Are Yorkies Born With Tails?

Are Yorkies Born With Tails?

Watching your Yorkie wag its tail in excitement is such an adorable thing to look at. When you take your puppy for a walk you may also notice its tail moving from left to right as if the tail had a personality of its own! This must have made you think of the question: are Yorkies born with tails?

We will discuss the question: are Yorkies born with tails? Further below we will give you an understanding of tail docking and if you should consider going with the procedure. 

So are Yorkies born with tails? What role do their tails play, the importance a tail holds, and some other considerations? Let’s find out more!

Are Yorkies Born With Tails?

Are Yorkies Born With Tails?

Yes, Yorkshire terriers are born with tails just like most dog breeds out there. Many veterinarians believe that the tail is as important as any other part of a dog’s body. 

They stress the importance of Yorkies and other dogs have a tail. Firstly, a tail acts as a counterbalance for the dog when it is leaping, climbing, or walking through narrow pathways and roads.

They also believe that it plays a role in defecating and when a dog wags its tail, it strengthens the perineal area of its body reducing chances of perineal hernia in dogs.

Lastly, dog’s tails are also used for communicating emotions like happiness, sadness, and excitement. Through the wagging of the Yorkie’s tail,  the owner understands that their puppy is excited for a task or sad when they don’t move their tail at all.

Thus, Yorkshire terriers and other dog breeds are born with tails that serve the above-stated purposes. However, Yorkshire terriers and other dog breeds still have their tails docked due to various reasons, which will be discussed below. 

How Does A Yorkie Tail Look?

Now that you’ve gotten an answer to your question: are Yorkies born with tails? you may be wondering what these tails look like.

Yorkshire terriers are hairy and furry animals, and therefore, their tails are hairy and fury too. Yorkie puppies have a thin and a small hairy tail while adult Yorkies have a longer tail with hair sticking out like that of a big bird’s feather.

Why Are Yorkies Tails Docked?

Are Yorkies Born With Tails?

1. For The Aesthetics

A reason why owners get their Yorkie’s tail docked is for its appearance. A small tail is usually seen as elegant and high class and hence some pet owners have their Yorkie’s tail docked.

A long tail might indicate messiness or lack of grooming. Since Yorkies have hairy and long tails, pet owners actually prefer to get it cropped so that it looks neater. 

2. To Fulfill Kennel Club Requirements

The most common reason as to why Yorkies’ tails are docked is for them to be eligible to participate in dog shows and competitions. These dog shows and competitions have their own standards and rules that pet owners need to follow in order for their dog to take part in the show.

One such famous dog association is the American Kennel Club. The AKC requires Yorkies to have their tail cut short to the level of it being aligned with their back. 

Other clubs that require Yorkies to undergo tail docking are the Continental Kennel Club (CKC), New Zealand Kennel Club (NKC), United Kennel Club (UKC), and the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC). 

Thus, if you plan on enrolling your little puppy into one of these clubs, you will have to get its tail docked according to the club’s requirements.

3. To Prevent Injuries

Dog’s tails have been docked for ages. In Rome, people docked a dog’s tail because they believed it prevented rabies. People also docked dog’s tails to protect them from hunting injuries.

Talking about Yorkshire terriers particularly, these little puppies were bred in European nations to chase and kill rats commonly seen in shipyards and clothing mills.

People in those days would cut off the tails of these Yorkies so that they could chase the rats better and protect themselves from rat bites.

4. Because Of A Dead tail 

When a Yorkie has a condition known as a dead tail, also called a limber tail syndrome, it isn’t able to move its tail. This occurs because of nerve damages in the tail. For such reasons that involve a medical condition, veterinarians may advise the Yorkie to go through tail docking. 

Here’s a video for you to gain more understanding about the limber tail syndrome. 

Take a look at this video here to get more understanding:

Is It Necessary To Dock Your Yorkie’s Tail?

Are Yorkies Born With Tails?

Now that we looked at are Yorkie’s born with tails? let’s find out if their tails need to be docked or not.

There is no hard and fast rule here saying that you have to get your Yorkshire terriers tail docked unless it is for pet competitions. Many countries like England, Germany, Greece, Ireland, etc have banned the docking of tails of dogs. 

However, if you want to get into the American Kennel Club, Australian National Kennel Council or New Zealand Kennel Club, or other clubs you will have to get your Yorkie docked for it to be able to participate in the competition. 

Thus, docking of tails is only done for dog competition or aesthetic purposes. If your Yorkie is a working dog (which is least likely as Yorkies do not work in clothing mills and shipyards anymore), it is necessary to get their tails docked to avoid injuries while chasing rats which was what Yorkies were originally bred to do.

Therefore, as the law in many countries is against docking a dog’s tail, it is advised to not dock your Yorkies tail. However, if your Yorkie has a medical condition called limber tail syndrome where there is damage to the nerves of the tail, you should get the tail docked.

What Is The Best Age To Dock Your Yorkie’s Tail?

