A Few Facts About Tail Docking in Corgis
Tail docking is standard for the Pembroke Welsh Corgi breed. It is done when the puppy is 3 to 5 days old. In some cases the pup is lucky enough to be born without a full-length tail. I said lucky, because contrary to what some people believe, the process of removing the tail is painful for a puppy, and it is usually done without anesthesia.
The history on how tail docking of Pembrokes started is unclear; there are many reasons, such as: it makes them faster runners, it prevents back injury, and I also read somewhere that a long time ago in England farmers that had a dog with a tail were fined. Supposedly, this was done to tell “common” dogs apart from aristocrats’ dogs, which had tail.
The most popular reason is that tail docking in working / herding class dogs was done to prevent injury, like a cow stepping on a tail for example. But if you think about it, Cardigans have long, fluffy tails and they are, too, herding dogs, and they did their jobs just fine without their tail docked.
People were docking their dogs’ tails for a lot of different reasons in the past; Today, however, I’m afraid that people are doing it just for cosmetic purposes or for dog shows, which require a Pembroke Welsh Corgi‘s tail to be docked as short as possible.
In many countries around the world, tail docking, as well as ear cropping, done for cosmetic reasons or to match the breed’s standard, is illegal. In U.S. the procedure is controversial, and AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) disapproves of these practices since 2008, but no legal action was taken against it.
As for me, I have a Corgi that had his tail docked. I love him to pieces just the way he is, and his little nub makes him special, but I know I would have loved him the same if he had his tail intact. How about you? How do you feel about tail docking?