Corgi Tail Docking

14 November 2011 ~

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.

corgi with tail

A Pembroke Welsh Corgi Puppy with Undocked Tail

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?

to “Corgi Tail Docking”

  1. Paulette La Rue 14 November 2011 at 2:28 pm Permalink

    I just love my Joker with a full undocked tail. As he’s a bit “fluffy” the tail is rich and full, when he romps in the snow it’s the only part I can see!

  2. brodie 14 November 2011 at 8:14 pm Permalink

    i love my corgi with a docked tail…but i would love her the same with an undocked tail. it makes me somewhat upset imaging the little corgis being docked after a few days of life. i think corgis with tails are beautiful

  3. Mie 29 November 2011 at 1:00 am Permalink

    I love my Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Bailey. She is born with a NATURAL short tail. It’s just a tiny bit longer than the docked length. This shows that is is very much possible to breed by tail lenght instead of docking it.
    I live in Denmark, and here tail docking is illegal – you can not show a dog with docked tail, you’ll be disqualified. And that’s how I think it should be all over the world. Tail docking is cruel and painfull, just show your dog with their tail like we do in Denmark, here the judges understand, that a natural short tail takes time to be breed back into the breed, and as long as our corgis still have their tails, we’ll love them just the way they are.

  4. Chris 11 January 2012 at 12:57 pm Permalink

    I’m looking for a breeder in New England who either breeds natural bobs or is willing to leave the tail natural, and am having an awful time of it… can anyone point me in the right direction?

    • hxaxsg 20 January 2012 at 8:05 pm Permalink

      Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America has a list of corgi breeders on their website (, under “Membership”). You can search breeders by state and contact them about natural bob puppies, or ask them to leave the tail intact on a puppy that you choose. Good luck!

    • Elizabeth A 13 February 2012 at 11:12 pm Permalink

      Hello Chris,

      I know I dont live in NE, however My corgi, a tricolor, just had a liter. She had 12, however 2 of them died. I am not having their tails docked. I have done research on this and I have found that they are so much cuter with the undocked tails. I am possibly moving to the PA area in about 6 months. The mother or father are not registered, however they did come from a breeder and I can possibly get them registered if you are interested and want an AKC registered. They are full blooded corgis. If you are interested please let me know and I can take pictures for you to see. We have “group” photos of them all.

      Elizabeth Allen

      • Lynne Berseth 25 March 2013 at 12:20 pm Permalink

        I live in eastern pennsylvania and am interested in getting a corgi preferably with a tail (undocked) please let me know if you have any available or plan on having such in the future. Many thanks–we love dogs and lost ours last year.

        • Andreea 26 March 2013 at 5:39 pm Permalink

          Hi, Lynne. I’m not a breeder, sorry!

  5. ernie 28 June 2012 at 11:44 pm Permalink

    We have a pembroke tricolor we’ve had her for about 4 years she is a rescue and she has the most beautiful tail. My feelings about tail docking is thst it’s cruel and inhumane to do that for what ever reason.

  6. Linda 1 November 2012 at 6:17 pm Permalink

    I think mutilating any animal for fashion is horrible.

  7. Lynn 29 December 2012 at 7:04 am Permalink

    I love the tail that is why I have two Cardigans Welsh Corgis!
    Leave the tails alone.

  8. RobbieG 12 January 2013 at 12:19 pm Permalink

    Natural nubs are the ONLY WAY to go…seriously…a Corgi without a nub, is just not enough Corgi for me. Sorry…jus that simple. Don’t dock the tail PLEASE! There’s plenty of squishalicious fluffy Corgi’s w natural nubs!!

  9. Shavonne 24 January 2013 at 4:38 pm Permalink

    My girl Ziva was an unexpected pregnancy from my pembroke breeder friend and she chose not to dock the tail and it honestly makes me happy because she will chase that tail of hers with its cute little white tip for hours if given the chance and I get as much pleasure watching her chase it as she gets chasing it

  10. Erinne 28 January 2013 at 12:13 pm Permalink

    I’m SO happy that our Cordelia has a long, full tail. We got her from the humane society, so we didn’t have a choice, but it makes her so beautiful when she’s happy and it’s wagging around.

    Docking is so inhumane and unnecessary, it’s insane that the US hasn’t outlawed it. Breeders make me mad in general, but even more so when they keep up this barbaric “tradition.”

  11. Rachael B. 28 February 2013 at 1:32 pm Permalink

    The only breeder near us docks all the corgi puppy’s and removes the forclaw. I understand the forclaw because they tend to get ripped off but I don’t like docking. ginger was lucky and was born with out a tail.

  12. Michele Eathorne 30 April 2013 at 6:31 pm Permalink

    I believe my dog, Dotti Mae, who’s tail is docked very short may have imbedded memories of pain. The reason I say this is because she does not like her back-end touched without permission; she will jump and make a disapproving noise. I think the tail is beautiful and should not be docked!

    • Elizabeth S. 17 August 2013 at 8:27 pm Permalink

      The tail is docked when they are too young to form permanent memories, BUT docking a tail too short can cause spinal damage, resulting in discomfort and sensitivity in the hind end. As a veterinary assistant, I’ve seen several corgis like this come through the clinic. =/

  13. Richard Gerald Turner 1 May 2013 at 7:23 pm Permalink

    I don’t think any breed of dog should have their tail docked, it’s not natural. When I was a kid I had an english springer spaniel with a full tail. I’ve seen this breed of dog with a docked tail and I don’t like it. I now own a pembroke welsh corgi that we bought from a pet shop and her tail was already docked. Now I wonder how she would have looked with a natural long tail.

    • Elizabeth S. 17 August 2013 at 8:28 pm Permalink

      Never buy from pet stores! Adopt from a shelter or rescue group, or do your research and find a reputable, responsible breeder.

  14. BrightonCorgi 29 December 2013 at 11:14 am Permalink

    Pembroke’s should have their tail docked. It is essential to the breed standard and part of what makes them so darn cute. I would not own a Corgi if it had a tail…

  15. Kassidy Cover 10 February 2014 at 7:54 pm Permalink

    Wonderful web site. Lots of useful information here. I am sending it to several friends ans also
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  16. Mei 9 March 2015 at 1:44 am Permalink

    I am looking for a Pembroke Welsh Corgi with the tail intact. Does anyone know of any breeder that is willing to keep the puppy’s tail? Thank you.

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