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Canine Rights

Cropping & Docking Ears & Tails

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Some of the most controversial surgeries performed on canines are ear cropping and tail docking. While ear cropping refers to the clinical restructuring of a dog’s ears, tail docking nvolves amputating a part of his tail. Although these operations are sometimes carried out to correct birth defects or damages from a disease or injury, most cases reveal that these costly and agonizing procedures are performed for show ring conformity.

A Brief Overview

A lot of people, in the name of canine good looks, try to give their pooches these so-called “sought-after” traits for the show ring by resorting to painful and needless surgeries like cropping their ears and docking their tail. Many ruthless vets perform these cruel procedures that cause numerous dogs to needlessly suffer.

Most dogs have their ears cropped at the time they reach the age of merely about eight to twelve weeks. During this period, the trauma brought about by the painful operation can already have a powerful psychological effect on the growing puppy. The process of repetitively taping their cropped ears to have it stand erect can be very tormenting for the pooch.

Puppies, on the other hand, are usually just several days old at the time their tails are cut off. What’s worse is that they are rarely provided with anesthesia to help numb the throbbing pain. Concerned vets commonly object to this capricious amputation of canine body parts which are primarily used for balance, communication, and expression. While some dog pets “talk” to their human friends, others make use of their ears and tails to interact.

Are these Humane?

It is outrageous to have your four-legged friend undergo any of these medically pointless procedures which only perpetuate his image as a fashion accessory. This particular image is basically promoted by the largest US breed registry, the American Kennel Club as well as by the dog breeders who tend believe that their pooch’s breed would be cleaned out if it fails to maintain that look that has been passed down by various parental breed clubs several decades ago. As a matter of fact, these operations are so undeniably cruel that ear cropping and tail docking have been outlawed in many countries in Europe. Not to mention, lots of their kennel clubs banned cropping of ears hundred years ago, while docking of tail for cosmetic reasons was brought to an end in 1993.

Unfortunately, some vets still insist that there is nothing wrong with disfiguring a canine whose owner is eager to spend a lot of money for it. As what the American Veterinary Medical Association has stated, both ear-cropping and tail-docking procedures are not clinically suggested nor does it offer any benefit to the dog patient. According to them, these surgical operations only result to pain and suffering, and just like any other surgery, these accompany inherent dangers of blood loss, infection, and other health risks.

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  1. Avatar Of Alison Cares

    Alison cares


    Men are circumcised. Boys are circumcised.
    What’s the difference in trimming boys penises and trimming dogs ears?
    This is not cruel. Boys don’t have a decision. Dogs don’t have a decion in it either. Just like children and baptism before 18.
    Just a few things to think about. We live in a vanity world. And a world destroyed by religious beliefs. I say trim ears. It looks amazing. Abandon religion. They are all false. Circumcised penises? Do what u feel is best.

  2. Avatar Of Detronyx Detronyx says:

    I have a petition going to try to make it illegal to crop ears or tails in the US! I would appreciate if anyone reading this can sign and share it, and hopefully together we can make a difference. It is illegal in some other countries, so why should it still be allowed here?

  3. Avatar Of Beth



    I’m blown away that so many people feel justified in mutilating their dogs for looks! I’m just amazed. If docking ears is about air flow and reducing ear infections, I guess I should bring my lab in for a mutilation.

    I can’t believe we are living on the same planet.


  4. Avatar Of Julie



    I do not believe in cosmetic surgery strictly for a dogs appearance but sometimes these procedures are for the safety and well being of the animal. I believe the problem with surgery on dogs for purely cosmetic achievements is a problem created by the Kennel Clubs. Until they change their ideas and accept the dogs for the way they were made things will continue. I believe a dog can only be considered perfect if he is unaltered cosmetically.

