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Tail Docking and Ear Cropping on Puppies and Young Dogs. Opinions?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Faeryl, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. Faeryl

    Faeryl Babbling Loonie
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    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.
     
  2. kelmo

    kelmo Old and in the way
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    Ridiculousness! Leave those ears and tails alone!
     
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  3. kelmo

    kelmo Old and in the way
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    Only silly, vain, and off kilter humans need to have body surgery...
     
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  4. Faeryl

    Faeryl Babbling Loonie
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    That's how I feel about ear cropping, being that in almost all cases, it's purely cosmetic. However, in the case of tail docking, it provides a benefit to many of the working breeds it's performed on.

    In the case of Aussies, they're sheep/cattle herders. If their tails weren't docked, then they could end up with some severe injuries to their tails, or have burs and such caught in their fur. In the case of burs, it can be time consuming, painful and usually quite stressful to have to get them brushed out over and over. Also, tails don't heal from injuries, therefore any injury to the tail would likely result in the amputation of the tail anyways.

    I also believe that it's better to dock the tail while they're still quite young, only days old, as the wound caused by the removal of the tail will heal much, much faster than any later amputation, and it would (I assume) be less painful as well. Not to mention that, while not present in all breeds, some breeds (like the Aussies) can carry what is known as the MDR1 mutation (a sensitivity to certain drugs), which can cause major issues when doing a procedure involving anesthesia. Say a dog with the MDR1 mutation suffers a tail injury and needs to go under anesthesia to have it amputated, if the owner and vet are unaware of the presence of the mutation, it could result in the death of the dog.
     
  5. Hunters' Moon

    Hunters' Moon Grand Inquisitor
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    Only if the ear cropping and tail docking is done right by someone that knows what they are doing. I have seen mistakes made to the point that the life of the dog was in jeopardy.Some I have seen some that had to have their ears removed completely because of mistakes made in treating the stitches afterward. I feel that it does make some dogs look better,but too many people are careless about the procedure.
     
  6. Vince

    Vince Journeyman
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    I don't mind Tail docking because it prevents a lot of pain for the dogs in the later years.

    As for ears, no.
     
  7. Triberius

    Triberius Firefall Moderator | LotRO Moderator
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    This pretty much sums it up for me, the only other reasoning I could see is for those that are actually "showing" their dogs. In that case it becomes something of a harder decision. For some breeders, especially those that show dogs professionally, the ear cropping as controversial as it is becomes an investment in an asset so I can see their point of view. A puppy from an outstanding pedigree can cost thousands of dollars so by winning shows these people are building value in their pets genetic stock. Personally I don't want a breed that routinely gets their ears cropped simply for the reason of it being purely cosmetic. Tail docking though on working breeds, and some hunting breeds (Weimaraner's for example) can be a benefit and most of the time I don't have to make the decision since tail docking is done so young. Even if I don't plan to hunt or work these dogs, I can understand why it's done, a perspective breeder does not know the absolute future of the puppy any more than you probably know what you'll see tomorrow morning on your trip to work, will the car in the opposite lane at any given moment be a Toyota or a Ford, will the person who buys X puppy be using them as a work/hunting dog or will it be simply a house pet.
     
  8. Emma Silvermane

    Emma Silvermane Journeyman
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    someone once tried to tell me that on dogs like danes they have to cut ears because when they shake there heads it could pop vessels in the ears .. but whatever .. I think all dogs with ears and tails should keep them .. I know alot of dogs with them look alot less menacing with them :) even tho tails are notoriously dangerous for cups and things with in swinging reach but thats any dog with a tail
     
  9. Sevin0oo0

    Sevin0oo0 Guest

    10 years with papered pups should tell me the answer. What do your peers do?
    Is it for the best interest of the pet, or the owner?
    healthy, happy, well maintained, is what i follow
     
  10. Neilcoffey

    Neilcoffey Guest

    +1
     
  11. LadyNico

    LadyNico Always Present
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    On the basis of animal cruelty, ear & tail docking in dogs is illegal here in the UK except in some specific circumstances. The exceptions usually include some specialist "working dogs," however, the trend is towards addressing tail injuries if/when they should occur. Common sense suggests refraining from breeding those animals lacking in sufficient awareness of their own appendages that they routinely draw blood.
     
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  12. eve

    eve Journeyman
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    NO! just NO!