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Ear Cropping and Tail Docking - Why?

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posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 01:03 AM
Do you agree with cropping dog's ears for cosmetic purposes?

I brought this up once with some Americans and got absolutely crucified when I said cosmetic ear cropping and tail docking was cruel and unnecessary. It seems to be a sensitive issue with American pet owners.

I've had some bizarre responses, such as "young puppies don't feel pain" and "it's okay because they won't remember it later". I can confirm that young puppies do in fact have a nervous system, and can indeed feel pain. A nervous system that has not yet fully developed does not preclude an animal's ability to feel pain. The methods of tail docking involve either cutting off the blood supply (just imagine someone tying a cord around your finger to the point where blood supply was ceased and your finger fell off - doesn't sound very comfortable, does it), or surgical removal, which is often performed without anaesethetic.

Once again, puppies can and do feel physical pain - I don't know where these people got the idea that they can't, it makes no sense. If you don't believe me, I've pulled up some articles in layman's terms.

Studies Reveal Tail Docking in Puppies is Painful

Australian veterinarian Robert K. Wansbrough explains, in an article published in the Australian Veterinary Journal, that anatomical studies demonstrate that pain in day old puppies would be actually more than in an adult dog due to the way impulses are sent through the puppy's unmyelinated fibers. Their slower conduction due to incomplete myelination, is offset by the shorter interneuronal and neuromusvcular distances the impulse has to travel, therefore, creating greater pain due to the pup's undeveloped inhibitory pain pathways. Dr. Robert further explains that cutting through muscles, tendons, nerves, bones or cartilages, would result in intense pain to a level that would never be allowed to be inflicted on a human being!

For the Very Youngest Animals, Pain Management Is Critical

Tail Docking of Puppies

....the body of evidence supports the conclusion that neo-natal animals experience pain which is at least comparable, if not greater, than their adult counterparts including humans.

There's an abundance of evidence to suggest that young puppies can and do feel pain.

Is Cropping Dogs’ Ears and Docking Their Tails Cruel? We Ask the Experts

Tail docking is severing the spinal cord in between the sacral vertebra. Cutting through the vast network of these nerves is incredibly painful and can lead to chronic neuralgia (phantom pain) in some patients. Ear pinna (flaps) are incredibly vascular; the blood supply to the ears is tremendous, and if you’ve ever witnessed the blood bath associated with an ear crop you’ll never forget it. Both procedures are painful and sadly, often times animals are not supplied adequate pain management, which can lead to these areas of the body being perpetually sensitive.

Some people maintain that their dogs need their tails docked for working purposes. This is bullsh*t. Dogs use their tails for balance, although some breeds "naturally" (i.e., they're selectively bred) lack a tail beyond a little stumpy bit. I got my dog from a rural farm, where farmers had been breeding dogs for decades for their intelligence and working ability rather than appearance. Mine comes from a long line of successful herding dogs, all of which had tails. He herds cattle like a pro, even without training, and surprise surprise, he has a tail. In no way does having a tail impact a dog's ability to herd livestock. Nor does it affect hunting dogs. Docking tails is illegal in many countries, and every pig dog I've seen has had a tail, and it has not affected the dog's working ability.

Pictured: what a healthy working dog should look like, bred for intelligence and working ability rather than appearance, and without unnecessary cropping and docking.

Cropping ears was originally meant for fighting dogs, or dogs which protected livestock from predators. Cropped ears present less of a target for the other dog to grab a hold of. Given that the majority of people who own dogs will not use them to fight or defend livestock, what is the point?

It's painful, can lead to infection, and can inhibit a dog's ability to communicate. It's primarily done for cosmetic reasons. Many breeders feel compelled to do it, as leaving the dog intact can seriously harm sales. Some kennel associations still require certain breeds to be cropped and/or docked, purely for appearance. Focusing on appearance also leads to unethical breeding resulting in birth defects and health problems, but that's another can of worms.

Have you cut off your dog's tail or cropped its ears? If so, why? Do you value appearance over comfort and well being? Is tradition really that important?

Please do not take this post as a personal attack on you. Please address my arguments only. I am aware that this can be a sensitive issue for many Americans, and do not intend to personally insult anyone.
edit on 22/12/1515 by DeepThoughtCriminal because: direct orders from Freemason Guild

posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 01:10 AM
personally i think they were born just the way they were meant to be.. i had a springer spaniel, his tail was docked by his breeder (well before i even knew about his existence) by putting an elastic band around it, how inhumane is that
of course they feel pain, and yet again it's stupid humans that are the cause of it. i totally disagree with any kind of "modification" on dogs, regardless of excuse for it. sickening isn't it, our civilisation has a terrible record when it comes to the treatment of animals

posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 01:12 AM
I am an American and NO I absolutely do not think you should dock your dog's tail or ears. We wouldn't do children that way, so why should we do our pets that way?

