Yorkie’s Docked Tail
Yorkshire terriers are known as small companion dog breeds famous in the world of fashion dogs. You have also seen many Yorkies with short tails, which suggests their tails have been docked. But is it necessary to dock your Yorkie’s tail?
Should a Yorkie tail be docked? There is no need to dock a Yorkie tale since it has no medical justification; it is purely aesthetics. Suppose you want your dog to compete in dog shows; your Yorkie needs to undergo tail docking.
There is a myth that docking a puppy tail is less painful, but that is not true. Continue reading to learn more about the history of this activity and what is happening today.
Yorkie Tail Docking
The world is divided on this issue. Some countries are vehemently opposed to this activity, while others encourage it or even mandate it for dogs competing in dog shows.
The American Kennel Club recommends that the tail of a Yorkie be docked to a medium length. In general, tail docking is legal in the United States, except for Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is where local law states that there should be no tail docking without anesthesia on puppies older than five days.
Maryland allows tail docking. However, there is one exception. Vets must use anesthesia when performing the surgery.
Puppies can only handle anesthesia if they are at least 12 weeks old. If your puppy is between 5 and 12 weeks old and you live in Pennsylvania, tail docking is prohibited.
Popular countries where tail docking is legal:
- The Czech Republic
- Costa Rica
The practice of tail docking is legal in New Zealand, but only on puppies under four days old.
Popular counties where tail docking is illegal:
Tail docking is permitted in some working dog breeds in Germany, Ireland, Serbia, and Whales.
Why Are Yorkie Tails Docked?
Any individual who owns a pet dog in England in the 18th century was subjected to a levy. People who owned a working dog, on the other hand, were exempt from paying any taxes.
Working dog owners came up with creative ways to distinguish their pets from pet dogs. Tail docking before was done for two things.
- Distinguishing between dogs
- Helping reduce the number of accidents and injuries caused by working-dog tails. But this is merely a myth. There is no medical explanation for this procedure. Both medicine and science have never backed the arguments that docked tails prevent injuries.
The situation is different nowadays; the number of working dogs is much lower than it was previously. Pets are exempt from the levy.
Furthermore, a docked tail will not support your Yorkie’s motor skills when it comes to movement. Tail docking is only necessary if your Yorkie can perform in dog shows; otherwise, it is unnecessary.
Today, tail docking in Yorkies is purely aesthetics and serves as a distinguishing feature of the breed. However, we must go back in time to learn when and why this activity began.
Many dog breeders in the United States dock the Yorkie’s tail before selling the dog. So you do not have time to think about whether you want to do it or not.
It is normal, but if you insist on your Yorkie getting his natural length tail, talk to the breeder. Mostly, you will put down a deposit on a puppy to request that the breeder leave his tail alone.
Do not mess with tail docking if you have an elderly Yorkie or a dog with several health problems. Dogs who are older or have compromised health do not recover quickly. There is no good reason to put your dog in danger for aesthetics.
Do Yorkies Need Their Tail Docked?
There is a lot of controversy surrounding tail docking. However, the AKC still wants Yorkshire terriers to have their tails docked to compete in dog shows.
Some breeders have to reflect the distinctive look of the breed accurately. These breeders raise Yorkies as household companions demand that their dogs have their tails docked.
Some people believe that they don’t feel discomfort when docking their tails because the puppies are just a few days old. This hypothesis, however, is hotly debated and has no foundation in medical or scientific evidence.
The reality is that almost all vertebrates, even as babies, are fully capable of experiencing pain. Some believe that it can hurt their growth. However, many people believe that the discomfort is only temporary.
Humans often perform painful rituals for aesthetic reasons, so many do not consider this procedure dangerous or scarring.
Many people believe that you do not need to dock a Yorkie’s tail if you have one as a pet. If your Yorkie will not compete in AKC dog shows or is not a working animal like a rat catcher, there is no need.
As I previously said, docking a Yorkie’s tail outside of a working environment has no medical advantage. In these cases, it is simply aesthetics, and it is done to mimic the breed’s traditional look.
The Difference Between A Yorkie’s Natural And Docked Tail
There is no particular difference in treatment if a Yorkie is allowed to have a natural tail. But except that the long silky hair on the Yorkie’s tail will need to be brushed regularly. Since Yorkshire terriers are a non-shedding breed, this is done to prevent mats and tangles.
A Yorkie’s docked tail necessitates extra medical attention. It is crucial to take care of a Yorkie’s tail right after being docked to prevent infection in the open wound.
Warm water and a clean rag should be used to clean the tail wound, according to experts. Cleaning the wound daily and applying a non-toxic antibiotic ointment will speed up the healing process.
Hair can develop over the spot where the amputation wound was once the wound from a docked tail heals. There is only one difference in treatment after the docked tail is done healing. The docked tail fur is easier to groom than it would be on a longhaired Yorkie.
Yorkies who have their tails docked need special treatment at first. However, they are otherwise identical to other Yorkies who have not had their tails docked.
If you come across a Yorkshire terrier with an undocked tail, the first thing you’ll remember is how it looks. Like a Shih Tzu and other small pet breeds, a Yorkie’s natural tail is long and coils up over the dog’s back.
The cut should be a few inches long only. It is the breed standard for tail docking. This shortened tail is commonly referred to as a nub.
Tail Docking: How It’s Done And Recovery Period
Tail docking can be done in two ways. The first is known as Simple Banding, and it is commonly used for tail docking in newborns. Another choice is surgery, which is more appropriate for older puppies.
Traditional Tail Docking
Another choice is traditional surgery with anesthesia. Since newborns cannot cope with anesthesia, this procedure is not recommended for very young puppies. However, they are fully capable of handling it once they reach the age of 12 weeks.
Since the tail now has its nerves, cutting it will cause great pain to your pet. Hence, simple banding is no longer an option.
If your dog is 12 weeks or older, you can not feed him 12 hours before the procedure. The surgery is mainly completed under general anesthesia and takes 45-90 minutes to complete.
Of course, you must be mindful that every treatment has the potential to result in complications. If performed incorrectly, it may result in a lot of discomfort, infection, and a poor appearance, among other things.
The healing time is almost non-existent if you dock your newborn’s tail when he is 3-5 days old. It usually takes three days for the upper part of his tail to fall off if you tie the string around it.
In the case of surgery, the wound heals quickly as well. Just be cautious in the first few hours after the procedure. If you observe any signs of bleeding, call your veterinarian right away.
The surgical method is much more convenient, but it is also much more costly. Depending on your veterinarian, the procedure could cost about $100.
Simple Banding Method
The aim is to restrict blood flow to the upper part of the tail before cutting it off with a sterile clamp and scissors. If you do not have any qualifications to conduct this operation, you can not do it yourself. Get it done by a specialist.
Some owners recommend wrapping a bandage or a clean piece of thread around half of the tail to cut the blood flow. In three days, the upper part of the tail should fall off. When you seek clinical assistance, keep in mind that this treatment is not costly, costing between $10 and $20.
Tail docking is not medically necessary. It is only necessary if you plan on putting your Yorkie on a dog show ramp. But remember that there are several practical applications to this. Their tails help them obtain agility and contact with other dogs, so a Yorkie’s tail should be left intact.