Just as other dogs, Yorkies too, have a regular length of the tail until it is docked. Yorkie tail docking is a very common practice in the United States.
It isn’t mandatory nor there is any scientific reason behind doing this! Yorkies are usually born with the full length of tails, and that’s shortened only when their tails are partially removed.
Most veterinarians say that it is done to retain the aesthetic appeal of these small dogs. Also, the American Kennel Club aka AKC, New Zealand Kennel Club aka NZKC, and the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) recommend tail docking of the Yorkies in order to maintain the standard of the breed.
What is Tail Docking in Yorkies?
The procedure of cutting the Yorkshire terrier’s natural tail short by amputation is known as ‘tail docking’. This method is carried out at a very young age of the pup.
Having a too-long tail can cause discomfort for your little one, but docking it to a medium-sized length requires professional skills to avoid infection.
History of Yorkie Tail Docking
Tracing back to the ancient history of Rome, people used to believe that tail docking would help in preventing the spread of rabies among dogs. Thus, the shepherds would then cut off the tails of their dogs right after 40 days from their birth.
This is because the shepherds believe that it would spread infection in the flock of sheep. Also, the tail had a connection with the ‘hunting’ ability of a dog.
People during the ancient times used to believe that a dog with a tail was mostly used to hunt, while the others with a docked tail resembled that they were ideally meant for the owners to pet.
However, as western society civilians started adopting the practice of hunting, they began docking the tails of their dogs in order to combat any kind of injury that these dogs were more likely to be prone to!
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Keeping aside these reasons, vets even suggested this practice of tail docking to be more effective for highly active dogs such as Yorkies that are more likely to get indulged in a fight.
Why are the tails of Yorkies Docked?
Although there are several controversies about this topic, Yorkies have their tails docked while they are still young. It is a common practice to have the Yorkie’s tails cut short when they are too young in age.
Experts say that performing this action while your Yorkie is a little one will ensure that the sensation of pain isn’t prevalent in it. It is particularly because the nervous system in your dog has not turned to be active then.
Also, a small age is considered to be the safest as the Yorkie would get enough time to heal from the pain. Here are a few reasons why this ‘tail docking’ procedure is so popular in the US:
- To meet the American Kennel standards: The American Kennel Club recommends the Yorkie’s tails be cut into a middle length. It would then rise just a small length at the back of your Yorkie. It is a marker for the breed to become eligible for entering the show dog scene. This is applicable only to the traditional breeds of Yorkshire Terriers, to Parti and Teacup Yorkies, and not to the Biewer Yorkie.
- Safeguard the Yorkies from accident-prone situations: Yorkies are at times, used as hunting dogs, and thus, having the tails docked is extremely crucial so as to avoid any kind of hunting injuries. A Yorkie with a long tail is more susceptible to injuries while moving through the shrubs or holes. Hence, the dog owners usually prefer to shorten the tail length of the Yorkie, thereby making it easier and more manageable for the dog to cope up in such situations.
- Visual appeal counts: The long tail of a Yorkshire terrier is usually regarded as ‘undesirable’ in terms of visual appeal. Shortening the tail of the Yorkie will thus, give a more aesthetic and compact look to anyone and everyone. The tail of a hairy doggy tends to determine the cuteness of the creature, and thus, a teddy bear kind of a tail is meant to affect the adorability of the dog, and so here’s the popularity of cutting your Yorkie’s pooch short!
At What Age should you dock your Yorkie’s tail?
You should dock the Yorkie’s tail at its early age, maybe post 24 hours after birth to that of the 5th day after its birth.
- It is painless: It takes around 2 to 4 weeks for the Yorkshire terrier to undergo the process of neurodevelopment. Except for the sense of smell, all the other senses of this little one are still not active. Therefore, it is usually ideal to get its tail docked before the nerves of the dog have actually started to mature.
- Heals quickly: While your Yorkie is just a newborn, it has got rapidly fast developing cells, and thus, the benefits would be prominent if you are docking its tail at such an early stage of its life. You will see that the wound is going to heal faster if you are carrying out the operation in this initial phase. However, in case you have missed it out, you can still find a chance later after 10 weeks post-birth as science says that it’s when the dog will develop the potential of absorbing the pain, and a surgical procedure involving anesthesia will thus, be ‘the best then!
How to Dock a Yorkie’s tail?
Tail docking is a really easy procedure and can be performed right at home. All you need is to ensure having the right equipment and choosing the right time.
It is usually advised to dock your Yorkie’s tail when it is 2 to 5 days old. Next, your job will be to figure out the best procedure that will best suit your new pup’s requirement:
- Banding Method: In this process, a sanitized rope is tied to the Yorkie’s tail at a point where you want to cut it off. As a result, you prevent the supply of blood to the lower segment which eventually loses all the sensation, dies, and gets apart. One can easily do it at home, and is quite effective too, for newborn pups in particular!
- Surgery performed by a Vet: The second option is to professionally dock the tail of your Yorkshire terrier with the help of anesthesia. This is a surgical process and is mostly adopted for older Yorkies.
What’s the Cost of Docking a Yorkie’s Tails?
The cost of this tail docking procedure actually depends on a lot of factors. Provided that you are opting for the simple banding method, it is absolutely free of cost particularly when you are doing it all by yourself right at your home.
The only thing that you would need to invest upon is to purchase a clean thread. However, if you are not very sure about the process, it would be rather great to call up a professional in order to avoid any kind of negative consequences.
Casualties may at times, lead to infection, which is indeed very dangerous. A breeder or a licensed groomer would be the best one to help you through, in this regard!
Read More: How to take care of your Yorkie’s Hair?
Would your Yorkie see any Health benefits after tail docking?
In case you are still in a dilemma about whether or not you should dock your Yorkie’s tail, let me tell you that there are not going to be health benefits on your pup.
It is neither going to grow stronger nor would you find it easier and smarter to train. Therefore, the only thing is that you might find its look a bit more appealing, and nothing more!
Do Yorkies show any negative effects post tail docking?
No, you can stay assured of the fact that tail docking won’t harm your dog’s mental health, nor would it interrupt your Yorkie’s lifespan, sleep cycle, eating habits, or pregnancy. Also, tail docking will not hinder the growth of your Yorkie.
Is Tail docking a cruelty-free and risk-free procedure?
Well, when it comes to deciding whether or not you should go for tail docking, there is surely a debate to be put on! However, there are several factors that need to be considered before you are able to settle upon a decision.
Provided that your Yorkie is still young, and you have got a local requirement or maybe, you are citing any specific grooming regulations, you may surely go for it. This would certainly be a risk-free and cruelty-free phenomenon then.
On the contrary, if you are dealing with a sick Yorkie or maybe, it has grown up quite old for it to undergo this new change, it is better to avoid the tail docking procedure.
Also, in case you are residing in a place where tail docking is strictly prohibited, it is wiser to avoid doing so!