At The Countryside Vet, we provide a convenient at-home tail docking services for working dogs. This will include:
Tail docking is defined by the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 as the removal of part of a dog’s tail, and amounts to the practice of veterinary surgery. Further legislation is set out in Section 6 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which together with guidance from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), is outlined below.
Puppies can only be docked between 1-5 days old, so it is important you contact us as soon as the puppies are born, and ideally give us prior notice of an expected due date.
Puppies must be seen with the dam, and must be from certain breeds; namely working spaniels, terriers, hunt point retrieve breeds, or their crosses.
We will need specified evidence that the dog is intended to work in specified areas, including a letter statement provided by the owner (or the owner’s representative i.e. gamekeeper) that the dog is intended to work in one of the specified areas. Additional evidence related to the particular type of work the dog will perform is also required. This is detailed in the Docking of Working Dogs' Tails (England) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007/1120) regulations. If there are any doubts on this, please contact us.
Dogs cannot be docked for cosmetic purposes, or for dogs that fall outside of the Docking of Working Dogs’ Tails (England) Regulations 2007. In addition to these regulations, the RCVS states “It is an offence to remove the whole or part of a dog’s tail other than for the purpose of medical treatment, subject to the exemption for docking the tails of certain working dogs.”
Please be aware, there is a ban on the showing of docked dogs at events where members of the public have paid an entrance fee. This ban does not apply where a dog is shown only for the purpose of demonstrating its working ability.
‘Dew Claw’ Removal:
The RCVS defines the ‘dew claw’ as the first digit (thumb) of the hindlimb. It states that “the first digit (thumb) of the forelimb is fully formed and has an important function. Not surprisingly dogs are often seen to use these ' thumbs ' exactly as you would expect - to help grasp food and other objects because they can be adducted, flexed or extended like any other digit, due to the bony articulation and the muscle attachments.” Therefore onlyhind ‘dew claws’ are permitted to be removed under Schedules 1 and 9 to the Mutilations (Permitted Procedures) (England) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007/1100), and will be done at the time of tail docking.
Please be aware that the docking certificate is not replaceable, and we cannot provide a copy if it is lost or misplaced as it is a legal document.