Pembroke Welsh corgis are an active breed; they are medium-sized dogs that are relatively easy to train. Among all their interesting qualities, it is easy to notice that this particular breed of dog is hardly ever seen with a tail.
The tailless feature of Pembroke Welsh Corgis has led a lot of people to believe that they are naturally born without tails, but this is not entirely true. Just like their Cardigan Welsh cousins, Pembroke Welsh Corgis are actually born with a tail, but because of a breed standard, tails are docked.
Do Pembroke Welsh corgis have their tails docked?
Yes. This is the reason you almost never see a Pembroke Welsh Corgi with a tail. It is common to dock the tail of a Pembroke Welsh Corgi at a very young age.
Though rare, there are also Pembroke Welsh Corgis that don’t get their tails cut off because there is really nothing to cut. They are referred to as naturally bobtailed corgis and they are nowhere nearly as common as the ones born with a tail.
When these naturally bobtailed corgis are born, some of them still have shorter versions of what a regular Pembroke Welsh Corgi would have, so the American Kennel Club (AKC) recommends that they also get those tails docked. In special cases where these tails are less than two inches, the natural bobtail puppies do not have to get their tails docked to meet breed standards.
If you intend to start breeding Corgis, the chances of you having the naturally bobtailed corgis are very low, so you may need a veterinarian to dock the tails of your Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppies humanely.
Why are Pembroke Welsh corgi tails docked?
The tradition of docking the tail of dogs has been around for a long time but the reason for this act is not so clear. Ancient Romans did it because they believed it was a way of protecting dogs from rabies, but this theory has no scientific backing.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) confirms that docking does not have any medical gains or losses for the Pembroke Welsh Corgis; the act is usually for appearance purposes only. When you see a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, the fastest way to distinguish it from other breeds is by looking at the rear; if there is a tail, you know for sure that the dog you are looking at is not a Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
Another reason that makes Pembroke Welsh Corgis get docked is their herding abilities. The tail becomes a liability for the dog during herding, so it is considered ideal to just cut the tail off since they are natural herders.
When breeders dock the tails of their Pembroke Welsh Corgis, is it mostly due to breed standard requirements. The American Kennel Club (AKC) standard for these dogs states that the docking must be “as short as possible without being indented”.
Should I get my Corgi’s tail docked?
It all depends on the reason you got a Pembroke Welsh Corgi in the first place. If you have intentions to breed them for commercial purposes, then you will have to cut off their tails in order to meet the American Kennel Club (AKC) standard.
If you don’t cut the tail of your Pembroke Welsh Corgi, it is considered substandard. So if you want to meet the breed standards, the answer is yes, you should dock the tail of your Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
Some people find it hard to carry out this practice because they believe that it will be too painful for the puppies, but if you do it a few days after they are born, it will not be so painful for them. Sometimes a breeder with experience will dock a pup’s tail, or better still, a veterinarian can dock Pembroke Welsh Corgi’s tails.
Apart from commercial reasons, you should also dock your Pembroke Welsh Corgi’s tail to prevent them from sustaining injuries. When your dog’s tail hits hard surfaces repeatedly, it could lead to a condition known as “happy tail”.
Docking is also a good way to keep the dog neater and healthier because when your Pembroke Welsh Corgi is roaming around freely, tiny particles could get attached to its tail and make it dirty. Think of it as the human beard, it can gather a lot of germs when not properly groomed, but if the beards aren’t there at all, there would be nothing to worry about.
You don’t have to dock your Pembroke Welsh Corgi’s tail if you don’t want to. After you consider all the factors, whatever decision you make will be the best one for your needs.
Whether a Pembroke Welsh Corgi should have its tail docked or not is an argument that has been going on for a long time. In the end, the decision is yours to make for the ones you have. If you are serious about getting one with a tail, you will find it hard to get a reputable breeder to give you such a puppy because it is considered substandard. But if you intensify your search, you will definitely find reputable breeders willing to sell you Pembroke Welsh Corgis with tails.
In some countries (like Sweden), docking the tail of a dog is considered cruel. In fact, it is banned and outrightly illegal, so one of the best ways to find a Pembroke Welsh Corgi with a tail is by getting in touch with breeders from that region.