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Cropping ears and docking tails on certain dog breeds has been humanely done for decades with only short-term minor discomfort and long-term benefits.


May 29, 2023

Sherry L. Shivley, Journalist Award Winner


As I was scrolling through Facebook I ran across a post shared by a friend. It was written by a prominent veterinary teaching school touting the ban of cropping and docking.



Reading the responses of those who heartily agreed with the school, I became increasingly angry- not only with those who were so uneducated on the Whys and Wherefores of cropping and docking, but of the Veterinary Community itself.


Too many veterinarians have gone to the side of PETA, believing animal rights propaganda instead of just doing their job or researching the issue. Animal “rights” advocates claim great pain and suffering to the puppies undergoing tail docking or ear cropping procedures when nothing can be further from the truth!


Docking is often done within 24 hours of birth, puppies protest being restrained but pain is momentary, like being vaccinated. The tail stump is stitched or glued, pups are returned to Mom and they continue on as if nothing happened.


Cropping is done between 8-12 weeks of age with anesthesia so they feel nothing. When they go home the ears are stitched, often wearing a “party hat” to hold the ears upright. You would think they would be in pain (the veterinarian sends home pain meds and antibiotics) but no, they play, wrestle and drag each other around by the ears. If it hurt, they would cry and stop doing that, puppies aren’t stupid! Yet off they go on as if nothing was done.


People equate what they see in animals to what THEY would feel. Animals handle pain differently. To puppies, cropping ears is no more than an inconvenience.


Those who have never had dogs cropped or docked dogs should not judge those of us who do. There is a REASON for it. If you have never seen a tail broken, full of constantly bleeding injuries from wagging, working livestock, or other inventive ways they can find to injure themselves, you don’t have the right to tell us how to manage our dogs.



If you have never treated a hematoma of the ear, the horribly painful swelling, loss of a show dog because the ear is forever misshapen, you do not have the right to tell us we cannot crop to protect our dogs from ear infections, injury, and much more.


The Veterinary community is just as uneducated-that’s on US. As dog fanciers we tend to hide, protecting our dogs from USDA and others who would shut us down.


We need to start demanding vet schools educate students. LISTEN when we speak.


I suggest each national dog breed club develop a teaching presentation and persons who can give it to Vet schools and Veterinary Education Seminars.


Without common sense change, there will be no future for us who love and appreciate our cropped and docked dog breeds.


Dog Bless-See ya around the ring! EST 2002 © May 2023



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CROPPING-DOCKING DEBATE: The debate between cropped ears, docked tails, or natural is hot but here’s help for cool heads to prevail in favor of ear health, alert expression, overall appearance and adherence to breed standards.


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