I am a country girl born and raised. In my time I have seen farmers take puppies and dock their tales themselves with an ax. I can tell you with 100% accuracy that they do feel pain. Unless the horrific noises they were making afterwards were sounds of delight...

If I am not mistaken (and I could be), tail and ear docking was started to prevent more injury or death to the dog when used for hunting. Tails and ears could get caught in things while chasing/rooting out prey and getting rid of them was thought to prevent more serious injury or death.

Today it is done mostly for cosmetic purposes.

I don't agree with it and prefer to see an animal the way it was intended to be seen.

posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 01:20 AM
As a kid, I had several Doberman Pinchers, all were docked and cropped. As an Adult, I would never do that to one of my furry kids anymore than I would my non furry kids. I've seen too many screw ups to know the hazards and perils it can cause for the dog. It'snot worth it just to make the poor thing look "cool" by some archaic standard.

posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 01:56 AM
Cool, I was actually expecting people to jump to the defense of cropping and docking, I'm really glad people are against it.

By the way, I think I might have come across as implying that all or most Americans do this - if so I didn't mean to. The only reason I mention Americans is because most people here are American and cosmetic cropping and docking is banned in Australia and Europe.

If I am not mistaken (and I could be), tail and ear docking was started to prevent more injury or death to the dog when used for hunting. Tails and ears could get caught in things while chasing/rooting out prey and getting rid of them was thought to prevent more serious injury or death.

Ear cropping was for dogs that had to fight other dogs or protect livestock from wolves and so on. Big ears present a target that can be ripped and torn away - my dog got into a fight when he was a dumbass puppy and before I could separate the dogs, he had a little piece of his ear ripped off. It was only a little piece and it's hardly noticeable now, but it could've been a lot worse. But nowadays of course, dog fighting is outlawed (not that some dregs of society don't continue to do it illegally), and as for defending livestock, well I don't see why people can't just use a breed with erect ears.

I don't really know much about the origins of tail docking. Unlike ears, tails do not tend to be targets in a dog fight, and the only danger I can think of is if a dog gets its tail stuck in a fence. I've used hunting dogs, tails never got in the way. I suspect it's always been more of a cosmetic thing.

It's unfortunate that so many people continue to cut off pieces of their dogs, such as making a Dobermann "look tougher" or whatever.

Are there any significant movements in the US to ban the practice? Besides the PETA mentals with their penchant for killing healthy animals which are often people's beloved pets.

The whole dog show thing is terrible, they encourage cropping and docking, not to mention the whole inbreeding thing which certainly isn't confined to the US. I wonder though, if it were to be made illegal, if breeders would continue doing it anyway, using even more unsafe and hurtful methods?

posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 02:05 AM
a reply to: DeepThoughtCriminal

I totally agree with you. It is barbarous to mutilate an animal for aesthetic reasons.

In warmer climes (like Aus) dogs ears help to radiate some body heat too (that is why the ears carry so many close to the surface blood vessels). Docking them is spiteful and crippling.

edit on 22/12/2015 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 03:23 AM
It was initialy done for health reasons on many breeds.
Rottweilers for example, had their tails cropped to stop the hooved animals from stepping on and causing infections in the dogs tails. Particularly important when they needed to trust the dogs during long range cattle herding.

Also, deep "canaled" ears in large breed dogs with floppy ears like Rotts, Mastiffs, Labrador, etc., are all susceptible to infections when they swim.
The ear flaps slow the drying process down to the point they become infected regularly, without ear drops. These minor infections can get real nasty, real fast.

So,the practice of cropping, has it's places, in my opinion. Such as farm dogs.

posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 03:26 AM
Haha we live in a world where humans stretch their ears for no reason other than to smell their own ear cheese and slit their tongues to be uber sad.

you just have to know that...

posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 04:24 AM
a reply to: Mandroid7

That's nothing that general ear care can not take care of. It's recommended in general that cleaning and drying the ears is part of normal grooming. As for the tails, with the majority of dogs such as Rottweilers being bred in urban locations, the need to dock is not what it once was.

I can understand this being for older medical reasons, but as of current - it is not necessary.

