How Long to Dock Yorkshire Terrier Tails

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Tail docking is a term that is frequently used in dog breeds like Yorkshire Terriers. However, only a few people know what the tail docking process is and its purpose, and people wonder how long to dock Yorkshire Terrier tails. Is tail docking really important for Yorkshire Terriers?

Well, you don’t need to look for the answer elsewhere. Here’s all about tail docking and all the answers to your question!

How Long to Dock Yorkshire Terrier Tails

If you want to dock your Yorkshire Terrier’s tail, you need to do it as soon as possible. Tail docking recommends for newborn puppies between 24-96 hours or around 1-3 days after birth.

Yorkshire terrier resting on the floor

Tail docking should be done at a very young age since puppies this young are still developing their nervous system which communicates with their pain tolerance. That way, they can tolerate the pain of the surgical process. Any more than 1-3 days will be painful for Yorkshire Terriers and tail docking should be postponed.

If Yorkshire Terriers fail to get their tail docked during their young age, they can continue with the process when they reach 10 weeks of age which is around 3-4 months. At that age, they can put under anesthetics, a pain-reducing drug that cannot administers to puppies less than 10 weeks of age.

Tail Docking Process for Yorkshire Terriers

Tail docking is the surgical process of removing a puppy’s tail for cosmetic and aesthetic purposes. This process is famous for breeds like Yorkshire Terriers and other large size dog breeds.

Historically, tail docking considers a medical process that prevents rabies in dogs, strengthens their back, develops their speed, and prevents unnecessary injuries. In current times, tail docking considers for medical and cosmetic aspects as well as injury prevention.

As for the Yorkshire Terrier breed, tail docking is vital for owners who want to fit with American Kennel Club (AKC) standards which require tails docked for dog shows for aesthetic purposes. The tail docking process is not mandatory for Yorkshire Terriers nor important for their health as long as there are no injuries in their tail that need an amputation.

Tail Docking Process and Length

Tail docking is done in two ways. The first way involves constricting blood supply in the Yorkshire Terrier’s tail by putting a rubber ligature on it for a few days. After a few days, the top part of the tail naturally falls off on its own.

Yorkshire terrier with ball in his mouth

The second one is through the surgical operation of cutting the Yorkie’s tail off using surgical scissors or scalpel done by a trusted and licensed veterinarian in a sterilized and clean area to avoid infections in the wounded area.

In both procedures, the Yorkshire Terrier’s tail should cut to half its size. This way, their dock tails should stay erect at all times compared to undocked tails that fall off naturally to their long length.

Yorkshire Terrier Tail Docking Legality

While there are countries that allow Yorkshire Terrier tail docking for aesthetic and cosmetic purposes, there are still countries that forbid this surgical process and deem it to be unethical and unimportant for the dog’s health. There are, in fact, more countries that don’t allow tail docking than those that allow it.

It is important to know if it is legal to dock your Yorkshire Terrier’s tail in your location. Here are some of the countries that allow tail docking:

  • Egypt
  • France
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Morocco
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand (only allows puppies until 4 days old)
  • Most of the states in the United States of America

Safety Tips and Reminders

Since tail docking is a surgical process that is irreversible in nature, owners should be certain about whether or not they want their Yorkshire Terrier’s tails docked. Thus, they should understand a few considerations and reminders, along with safety tips about tail docking in Yorkshire Terriers.

Cute Yorkshire terrier playing on the grass
  • Owners should put their Yorkshire Terrier’s well-being as the main consideration of whether or not their tails should be docked. Even though tail docking does at a very early stage or with anesthetics, it can still inflict pain and discomfort on your Yorkshire Terrier. With that, a lot of countries banned tail docking since it inflicts unnecessary pain on dogs like Yorkshire Terriers.
  • Tail docking, however, can have different benefits aside from looking more pleasing to some people. For instance, tail docking does to avoid injuries along with Yorkshire Terrier tails which can be prone to clumsy and painful injuries as their tails start to grow longer.
  • Tail docking should do in a sterile and clean environment, especially the first method of using rubber ligatures. If not done appropriately, it can lead to infection and excruciating pain for Yorkshire Terriers.
  • Avoid wound infection in the docked area of the tail by using sterile items during the tail docking process and wound healing process.
  • Prefer tail docking through a veterinarian surgical procedure, particularly for new owners to avoid health issues and infections for Yorkshire Terriers.
  • After the tail docking procedure, it’s best to attentively monitor your dog’s incision to detect any infection. This can be characterized by redness, swelling, and discharge along the incision area.
  • Make sure to keep your dog’s environment such as their bedding and tail’s bandage clean. This to avoid bacteria that can infect their incision.
  • Always keep an on-call or 24/7 veterinary clinic in your emergency contact for emergencies.


Tail docking of Yorkshire Terriers should be done as early as 1-3 days in either one of the two methods. Additionally, put rubber ligatures until half of the tail falls off or surgically remove it with a veterinarian’s help. If not done immediately after birth, it should be postponed until Yorkies are 10 weeks old.