Cropping Animals - Cruelty or Necessity?

This subject came up in a conversation so I hand it over to the board. Why do some animals have parts of their body cut off? Usually this applies to pets, dogs in particular, but I have also heard it has been done to sheep. My own miniature pinscher has his tail cut and it is now just a stub, so I ask why? What would be so wrong for my little house dog to have kept his tail? Is it just some sick notion that someone once decided that that breed of dog looks better without a tail just to place higher in a dog show? Say it ain’t so! I also had a neighbor that their doberman had his ears cropped, but the dog was already an adult, whats going on? Fork over the straight dope please!

There are some farmers that will crop (or dock) the tails of their cows. Mostly it’s so they don’t get hit by the tail while they’re milking or working with them. We’ve never done it and I see very few farmers at all with their cows tails docked so I think the process has pretty much died out. We do have cows that have done it to themselves by getting it caught in something and then ended up pulling it apart. Anyhow if you see cows without horns, it means they’ve been dehorned in their youth. This practice is quite common, it makes the cow much safer to work with. We always do this at the same time that the calves are vaccinated. The vaccination is required by the state at between 3 to 9 months of age. It is done by a vet and the calves are given both a general and local anasthetic (sp?). The root of the horns are removed and the blood vessels that feed it are removed as far back as possible. So safety is the main reason why horns are removed (which is common) and conveniance is the reason for removeing tails (not very common).

Yeah! Like that thing they do to (some of) us guys just before we leave the hospital.

Shouldn’t steers be included in this discussion? IIRC, the procedure helps cut down on both barb wire and catgut expenses. :wink:

I have heard it is because the animals were originally breed for hunting purposes. Trimming off excess ear and tail left them less likely to be caught and torn in thick underbrush and thorns. Now centuries later we do it because… well, thats just the way they are supposed to look now. However I have also heard that the American Kennel Club now allows dogs to be entered into dog shows without the cropping and with no penelty.

Sounds good to me! I would never cut or crop anything off of my dogs just to make them look more natural… sounds bassackwards to me.

Just there most manly parts and for different reasons… haha.

“Boy, wouldja get a load of the cloaca on that one”? -Cecil Adams, october 8 1999

Well, I guess I don’t consider it either necessary or necessarily cruel, but my understanding is that (for dogs at least) tail-cropping is done right at birth in most cases. When I bought my cocker spaniel, it was literally impossible to find one whose tail was not cropped, unless you wanted to place an order for one not born yet.

What jodih says about cocker spaniels’ tails is also true for Great Danes’ ears (in the U.S.). Great Danes’ ears are cropped when the dogs are little puppies; you can’t get one with uncropped ears, unless you’re there at the birth. You can’t show an uncropped Great Dane in an AKC show.

IIRC, in Britain it’s the exact opposite; you can’t show a cropped Dane in a kennel-club show. Much more humane.

It was originally done to keep their ears from getting caught in the underbrush, as B_Line noted. Great Danes were originally bred to hunt boars. Now we use them to hunt bores. :wink:

Never attribute to malice anything that can be attributed to stupidity.
– Unknown

Although Rottweillers tails are routinely cropped, I was thrilled to adopt an adult Rottie with a full, beautiful tail. I personally think it’s cruel. I sure wouldn’t want someone cutting my ears or tail so I looked better. (I’m talking about house dogs here)
FWIW, he is a terrible clutz with that tail- he knocks things over all the time…I wonder if that’s how it got started for that breed :slight_smile:

A friend is someone who likes you even though you’re as ugly as a hat full of assholes.

I also thought it was because of hunting purposes, not only to prevent being caught, but to prevent the game animal (whatever that may be) from biting the tail/ears or the dog. I suppose I can see that, but not every hunting-type dog is used for hunting! Do people think this nation is filled with rednecks with gunracks? What would my little 15 pound min pin hunt? Mice?
I thank you for your input, it seems to me that if they still do it “just because” it is nothing more than cruelty. And yes, I was referring to any type of animal, not just dogs. Dogs were the only example that I knew of. And as for safety reasons (horns) I can see that being acceptable and common, I just cannot see the danger imposed by a wagging tail.

I’d like to see the practice of cutting Chow’s (a terrible, disgusting, horrible, mean excuse for a dog)heads off at birth, just for a generation or so… :slight_smile:

The ocean of liquor, I drank to forget her, is gonna kill me, but I’ll drink till then.- George Jones Still Doin Time

Croppings may be done in some cases to avoid injury – I have a friend who got a part-boxer from the pound; I was visiting and the dog was running around playing with another dog in the living room. I noticed the boxer’s long, thin tail, and on about the last 2 inches of it, there was a bandage. I asked friend what the bandage was for. He said the dog kept injuring the end of the tail and it was bleeding cause it whips back and forth and hits it against stuff, it was bleeding, so he had to bandage it. He said that’s why the tails are cropped and he was considering getting it done. Seems reasonable – if the tail keeps getting injured, eventually it might get infected (plus who wants a dog whose tail you have to keep bandaging?) But I suspect croppings are also done solely for appearances.

I wouldn’t cut of the dogs tail, but mine would stay outside. My brother, besides having a breed that normaly is cropped, would have it done since his large dog’s are inside. Their tail’s knock everything around when thay wag, and they do all the time.

Some breeds need ears cropped to avoid containt infections. Dogs have been hybridized for centuries, and not always for pratical aspects.

[ $.02 ]
Excellent posts. As the owner of a large, uncropped Doberman I cringe at the thought of mutilating my beloved companion for reasons as shallow as appearance, convenience or tradition. OTOH, considering how hard his tail is and the level at which it swings, there have been times (involving relative heights, a happy dog, the element of surprise and a rather delicate portion of my anatomy) that thoughts of cropping flitted through my pain-wracked brain. Would never do it, though. Barbaric. Cruel. Nasty. *shudder[/]

[ /$.02 ]

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