Note: All tail docking should be done by a veterinarian or someone well experienced in the procedure.

There are many opinions on tail docking or not to tail dock in the Cockapoo breed. I am a hobby breeder going on 13 years now, and this article is my opinion and my procedure for tail docking this breed.

I feel tail docking is a necessary evil. For one thing, both parent breeds, Poodles and Cockers, have the standard of a short tail, so I feel their offspring, which will look somewhat like the parents, should also have a short tail. Some breeders feel differently. They feel all hybrid Cockapoos should have a long tail so they can be recognized as being a  hybrid dog. It is up to you as the buyer to look for the puppy that suits your wants the best.

I choose to dock the tail of our Cockapoos because they are a very small breed dog, and their tail can be easily slammed in your door without you even noticing it due to their small size. Some Cockapoos are very small, and if that were to happen to a dog it may need to be anesthetized to remove the damaged tail. A procedure that, for small breed dogs not weighing much, puts them at high risk of death. This can happen if anesthesia is overdosed accidentally during surgery, because of their tiny size, and yes it does happen more often than you think.

Not only these issues, but many people want the tail short, and so will elect to get it done when the puppy is several months old. The same anesthesia risk is there, because they are so small. If you want your Cockapoo’s tail left long, I will gladly do it as I’m sure any breeder would, but you must let the breeder know as soon as the puppy is born since most get their tail docked soon after birth.

I do it when our puppies are 3 days old. Contact the breeder to see when they do theirs. I would like to say that tail docking is not something I endorse, but it is a necessary procedure in my opinion for the safety of the dog. The only thing I and other breeders can do is to make sure it is done using the most painless method, and have the experience to make sure it is done correctly.

Tails are usually docked on 2 to 7 day old puppies, without either general or local anesthesia. When the procedure is done the tail is first dipped in alcohol, and then clamped a short distance from the body, and the portion of the tail outside the clamp is cut away.

Many breeders dock their pups themselves using a method that has been proven to be far more painful – “banding,” or tying off the tail. This stops the blood supply, which results in dry gangrene. The dead portion of the tail usually falls off about three days later. This can be likened to slamming your finger in a car door – and leaving it there.

We first clean and disinfect it with alcohol, pinch it with a clamp to stop the blood, cut it with the scalpel, and then glue it and stitch it shut to close it up completely. Dew claws are usually cut at the same time. The whole procedure only takes 2 minutes from start to finish.

Puppies undergoing any method of tail-docking squeal and cry, yet advocates assert that the newborn’s nervous system is unable to feel the pain. They point out that puppies immediately crawl to their mothers to nurse. But don’t all hurt or frightened children immediately cry for their mommy? Moreover, research indicates that suckling causes the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain relievers, which may be a more realistic way to view the puppies’ desire to nurse.

Docking advocates ignore the fact that a newborn puppy simply is not capable of a wide range of responses. It is very difficult to accurately assess the degree of pain a newborn is experiencing. In my experience puppies cry for a minute, and then whine under their breath for a few hours after that. They are fine by the end of the day.

So they are in some pain for a few hours and I think, like a new born human baby, they forget the pain by the next day. Make sure you contact the breeder to see if they even dock tails. Many breeders do not but elect to leave the tail long. In fact there are many breeders trying to make the Cockapoo a recognized breed and in the breed standards I have seen the tail is left long.

Cockapoos come in many different sizes, and some breeders of larger Cockapoos like the tail left long. Even some breeders that breed for smaller Cockapoos prefer the tail left long. So again, contact the breeder of your choice to see what they offer. Here are pics of a Cockapoo with a long tail and one with a short tail.

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Editor’s Note: Cockapoo Crazy would like to thank Jordan Family Kennels for providing this frank and honest information, which will certainly be of interest to all cockapoo owners and enthusiasts.