Animal Welfare Act 2006 (Scotland) -
As from 30 April 2007 it will be illegal to
dock puppies' tails in Scotland (other than
for therapeutic reasons) or to travel across
borders to have them docked.  Regulations
pertaining to this law will be approved by
April 2007. It is permitted to show docked
dogs in Scotland.

Animal Welfare Act 2006 (England
and Wales) - Docking

As from April 2007 it will be illegal to dock
puppies' tails (other than for therapeutic
reasons or if a breeder can submit evidence
to a Veterinary Surgeon that the dog is of a
specified type to be used for work, rescue,
armed forces, police, pest control).

Regulations pertaining to this law
approved April 2007 by England
and Wales separately.  It will not be
permissible for docked dogs to be exhibited
at shows where the public pay an entrance

After the dates on which the regulations on
exemptions came into force, members of
the public should report any breeders to
their Local Authority/RSPCA whose litters'
tails are known to have been removed
without the required certification.
Anyone flouting the law can be prosecuted
and fined £20,000, possible imprisonment
and be banned from keeping animals (which
could mean that other animals in their care
could also be confiscated.
No-one should buy a docked puppy without
accompanying certification to prove that the
dog has had its tail removed legally and it is
intended as a working dog under the
categories listed in each region's regulations.
This Veterinary certificate will be proof that
the dog has been docked legally and will be
important in prosecution cases. The dog also
has to be microchipped with associated
N. IRELAND As from 29 March 2011 the
N Ireland Welfare of Animals' Act came into force . 
In Section  6 of the Act Docking of dogs' tails
wef 1/1/13 - 3a This clause prohibits the docking
of a dog's tail, otherwise than for the purposes of
its medical treatment by a veterinary surgeon or to
safeguard its life or where dogs are working dogs
and could benefit from prophylactic docking by
reducing the risk of future injury while working
"certified working dogs". These dogs are subject
to certification and identification regulations and
are the following: Spaniels and combination of
breeds, Terriers and combination of breeds,
any breed commonly for hunting and combination
of breeds, any breed commonly used for pointing and combination of such breeds, any breed used for
retrieving or any combination of such breeds.
  It will be an offence to take (or cause another
person to take) a dog from Northern Ireland for
the purpose of having its tail docked. The clause also introduces a ban on the showing of dogs when the
e xhibitor pays a fee or there is a public admission fee
and where the tail was docked after introduction of
the new Welfare of Animals' Act.

undocked Schipperke

Whichever country you are from,
please actively support any legislation
that will prevent, ear cropping, tail docking
and puppy farming/mills

Hound breeds are not docked
Gun/sporting dog breeds which are
not docked: Irish Water Spaniel;
Portuguese Water Dog/Spaniel;
Setters; Kooikerhondje;
Pointer (English); Retrievers
Terriers: Bedlington; Bull, Border;
Cairn; Cesky; Dandie; Machester;
Scottish; Skye; Staffordshire

The Brittany (Spaniel) has a shorter tail, less excitable tail movement, and usually has a lower tail carriage. This breed could be used in breeding programmes for working dogs.

Anti-Docking Alliance (A.D.A.)
Campaign against the docking of dogs' tails (and cropping of ears)
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Worldwide website dedicated to ending the practice of removing puppy tails (docking) 
(and also ear cropping in those countries where it is still practised)


List of some of the former UK docked breeds



Spaniel(American Cocker)

Spaniel (English Cocker)

Spaniel (English Springer)

Spaniel (Welsh Springer)

German Weimaraner

Large Munsterlander

Long-haired Weimaraner


Norfolk Terrier

Norwich Terrier

Sealyham Terrier

Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier


Miniature GermanSchnauzer

Poodles Standard (Miniature and Toy)


Bouvier des Flandres

German Dobermann Pinscher
German Rottweiler


Old English Sheepdog
Polish Lowland Sheepdog
Welsh Corgi (Pembroke)


Yorkshire Terrier
Spaniel Cavalier King Charles

Go to this link for full list
List of docked breeds

1788 picture of undocked
King Charles Spaniel

Click Here

The act of docking a puppy
is causing it an injury -
an injury it may never get in its lifetime.
An injury which may have
long term effects.
Docked tails can also get injured.
Dogs more often suffer other injuries - frequently to legs.

Breeds which harbour von Willebrands in their gene pool could lose litters when pups are docked through blood loss.
see breed pages and health

A dog's tail is the continution of its spine
and is comprised of caudal coccygeal vertebrae which narrow towards the tip. The length varies in breeds but tails are shorter than their evolutionary counterparts. Foxes' tails, when domesticated, curl upwards and become shorter (National eographic)
Tails also have a major artery and nerves, all are enclosed by a very versatile muscalature.
see Wansbrough


This site is for information only

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Jezebel - undocked Old English Sheepdog

Non KC recognised breeds
Jack Russells, Patterdales, mongrels, crossbreeds

see these links for BREED details
within the following groups
Brittany, Bracco Italiano, Cane Corso, German Pointers, Hungarian Vizslas, Italian Spinone, Large and Small Munsterlander, Spaniels, Weimaraner
Pastoral - Australian Shepherd, Old English Sheepdog, Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Pyrenean Sheepdog, Swedish Vallhund, Welsh Pemproke Corgi
TOY - Affenpinscher,
Australian Silky Terrier,
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels,
Griffon Bruxellois, King Charles Spaniel, Miniature Pinscher, Yorkshire Terrier
Poodles, Schnauzer Miniature & Standard, Schipperke, Schnauzer
Bouvier des Flandres, Boxer, Dobermann, Schnauzer Giant, Mastiff Neapolitan, Pinscher German, Rottweiler,
Russian Black Terrier
TERRIER - Airedale; Australian, Wire/Smooth Fox. Glen of Imaal, Irish, Jack Russell, Kerry, Lakelnd, Norfokl, Norwich, Parson Rusell, Patterdale, Sealyham, Soft Coated Wheaten, Welsh
Affenpinscher, Australian Silky Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Griffon Bruxellois, King Charles Spaniel, Miniature Pinscher, Yorkshire Terrier

A recent Royal Veterinary College Study indicates that 500 puppies 'would
have to be docked in order to prevent ONE tail injury'
(ANY breed) see Newspage
How many legs are amputated as a result of leg injury?

Breeders should be paying attention to tail lengths, set, carriage and movement in their breeding programmes as they do in Scandinavia -

If a dog has been bred as 'FIT FOR FUNCTION' then it
should not need to have prophylactic "alteration" to do
the "work" for that function.
Working dogs have a high incidence of leg injuries
especially to cruciate ligaments

Choose UNDOCKED from a reputable breeder
if you live in a country where dogs are still being docked

This Welsh Springer is worked and shown
(photo by permission of Gill Tully).

undocked English Springer Spaniel
Both field and show bred Springer Spaniels have been docked
prior to 2006 UK legislation.

The difference between the two was that the field bred dogs' tail was docked longer.
'.....The reason for this is that the tail is an important hunting tool;
it acts as an alert signal for the hunter.

A dog that is being given the description
"Fit for function"
should not mean that a tail needs to be docked
for that dog to be able to function!
Breed for better tail sets, carriage, length and movement

S. African Painted "Dogs" breed and hunt in thorn bush.
Wolves and foxes have tails. Hounds are not prophylactically docked.

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