just claiming they have taken their dogs to Ireland.
It is very disappointing to see this pointless cosmetic operation continuing - and dogs are still dying when botched DIY docks go wrong. Here's a link to a recent prosecution involving Rotties docked with scissors and boiling water.
We feel the show world needs to make an example for the pet market to follow and dogs with tails should be seen to be the norm. Unfortunately the show world is taking advantage of this Irish loophole, too. Many young top winning dogs could not be shown at Crufts this year as the law prevents dogs docked after 6th April 2007 (28th March for shows held in Wales) being shown at events where the public pay to come in. The law does also prevent dogs docked legally in the UK, for example working gundogs.
However, one apparently docked puppy was exhibited at Crufts the year and even though this has been drawn to the KC's attention they have reportedly replied that they feel it isn't up to them to deal with it and that it should be reported to the appropriate authorities although they say they would co-operate should action be taken. I understand they wouldn't have taken the £35 necessary to lodge a complaint even if someone had complained through their own complaints structure.
The KC stopped ear cropping virtually overnight by banning all cropped dogs from being exhibited. The King of the day - their patron - was the catalyst to this change. If only they'd take strong action against docking maybe we'd get fewer of these awful cases of people attempting to chop off their pup's tail at home in the belief they can get a few more pounds for their pups if they chop off their tails.
Tail removal for a misplaced human concept of beauty needs to be recognised as a cruel, unecessary mutilation and should have no place in the show ring or indeed 21st Century Britain.
So who do we report suspected illegal docking to? The RSPCA? The police?
I've asked the Anti-Docking Alliance and will publish the answer.
Beverley Cuddy, Editor

Stop Press
A vet and three others have been charged with illegal docking. Click here for the story.


  1. Hi
    It is the first time I have made a comment only just having found out about this area, but with regard to this horrific Rotty mutilation and more importantly the fact that this puppy was taken from it's mother at 5 weeks, I am surprised the puppy has survived at all, as a well known Cocker Spaniel person and a lover of full tails if I had known about this poor puppy I would contact the RSPCA, the local paper, and anyone in a position of respect in that breed, ie, the breed club secretary, the Dog World newspaper and the Our Dogs newspaper, get a few more details and either call, write or email, we must never ignore any cruelty what so ever and this is horrific, , even when correctly docked by some one who can do it with as little pain as possible to the puppies some breeds in my oppinion are not docked they are mutilated, tails taken far to short, I cannot imagine how much shock and pain is caused to the baby even if done at 24 hours old, it is horrible . I cannot understand how anyone can defend such barbaric practice just to satisfy the whim of a human being that for some reason thinks cutting of a tail makes a dog better in some way. Do't missunderstand me, I have had docked dogs for most of my life and love my breed with docked tails, but I was so happy when they banned the docking, for many years I did not remove the dew claws because it made me feel sick to cut bits of my puppies and I have never had any problems with my dogs having dew claws, I know some breeds can suffer badly and for safety sake may have to remove them and I accept that fully, what I cannot accept at all is that people are banned from hacking of tails but anyone on the street can pick up a new born puppy and chop of it's dew claws, I once saw a puppy that had almost had it's leg amputated becuse the person had cut so far into it to take of a claw, it is time our KC, got of the fence and banned all cosmetic alterations to dogs , refused to register any puppies from parents that are not tested for all the things relevent and available to that breed and as for registering puppies from puppy farms, traders, dealers, etc,now I could go on all night about that but won't,hope I have not rambled on to much.

  2. Here here!! You have said it all.

  3. With regard to DIY docking with ''scissors and boiling water''...isn't that what vets do anyway? I mean, sure Im not condoning the rottweiler breeder, but isn't your comparison sort of like saying ''man stitched up with needle and thread!''

    I dont get how it can be legal to own a docked dog if it comes from abroad or is a working gundog, yet if you walk into a showring with it it is suddenly illegal. That doesn't add up.
    As long as it is legal to import a docked dog from a country where docking is legal, why shouldnt those who are docked not be allowed to compete.

    I hope that this does not make people less willing to import foreign docked animals as diversity of bloodlines is so important.

    Docking didn't start as a concept of beauty for the show ring, it was a functional neccessity when dogs were being used as shepherds, hunters and guard dogs. Those traditions have continued. I have a breed that was traditionally docked, and it is the pet buyers who are more unhappy about long tails than the show folk.

    Not to try an resurrect the whole docking debate, cause im WAY over it, but I have seen litters of puppies docked...there is rarely blood spilled, hardly a murmur from the pups (who's nuerological systems are not yet fully formed.....unlike lambs whose are, and who are docked without anesthetic) and they goes straight back to suckling mum once it is finished. Hardly ''the most barbaric thing'' that can happen to a dog. How about de-sexing??

  4. I only ever saw one litter of puppies docked whilst working as a vet nurse. However,local anaesthetic was used on the puppies tails and the well-maintained surgical scissors had been cleaned with a product specifically developed to remove all organic matter from veterinary instruments, and then sterilised in a clinical autoclave. The tails were then stitched afterwards. NOT 'just scissors and boiling water'!! I think I am correct in saying that the majority of lambs which are docked have rubber rings put on their tails, rather than having their tails cut off? When given correctly, veterinary anti-inflammatories / painkillers prevent and control pain caused by neutering to the extent that the only problem the majority of owners have is keeping their animal quiet while the wound heals!

  5. Right Claire, the band tied on so tight that the appendage eventually dies and falls off....that sounds so much more gorgeous than a quick removal with scissors.

    And waking up after your testicles have been removed would probably not hurt that much either, thanks to those nifty veterinary anti-inflammatories. At least the dog will be ''calmer'' now :)

  6. I didn't say I approved of ringing lambs tails! One of the many reasons I am vegetarian...

  7. You've made a concious decision to refrain from eating meat because of tail docking in lambs?
    Of course, that makes perfect sense.

  8. For Heaven's sake! Haven't you got anything better to do than pick a fight for the sake of it? I said 'one of the MANY reasons'. I have an honours degree in Agricultural Animal Science and I am married to a farmer. My decision to become vegetarian was therefore a fully informed one. You're hardly in a position to criticize me when you are too cowardly to reveal your name!