The manner in which a Vizsla is to be groomed is an important, agreed upon matter whereas tail docking within the breed is a hotly contested and multifaceted topic. Tail docking is when some of the very tip of the tail is removed. There are two sides to the debate of tail docking and one side is just as impassioned as the other.
Traditionally, one third of a Hungarian Vizsla's tail is docked. It is not the only breed to have its tail docked but it is one who has the longest history of it occurring. However, Australia banned the practice in 2004. The reason was basically cited that tail docking was a form of abuse to the Vizsla, but subsequent to the ban a high number of injuries began happening to Vizslas with tails that have not been clipped. The debate over the Vizsla tail docking has several key positions that arise again and again.
One argument that critics of tail docking put forth is that other hunting dogs do not get their tails docked, so the Vizsla should not either. But proponents of tail docking cite that the tails of other hunting breeds may have coarser hair and more flesh on them, making it less likely that they will become injured. The thin nature of the Vizsla's tail at its end makes it susceptible to damage during a hunt or roughhousing.
Another aspect to the debate is whether or not tail docking a Vizsla is "Cosmetic Mutilation". There is even a fight over whether or not that is the correct terminology to use. The supporter of tail docking might say they disagree that cutting the Vizsla's tail just for aesthetic reasons is wrong, but he may still believe there are practial reasons for tail doking.
Those against tail docking say that tails are needed so that a dog maintains balance or that tails are needed by a dog in order to swimming properly. However, there is not evidence that the one third of the tip of the tail that is recommended removed forma Vizsla's tail makes a difference in either activity.
Finally, the critics of tail docking say that it is painful while supporters of it disagree. If the procedure, advocates of tail docking say, is conducted on a puppy that is less than 3 days old, then he has not developed feeling in the tip of his tail yet. The tail is muscle-less, has no nerves and is soft.
What supporters of tail docking like to stress is that tail docking, when done properly, is done for the practical reason of avoiding bringing unnecessary pain an injury to a Vizsla. With the excess flesh and skin at the tip of the tail, the Vizsla is in danger of getting his tail hooked on something or ripped off during a hunt. Hopefully the critic and advocates of tail docking can one day come to some compromise, as even veterinarians are divided on the issue.