Do Sheepadoodles Have Docked Tails? [The Facts & The Tales]

Do Sheepadoodles Have docked tails

Sheepadoodles are adorable, friendly, and such charming house dogs. This Poodle- Old English Sheepdog crossbreed is a sought-after family dog, a unique crossbreed. 

Sheepadoodles have docked tails, a physical attribute that many dog lovers and owners get confused about. The tails are cut off in their early days of life; typically 2 to 5 days after birth. 

One of the Sheepdog parents had their tails docked as they were mainly kept as working dogs. Sheepadoodles inherit a smaller version of the tail, which most breeders find the need to dock. 

Below you will understand why sheepadoodles have docked tails, among other concerns you may have around this topic. 

Why Do You Dock a Dog’s Tail?

Tail docking comes from several narratives among breeders, dog lovers, and owners. Historically, docking was considered necessary to reduce the risk of contracting rabies among dogs. It was also done to help strengthen a dog’s back, specifically for working dog breeds. 

Today, docking has more profound, reasonable meanings, one being reducing injury risk in working dogs. Working dogs that hunt or herd have a reduced chance of injury with docked tails than those with their full tails. 

The reasoning behind this is that dogs with long tails are easier to beat up and bite on during hunting or fieldwork. And, since most of these working dogs have smoother, softer coats, there is insufficient protection on the tail. 

As valuable as it is, docking is banned in many countries. In the United States, docking has to be done by a licensed veterinarian. Many veterinarians and dog lovers are against this practice as it is considered more aesthetic than functional.

Why Is It Important to Dock Dog’s Tails?

Docking dogs’ tails come with various benefits, even though the reasons behind it vary from one dog to the other and from one owner to the other. Here is why it is vital to dock tails. 


One of the significant benefits of docking dogs’ tails is a safety precaution, especially for larger dog breeds. For Sheepadoodles, tails can grow too long, increasing the risk of damaging their tails. 

These dogs can grow up to 22 inches in height, and with long tails, owners want them shorter to cut potential risk. For working dogs, tails are docked to reduce possible injury. Predators have a better grip of the tail which can be strenuous for working dogs to handle, hence why they had their tails docked. 


Dogs with long hairy tails are more challenging to keep the hind limbs clean than those with docked tails. Sheepadoodles are pretty hairy, and this extends down to their tails. The long, fluffy hair traps feces and mud, making it harder to keep the dog clean at all times. 

Shorter tails eliminate these problems and make it easier to keep the dog clean. Remember, dogs do not need baths all the time; yet, with long tails, you might need to bathe them often; hence why docking is ideal. 

Why Are Sheepadoodles Tails Docked?

Sheepadoodles tails are docked for several reasons depending on the breeders or the owners’ intention. The main reason why Sheepadoodles have docked tails is as a safety precaution and for hygiene purposes, as described above. 

However, some breeders dock Sheepadoodles tails to maintain a standard for all the puppies and keep them identical. This is so that when you go to buy a Sheepadoodle, you cannot tell the difference based on their tail lengths.

This gives all the Sheepadoodles a fair chance at finding a new home; however, it is not a significant reason for breeders to go down that route. For the most part, it is for aesthetic purposes more than it is a breed standard they have to maintain. 

Is Docking a Sheepadoodle’s Tail Painful?

Docking is painful for puppies, just like any other procedure. If the puppies are not sedated, the experience may be unpleasant and painful. Even so, those who support docking still find it essential, especially for dogs prone to hurting their tails in the future. 

Also, dogs with docked tails are easier to keep clean, thanks to the shorter tail. For these reasons, docking is considered necessary and worth the pain and experience. However, animal rights activists argue that docking is damaging to the dog. 

This is because dogs are built to have their tails, and the size, shape, or form should not matter at all. Another argument is that the tail is a feature of dogs’ anatomy with a proper nervous system, and removing it can result in long-term consequences. 

On the same note, dogs need the tails to communicate, balance their bodies, and fam away insects. These, among other concerns, make docking a debated topic among dog lovers and animal rights activists. 

But, docking is done in the early days of the dogs so that the pain is manageable with sedation. That said, the pain resulting from the process is not reason enough not to dock dog tails. 

When Should You Dock a Sheepadoodle’s Tail?

The best time to dock a Sheepadoodle tail is within the first week, ideally between 2 to 5 days after birth. This period is quite favorable to manage the puppies as they are not yet active enough to interfere with the process. 

It is not advisable to dock the tail if you have a mature Sheepadoodle with a long, hairy tail. When the dog is older, it may be challenging to go through the docking process, and it may be too painful and stressful for the dog to handle. 

Therefore, if you are considering a Sheepadoodle with a docked tail, consider breeders that dock their tails immediately after birth. Most breeders dock Sheepadoodles, although you can find some that do not. 

Can A Sheepadoodle Puppy Die From Tail Docking?

Docking is considered a type of cosmetic surgery for dogs, and even if it is one of the minor ones, there might be complications if the surgery is not done correctly. The question of whether your puppy can die or not solely depends on how the surgery is done. 

If an inexperienced person does docking, there could be a risk of death associated with excessive bleeding. The puppy may lose its life also considering docking is done during the most fragile stages of puppies, after birth. 

If an experienced and licensed veterinarian does docking, you should not have to worry about your puppy dying. These veterinarians have the right strategies to perform a successful procedure, considering all the factors that could lead to complications. 

Does the Docked Tail Grow Back?

The tail of Sheepadoodles does not grow back as anatomically; a tail is a limb. Also, tail docking is done in the early days of a dog’s life, cutting the growth entirely at that point. 

Tail docking in Sheepadoodles is mainly a cosmetic practice, so you will have to live with the dog without its tail. Once you decide to dock your Sheepadoodle’s tail, you cannot go back and reverse the process. 

It is therefore important to consider this factor before deciding to dock your dog’s tail. Docking and not docking have different benefits, so it is a matter of what you prefer as far as living with your Sheepadoodle goes. 

Is Docking a Sheepadoodles Tail Cruel?

Docking is perceived differently across the world; therefore, it is a matter of what you feel about it as a person. Supporters of docking believe it is necessary for dogs as it reduces the chances of injury in dogs with naturally long tails. 

On the other hand, those against docking believe it is cruel and against animal rights. Dog health experts consider tail docking a safe procedure as long as all the surgical measures are implemented. 

Also, docking happens right after birth to ensure the pain is manageable for dogs. And, with sedatives or anesthesia, puppies barely feel the pain effect. So, like most surgeries, it is not harmful to dogs with the proper practices. 

However, Sheepadoodles are kept as companion dogs and not working dogs. Docking their tails has no significance in their role as family dogs as it had in working Sheepdogs. It is, therefore, unnecessary for most Sheepadoodles lovers. But, we cannot overlook the cometic effect f docking tails in Sheepaddoels that most people like. 

Final Thoughts

Docking Sheepadoodles’ tails is a common practice that most breeders support. But, in general, tail docking remains a topic of discussion among dog lovers and owners. Those in support of it find it necessary and beneficial, while those against it find it cruel. 

But, regardless of the size of your Sheepadoodle’s tail, you should give it as much love as it gives you. Sheepadoodles are friendly, furry companions, and how much they bring to your home is not related to their tail sizes. 

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Maureen G.

Maureen has been a Content Writer in the pet niche for over 5 years. She has vast knowledge on dog-related topics including dog breeds, dog health, dog care, and nutrition. With keen interest on the evolving world of dogs, Maureen stays on top of developments, specifically designer dogs. She is a part-time volunteer in dog shelters and rescue centers, therefore conversant with the day-to-day lives of dogs.

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