Docking Q & A for Breeders

1. Question: I have working dogs and plan to continue to have them docked. What evidence do I need to have, to prove that they were docked legally?
Answer: Only veterinary surgeons are allowed to dock puppies. They are then required to certify that the pups have been legally docked. The evidence/information/ procedures that veterinary surgeons require to certify that pups have been legally docked has been set out under the government regulations and will be available from Defra and the Scottish Government.

2. Question: What breeds of dog are exempted from the docking ban in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, and may continue to be docked legally?
Answer: The breeds in which docking may continue in England and Northern Ireland include Spaniels, Terriers, Hunt Point Retrieve Breeds and any combination of these breeds.

In Wales, docking is only allowed in Spaniels, Terriers and Hunt Point Retrieve Breeds but not any combination of these breeds.

In Scotland as of the 28th June 2017, breeds in which docking may continue include Spaniels, Terriers, Hunt Point Retrieve Breeders and any combination of these breeds.

This is only legal providing they will be used to work and the veterinary surgeon is provided with the appropriate evidence of this (but see under Breeder Section below).

3. Question: In my breed, dogs born with naturally short tails (natural bobs) are quite common. Will I be allowed to show a naturally bobbed dog?
Answer: Yes - if a dog is born with a naturally short tail it can be shown at any show.

4. Question: What if I am accused of having docked a naturally bob tailed dog? What do I need to do in order to prove that it was born with a bob tail?
Answer: Defra has been asked this question frequently but has not given any clear response. The Kennel Club however recommends that breeders of dogs which have naturally bobbed tails should obtain confirmation on headed paper from their veterinary surgeon shortly after the puppies' birth, confirming that the dogs were born with naturally bobbed tails. This should avoid any future cases of dispute.

6. Question: I have working Pembroke Corgis - can I continue to dock them?
Answer: The Kennel Club has been advised by Defra that the working dog definition does not include Pembroke Corgis and it is therefore not legal to dock these dogs whether or not they are to be worked.

7 Question: In my breed, kinked and screwed tails are relatively common and are usually docked as they can result in injury later in life. Can I continue to dock and show these dogs?
Answer: No. It is against the law to dock any dog 'except for medical reasons' no matter whether the tail is kinked or malformed in any way. If an injury occurs then a veterinary surgeon would be at liberty to amputate the tail. A dog which has had its tail amputated by a veterinary surgeon for medical reasons might be allowed to continue to be shown, subject to the normal terms of KC Regulations relating to operations which alter the natural conformation of the dog, but it will not, under the law, be able to be shown in England or Wales at a show where the public is charged for admission.


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