It is somehow a subject of controversy regarding cutting tails or having your Yorkie’s tail docked. Here in the United States, the AKC or American Kennel Club allows the tail to be docked up to a specific medium length per standard.
However, other countries prohibit this kind of practice and if you are considering one, make sure to have enough information before getting your beloved dog into this practice.
Why do they cut the tails of Yorkies? Many breeders cut the tails of Yorkie to qualify for the AKC required standards for many dog shows. A docked tail can prevent injuries to your dog’s tail while it is catching small animals.
In this article, you will have more information regarding the cutting tails of your Yorkies and why many breeders do this practice for their small puppies.
Why Do Yorkies Have Their Tails Docked?
Docking is the method of removing part of the tail for your dogs, and it is widespread with small dog breeds like Yorkshire Terriers. For many Yorkies, the procedure is performed when they are just small newborn puppies.
At this age, they have less sensation and do not have much pain, and as a result, it will heal quickly, which makes it the safe time for the procedure.
However, some owners and dog lovers find this very controversial, with strong points for and against it. In the United States, it is common practice to dock their Yorkies’ puppies. It is due to a lot of reasons, and here are some of them that can give you more perspective:
To Meet American Kennel Club Standards
The American Kennel Club has stringent regulations for Yorkshire Terrier, and they require Yorkies to have their tails docked to medium tail length.
As a result, you will be expecting your Yorkie to have a short tail stub that raises slightly above the level of their back. It is considered a marker for the breed, and it is essential for Yorkies in a dog show scene.
It can be applied to Parti Yorkies and Teacup Yorkies but not required for many Biewer Yorkie. It is because it is considered a different breed compared to some purebred ones that the AKC determined.
It is among the main reasons why many breeders have their Yorkie tail docked, especially in and out of the competition world. When your
Yorkie has a long and high-riding tail, this is considered undesirable in its visual representation. It is probably because with long-haired doggies, shortening the tail will give the dog a more compact and appealing look.
This case is specifically genuine if you have Teacup Yorkies, where dog owners often pursue a teddy bear haircut to amplify the cuteness of their dogs. The tail is thought to affect the cuteness factor, so they have to dock it.
To Protect From Hunting Injuries
As history brought up, Yorkies were initially bred to be used as hunting dogs, and those with undocked tails tend to suffer more in many injuries. It happens when they are retrieving something in many shrubbery and holes.
As a result, many owners prefer to spare their dogs the pain and shorten it out to a manageable length.
How Do You Dock A Yorkie’s Tail?
Properly docking a Yorkie tail is not difficult, and having the right tools can even be done at home. You have to get the perfect timing and select the best procedure for your kind of situation.
These decisions will determine the outcome directly as, despite being simple, things can go very wrong for your beloved Yorkie puppy.
When it comes to timing for docking your Yorkie’s tail, the newborn period is probably the safest time to do it.
It has the highest success rate, and it is advised that the procedure is done between 2 to 5 days after birth. During this age, they are strong enough to handle the procedure instead of doing it during the first day.
It is also painful for their building nervous system because they are still immature and not very sensitive. If you miss this kind of window, you can still have your Yorkie’s tail docked, but the choice of procedure will be slightly different.
When it comes to the procedure, you have two primary methods you can pursue. The first one is the simple banding method, and this is where you tie a piece of sanitized rope or a band tightly around the tail where you want to cut it.
It will generally cuff blood supply to the lower segment of the tail, resulting in death, and it will automatically fall off.
The second option is one of the safest, but you need the intervention of a professional vet. It is usually done under anesthesia, and it involves a surgical method that removes the portion of the tail.
While it can be performed on newborns, it is more often than not that this method is reserved for adult Yorkies.
The Benefits Of Docking Yorkie’s Tail Early And The Right Age
When it comes to perfect age, the most common age at which Yorkies get their tails docked is newborns. It ranges from 24 hours to live and about their 5th day since birth.
As mentioned earlier, both banding and surgical methods may be employed to your Yorkie’s tail during this age group. Here are some of the advantages when you docked your Yorkie’s tail at this age group:
It Is Essentially Painless
It will usually take about 2 to 4 weeks after birth for Yorkie puppies to go through a lot of development, which also happens for their neurodevelopment. When they are born, their sensations, except for their sense of smell, are generally weak.