  5. Avatar Of Tim



    I’d like to see statistics from veterinarians on breeds that most commonly get ears cropped with regards to ear infections. My childhood Mini Schnauzer had her ears cropped and I never recall an ear infection. My parents empty nest MS did not have her ears cropped and had multiple infections to the point where she had surgery to open the bottom of the ear canal to allow for better air flow. My almost 3 y/o MS does not have her ears cropped and has been treated for 3 ear infections. After hours of online research, consulting my groomer, breeder & vet, a few changes in diet, frequency in grooming and hair stripping between groomings has prevented additional infections for almost a year. I don’t believe most people are as devoted to their dogs as I am or able to handle the additional maintainenance expense, so there are likely many dogs suffering from ear infections that may never receive treatment. So what is more painful/cruel, forcing a dog to live with ear infections for a months or years of their life or cropping of ears, which may (or may not) prevent any infections from happening?
    I have yet to find any kind of study with scientific proof so until I do, everything I read is just an opinion. And you know what they say opinions are like…

  6. Avatar Of Kris Z

    kris z


    i am not for ear cropping as it seems a purely cosmetic procedure but i am also not going to say it can’t be done. as for tails/dew claws. i am all for the dew claws being removed as they rip and that is far worse than having them nipped off at a couple days old and tails cropped at a couple days are not that big of a deal and i think really they could make everyone happy by using the numbing cream for dew claws and tails. peta is a terrorist organization whose shelters kill more dogs than about any others. they are useless and do not give a crap about animals. same with hsus. they should keep their mouths shut until they actually help shelter animals or anyone but themselves.

    • Avatar Of Peggy Holley

      peggy holley


      Cropping ears is far more painful than docking tails. I have had litters of Rotties tails docked at a few days old with no discomfort shown by the puppies. But cropping ears no way would I put a dog thru that I have seen bosten Bulldogs with freshly cropped ears and they suffer really bad

  7. Avatar Of Deacon1



    Let’s get the word inhumane out of it. I have watched all of my dobies ears being cropped and cared for them after. There is no trauma nor any psychological problems resulting from cropping. Where do these so called “experts” get their info from, or is it just their opinion. I have never heard of a vet not using anesthesia. And, if someone goes to a vet that doesn’t, isn’t the kind of a person that should have a dog in the first place.

  8. Avatar Of Ray



    Well lets see, my 90lb male boxer will already take your knees out and hurt you just playing, I can’t imagine him whipping me with a full tail,, sorry, but my boxers are good with the ears and tails cropped, and besides I wouldn’t listen to the knuckleheads in europe anyway, you can see what condition their country’s are in because of all the regulations..

  9. Avatar Of Angieb1261 AngieB1261 says:

    true very true….!!!!

  10. Avatar Of Peggy



    Docking of the tail is done early, before the vertebrae are fully formed, the puppies do not feel the procedure. Working dogs can injure their tails working with cattle and other livestock, there was a reason for removing the tail, it is far more painful to have to amputate the tail of an adult dog due to injury. Ears are a matter of preference, I prefer the upright ear on most breeds that crop ears. I have never seen a puppy really suffer from the procedure and the romp and play with the posted ears no problem. I have had both with and without cropped ears, there has been no difference as far as psychological effect to cropping. It is the PETA people who are causing the trouble and making false claims to stop the practice.

  11. Avatar Of Teresa



    I chose not to crop my Great Danes ears. I love the floppy natural look and I really didn’t want to cause him the pain of having it done. He’s going to go through enough when he has his neutering and gastropexy done.

  12. Avatar Of Mary Bailey

    Mary Bailey


    Causing an animal unnecessary pain for the sake of personal vanity is ignorant and cruel.

  13. Avatar Of Beachinjan



    I think any cosmetic surgery to animals is cruel. It’s done for the sake of the owner, not the animal. I would never have something done to my dogs that was not necessary for their well being. Nutering comes under the necessary area; we already have too many unwanted pets being put to death in shelters.Isn’t that an ironic name for their last place to live.

  14. Avatar Of Charlotte



    i for one go for the looks. but as far as being able to know what are feeling by body action, this does not stop that at all. all you have to do is learn their body languge. the laying back of pointed ears or the wagging of the tub tail. how hard is this. i think it should be up to the owner on how he/she wants their pet to look.

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