Are you considering a new family member from a breeder?
If you are considering a breed such as a Schnauzer, Miniature or Doberman Pinscher, Boxer, Great Dane, Pit bull terrier, etc., please, please tell your breeder NOT to crop the ears or dock the tail.
I’ll tell you why.
Historical Background of Cropping Ears & Docking Tails
Why is it necessary to crop the ears or dock the tail of the certain breeds?
For the dogs that were bred and used for hunting, the floppy ears or long tails could be in the way of getting tasks done due to possible injury in the woods, water, or wherever they may be. For fighting dogs, floppy ears or long tails could be easily bitten and made them vulnerable.
These are the reasons why the ears and tails of the dogs were customarily altered.
OK. So, if you are acquiring a dog as your family pet, there is no reason at all for alteration, is there?
Impact of Cropping Ears & Docking Tails
Your breeder may tell you that the procedures are not painful and it is “necessary” to be “recognized” as a purebred.
The AKC even state on their website:
Tail docking and dewclaw removal are performed shortly after birth, when the puppy’s nervous system is not fully developed. As a result, the puppy feels little to no pain, and there are no lasting negative health issues.
Since I’m not a medical doctor or a puppy myself, I cannot argue whether the procedures are painful or not, BUT I do disagree with the statement about not having any lasting negative health issues.
Dogs with Chronic Pain Due to Compensation
Dogs or any other four-legged animals balance their bodies using the ears and tails. They are part of the whole balancing system.
The easiest way to understand this is to look at a dog’s body from the top when swimming. You will see that the ears change their direction and the tail moves like a fin or a rudder when steering.
If part of the balancing system is altered, the dog will have compensatory issues, which often result in chronic pain.
If you lose a part of your body, you will have no choice but to use your body differently, compensating for the missing part, right?
I’ve worked with many dogs with docked tails (Not too many with cropped ears, though.) and nearly all of them had really tight lower backs.
If you live with back pain, you know what it’s like to live with chronic pain.
However, dogs are not complainers like us and are very good at hiding pain, especially when they are having fun.
As a result, the overworked muscles go unnoticed for a long time and can end with an injury.
So, I would definitely say that there ARE lasting negative health issues.
Say NO to Cropping Ears & Docking Tails
Do you believe cropping ears or docking tails are necessary to define a pure breed’s characteristics?
I truly hope that you will make the decision not to have any unnecessary procedures, and that your puppy can enjoy life without unnecessary chronic pain.