So, I've had Australian Shepherds for over 10 years, and just helped whelp a litter of Aussie puppies a week ago. One of the requirements in their breed standard is tail docking, which I often talk about with my mom and other dog people, as well as another procedure known as ear cropping. For those that don't know: Tail Docking is a medical procedure done to remove part of the tail. It is typically done by snipping off the tail with surgical scissors or by placing a band on the tail to cut off blood supply. Docking is done in the first two to eight days of a puppy's life without sedation. However, older puppies and dogs require general anesthesia and must undergo the procedure of tail amputation. Docking is often performed on working dogs to protect their tails from injury in the fields. In some cases it is also done cosmetically to coincide with breed standard. Ear Cropping is a surgical procedure that involves the precise cutting and shaping of the ear pinna in order to make the ears stand erect. After surgery, the ears are bandaged and propped up so they heal in an erect position, and bandage changes are done weekly. The ears are to remain taped and propped up until they stand on their own. The healing process for this procedure can take 4-8 weeks. Cropping is most often performed on specific breeds of puppies between the age of eight to twelve weeks. It is an elective cosmetic surgical procedure done in order to achieve a specific "look" that coincides with breed standard. Both of these procedures are considered to be controversial. I know where I stand in both cases, but I'd just like to hear some other opinions on the matter.