Complete Guide to a Cockapoo Tails

Complete Guide to a Cockapoo Tails

Should you dock a Cockapoo’s tail? Here’s what you need to know about the disadvantages and why people want to dock a Cockapoo’s tail. The choice for docking a Cockapoo tail can be complex, involving many factors. This procedure is still relevant in many dog breeds, while others discourage the process of cropping an animal’s tail and ears.

Do Cockapoos Have Tails? What About Tail Docking?
Do Cockapoos Have Tails? What About Tail Docking?

Before you dock your pet’s tail, you should consider the benefits and disadvantages to make the right choice for you and your Cockapoo. Some countries have made tail docking illegal, while others still allow the procedure on specific breeds. Before you choose this route for your pet, check with your local veterinarian to ensure that it is a method that is acceptable in your location.

Why Do People Still Dock the Tails on Some Dog Breeds?

The Cockapoo mixed breed comes from combining a purebred Cocker Spaniel with a purebred Poodle. Both these breeds will sport a docked tail when their owners want to adhere to American Kennel Club (AKC) standards.

Should A Cockapoo's Tail Be Docked?
Should A Cockapoo’s Tail Be Docked?


Some dog owners generally prefer the look of a docked tail rather than a full-length style. This individual choice can be the only reason some Cockapoo tails have docking while others do not. In addition, some breeders prefer the look and will dock the tails of litters before they are available for adoption.

Adhere to Breed Standards

Therefore, many breeders who produce Cockapoo litters will dock the tails on the puppies to resemble the parent dogs. However, the Cockapoo breed is not a recognized breed with AKC, and there are no pre-set standards that stipulate they require tail docking. Some professional breeders will aim to have their litters as close as possible to the parent breeds, while others feel it is unnecessary and leave the tails intact.

Eliminating Vulnerability

In some dog breeds that typically guard properties, owners would dock the tails to help their animal from being vulnerable during an attack. Eliminating a long tail means that the dog has less chance of someone or another dog grabbing its tail during a fight or attack, which could make them vulnerable.

Ancient Beliefs

Decades ago, people believed that docking a dog’s tail would help minimize the chance of them contracting rabies, provide better tracking balance, strengthen the back, and improve their hunting skills. Since both Poodles and Cocker Spaniels were sporting dogs, their tails would be shorter, leading the way for offspring to follow suit, including hybrid breeds.

Health and Safety

Sometimes tail docking can help the animal by keeping them safe and healthy. If a dog sustains a tail injury, amputation may be necessary to keep your pet healthy and avoid infection or chronic pain. Dog owners who want to prevent future tail injuries may choose this procedure early in their puppy’s life.

For example, some hunters want to prevent their pet’s tail from getting caught in the underbrush, while other owners with Happy Tail Syndrome have over-enthusiastic dogs who choose to crop their tails for safety. In addition, Cockapoo docked tails may also help the animal stay cleaner. Their coat will have less chance of matting in their tail and rear, giving owners an easier time when grooming your Cockapoo

Disadvantages of a Cockapoo Docked Tail

Of course, there are always disadvantages to medical procedures like tail docking on your pet at any age. Before choosing whether it is suitable for you and your dog, knowing the drawbacks can help provide more details to make the best decision possible.

It is Not Necessary to Dock Your Cockapoo’s Tail

Some reasons people choose to dock a Cockapoo’s tail are not proven advantageous, making this procedure unnecessary. For example, having a shorter tail does not protect your dog against rabies, help them hunt better, or give them a better balance. It can cause adverse complications, making it an outdated procedure.

Docking Your Cockapoo’s Tail Can Interfere With Communication

Dogs naturally use their tails to communicate with other animals and humans. When they have a cropped tail, it takes away that visible indicator that can help to know the emotional state of your puppy.

Cockapoos who cannot communicate correctly with other dogs may experience anxiety and nervousness because others can misinterpret their cues. This disadvantage can make your puppy fearful of other animals and create future behavior problems.

Docking Your Cockapoo’s Tail Can Be Costly

Depending on your location and the method you choose for docking, this procedure can be costly. For example, some breeders may pay anywhere from $10 to $75 per puppy for tail docking, which can drive up the cost of obtaining your new pet. As a result, your pet may also suffer further medical complications that can increase vet costs later in life.

Your Cockapoo Can Develop Medical Problems After Docking Tail

There is a possibility of complications with any medical procedure, including tail docking. Cockapoos are not immune to the adverse effects of having their tail cropped. There is a risk of developing an infection at the site, prolonged pain, nerve damage, and prolonged healing.

Tail wagging also helps to stimulate the muscles and tendons in a dog’s rear and back legs. However, with a shorter tail, they may not effectively stimulate these areas and can suffer from incontinence later or other muscle degenerative problems. Another common issue for some dogs is developing amputation neuroma at their tail.

This syndrome can develop cancerous cells, and your pet will continuously bother its tail. In addition, a dog may become hypersensitive or aggressive if someone touches the area or disturbs its tail. The only successful way to rid your Cockapoo of neuroma is to remove the rest of the tail section with a professional veterinarian.

