Change to the tail Standard

The latest Kennel Club Journal includes an amendment to the breed Standard. Presumably it comes into effect immediately.

The tail clause now reads:

“Previously customarily docked short.

“Undocked: set in line with the topline. Natural carriage which may be above or below topline when moving or alert. Natural bobtails may occur, when the tail can be of any length, carried above or below topline when moving or alert.”

The previous tail Standard read:

“Short, preferably natural.

“Docked: Short.

“Undocked: Set in line with topline. Natural carriage above topline when moving or alert.”

So there is now no actual preference for natural bob tails, but their existence is acknowledged and it makes sense that the carriage for the shorter tails (and as we have seen there can be quite a variation in the length of the bobs) should have the same requirement as for full tails.

Basically, then, anything goes where tail carriage is concerned, though the tail set is still ‘in line with the topline’.

I think most of us probably regard the ideal carriage to be a continuation of the topline or slightly higher (in other words somewhat higher than the Cardigan ideal but not over the back), but the worry is that if you are too specific about such things in the Standard, some judges will tend unduly to penalise good dogs whose tail carriage departs from the stated ideal, and can we really afford this when, let’s be honest, the number of top quality Pembrokes being shown is not what it was in the breed’s show ring heyday?

So the new Standard, which effectively allows any tail carriage but is specific about the tail set, is arguably the best way forward.

Of course docked dogs, if born in countries where the procedure is still legal, can still be shown at most (though not all) UK shows.

SIMON PARSONS

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