Being docked is not an ailment nor an illness, but as a very sad conclusion may be put to a valuable pup's life by the operation carelessly performed, it is as well to say a word about it. Docking should never be left until the eyes open and the nervous system is fully organized. At such an age it is a piece of gross cruelty and the risk of haemorrhage is enormously increased. Unless puppies are very weakly, they should be docked at five days old at latest. Happy is the owner whose Poms or Pugs require no such improvement! The Schipperke owner has been especially commiserated or vituperated, as the case might be, but as a matter of fact there is, in the hands of a competent surgeon, used to operate on these and other dogs, not one iota more risk or more pain or more difficulty than in dealing with a terrier. Docking should be done by a skilled veterinary surgeon, with proper antiseptic precautions. His hands and the strong scissors used are first made thoroughly antiseptic by washing in carbolic or some other antiseptic solution, and the operation can be done without the pup's losing any blood at all to speak of.

The wounds are dressed with iodoform powder and tannic acid powder, mixed, and in one hour the mother, who should be sent out for a walk while the surgeon is in the house, will be admitted to them, and they will be sucking as if nothing had happened. Occasionally, owing to some idiosyncrasy of the individual, a puppy may bleed after docking, and therefore a careful watch must always be kept. If there is any haemorrhage, bathe with very cold water in which alum has been dissolved, and apply a styptic, as tannic acid or perchloride of iron. But it is always well to ask the operator to remain for an hour or so, until all risk is over. The bloodvessels very quickly seal up at their ends (to use untechnical language), and the tongue of the mother, when re-admitted after the necessary interval, will do no harm. Though docking is neither dangerous nor cruel when properly done on puppies so young that they have little or no sensation in their undeveloped nerves, it is a barbarism to let any ignorant person, as a groom or coachman, do it; and the dog owner who will not sacrifice her own possible repugnance sufficiently to co-operate with the skilled surgeon in seeing it properly done, at least owes it as a duty to her dumb dependents to pay him to take all reasonable care, and bring an assistant to hold them, and stay until they are quite safe and comfortable.