Tail docking is the surgical removal of a dog’s tail for aesthetic or shows purposes. It is performed within 24 hours after the birth of a Yorkie or within 2-5 days after birth.

The reason for this is because newborn Yorkies are still developing, their nerves and sense organs are weak and hence they are less likely to feel pain. 

Older Yorkies who have a completely developed sensory and nervous system may experience more pain and take a little more time for healing.

Newborn Yorkies because of their healthy immune system tend to heal quickly from the surgery experiencing very little pain. Thus, veterinarians recommended pet owners get their Yorkies docked at an early age. 

However, if you haven’t docked your dog early on and wish to do so for aesthetic or dog show purpose you can still go and consult your vet. They might perform the surgery depending on whether the procedure is banned in the country you live in or not.

Can Your Yorkie Die From Tail Docking?

Your Yorkie won’t die from tail docking if it is done by a professional veterinarian. If the tail docking procedure is performed by someone who is not used to doing it or is unfamiliar with the process, it can cause medical complications.

Also, sometimes what happens is in older dogs when given the general anesthesia for the procedure, the anesthesia may be applied to only one region of the tail which may cause your dog pain and discomfort. It may also lead to trauma for some pets.

While docking does not cause the death of Yorkie, take a look at several other reasons that might cause your Yorkie to die.

Does AKC Support Yorkie Tail Docking?

The American Kennel Club 100% supports tail docking for all dog breeds going to participate in their competitions or events. Despite many countries banning the practice of tail docking in many countries, the United States still supports this procedure.

In the US, as per the American Kennel Club standard, Yorkies have to compulsorily get their tails docked to a medium length. This leaves a small snub in the back. This is a very important requirement especially for Yorkies in the dog show.

Along with tail docking, they specify other requirements like ear cropping and the good health of the dog breed. This is to reduce the chances of injuries while participating in the activities.

During these activities, Yorkies and other dogs have to go through tunnels and small holes, and thus docking their tail helps them get through the other side easily.

Hence, it is a necessity that needs to be fulfilled without which they won’t be let to participate.

Check out our detailed study about tail docking here.

What Are The Risk Factors Of Yorkie Tail Docking?

Now that we have answered the question: are Yorkies born with tails? And the whole scenario about tail docking in Yorkies, let’s examine some risk factors that may be associated with the procedure.

As dock tailing includes a surgical procedure, it can have some risks and complications like:

1. Increased risk of infections due to the surgical procedure

Sometimes after the surgical procedure and because of not proper post care of the docked tail, it may actually cause an infection.

Make sure you change the bandages daily and keep the bedding of your Yorkie clean so as to control external contamination and risk of infection as much as possible. 

2. Excessive bleeding of the tail

Depending from Yorkie to Yorkie, sometimes when owners themselves dock the tail of their Yorkies with a band and it may cause excessive bleeding which can lead to further complications. 

In this case, visit your vet as soon as possible. 

3. Neuromas

This refers to chronic pain post-surgery or during the process. It increases discomfort in your pet.

4. Prolonged Healing Time 

Sometimes healing of the wound takes time depending on how the surgery went. This causes your dog to be in a lot of physical distress.  

FAQs on Are Yorkies Born With Tails?

1. What Type Of Dogs Are Born Without Tails?

Many dog breeds are born with tails while others get their tail docked early or later on in life. However, there are certain dogs who are biologically born without a tail. 

  • Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are born without tails. They have a little tiny appearance called “nub” but it isn’t considered to be an actual tail.

  • Croatian Sheepdog

These dogs used to have long tails but because docking became illegal in Croatia and selective breeding was the only option to have these dogs, today this dog breed has a little or no tail at all. 

  • Pembroke Welsh Corgi

These dogs have a mutation in the T gene that causes their tails to be very tiny or completely missing. 

  • Brittany Spaniel

This dog breed is bred as gun dogs and whilst most of them have short tails some of them are born tailless.

  • Braque du Bourbonnais

These are also called “short-tail pointers” and originated in France. 

2. How Do You Cut a Yorkie’s Tail Off?

Docking off a Yorkie’s tail is a surgical procedure done by a vet. Some people even do it at home with their little newborn Yorkies. A band is tied to the end of the tail and after around 3-5 days the tail falls off.

Pet owners are then advised to get it checked with a vet so that it is properly bandaged or taken care of to avoid contamination and the spread of infection.

3. Why Do Yorkies Have No Tail?

Yorkies are actually born with a tail. Therefore if they do not have a tail it is because it has been docked. This is either done by pet wonders or vets.

The reasons for the same can be for beautification purposes or to be eligible to participate in dog shows.


In conclusion, you must have got the answer: Are Yorkies born with tails? Apart from this, we have also provided several other tail docking information.

If you are considering getting your Yorkie docked for the above-stated reasons please consult your vet. A medical reason like the limber tail is another reason for considering tail docking for your Yorkie. You can again consult your vet for more details about the same. 

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