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

A Yorkiepoo with highlighted tail

If you are thinking about getting a Yorkiepoo, you might be wondering what the standard is for how the dog should look. Many people wonder whether their new pup should have a docked tail or not. Do Yorkiepoos look better with a docked tail, and is there a reason to consider this procedure?

Both the Yorkie and the Poodle have a docked tail as part of the breed standard from the AKC. However, the American Veterinary Medical Association is against the docking of tails for cosmetic purposes. The procedure does cause pain without anesthesia, so consider whether this is right for you.

Learn more about why we dock tails, why it matters, and whether your Yorkiepoo needs this procedure in our detailed guide.

Why Do We Dock Tails?

Before we can dive too far into whether docked tails are legal and if your Yorkie should have the procedure done, it is essential to understand the historical significance of tail docking.

When the practice first began, people believed that it would decrease the risk of developing rabies. Many people thought that a tail would help the dog to improve their hunting as well. As a result, those who were too poor to be allowed to hunt game were often forced to dock their dog’s tail.

Nowadays, many pet owners decide to dock their dog’s tail if they participate in certain activities such as hunting. They argue that their dogs are more prone to tail injury when chasing or diving through the underbrush.

It is far more common to see people dock the tail for cosmetic purposes, though. For many breeds, a docked tail is now considered part of the breed standard. Despite this surge in popularity for this specific look, many veterinarians are still hesitant to perform the procedure on dogs who have no medical necessity for this procedure.

Why are they so hesitant if this is considered to be the standard? There is not much evidence to support that it can benefit the dogs in any tangible way. According to one study, the rate of tail injury in dogs is just 0.23 percent. In other words, you would have to dock close to 500 tails to prevent a single injury.

Is Tail Docking Painful?

Some breeders and dog owners may argue that there is no harm in docking the tail of your dog. However, some evidence to the contrary proves that this is a painful procedure for your puppy.

Most tail docking occurs when the puppies are just a few days old without any anesthesia or pain relief. Proponents of this technique argue that the nervous system is not fully developed, and the dogs do not feel the pain of the amputation. This is incorrect, as their nervous system is fully developed at the time of their birth.

If you have ever witnessed a docking, you know that the puppies cry out when the procedure is performed. They feel the cut as well as the subsequent stitches. After all, you are cutting through muscles, tendons, nerves, bones, and cartilage. It is an intense procedure that your pup is sure to feel unless it is done under anesthesia by a licensed veterinarian.

Are Docked Tails Illegal?

If you are considering docking your dog’s tail, you might wonder whether this action is legal. There are many laws surrounding tail docking when it comes to livestock, such as horses and cattle. However, there are fewer laws surrounding tail docking when it comes to our beloved canine companions.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, only two states have rules restricting tail docking. These two states are Maryland and Pennsylvania.

The rules surrounding tail docking in Pennsylvania are rather lengthy, and they include limits on when and how the tails can be docked. They prohibit docking the tail if the pup is over five days old. However, a veterinarian can perform the procedure on puppies who are twelve weeks old if they are under anesthesia. Between these two timeframes, docking may only occur if it is found to be medically necessary by a licensed veterinarian.

Maryland has fewer laws but states that only veterinarians may perform the procedure using anesthesia when appropriate.

Other states that have rules regarding tail docking include:

  • Alaska
  • Louisiana
  • West Virginia

These states allow for tail docking as long as it is done in a sanitary way while seeking to minimize the distress caused to the animal. It must also be done promptly.

Should Yorkiepoos Have Docked Tails?

Now that you know where tail docking comes from and some of its issues, the real question is whether your Yorkiepoo should have a docked tail. Many people turn to the American Kennel Club to inform their decision on whether their Yorkiepoo should have their tail docked.

While Yorkiepoos may not have their breed standard, the parents do. Both Yorkies and Poodles have their tails docked per the AKC standards. This means that dogs with long, natural tails are not permitted in the show ring. As a result, many people feel that the Yorkiepoo, which combines the best of both breeds, should also have a docked tail.

You might even look to other designer dog breeds to determine what to do for your Yorkiepoo. For example, the Morkie and the Cockapoo both frequently have docked tails.

This is a complex topic that has no easy answers. You might have to decide what is right for you and your pup based on the advice from your veterinarian and your moral stance on the issue.

Deciding for Your Yorkiepoo

Your dog may not have much of a say when it comes to whether its tail gets docked or not. It may even be out of your hands, as many breeders make the decision without consulting the new puppy parents. If you do have a choice, you may want to consider whether this cosmetic procedure is worth the potential pain it can cause.

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