I'd also point out that most dogs that have docked tails now are not widely utilized as herding animals, and most dogs that are used as herders do in fact have their tails intact.

posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 04:47 AM
I have never understood it. I remember as a young girl going into get my ears pierced. A couple brought in their puppy to get a piercing in the dogs ears. Keep in mind this was the mid 80's and I would hope it wouldn't be allowed today. I was so disturbed that they were doing it to a puppy. I wanted my ears pierced, but t the puppy had no say in the matter. Cropping, docking or even piercing is disgusting in my opinion.

posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 05:00 AM
a reply to: DeepThoughtCriminal

German Shepards and Doberaman Pinschers used in security and defense applications have their ears cropped to give the appearance of always being alert.

Your dogs ears "prick up" when they alert to sounds, right? They crop ears to make the dog appear permanently alert, more aggressive appearing. Cropping the Dobermans tale is done so whomever the dog is sicked upon can't grab the tail in self defense.

Looking alert and aggressive at all times is why they first started doing that to attack trained dogs. Dogs tails and ears also give away their emotions, fixing ears and removing tails confuses a potential enemy as to a guard dogs state of mind when confronted.

posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 05:05 AM

originally posted by: Kangaruex4Ewe
"We wouldn't do children that way, so why should we do our pets that way?"

I am sorry, I don't remember being asked if some sick Dr. could hack my foreskin off. We definitely do children that way if not worse. Ears vs. Penis, I'm protecting my penis. Hell I would trade a pinky or a couple toes for my foreskin back.

I don't agree with modifying anything the way it's born but I will admit my white boxer I used to have had the cutest nub of a tail that he would still wiggle relentlessly. It was pretty funny but the docking of his tail and dew claws was done before I met him as a 6 month old puppy. He was a great dog, could understand almost everything I said to him.

I now have a German Shepherd as my companion. He is also a great dog and understands most of my commands at just 1 year old. I have only met a few bad dogs and they were direct representations of their owners. My dogs are not "pets", they are family and that's the only way a dog should be raised.
edit on 22-12-2015 by DeceptioVisus because: there, their, they're

posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 05:14 AM
Let the pet OWNERS crop and dock themselves. Put in your face and body piercings, get those gauges in your ears, but for God's sake;

Leave your dog's as they are. This is painful and not needed, AT ALL these days. Nerve damage and tumors can result in tails when tail docking...

The RSPCA is opposed to the cosmetic tail docking of dogs because the procedure is unnecessary and compromises the welfare of dogs.......

After all, they are our children! !! Or better yet, we are thier Humans!!!

posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 05:14 AM
a reply to: intrptr
Maybe some German Shepherd lines need cropping but mine and most that I know of have ears that stand up naturally. Between 3-5 months they become erect.

Ironically my German shepherd just had a very bloody ear from a small scrape from barbwire or something 2 days ago. He kept shaking his head to throw off the dried blood but kept getting fresh blood everywhere. A bloody dog ear can be a bloody hassle. I am not advocating cropping, like I mentioned before, I am a fan of all natural.

edit on 22-12-2015 by DeceptioVisus because: grammar

posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 05:19 AM
a reply to: DeceptioVisus

**** Member edited out the part in their own post above which stated that they did not recall being asked if they would like a circumcision since I stated in my first post above that we don't do our children this way, why would we do our pets this way. ****

The difference?

Most dogs don't have to have their ears docked later in life because it has become medically necessary. A lot of men however do have to go back and have a circumcision later in life because of complications. All of them? Absolutely not, but there are a lot.

Having only a daughter, I was spared in making that decision myself.
edit on 12/22/2015 by Kangaruex4Ewe because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 05:42 AM
In England ear cropping was banned in 1899. Tail docking: Restricted: can only be done by vet on a number of working dog breeds.
Here in Scotland they are quite rightly Banned. Dogs ought to be natural not mutilated.

posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 06:07 AM
Here is my baby boy. No cropping necessary to get his ears this way. He will be 13 months old tomorrow. He is so perfect and precious. I guess we all feel that way about our dogs.

posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 06:17 AM
a reply to: DeepThoughtCriminal

Do you agree with cropping dog's ears for cosmetic purposes?

um thats one hell of a big NO.

I am so glad its illegal to do such things to dogs here in Australia, or at least Victoria, that state in which I live, but I believe its nation wide that tail docking and ear clipping is banned.

It still happens and I think there is a way around the law if you have show dogs (not really to sure what the laws state, but I do know from speaking to my vet that its a banned practice for pets)

posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 06:18 AM
Leave my ears alone!!!

posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 06:35 AM
I once had a rottie that had it's tail. The poor stupid thing whacked that enormous rope of a tail on everything and broke it a number of times. It was poor judgement not to have cut it off. If it was cut as a pup she wouldn't have remembered the "pain", instead she got to experience that pain over and over. Unintended consequences suck.

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