I help vets mutilate puppies

Well, I am doing some practical work in the vet clinics, for vet school, and one practice I dislike is ear cropping and tail docking. :frowning:

Yes, the AKC does require this for certain breeds but I see nothing wrong with boxer and great dane ears being natural or having long tailed rottwieliers and dobermans. I like to own a australian shepherd or a bouvier but I wopuldn’t want to support a breeder who tail docks. Is it possible to get a rottie or dobe or bouv without a dock tail?

Since a responsible breeder will have the tails docked within 3 days of birth, the best way to get a non-docked dog would be to decide on the breed you want, contact the breeder, and specify that you want one without a docked tail. I imagine you will have to pay for the puppy ahead of time, or at least put down a deposit. That way the breeder will know to reserve one of the pups and not take it in for docking.

I’m not really against tail docking as much as I am ear cropping. I don’t find cropped ears attractive at all, and so many owners don’t follow the vets instructions and wind up with horrible looking ears. I can’t think of a single breed that looks nicer with cropped ears. The vet I last worked for (which is the one I use for my cats) refuses to do ear crops.

I have no problem with the practice of cropping and docking, so long as the owners have an equal amount of flesh removed without anesthesia at the same time. Seriously, I think the owners would look better…

IMO, an inexcusable barbaric practice that should be outlawed.

From what I’ve read, certain working breeds that do their intended jobs are safer with docked tails, lest they get them stepped on by livestock, etc.

I have a ferret with a docked tail, but this was accidental - apparently when he was a kit, he either got it bit off by a littermate or perhaps stepped on by his mother, and it broke off. Do certain dog breeds also have this problem, I wonder? If so, having it done properly would at least be better than having to deal with an accidentally-maimed tail when you’re not prepared for it.

I understand your point, Ferret, but the people docking puppies’ ears and tails in urban centres are not using these dogs for working, but are mutilating puppies simply for esthetics. I don’t support the practice, either, and I think at the very least purebred standards should be changed to the natural form.

Oh, I understand that. I just do know people who use their dogs for the purposes they were originally bred for. I also had a purebred pup when I was growing up who’d been docked because my mother bought her after the procedure was done. (She was the runt of the litter and wasn’t considered good show material, and my mom grabbed her just to have a wonderful dog.) I was just wondering if there really were other reasons to dock.

I’m firmly in the docking and pincing camp. It should be the Human owner’s choice. But finding a dog that should have had it’s tail docked or ears pinced but didn’t should be quite possible. I see both Australian Sheperds and Cattle Dogs all the time without docked tails. I also see alot of American Pit Bull Terriers without pinced ears (is it a breed standard?).

My grandmother has a beautiful rust Dobermann with floppy ears and a long tail. He’s gorgeous, and far less intimidating that a dock’d’n’cropp’d. Most people don’t even recognize him as a Dobie!

She got him as a 1 year old from the shelter. No idea how or why he was spared the surgeries.

I can’t argue against doing it for working dogs, but I’d like to see the breed standards changed to allow the options. I think I heard that Great Danes can be shown either way. I like them better with floppy ears.

As a past and future Boxer owner, I’m fully on the side of docked tails. Undocked tails are deadly. I like my dogs with floppy ears, however. My only true objection to ear cropping is the cost, and I’m a known tightwad.

Properly done docking and cropping isn’t any more painful that any other surgery, and the soreness lasts a few days, for which there are pain meds…

My tail is not in the least bit way docked.

While it is possible to find natural-tailed dogs in traditionally docked breeds, you’ll be best off finding a breeder who shares your sentiments and purchasing from them. It’s very difficult to find a reputable breeder willing to not alter a single pup out of a litter for someone–a reputable breeder works hard to connect an owner with the single pup out of the litter who’s perfect for that owner in terms of conformation, temperament, drives, so on and so forth. At three days, the breeder isn’t going to know which of those pups will turn out to be show quality or pets, dominant or submissive, etc. It is far more humane to do the tail dock at three days when it’s just a quick scissors-snip than later on when it’s a full-blown amputation.
Ears, on the other hand, are done much later and a payment-in-full will often get you a natural-eared pup. Some breeders still won’t agree, though, as it’s more difficult to re-home an unaltered adult dog of a traditionally docked and cropped breed.

How about circumcised men, can they dock/crop their dogs?

I’m kinda with VunderBob here. I have Australian Shepherds, so I’ve gotten used to dogs with no tails/very short tails. Whenever I’m around long-tailed dogs, I always feel like saying “Whoa, put that thing away, will ya??”

I’m not so keen on ear-cropping though.

I don’t have any issues with that, as long as the circumcision done with something like a cigar cutter.

Cosmetically lopping off your dog’s parts is more akin to female circumcision than it is to male circumcision, IMHO.

If you’ve ever seen a dog bleeding and infected from having literally wagged their tail to the breaking point, suddenly docking as a pup doesn’t seem like a universally terrible idea. Less commonly, some dogs can be more prone to ear infections if their un-altered ears trap moisture and warmth, setting up a breeding ground for bacteria.

I don’t think it’s necessary in the majority of cases, and I wish hope that more shows discouraged purely cosmetic docking, but to say it’s cruel and unnecessary across the board is untrue.

The UKC standard says ears may be natural or cropped, without preference. There is no AKC standard, as they don’t recognise APBT, but Staffordshires are to be uncropped.

I know the AKC has taken a stance that docking/cropping is not necessary for competition, but don’t they step back and let the breeders who run the dog shows set the standards for the show? They say it’s not a requirement in order to compete – as though they were the authority on such matters – yet in real-world pet shows it usually is required. I wish I could find a cite. Maybe I’m wrong.

I’m in firm agreement with VunderBob on the boxer front.

We have 2 Charlie & Vegas and had one before and I do regular volunteer work with Boxer Rescue Ontario.

Boxers have incredibly narrow and whip like tails when undocked and it is not common for their tails to break.

Cropping on the other hand is totally about esthetics, and I wouldn’t do it to any of my dogs.