ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Canine Cosmetic Surgery: Cropping and Docking

Updated on July 14, 2012
Great Dane with cropped ears
Great Dane with cropped ears
Rottweiler with docked tail
Rottweiler with docked tail

The process has been going on for over a century. “Surgical alteration,” “non-therapeutic modification of appearance,” “cosmetic surgery” and “mutilation” are the terms some apply to the process of canine tail docking and ear cropping. This process has sparked an on-going debate with heated arguments by both sides. In their attempt to promote their message, both sides draw upon the “experts.” In the end, the victims or victors are not either side but the dogs, themselves.

What Is Docking And Cropping

Docking and cropping are the surgical removal of specific body parts of an animal shortly after birth or later. Cropping refers to the cutting off at least two thirds of the animal’s earflap. Docking is the removal of a substantial portion of the tail. The process may or may not involve anaesthesia.

Certain breeds are routinely cropped and/or docked. These include Boston Terriers, Boxers, Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes, Miniature Pinschers, Schnauzers, Poodles and Rottweilers. The practice is one way of identifying or even defining a breed. Dogs that ply the show rings comply with an unwritten rule that their dog may or may not have cropped ears and/or a docked tail. Breeders of all types – including reputable, backyard and puppy mills, follow this example. It is a look, the public has come to expect. Should it be?

Proponents

Those who support the procedure e.g. the Council of Docked Breeds, have simple arguments. They believe

· The process prevents certain health issues of the ear and tail

· Prevents defective tails

· Prevents accidents for working dogs in the field e.g. hunters and herders

· Is relatively painless

· Is necessary

· Defines the breed and its standards


Proponents believe docking and cropping are short-term pain for long-term gain.

Opponents

Opponents have a very different take on the process. These include the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and several veterinarian associations worldwide. They believe

· It is not necessary for health reasons

· Does not explain why some hunting and working dogs do NOT have cropped ears or docked tails e.g. Labradors, English Setters, Newfoundland dogs, English Pointers, Foxhounds

· Is painful

· Has created genetic tail problems

· Prevents inter-dog communication

· Can affect the puppy psychologically

The supporters of banning the practice find the surgery to be a cosmetic whim introduced centuries ago that has become a practice with little to no practical or ethical justification. It is simply not necessary.

Cosmetic Or Necessary Surgery?

While the proponents seem to be winning in North America, this is not true in Europe and elsewhere. In many countries, both or one practice are banned except for health issues. The United Kingdom has banned unjustified and non-therapeutic docking and cropping. It became the law in 2007. It has been part of the law in most of Australia since 2004. There is no such law in the United States, yet, but New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada have legislation in place. Moreover, their veterinarian associations support restricting the process.

However, many kennel clubs, while they say there is no bias against non-docked dogs in the show ring, continue to keep silent on the topic. In doing so, they are supporting the proponents. If you wish to stop or support it write the local and national kennel clubs as well as your legislative representative. If you are buying a dog and do not want it docked or cropped, be sure to tell the breeder before the birth takes place.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • kgnature profile image

      kgnature 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Great info. Thanks.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)