UPDATE - Nora Sadler reports that the judge disqualified her from competition today for showing her Weimaraner with a natural tail. Sadler says she protested, arguing that the "undocked" tail should result in a deduction of points not a dismissal from the class. She said she has sent a letter to the American Kennel Club asking that the judge be reprimanded and will return on Sunday to try to show her dog again, hoping to appear before a different judge. Sadler also says that several Weimaraner exhibitors told her they supported her efforts.
A Chadds Ford woman is taking her opposition to tail docking to the American Kennel Club show ring this weekend.
Nora Sadler plans to show her Weimaraner Whistler - his tail long and intact, not stubby or docked - at the Bryn Mawr Kennel Club. Sadler says she realizes she will be, well, docked a few points to showing Whistler with his full tail, but is hoping to draw attention to the fact the sporting dog clubs still proclaim the docked tail as the breed standard.
Sadler says in most European countries, including Germany where the Weimaraner breed originated, and England, the practice of docking tails and cropping ears is banned. She says she is among a growing number of people in this country who believe this practice is cruel and unneccessary.
"I've been told that puppies don't feel anything when they are 2-5 days old, yet a book written by a veterinarian says they cry and bleed," Sadler wrote in an email. "Not only do dogs use their tail for expression but also for balance. Of course they can compensate just like a human who has one's toes amputated.Those that favor docking say it's for the dog's safety. I've had four Weimaraners with tails who run through brush and woods and there has never been a problem with their tails. There are several other sporting breeds that do not get their tails docked such as the English Pointer and Setter, the Irish Setter, Labradors and Golden Retrievers."
The American Veterinary Medical Association opposes ear cropping and tail docking of dogs when done solely for cosmetic purposes and encourages the elimination of ear cropping and tail docking from breed standards.