Probably makes a little bit of difference. Some of my Rideau Arcotts need very little off. I dock wethers very long, just take off the hairy end really. Ewes I want to have longish tails, but I'm sorry to say I don't have a "rule" or method I just eyeball each one.
I dock long enough to cover the rectum and vulva. I'd personally rather dock too long than too short. I should note that I don't show my babydolls, so I have no concern over what is currently fashionable in the show ring. According to the sheepy magazines, what is now recommended for the show ring is docking behind the "caudal fold", or the webbing on either side of the tail where it meets the body. Hope this helps.
We dock longer as well on our cheviots. how I judge it is... underneath the tail is an area of skin that narrows down until there is just wool all the way around the tail. It's at that point that I dock. Our older ewes who were born off our farm were docked too short in my opinion and they don't have enough tail to swat flies/biting bugs away from very sensitive areas! We don't show our sheep either, and I'd rather that they has a fly-swatter... that's what it was put there for in the first place!
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