by catherineburns9
I've got a 15 month old English Springer. She's from working stock however, initially when I purcased her I had no intentiom of working her so she was left undocked, but over the time I have noticed that she would make a good gundog and she enjoys the hunting and retrieving, she's also picking up whistle commands fast.
However because of her undocked tail it will be difficult for me and her to compete in field trials, so what I want to know is, is it possible to have the tail docked/amputated at such an older age?
I've heard that Springers should actually only have 1/4 of the tail removed leaving 3/4 behind, and so would having the 'rat tail' bit at the end amputated be possible?

by Brittguy
When you purchased her the tail should have already been docked, this is done at 3 to 5 days old.I know of a case where it was done to an older dog , but that was about 30 years ago. I bet you will have a hard time getting a vet to do it for the reasons you give . You do not have to have a docked tail to compete in field trials.

by 3Britts
I had a Springer with an undocked tail some time back. He did fine in trials. In fact, the setter and pointer folks liked him better because his tail sat at 12 o'clock and flagged in the wind. The only problem that we ever had with the tail was when I would leave a drink on the coffee table and call him with a happy voice. That tail would send the dew can, full of course, flying across the room.

by xNF
Don't worry about the tail. Its a precaution like dew claws on a dog. It's not necessary, but down the road if you leave them it can cause more harm than good. The docked tail has less of a chance to cause problems such as knocking things over, getting caught in a barbed fence, or breaking it. Once the dog breaks the tail then worry about removing it. Sometimes it is done just to accommodate the standards of the breed. Save yourself the cash and dog some pain and spend it on a hunting trip.