Docking Tails

© USKBTC 1992

Kerry puppies must have their tails docked (docking is the twisting off of the tail tips after “clamping” the tail at a given point usually by means of a hemostat). Breeders practice as to when this is done varies, but the third day seems to be the average, it should never be done later than on the fifth day. Expertly done, the docking is not difficult, takes but a few seconds and will cause little bleeding (nevertheless one of the medical powder blood clotters should be on hand). Novice breeders should have the tails docked by the veterinarian.

It is important to leave neither too much nor too little so as not to adversely affect the Kerry’s appearance particularly in the show ring.

If the veterinarian’s experience has been only with other breeds, you should request that one third of the tail be removed, leaving two thirds of the original tail on the puppy. (A good way of measuring is to place a plastic ruler behind the tail, letting it rest in the groove of the ruler.) Be sure not to leave more than two thirds, approximately 1 1/2 inches.

Do not have the tails docked in the same room where the puppy’s dam is-she might get very excited. Have someone take her for a walk.

Last Updated: 12/19/2002, 4:15 pm