Your Cockapoo Puppy Feel Pain If You Dock Its Tail

Although some individuals state that young puppies do not feel pain as much as adult dogs, amputating the tail still produces pain. The belief that very young puppies do not have a fully-developed nervous system that can feel pain is one that many individuals dispute today.

This procedure will happen in the first few days of life, and depending on the method, there may be no freezing or anesthetic present. Whether they experience a little bit or a lot of pain is still debatable, but it is still present.

Docking a Cockapoo’s Tail Can Interfere With Balance and Movement

Cockapoos that sport shorter tails may have issues with balance and movement as they grow older. A dog’s tail guides them as they run and jump, offering stability. When a breeder or veterinarian removes a portion of it, the puppy may exhibit difficulties maintaining its balance and transitioning over various terrains, making them more susceptible to other injuries.

What Does Docking a Cockapoo Tail Involve?

There are two ways to dock a Cockapoo tail correctly. First, it will ensure that the dog’s tail does not measure longer than four inches when fully grown. A professional veterinarian or an expert breeder with the proper equipment and training should be the only ones executing this procedure.

These two methods include:

  • Banding
  • Surgical amputation


Banding is a relatively straightforward process to docking a Cockapoo’s tail, but it does take time. A professional carries out this procedure between the first few days of a puppy’s life, usually between days two and five. A tight band tourniquet is wrapped around the tail where the docking should be.

This process cuts off the blood supply to the tail’s end, leaving dead tissues in that section. The dead part of the tail will naturally fall off on its own between three and seven days. However, some breeders may choose to cut it off once no live tissue is left.

Banding is a procedure that is typically only available for Cockapoos between two and five days old. You should not try this method if you have an older Cockapoo, as other complications can arise, causing your dog pain and health problems.

Surgical Amputation

Surgical amputation for Cockapoo tail docking can be successful at any age with a professional veterinarian. Although some dog breeders or owners find it best to have this completed in the first two weeks of a puppy’s life, you can safely do it later with care. A veterinarian will separate the bones in the tail where the docking procedure will take place.

This method can use a scalpel, surgical scissors, laser surgery, or electrosurgery to remove the rear tail portion. Depending on the dog’s age, breed, and size, the vet may use some anesthetic. Once the longer section is gone, the vet will use a stitch to suture the end of the tail and close up the wound for optimal healing.

Tail Docking Aftercare

You must follow proper aftercare to keep your Cockapoo dog healthy and prevent complications if you choose to dock your pet’s tail. In addition, depending on the method that your breeder or veterinarian used to dock your dog’s tail, you may have to follow different recovery steps.

It is vital that while your Cockapoo is healing from this procedure, you must:

  • Watch the site for any signs of infection, including swelling, redness, leaking fluid, or a warmer than average temperature
  • Change the bandage regularly to keep the site sterile and clean
  • Keep your pet or other animals from licking the wound
  • Ensure you keep your pet clean to avoid debris from reaching the site
  • Use a cone or other preventative device if your dog will not leave their tail alone

Some veterinarians will use dissolvable sutures to close the skin at the tip of the tail. These will dissolve and disappear between five and ten days. Other times, you may have to return to the vet and have them remove the stitches between five and seven days.

Do Cockapoos have tails, what should they look like?

Cockapoos naturally have long fluffy tails, that when relaxed usually point straight out behind them. Because Cockapoos are mixed between a Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel the look of Cockapoo tails can vary depending on which breed it favors.

Some Cockapoos will have tails that curl nicely over their backs, others have tails that extend behind similar to a Cocker Spaniel. A few Cockapoos have tails that stand straight up. If your Cockapoo has a short stub tail then it probably has been docked.

Do Cockapoo Tails Curl?

Normally Cockapoo tails don’t curl. A curly tail may be considered a flaw in genetics, but as there are no strict standards for how a tail should look. A curly tail should not be cause for concern. Normally both Poodles and Cocker Spaniels have an erect tail held behind the dog’s hocks not curled at all.

How long are Cockapoo tails?

Cockapoo natural tails are on average are 8 to 10 inches long however it is not uncommon for Cockapoos to have tails ranging from 3.5 inches all the way to 16 inches long. Cockapoos who have docked tails will have tails no longer than 4 inches.

Final Thoughts

If you live in an area where tail docking is still an acceptable procedure, you must talk to your local veterinarian about it. Some dogs may benefit from having a docked tail, while for others, it can be completely unnecessary. Although Cockapoos are not an acknowledged breed by the American Kennel Club, other associations recognize and accept them to help maintain breeding standards.

These clubs will accept dogs with natural and docked tails. This way, they leave the choice up to the breeder and owner. Seek a professional’s advice and research what tail docking involves and how to care for your Cockapoo afterward.

These steps can indicate if it is the right choice for you and your dog. The procedure can be safe if done correctly and leave your pet healthy and happy. If you want a Cockapoo with a full-length tail, choose a breeder that will respect your wishes and leave it intact after birth.

Edward Hollon is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Edward has been writing for petdii for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Edward has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Edward knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.