There are Morkie owners that compare photos of their pups, only to find that one has a short stub of a tail, and the other has a longer tail curved over their back. This leads to some important questions, especially for those unaware of the tail characteristics of the parent dogs, or about the practice of tail docking. Are Morkie tails docked, and, if so, why isn’t this true for all of these puppies?
Do Morkies have docked tails? There is no guarantee that your Morkie will have a docked tail. It all depends on whether they inherit the tail of their Maltese or Yorkie parents. From there, it is down to the breeder. There is a common practice of docking Yorkie tails, and this leads to docked Morkie tails too.
Morkie Tails should be Naturally Long
It is surprising how many guides on Morkies claim that these dogs have naturally short tails when neither parent does, and there are still Morkies with longer tails. This misconception shows the prevalence of docking in this community.
Are Docked Tails Illegal?
Let’s get this part of the discussion out of the way first.
Tail docking is illegal in other countries, such as the UK, unless for working or medical reasons. In the US, the practice is still permitted. This all comes down to attitudes about the importance of tail docking vs. those that believe it to be cruel.
So, regardless of your own personal views on the subject, there is nothing to stop breeders from docking the tails of their litter.
Should Morkies have Docked Tails?
There is a big difference between asking “can” Morkies have docked tails and “should” Morkies have docked tails. Tail docking is a controversial subject with some owners and breeders in favor and others against the practice.
Those in favor say that tail docking helps to enhance breed characteristics and potentially improve the health of the dog.
Those against say that the animal should have the tail they were born with and not have to lose a part of their anatomy for no good reason.
A lot of this comes down to the viewpoints of the AKC – American Kennel Club. This is where we get all the breed standards for each dog shown in the US. Their word is final on what constitutes the very best of good breeding for any dog.
So, if they think that docked tails and cropped ears enhance the breed and are essential for judging, breeders will carry out those procedures.
Does this mean that Yorkies Have Docked Tails?
You will quite often find Yorkshire Terriers with docked tails, rather than their natural tails. The Yorkie tail should be fairly long, typically with a curl to its shape. Long-haired Yorkies tend to have long hair growing from the tail too. But, pups bred for show are docked, leaving little more than a tail stub. The AKC claims that this is necessary for aesthetic purposes.
So why are Morkie tails Docked if They are a Cross-breed?
This is where the matter gets a little confusing for owners. The AKC has strict standards for all of its pure-bred dogs. But, the Morkie is a hybrid, so why are their tails also docked?
For many of these dogs, it could just be the habit of the breeder.
They may simply decide to remove the tail if they inherit the tail of their Yorkshire terrier parent, with the idea that this looks better. Perhaps breeders expect Morkie owners to want this “cuter” look. They will dock the Yorkie tail but tend to keep the Maltese tail if the pups inherit this instead.
Why Do Breeders Keep the Maltese Tails Instead?
The reason for keeping these tails again comes down to expectations based on breed standards for the parent dogs. Maltese tails are long, but they also carry them differently. They should hold this tail over the back, with a curve to the side. This creates that unique look of show Maltese dogs when they have their longer coats.
Therefore, Morkies that inherit this tail may be left to keep and create that same effect – again for aesthetic purposes.
You won’t get too much say over whether you have a Morkie with a docked tail or not.
While it seems that most owners of Morkies would prefer their dogs had their full tails, the choice is out of their hands. The decision to dock a Morkie’s tail usually comes very early in their life. Breeders carry out the procedure when pups are a few days old so that they are yet to develop enough nerve endings and pain receptors in the tail to notice.
It also means that the tails are healed, and the pups are ready to go to their new homes.
Ideally, this procedure will take place with a vet. They have the skill and precision to make the cut at just the right place with minimal distress for the dog. However, there are also cases of breeders carrying out the task themselves by tying off the tail and letting it drop off like an umbilical cord.
Therefore, anyone that seeks out a Morkie of their own from a breeder will typically either find a dog with a full Maltese tail or one with a docked Yorkie tail. You could possibly make a choice if you get to visit the home and pick a puppy from the litter.
Do All Morkies Have Short Tails?
To summarize, not all Morkies will have short tails if breeders decide to keep the Maltese tails for aesthetic purposes. But, there is a good chance that your new Morkie puppy will have a docked tail if they inherit the Yorkie tail. This is why Morkie owners are so surprised to find these physical differences between their dogs.
Although this is often disappointing for new pet parents, the practice is legal and widespread. As long as breeders dock Yorkie tails for show, Morkie pups will go through the same procedure.
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More info on Morkies
- Can Morkies Swim? All You Need to Know And More
- Why Does My Morkie Smell? When Things Run Afoul
- Can Morkies Be Left Alone? All You Need to Know
- Are Morkies Hypoallergenic? An Allergy Sufferers Guide
- Why Do Morkies Change Color? All You Need to Know
- What Can Morkies Eat? Best Food + Treats for This Toy Breed
- Do Morkies Get Cold?
- Do Morkies Bark A Lot?
- How Long Do Morkies Sleep?
- Are Morkies Good Family Dogs?
- The Morkie Temperament [All You Need to Know]
- Why Do Morkies Lick So Much?
- Do Morkies Have Tear Stains?