It includes hearing and touch sensation to pain, and as a result, this will just hurt a little. It is much less painful to have it done at this age than much later when their nerves start to develop and mature.
The Tail Is Smaller
The tail of a Yorkie newborn pup is essentially tiny, making it the perfect time to dock it. If you tie the band tight enough, the tail will eventually fall off within the next three days as there is much less width and length for the whole process to go through.
It Heals Really Well
You can also expect that newborn Yorkies go through a growth spurt and have very fast developing cells as they try to adapt to their new environment. Docking the tail at this time will allow you to take advantage of their healing capabilities so they won’t really feel the pain at all.
Docking can also be done at a later time if you missed this initial window. The best time here is after ten weeks of life, where the surgical method can be the best option. During this age, they are strong enough to handle the procedure and the medication that involves using anesthesia.
Should I Dock My Yorkies Tail?
Some breeders are quite hesitant to perform docking to their Yorkies, and some owners still debate this. Because there are some pros and cons attached to it, it is easily understood why you might be having trouble when you are deciding.
The answer to this question is plain simple as it will always be dependent on your personal preference. First of all, think about the age of your Yorkie and do factor in some other things like local breeding and grooming regulations.
Besides that, consider why you want to have the procedure done on your dog if you consider it.
If it is a local requirement to have your Yorkies tail docked, you need to go for it, and when it is done right, it is relatively risk-free. Just make sure to get the timing right to avoid any serious complications.
However, if you are raising your Yorkie in a place where docking is strictly prohibited, it is best to avoid it.
You should also probably avoid it if you are dealing with an older and sickly Yorkie. They do not possess the capacity to recover quickly as fast, and they can feel pain pretty intensely.
In most cases, you might need a surgical method for this and the presence of anesthesia. In addition to that, they are going to be aware of their missing tail. As a result, they may start to have tantrums and bark at you, and no amount of their favorite treat may ever heal this scar.
In the very end, it will always boil down to personal preference and sometimes regional regulations. If you are not restricted by your local county or city and no plans of participating in any dog shows, then do not dock their tails at all. As mentioned above, docking Yorkies’ tails is a matter of aesthetic purposes.
It means that it won’t have any benefits at soo, and it is not going to make your Yorkie smarter and easier to train. Neither is it going to make your Yorkie stronger to fight off common Yorkshire Terrier health problems and skin issues.
On the other hand, docking has no side effects either as it will not stunt the growth of your Yorkie, shorten the lifespan, affect their sleeping habit, or mess up their heat cycle. Read “What Is The Lifespan Of A Yorkie?” if you have questions about that.
Yorkie Tail Docking Cost
The price of what you need to pay when docking your Yorkies tail will depend on many factors. The first one is the procedure that you choose for, with the simple banding, it can be free if you are skilled enough to do it yourself.
As a matter of fact, the only investment you have to make is that you need to have a clean piece of thread.
On the other hand, it is not ideal for you to be unsure exactly how and what to avoid the negative consequences like an infection. No amount saved is worth the health and welfare of your furry little puppy. So, to escape all these risks, you need to get professional help to care for them.
Having professional help, like a breeder or a licensed groomer with the skill for the job, will be less scary. In this case, banding to dock a Yorkie will only cost you between $10 to $20, depending on their professional rates. If you opt for a surgical route, the price tag will be a little higher.
It is mainly because the procedure often uses anesthesia, and it is sometimes combined with other newborn or puppy Yorkie checkups.
In this case, you expect to pay around $100 for all the services, but it may be lower or higher depending on the rate of your vet. It is not exactly an expensive procedure. You need to know the exact timing in helping you save more money.
To sum it up, cutting the tails of your Yorkies does not have valid medical reasoning but more like it is for aesthetic purposes. If you are planning to enter a dog show and want to showcase your Yorkie, it is best to have them docked as it is one of the requirements.
But if you are just one of those dog owners who want to take care of a Yorkie that will bring joy to the family, then your pet does not necessarily need to undergo tail docking.
Docking does not have any positive and negative effect when it is being done in your Yorkie. It is just to fit in the norms of what a purebred in a particular competition looks like.