Yorkie Tail Docking – Should We Still Be Doing It

tail docking yorkies

Hello, everyone.Thanks for visiting today. Recently  tail docking Yorkies has become a very controversial subject.

The veterinary establishment opposes tail docking dogs solely for cosmetic reasons. The A.V.M.A. condemns the practice as an "unjustified mutilation. ” They want to see an end to tail docking from all breed standards.

Yorkie Tail Docking

The Jury's Out On Tail Docking Yorkies


Many dog owners, breeders, and veterinary surgeons believe  tail docking Yorkies is perfectly humane when done the right way.

Most dog owners think that it prevents far more problems than it causes. They argue that like in the case of neutering docking is simply a reasonable animal management practice.

I believe it should stay an option for dog breeders and owners.

Meanwhile, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association and the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals have worked very hard to pass laws banning tail docking. Since 2007, many countries have banned this practice.

For example, you will see Yorkshire Terriers in Sweden, England or Australia with their natural tails.

tail docking yorkies

The United States


In the United States, the view here is split. Some people see  tail docking Yorkies as traditional. They advocate maintaining the breed standard admitting that its cosmetic.

Others feel that it's medically necessary. Those opposed to docking claim that the practice is cruel, painful, and totally unnecessary.

In the US, the large, highly respected American Kennel Club or A.K.C. the official conformation of the Yorkshire Terrier breed is to have a docked tail, to a medium length. If you are planning on showing your dog, you will need to have the docking done.

Most breeders will go ahead and dock Yorkshire Terrier puppies.

Perhaps This Is A Throw Back To The Old West.


"An Easterner who walks into a Western saloon and sees a dog sitting at a table playing poker with three men.


"Can that dog really play poker?" he asked.


 "Oh! yes, it's a regular game every night", the barman replies.


 "Well, that's a really clever dog!", says the man.


 "Oh, he isn't so clever", says the barman, "Every time he gets a good hand, he wags his tail.

It's in the best interest of the dog to have the procedure done when they are young puppies. If you decide you don't want your Yorkie's tail docked, ask a breeder to select a day old puppy for you and not to dock his/her tail.

What Is Docking?


Docking is a procedure done to Yorkshire Terrier newborns, in some counties. The dogs naturally long tails are made shorter via amputation. The tail gets cropped to half the normal length resulting in a medium-sized tail, that stands up vertically.

Many people don’t think much about tail docking Yorkies when acquiring one. They may not even know docking exists.

Many people are surprised when you tell them that Yorkies are actually born with full tails.

How And When Is Yorkie Tail Docking Done?

This can be done in 1 of 2 ways.

 Most breeders use a technique known as "banding."

A band goes over the end of the tail between two and five days after the puppy's birth. This effectively cuts off the blood supply to the end of the tail. After three days, the tail falls off.

With the second method, the vet cuts the tip of the tail off with surgical scissors. Nowadays vets are more likely to use the banding method.


 tail docking Yorkies

Is Tail Docking Yorkies Cruel?


Yorkie puppies are docked when they are babies. Their eyes haven't even opened yet.The procedure causes no pain or discomfort if carried out by a qualified person.

Some pups are docked in their sleep and they don't even stir. Once docked the puppy returns to the litter.

Why Are Dog's Tails Docked?


To Prevent Injury

Tail docking Yorkies was originally done to prevent injury. People bred Yorkies to hunt rats in mines and clothing mills. They had to be able to squeeze into small spaces.

As working dogs, they hunted small game below ground. Their tails were docked to a length more practical for working in confined spaces. Today although most Yorkies are domestic pets.

The tradition continues to this day for reasons that seem to be purely cosmetic.

To Maintain The Breed Standard

It's a breed tradition that serves no function.Yorkshire Terriers have their tails docked purely to conform to the breed standard. In other words, because the breeders who established the breed in the 19th century wanted Yorkies to look that way.

One Final Thing


I believe there's no reason to dock your Yorkie's tail unless you plan to show her.

Do you have any comments about this page that you'd like to share? Please take a moment and share your thoughts, ideas, comments, or suggestions for everyone to read.

God Bless

Richard S.

Leave a Comment:

1 comment
Add Your Reply