One of the other members of this team has two labs and two spaniels and the two spaniels do not have docked tails.

Both have started bleeding on their tail ends and so far we have only been working in root crops – just imagine what state they will be in when we start working in the woods.

What is your opinion on working spaniels that do not have docked tails?

MARK WHITEHOUSE SAYS: Working spaniels with docked tails is a must in my book.

Once un-docked tails gets damaged on the end it is open to infection and this can lead to amputation – there is also the risk from anaesthetics to consider.

Any responsible vet would understand they have a duty of care to that working spaniel and docking at two to three days old is a lot less stressful for the dog than amputation and anaesthetics at two years old.

Docked tails are essential for spaniels to avoid injuries like this one.

There are still a lot of vets that do dock working spaniel’s tails; my local vet does a very good job on docked tails and microchipping.

If you do get stuck for a vet who will dock tails for working spaniels look at the DEFRA website or contact a local gundog club and they would be able to point you in the right direction.

Under the new laws in England effective from April 6, 2007, puppies can only be docked legally by a qualified veterinary surgeon, and are issued with a signed certificate by the registered vet confirming this.

For more gundog health advice click here

  • Martin Emms

    The way spaniels work in cover they should all have docked tails as there is every chance of unnecessary suffering and costly veterinary treatment.
    I wouldn’t buy a working spaniel without a docked tail.

  • trish rose

    our spaniel had a bleeding tail when younger but seems ok now. we cannot breed her as the opinion on tails is so confusing. any pups that might end up in ,pep, homes would need tails due to predudice and any going for work would be considered useless. we already have been accused of her being a mongrel!