Can I dock my pup’s tail?
Q I’ve been offered a cocker puppy with a good pedigree at a low price because the tail wasn’t docked. Can I get my vet to do this under anaesthetic before I start training him?
VICKY PAYNE replies: If the tail is not docked before five days old, the RCVS says it should only be amputated if there is recurrent damage. Not all undocked dogs damage their tails, but if they do, take photographs and keep a record of medical interventions you have tried. Amputating an adult dog’s tail is quite a serious operation, and the stump can take four to six weeks to fully heal.
Amputated tails are often cut shorter than puppy docked tails as this gives the best chance of recovery but can spoil the look of the dog and its action when hunting. Adult tail amputations can cost £400-600 including pain medications and bandage changes.