Working Dog Tail Docking

At Severn Edge we have always worked closely with the rural community, including their trusted canine companions. We offer a full range of services to these dogs including tail docking for animals facing a working future (please remember we cannot and will not offer the service for cosmetic purposes).

Recently, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has changed the ethical guidelines for commonplace docking, and it is now quite often you will see a young Boxer or Rottweiller with a tail.

In reference to working dogs tail docking act, the RCVS states:

“It is an offence to remove the whole of part of a dog’s tail other than for the purpose of medical treatment, subject to the exemption for docking the tails of certain working dogs”

  • Ensure the veterinary surgeon who docks the tails certifies that s/he has seen specified evidence that the dog is likely to work in specified areas (the form of words for the docking certificate can be found on the DEFRA website); Often this comes in the form of a written letter by the owner and someone known in the working dog community into which the dog is destined. It is usually beneficial if the puppies are presented with the mother too.
  • The age of the puppies depends on the breed and litter size, we would like to book them in at 3 - 4 days old and they will also need to be microchipped – the microchip needs to be done before the puppy is 8 weeks old. At this time however, the certificate obtained at the docking must be completed by the vet who does the microchipping. 
  • The types of dogs that may be docked (specified in the Docking of Working Dogs’ Tails (England) Regulations 2007) are (1) hunt point retrieve breeds of any type of combination of types, (2) spaniels of any type of combination of types or (3) terriers of any type of combination of types.
  • Each docked puppy must have a legal certificate signed by a vet. THIS CERTIFICATE IS NOT REPLACEABLE. WE CANNOT PROVIDE A COPY IF IT IS LOST OR MISPLACED AS IT IS A LEGAL DOCUMENT.

A copy of this certificate can be viewed here.

The full DEFRA tail-docking information can be found here.

Please contact our Cleobury Mortimer branch on 01299 271967 for more information on tail docking. Veterinary surgeon Peter Howman docked approximately 100 litters of working dogs last year.
We also provide docking services at Much Wenlock 01952 726 007, Kinver 01384 873 660 and Bridgnorth 01746 763 998.

The Severn Edge Veterinary Group (in the guise of its former parts) has a long history at the centre of the rural community and feels we can understand and surpass people’s expectations. We have a keen knowledge of the common ailments to which working dogs are prone and can provide an efficient, value-for-money service.