AKC BREEDS WHERE TAIL DOCKING IS OPTIONAL
By E. M. Gilbert Jr.
Docking is optional in the AKC breeds covered below in accordance with their Standard. Only two of the nine optional docked breeds describe the breed’s natural tail. Tail set, shape, substance, length, carriage when standing or walking or moving, action when at rest or moving, feathered or smooth coat on tail need to be determined for these seven breeds. As these factors are not covered in the Standard, it is left to the judge to decide what is a correct natural tail for the breed. The Parent Clubs should define the natural tail for these breeds, in the meantime they are at the mercy of the judge decision.
The tail of the Clumber Spaniel may be docked or left natural, both being of equal value. If docked, the tail's length should be in keeping with the overall proportion of the adult dog. If natural, the tailbone should extend to the point of hock, but should not extend to the ground.
The Affenpinscher tail may be docked or natural. A docked tail is generally between 1" and 2" long, set high and carried erect. The natural tail is set high and carried curved gently up over the back while moving. The type of tail is not a major consideration.
Docked tails preferred in the Field Spaniel, natural tails are allowed. The tail whether docked or natural length should be in balance with the overall dog. No description of a natural tail is provided.
Welsh Springer Spaniel tail is generally docked and displays a lively action. No description of a natural tail is provided.
The Black Russian Terrier tail is set high, thick and docked with 3 to 5 vertebrae left. An undocked tail is not to be penalized. No description of a natural tail is provided.
The German Pinscher tail is customarily docked between the second and third joints. No description of a natural tail is provided.
The Glen of Imaal Terrier tail is docked to approximately half-length, in balance with the overall dog and long enough to allow a good handhold. Strong at root, well set on and carried gaily. Dogs with undocked tails not to be penalized. No description of a natural tail is provided.
The Lakeland Terrier tail is customarily docked so that when the dog is set up in show position, the tip of the tail is level with the occiput. No description of a natural tail is provided.
Docking is optional for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel tail . If docked, no more than one third to be removed. No description of a natural tail is provided.