Do Cockapoos Have Tails?

Has the tail been docked if you see a Cockapoo with a short tail? Contrary to popular belief, Cockapoos don’t come into the world with short tails. If left in their natural state, Cockapoos can grow lengthy tails. On the other hand, tails are frequently docked by Cockapoo breeders because they see it as the standard. 

What Is Cockapoo Tail Docking?

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The term “tail docking” refers to surgically removing a dog’s tail tip. A portion of the tail is chopped or “docked” between the bones to reduce its length, depending on the reason for its removal. 

A veterinarian should perform tail docking on all dogs, regardless of age, yet breeders frequently do it on their newborn puppies. Even docking a small portion of the tail is still referred to as a “tail amputation” because it involves removing part of the tail.

Tail docking is a contentious procedure, especially today, but it may be necessary for certain dogs. Understanding why and how tail docking is performed is essential for every dog owner.

The ancient Romans believed that docking a puppy’s tail would protect them from rabies and improve its hunting skills. Both of these assertions have been disproved; therefore, the vet or breeder, in many cases, will dock the puppy’s tail for one of two reasons: cosmetic reasons or to protect dogs from injury. 

Tail docking is sometimes performed on specific breeds of dogs to help them attain a particular aesthetic goal; an example would be compliance with a breed standard for show purposes.

Very few dogs are born without a tail, so this procedure is an elective surgery that some breeders choose to perform. It’s long been the practice with breeds such as the Doberman, Schnauzer, Frenchie, Poodles, Spaniels, and many others.

How Is Cockapoo Tail Docking Performed?

The Cockapoo’s parent breeds, the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle, routinely have their tails docked. Typically the tail docking procedure is performed within five days after the puppy is born.

Is Cockapoo Tail Docking Painful For A Puppy?

Some breeders continue to tail dock cockapoo puppies within five days of birth because they believe the Cockapoo puppy’s nervous system is not yet fully matured. They assume that a puppy with an immature nervous system will not feel significant discomfort.

However, this popular misconception regarding a puppy’s neurological system is false. All puppies have the same basic neurological system, and Cockapoos are no exception. Scientific research demonstrates that the sensitivity to pain in puppies and adult dogs is the same.

Even if a puppy is just two days old, cutting through skin, muscle, nerves, and between bones will never be pain-free.  Restraining a tiny puppy is so easy that many breeders don’t even use anaesthesia or sedative for this operation.

When a vet performs the procedure, they use anaesthesia, and the puppy is typically back playing with the litter later the same day. However, some breeders aren’t happy using anaesthesia because of the potential harm of anaesthesia on a young puppy.

What Are The Typical Ways A Breeder Will Dock A Puppy’s Tail?

Cockapoo breeders will generally use one of the two following methods to remove a puppy’s tail:

The first way is to tie a strong rubber band around the tail. This will effectively prevent the blood supply from reaching the rest of the tail. Within five days, usually, the end of the tail dies and drops off.

The second way is to tightly clamp the tail where the breeder will perform the cut. The tail’s remaining length is cut off using a pair of surgical scissors or a scalpel.

Puppies are reported to be in significant pain during the procedure and the whole day. The dogs feel pain and discomfort for several days afterwards. 

Is Cockapoo Tail Docking Cruel And Unnecessary?

Cockapoo tail docking raises concerns about animal welfare as well as ethical considerations. Many studies have revealed that tail docking has both short-term and long-term impacts. Docked dogs have a variety of health and welfare concerns, including the following:

  • Surgical amputation, even with anaesthetic, can still produce intense pain. The proper development of the dog’s central nervous system may be harmed by exposure to these unpleasant stimuli in the early stages of life. In the long run, this could significantly impact their health and well-being.
  • Post-surgical complications may be possible as well. Excessive bleeding, bacterial infection, issues with the wound not healing, and tissue death are all examples of these complications. Dogs can suffer from nerve injury, which results in chronic discomfort for the rest of the dog’s life.
  • Socially, the tail is an essential part of the Cockapoo’s communication methods. Any Cockapoo owner whose dog has a tail will tell you exactly how much their dog communicates via their tail. 
  • Docking can severely restrict this ability to communicate with other dogs and humans.

Tail docking became illegal in England and Wales under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, save in cases of medical necessity and for certain types of working dogs.

Dogs docked on or after 6 April 2007 in England and 28 March 2007 in Wales were also prohibited from being shown at events that the public paid to attend. A notable exception has been made for working dogs.

Certain breeds of working dogs are exempt from the ban, and docking is permitted for medical reasons. The exemption authorizes veterinary surgeons to dock the tails of some breeds of working dogs. Docking only dogs less than five days old is acceptable, providing the veterinarian has relevant evidence the dog is a working dog breed under the law. 

In England, spaniels,  terriers, and hunt point retrievers or their crosses can have their tails docked (as long as they are legitimately working dogs). A microchip must also be implanted in the docked dog by the time it is three months old. Only qualified veterinarians have the authority to decide whether a dog’s tail can be docked.

Cockapoo Tail Docking: Pros and Cons

With accurate and truthful information, Cockapoo owners can make well-informed decisions about their pet’s health and well-being. Tail docking for your Cockapoo has its benefits and drawbacks.


  • Hygiene reasons
  • Cosmetic purposes
  • Eliminate tail damage possibilities


  • Tail docking can be extremely painful and distressing for a dog.
  • Infections are more likely to spread.
  • It can lead to long-term chronic discomfort that is unwarranted and avoidable.
  • If their tails are docked, they cannot interact effectively with other dogs or their owners.
  • To stimulate the muscles in the dog’s back and legs, they must wag their tail, and a tailless dog or one with a very short tail does not allow this.