Post # 1
The post about declawing made me wonder about this. I just want to hear from some real-life people who choose to go this route.
Would you ever have a dog’s ears cropped or tail docked?
If so, or if you have, why? Is there any benefit to the animal? (I think I heard once that dogs with very long tails are more likely to end up with a broken tail and having it amputated later in life?) Is it purely aesthetics? How is it not mutilation?
I personally love floppy ears and long tails and I think any sort of body modification (aside from spay/neuter) is unnecessary. Just trying to see from another perspective…
Post # 3
We have a cocker with a docked tail. When we arranged to buy her, I didn’t realize at the time the big concerns around it, and didn’t know that I could actually request that it not be done. So, she’s got a docked tail, and while it’s super cute to see her “nub” wag, I would have requested that it not be docked has I known better.
She doesn’t seem to suffer though now. We playfully pull on it, etc, and it doesn’t give her any issues.
Post # 4
We have a Boxer with a docked tail, his ears aren’t cropped though. Tail docking is still a breed standard and was done long before we got him so we didn’t have a say in the matter (other than not buying the breed at all). I’ve seen pics of Boxers with tails and its so strange but I wish the practice would go away.
I’ve heard docking had a practical purpose for working dogs but its not like I’m taking my dog hunting or letting him herd sheep.
Post # 5
One difference btw this and declawing, is that docking/cropping does no long-term damage to the dog… it’s still unnecessary and painful though.
It’s also about to become against the law in my province, so it would be a moot point for me.
I might be conflicted if I had a breed that is typically docked/cropped, like a doberman or rottweiler… however I’d hate to see my dog go through pain, so I think I’d just avoid any breeds whose standards included the alterations.
Post # 6
I haven’t and wouldn’t… to me it just seems risky to put an animal under anaesthesia for strictly aesthetic purposes.
My mom did dock her pit mix’s tail though- but she had such an issue with “happy tail” that it kept breaking the skin and her sores wouldn’t heal because she kept wagging it into things. They ended up getting infected, so they decided to just dock the tail so she wouldn’t get sick from the infection. She is well adjusted and is having no issues due to the docking.
Post # 7
Our corgi has a docked tail, but thats how he came to us, it wasn’t our choice. I’ve heard it was to help prevent injury that they started doing it, back when corgis hearded cattle. How I guess its just the norm for the breed. I would never choose to have something like that done to my pup. I don’t like to think about how they did it!
Post # 8
- Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo
I’m totally against it… I have heard that for a certain type of dog (dobermans?) if their tails don’t get docked they can hit things with it so hard their tails break… something like that? I’m still against it though.
Post # 9
Completely unnecessary in all but very rare cases. (Sometimes said to prevent ear infection? Not sure I buy it.)
Tail docking especially bothers me. Dogs use their tails so, so much in their body language to convey their behavior and emotions. Its incredibly important to understand body language in dogs that may have behavioral issues, or in multi-dog households, or when a dog meets a new animal.
Tails raised high, bent in the middle, tails raised high and wagging, tails straight up and still, tails low and wagging, etc all indicate very different emotional signals from a dog, both to other dogs and to humans. I feel that tail docking allows those signals to be misinterpreted and could possibly lead to increased fights, bites, etc.
Post # 10
@DaneLady: I don’t think they use anesthesia for docking tails, if it is done at the typical age of 2-3 days old.
I have a corgi with a docked tail. I personally would prefer a natural tail, but finding a good breeder who doesn’t dock according to the standard is pretty much impossible, unless you’re willing and able to import from Europe. He does not have any issues “communicating” with other dogs though.
The idea that the tail was docked to avoid injury during herding is false I believe, the tails were docked to indicate they were a farm dog and as such the farmer did not have to pay a tax on them.
Post # 11
The only cases where I have read of it permissible ( and believe me we are talking last resort) is where if you have a tail beater who repeatedly fractures his tail for docking and then for cropping, some type of genetic mutation or reshaping after a disease type issue. It is risky ( putting your dog under) and painful.
The vast majority of the problem is people doing it for cosmetic purposes. The whole idea is mind boggling to me. In the name of keeping breed standards “true” , the practice continues. Where is the ethical responsibility? To whom does this procedure benefit- the dog or the human? No offense to those who breed or show, or if you have already purchased a dog that came that way. Its just my personal opinion.
If your daughter was “flat chested” , and women are “supposed” to have breasts according to societal standards of women, would you volunteer her for breast augmentation? I know its a strong example, but its very similar to the logic of these associations making the standards for a dogs aesthetic appearance.
Post # 12
@Roe: So true! I heard part of the reason why fighting dogs (so sad) have such short ears and tails is so that if they are scared or timid, it’s harder for the opposing dog to pick up on it (or so that the opposing dog won’t smell blood, so to speak).
Post # 13
Oh all this stuff really pisses me off. Unless you are doing something to help a medical condition why do you need to chop of the dogs tail or crop their ears?!
Just because it looks better? That’s really sick. I’m sorry.
Actually, I’m not sorry.
I’m a big animal lover. Fiance is an animal dr and I have spent time working in his clinic and I am very passionate about animal abuse, and these things, in my opinion are abuse. The are elective procedures with the sole purpose to achieve a particular look in an animal.
Like I said in the other thread, in Australia they are illegal, and for good reason.
Post # 14
My dog had his tail docked. This is breed standard, and his tail was docked before we had a say. Apparently it is optional for ears to be cropped, and he does not have his ears cropped, though this is more common than not. If I had had the choice, I doubt I would have done it. My morkie (not chosen to because he is a designer breed–was a rescue) had had his tail docked as well. I have absolutely no idea why they did this to him. His ears were also left floppy. My pekingese has a long curly tail and floppy ears as well.
Post # 15
I hate the practice. My guys’ tails and ears are so expresive I can’t imagine them being surgically altered or removed. It just seems cruel and unnecessary unless its really for a medical reason.
Post # 16
No, I would not crop ears or dock tails on my dogs. I don’t think anyone should do it, as I think dogs are naturally beautiful the way they are. My dog has a long, wispy tail, and I love it.