Why do they dock Brittany Spaniel dog tails?

Amber: Why do they dock Brittany Spaniels tails?
I am getting a Brittany Spaniel and his tail is docked. He is a hunting dog so could it be that while hunting he could hurt himself? Why do they dock tails?
If you answer is “because it looks better” please don’t answer.

Answers and Views:

Answer by Julie
Hunting dogs often have to go through brush and bushes. If the tail gets caught, it could get broken and a broken tail is very painful for the dog and it’s hard to heal.

At a couple days of age (when tails are docked) the breeder usually doesn’t know which dogs are going to grow up and be hunting dogs, so they just dock all of the tails.

It’s really not a big deal, as it heals quickly on a young puppy and it’s not painful when done properly.

However, it should not be done on an older dog because it doesn’t heal properly and it’s more painful.

Some other breeds, like dobermans, have long and whippy tails. Since the tails are so thin, the dog risks breaking the tail when it wags the tail too hard. So these dogs’ tails are docked to protect them from breaking.

It is not an aesthetic thing, like some people would like you to believe. Docking tails and ears has always been for the benefit of the animal.

Read all the answers in the comments.

What do you think?


  1. Ann says

    The Brittany is a highly intelligent and obedient dog due to its history as a hunting dog.
    It is one of the most popular pointing dogs for bird hunting.
    The Brittany to this day is still used widely for its work as a hunting and gun dog.
    Brittany's can be born with either short or long tails. Long tails are typically docked to the length of about 1 to 4 inches because it helps them hunt more easily.

    Long tails can get in a way of things especially when hunting.

    Good Luck

  2. ;; says

    It so they didn't get their tails caught on things, but with most dogs these days it's just because we're used to seeing it, like a rottweiler has no reason anymore to have their tail docked, but people still it. I don't agree with docking tails except for hunting dogs and etc. It's like making a baby get her eats pierced, or making a child get plastic surgery. I'm so glad it's illegal where I live.

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