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A Tail Docking Ban



From horrifying to hilarious, no matter how we look at it, it appears that a ban on tail docking would have a profound effect on our breed and many others. What are your thoughts on this issue?

Possible Results of a Tail Docking Ban

  • Declining registrations as some breeders and potential puppy buyers switch to other breeds
  • Pet owners attempting "do-it-yourself" tail docking on older puppies and adults
  • A huge surge in the number of dogs docked for "medical reasons"
  • Kerries becoming more of a "tail breed" than ever, or not.
  • Long dry spell without any Kerries taking any Group 1's or Best in Shows as judges struggle to evaluate what turns out to be mostly either mediocre Kerries with straight tails or otherwise nice Kerries with so-so tails that make it into group competition.
  • Heated debate over how the breed standard should be rewritten to accommodate natural tails and their variations (And we thought the hoop-la over size was bad!)
  • Heated debate over how the heck a natural tail should be trimmed
  • Lifestyle changes to compensate for longer tails that are now potentially capable of sweeping objects off of tables and slapping small children repeatedly in the face (I for one am all for docking Labs for this reason!)

Fighting Back

  • The United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club recently joined the National Breed Club Alliance, a group made up of national breed clubs and other interested groups, to preserve our right to continue with minor surgical practices such as docking and dewclaw removal. (Yes, this is also considered to be unnecessary cosmetic surgery by animal rights activists, and is included along with cropping and docking by many favoring a ban.) Bob Thompson is the USKBTC's representative and Hermine Munro is the alternate.
  • Many pet dog owners are unaware that the "look" of their favorite breeds is the result of docking and/or cropping. I discovered this by accident when my sister and I were discussing tail docking--turns out that she did not even know that her own Miniature Poodle is docked (she didn't know that Kerries are docked, either)! Perhaps more of the public will come out against a ban on these procedures if they are educated about this.
  • Several sources indicate that the American Veterinary Medical Association has been holding conversations with the AKC, very possibly concerning permitting undocked dogs to be shown, even if the breed standard specifies a docked tail, something that is currently not allowed. In addition, there was recently an attempt to pass a national law that would prohibit laypersons from obtaining shots and other medications for their animals through the mail. If measures like this were to come to pass, could a law similar to the one in Great Britain regarding tail docking be far behind?
  • Recent events indicate that an increasing number of veterinarians are opposed to performing cosmetic surgeries such as cropping, docking, and dewclaw removal. According to another article in the Empire Kerry Club newsletter, sources familiar with the AVMA feel that, if a vote were taken today, tail docking would be banned now! How does your own veterinarian stand on this issue?

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Question of the Week

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Today is August 25, 2019

In this month in 2004:

Keriland's Talk About Town (Gabby) and her owner/handler, Janet Beeby, became the first ever Kerry Blue Terrier team to earn the AKC Master Agility Champion title, MACH. Gabby was bred by Penny Hanson of Strathmore, Alberta.

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