31 answers

Tail Docking, and Ear Cropping. Barbaric?

My friend just got the cutest little boxer puppy, he has a tail, and he has normal puppy dog ears. He is about 8 weeks old. She is taking him next week to get his tail chopped off, and his ears cropped to nothing. I am aghast! This has been illegal in the UK (where I am from) for a long time, unless there is good reason for it. I don't see good reason for chopping off a dogs tail and ears, if all they are going to be doing is sauntering around a dog park.
I just don't get it! Why would anyone do this to their dog? I know it's been done for years, and I suppose I have just never put much thought into it before. I know why it used to be done, to prevent injury to working dogs, but I don't see how it benefits a dachshund, or a min pin, to be docked.
Anybody else think this should be banned in this country?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I don't know that much about dogs, but I do know that my 3 friends who are vet techs are all very against the practice of docking tails and cropping ears.

I can't imagine why it is necessary to do to a family pet.

8 moms found this helpful

That's why I bought my rottie from a breeder who was against docking. Same with my pit bulls.
Added: it's sad that we have altered what we think breed standards should be. TRUE German Rotties and most Dobermans do not have docked fails and cropped ears. When I got my Rottie she was from a true German bloodline therefor she was unaltered.

6 moms found this helpful

Wow you are tolerant one. No it shouldn't be banned in this country.

It is tradition.

Not like she is going to toss him on the counter and have a go with the meat cleaver. They use anesthesia in a vet office, pain meds to follow up.

Personally I hate the way most of those dogs look but I am not about to judge anyone else's preferences.

4 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Tails have to be done when they are 2 days old, so if it wasn't done then, I doubt the vet will do it - unless they are willing to pay for tail amputation surgery along with the ear crop. It also is not an option of any mixed breed dog - or at least, it shouldn't be. It is expected somewhat in show dogs, but not required.

There was a purpose years ago, when guard and hunting dogs could be seriously injured by other dogs, animals, etc. - cropping the ears and docking the tails meant there were no more appendages for another animal to grab onto. But obviously then for some breeds (and now for all) it's about looks. It is considered a surgery and as such, legally should be performed by a veterinarian, with proper anesthesia and pain control. More and more owners are opting NOT to have it done. If people ask me about it, I try to discourage them. Breeders will have the pups tails done since again, they are only a day or 2 old when it is done, but often ears are up to the new owner. Not many vets do the surgery any more (I never have) and those that do charge a hefty fee.

There has been a lot of debate amongst the veterinary community about whether or not it should be banned, etc. but it is up to our legislators to decide what is outlawed and what is not. I am not a fan of ear cropping, but I also know in many places (i.e. inner city Detroit) people will get their pit bull puppies ears cropped and they will do it themselves - no anesthesia, no pain management, just sliced off close to the head and that's it. Making something illegal will not keep it from happening - many of these people don't really care what the law says or what society expects. As much as I despise ear cropping, at least when it is done in a vet's office, it's done properly.

ETA: There is docking a puppy's tail when it is 2 days old, and then there is having to amputate a fully grown dog's tail because of severe damage (i.e. constantly whacking it against things, or what we call "happy tail" and causing continual soft-tissue trauma) or a large tumor. There is a difference. Also, it's one thing to have to remove a portion of the ear flap for medical reasons, and it's another to have a puppy's ears cut to form a sharp point for cosmetic reasons. After cropping the ears, it is also necessary to tape them up for several weeks and get them to stand so that the muscles are "trained" to keep the ears upright - if it is not done early (i.e. 8 to 10 weeks old) the ears will never stand. Like I said, for many people, they are opting not to have it done, but for others, it's about the "look" of the dog - particularly Dobermans and pit bulls. Some breeders will have it done before selling the puppies because they don't know right away which ones might end up being in the show ring.

12 moms found this helpful

Yes, it's barbaric. There is no valid reason to remove a dog's tail and ears unless they are gangrenous.
Removing a dog's tail and ears is detrimental to him. The tail serves as a rudder and removing it affects his coordination. The ear flaps collect and focus sound directionally. Without them, he can still hear, but his ability to tell where the sound is coming from is impaired.

Also, no DECENT vet is going to dock the tail on an 8-week-old boxer. Tail docking is done when they're newborns. At eight weeks, the tail is too big to be docked.

Gamma G - I am tattooed and pierced. I chose to have that done to my own body for cosmetic reasons, knowing the discomfort that would be involved, and willingly subjecting myself to it for the sake of my own body aesthetic. Having ears cropped is extremely painful for the dog, and it's strictly cosmetic. The dog has no say in the matter. No one has the right to perform cosmetic surgery on another living being without that being's consent, How would you like it if someone gave you a face lift against your will?

10 moms found this helpful

I don't know that much about dogs, but I do know that my 3 friends who are vet techs are all very against the practice of docking tails and cropping ears.

I can't imagine why it is necessary to do to a family pet.

8 moms found this helpful

That's why I bought my rottie from a breeder who was against docking. Same with my pit bulls.
Added: it's sad that we have altered what we think breed standards should be. TRUE German Rotties and most Dobermans do not have docked fails and cropped ears. When I got my Rottie she was from a true German bloodline therefor she was unaltered.

6 moms found this helpful

Nope. I have a boxer/pit bull mix and there is NO WAY I would consider cropping and docking. His tail is a whip! No kidding! It hurts when it smacks your leg! But I would NOT dream of docking it!!

Do you honestly think if it were "banned" that people wouldn't do it? PAHLEASE!! Look at Chicago - supposed to have the strictest gun control in the country - and yet they have the highest crime rate....PAHLEASE!

if the dog is 8 weeks old - it should NOT be done. From what I understand, this is something that needs to be done when they are DAYS old - like less than one week. Do I think it's "barbaric"? I think it's just plain STUPID. I would be circumspect of any place that would dock a tail after 7 days old.

So would I do this to my dog? No.
Do I think it's barbaric? No. I think it's stupid.
Why would someone do it? I don't know. I really don't.
Do I think it should be banned? No. It wouldn't stop it from happening.

6 moms found this helpful

I feel that it is generally something we do for our own aesthetics and has no benefit to the dog. Same with declawing a cat.

6 moms found this helpful

Wow you are tolerant one. No it shouldn't be banned in this country.

It is tradition.

Not like she is going to toss him on the counter and have a go with the meat cleaver. They use anesthesia in a vet office, pain meds to follow up.

Personally I hate the way most of those dogs look but I am not about to judge anyone else's preferences.

4 moms found this helpful

It's pointless and therefore cruel. I have a boxer-lab mix with tail and floppy ears... He's a 90-lb brute, and his tail has thwapped my daughter in the face I-don-t-even-know-how-many times, but she always giggles/laughs (even when she was just learning to stand and walk). To say that docking the tail is to keep it from hitting things is ridiculous to me. BUT one of my dearest people is a boxer breeder with show dogs, so I know that it's part of that world.... still makes me horribly sad.

4 moms found this helpful

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