Articles Index/Tail Docking
Posted 12/18/97



Norfolk Terriers have their tails docked within two to four days after birth. It seems that unsuspecting breeders sometimes leave the decision of where to dock the tails up to the discretion of veterinarians who may not be familiar with the breed standard. The result? All too often we see otherwise well balanced Norfolks with tiny stubs where there should be respectable tails. Many vets have a manual to which they refer before docking tails. They look up the breed and dock accordingly. Too many of these veterinarian manuals instruct the vet to dock the Norwich/Norfolk Terrier's tail too short.

It should be remembered that the tail should be left long enough so that it can be firmly grasped if it becomes necessary for a person to reach in and extricate a burrowing Norfolk from a tight spot.

A good rule of thumb (or tail!) is to leave just less than half the tail when the docking is performed. In fact, many Norfolk puppies are born with a black (or white) band strategically placed just about halfway along their tails. Keep this in mind when deciding upon the length you want.

Most veterinarians will be happy to let you decide where each puppy's tail should be docked. They'd much rather have a happy client who has participated in the decision-making process than one who laments later, "Oh, you ruined my puppies!"

Remember too, it's a lot easier to shorten a tail that's been left too long than it is to lengthen a short one.


ANTIC, Spring 1983


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