How to Dock the Tails of a Litter of Cocker Spaniel Puppies

I had the job of docking the tails of a litter of puppies, and the only reason I did this, was because I wanted to know how to do it myself, since I figure I should know as much about my dogs as I can, and I knew a veterinarian was going to do this, and they do charge money for this, and I wanted to know how to do this myself.

Well, lucky enough for me, I know a lady, that breeds dogs, and she has a 1 hour show on Animal Planet, and she has been raising and breeding dogs for years, and lucky enough for me, I know her!

Now I don’t recommend this to the novice or person that is could not handle it. In some countries, it is illegal to dock the tail on a dog. In some countries, like the United States, they still do it, and recommend it, because the Cocker Spaniel Dog’s tail, gets to bushy, that it will pick up all kinds of things, and become a big mess pretty quick. This is the main reason that the tails are docked.

There are different ways to dock the dogs tails. One way is with a band, that you put on the puppies tail, and it will eventually make the tail just fall off. Some veterinarian’s will tell you different times to cut the tail, if you ask 5 different veterinarian’s you might get several different time frames. Usually 2 to 3 days is the normal, but you should always check with your vet first, and let them know what you are doing.

When we did it, we also removed the extra claw dogs have, that they do not use, and you would not want it to get caught up on anything, while they are playing or jumping around.

Some of the items we needed to dock the tails, would be, sterilized scissors, a burning iron or soldering iron, one with a small tip that gets red hot. Some rubbing alcohol, cotton swabs, and fresh clean towels.

She taught me that you put a tight rubber band on the puppies tail, and the reason you want to do it early in life, is they can not feel it, at least that is what people say, and when I did it, it is like anything, they notice, but they don’t freak out about it.

After we cut the tail at the right place, you can ask your vet, or look it up online. I remember when I took my litter of puppies to the my vet a long time ago, he did not seem to know much about tail docking, and he asked me what place he should cut the tails, luckily enough I knew already, and he is the vet.

After you cut the tails off, you would take the heating iron, and put it right on the spot where you just cut it off, this sounds like the brutal part, but it is necessary so the puppy won’t have any bleeding. You just for a second, tough the fresh cut, and the iron will burn it, and make it so it won’t bleed anymore. You would use the rubbing alcohol to sterilize everything, and clean the puppies tails.

I had my lady friend that raises dogs teach me how to dock the tails myself, and she had lots of experience, and does all the dog shows, she loves showing off her dogs, and she had a TV show about it that I saw. The 2nd time I did a litter of puppies, I asked my 18 year old son at the time, to help me do them. He helped me do them, then when it was over, the told me he never wanted to do it again, he felt like he was going to pass out, he told me, and it’s not for everyone for sure.

That was the only 2 litters of puppies I ever did myself, and I have went back to having the vet do them, and even for that, check about, I found a different vet that had much more experience, and he charged about half what the first vet was charging me. I wanted the experience of doing it myself, because I just needed to know.