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Discussion Starter #1
I understand there is some controversy around docking.

Without getting into the controversy (immediately), were the Vizsla's docked historically in Hungary? I understand currently, they are not in Europe.
 

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if a breeder can allocate working homes for their dogs in UK, it's legal to dock tails.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm in a Canadian province where docking is legal. I'm interested whether the Vizla, which has been around over 500 years, was historically docked or not.
 

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Mull - AKC - docked & dew claws - just their standard - PIKE is there - the 3 before NOT !!! 4 me - LOVE the long tail - in the field - it is a better flag !!!!!!!
 

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I tried to do a search, but not much came up except reasons why tail docking is evil. ;) Still you might be interested in Vizsla Club of NoCal's site. http://www.vcnc.net/breed/history.shtml

The illustration from 1357 shows a vizsla type dog with undocked tails. The oil painting from Hungarian refugee Elizabeth Mihalyi in 1948 shows a docked dog. So somewhere in between that vast expanse of time tail docking became part of the standard. The short answer to your question is yes they were docked historically.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok.

Our undocked GSP is hyper (even for a GSP), runs full speed through brush all day, and has never had a tail injury. I suspect there is some fear peddling about future tail injuries to justify infant docking.

The controversy is too close to infant circumcision controversy in North America for myself to be comfortable with docking.

Here, people justify circumcision saying it reduces penile cancer. This is true, except penile cancer is so rare that a reduction in rates is meaningless. I understand tail injury rates have increased in Europe some significant amount post ban, but how many dogs need to be docked to prevent one injury?

They say, better as an infant than an adult, an infant won't remember it. Except it is proven through MRI study that infant circumcision causes permanent changes in the limbic system (emotional center of the brain). In humans at least an adult can understand the trauma, and less than 1/500 intact human men need alterations at a later point. No way pups sleep through docking, they are in shock. I don't believe for a second they don't feel it or their nervous systems are undeveloped, they feel pain. The brain is more neuroplastic in infancy than adulthood, so the impact of trauma is greater.

There are many other analogies. I fear that people will come up with all sorts of BS to support a cultural preference.

Plus, intact tails are more expressive.
 

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Mullenc525,

You do have a strong point of view. One I disagree with for the thin and wispy tail of a Vizsa. The second fastest dog behind the Grayhound.

Maybe let Copperman know that his Vizsla's tail that sprays blood everywhere and won't heal properly is because of some fear based bias.

May your GSP live a long happy life. Did you also leave on the dew claws?
 

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I'm not invested in either side of the argument. I'd love to read unbiased studies on it, but everything I've come across from both sides is based in a whole lot of emotion and anecdotes sprinkled with science.

I'd agree with you that there is some fear peddling, but docking, at least in working breeds, came about as necessity born in experience. Last night I read that 500 dogs need to be docked to prevent one injury. Those who work their dogs would much rather them have a little bit of pain as puppies than risk reoccurring highly painful injuries later on. I can't blame them for that. You dispute the little bit of pain part and there is a study from Australia that supports that. As a woman I really can't comment on the similarities between that and infant circumcision. I would think a penis has far more nerve endings than a tail and as a sex organ, any trauma to it would have a far great impact on the limbic system. But that's really just splitting hairs, isn't it?

So do I think docking constitutes animal abuse? Absolutely not. Is it unnecessary? I'm undecided. My girl is an undocked Hungarian import. She'll be the test for me that determines if I side one way or the other.

I forget, do you have a vizsla or are you still looking? There are N. American breeders that don't dock. I was going to get a WHV puppy from one before importing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I am looking for a Vizsla. Jasper, our GSP is undocked with only his front dew claws. That's the way we got him at 4 months, and he's the most energetic dog we've ever encountered. 4 years in the bush without any injuries.

I'm undecided on docking at this point. I do concede that we have selectively bread the canine from the wolf and the tail is not nearly as well padded as nature selected. However I do sense plenty of bias and emotion and fear so it's hard to know what's right.

einspänner, can you tell me which breeders in north america don't dock? I've just started looking. Also, why did you choose to import your dog from Hungary?
 

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As I have a wirehaired vizsla, I don't know of any specific vizsla breeders that don't dock. I should have been more careful about saying that. I'll reach out to the US breeder I'd chosen and see if she knows anyone.

The decision to import came about because my breeder in MI had to cancel her litter. There weren't going to be any other litters born in the States that year she could recommend and she isn't going to have any for a few years so she offered to help me if I wanted to import from a very well known WHV kennel in Hungary. It was the same lines she used and I got my puppy much sooner.

Suliko imported a gorgeous smoothie from Hungary, so if you're interested in that route she could give you info on her breeder. I'll see if I can dig up a more local source first.

It's fine to have a strong belief about docking, but I'd make sure any breeders you find check off all the other boxes too. Common sense, I know, but it can be easy to be single minded when you're passionate. Keep doing research and come to your own conclusions.
 

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Purely anecdotal opinion coming up... ;)

I was anti docking due mainly to biased reports and uninformed conversations, now I've got a V with a gorgeous long tail, he doesn't work but he certainly has an active outdoors life, constant tail injuries coating my house in blood coming from... his lovely long tail hitting door frames at full wag. He is a proper full tilt wiggling wagger and we have had two months of trying to get a split tail tip to heal. Its sore for him, but we're currently healed and trying to get it to completely go with coconut oil.

These days i feel more open minded about the benefits of docking, although by no means would i have an answer for a future puppy. For Morris, eventually we are going to get a more open plan house!

Good luck in your research and puppy hunt.
 

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As someone who hunts a lot and hunts a lot with a setter and a pointer, I see first hand what their tails look like and the blood that covers their sides. I also see what their owner's walls look like after a hunt. And guys, this is almost an every time thing. I can't be for certain, but even after the tail heals, I feel like it is more inclined to injury.
If it is within the standard, I say do it.
I was holding our puppies for the vet when he did the dew claws and tails of our litter we had last year. It was quick, and well done. Yes, it hurt them, but within minutes they got over it. (IE stopped crying and were back asleep)
In this case, in my opinion, an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure.
 
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