WSS Hands-On Handling

So, what the heck do I do with the tail?

Whether or not your dog's tail is docked, the tail should still be level (3:00) coming off the topline. It should never be pegged at 1:00. And if your dog is proudly holding his own tail at 12:00 High, then I suggest you take over the tail-holding responsibilities at set-up time.

No butts about it… the standard says: "The tail is an extension of the topline. Carriage is nearly horizontal or slightly elevated when the dog is excited."

This is SLIGHTLY elevated.
This is NOT.
This is my interpertion of ideal.

Showing a dog with an undocked tail certainly is a new experience — for everyone. There isn't any right or wrong way to do it. Personally, because it is easier for me, I prefer holding the long tail at the natural taper — which is where it would have ended had it been docked — and letting the rest go where it wants. Other people hold their dog's tail out full length. We all experiment with what looks best for our dog. I have observed Scandinavian handlers taking the end of the tail and tucking it in the sleeve of their jacket. Others have taken the tail and twisted the 'flag' portion back to the right so the appearance resembles a docked tail. If you are lucky and your undocked dog has a good tail set and a relatively straight carriage all the way out to the tip I would recommend teaching your dog to hold his tail on his own, and then, you don't have to worry about it one way or the other.


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