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ear cropping and tail docking questions

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ear cropping and tail docking questions
  • It is easy to be judgemental when i see a breed (danes, boxers, pits, etc.) with altered ears and tails ("OOOHHH poor doggy...how mean!") but i can also admit that my judgemental attitude stems from ignorance.

    so my question is...what are the characteristics in the your breed that make these alterations neccesary?

    I am NOT starting this thread for folks to jump on a soapbox...it is truly to educate me (and others) so I can look at these animals and their owners with a better understanding. So please no preaching!

    Thanks,
    Shannon
  • Moderator hat on,
     
    We've discussed this topic a few times, very recently. If you search the archives using CROP or DOCK as a keyword you can likely find these discussions.
     
    IF folks would like to contribute to this thread...civility will be expected...and realize that judemental answers are likely not going to be welcomed...and also think about if the people you "know" here with cropped/docked animals are "cruel" or any other type of thing BEFORE you post.
     
    Thank you and I will  be keeping close watch on this thread. [;)]
  • ORIGINAL: shanmcd

    It is easy to be judgemental when i see a breed (danes, boxers, pits, etc.) with altered ears and tails ("OOOHHH poor doggy...how mean!") but i can also admit that my judgemental attitude stems from ignorance.

    so my question is...what are the characteristics in the your breed that make these alterations neccesary?

    I am NOT starting this thread for folks to jump on a soapbox...it is truly to educate me (and others) so I can look at these animals and their owners with a better understanding. So please no preaching!

    Thanks,
    Shannon


    I think a picture will help.  For me, and this was 8 years ago, its what was done and that is how a Great Dane should look like.  In my opinion the dog community influenced JQP.

  • I am having problems resizing the pictures.  The pics are blanks and I can't delete old and replace.  Sorry, technical difficulties.
  • hi,
    i searched this once before posting and didnt find much (mostly morals and ethics stuff) the second time i found a little more...sorry about the repeat. i guess i was looking for answers in regard to health, breed history, and practical working use, etc.
  • IMO... a good breeder of danes, dobies, etc has the ears cropped between 5-7 weeks of age.  It should be done before the pup ever leaves for it's new home.  The success of the crop depends on the age of the pup.  That being said I have always loved the look of a cropped ear... my son just informed me that a dane without the ears cropped looks a lot better :)
  • For the most part, cropping and docking had their origins in hunting and keeping dogs from suffering injury -- fluffy tailed.fluffy ears dogs who could get tails caught in brush/hedges and then either injure themselves trying to get free, or occasionally getting killed by a hunter thinking it was prey in the bush.  That and other similar ideas.

    My best advice would be for you to go to the AKC website of each breed and they should give the historicity of 'why' cropping/docking was originated.  Somewhere along the line these original safety precautions became breed standard.  But the original use has in most cases totally passed into history.   

    Is this the type of information you were looking for?
  • I appreciate the info on hunting, but I wont be researching individual breeds...i really wanted to touch base with owners and folks on the forum as a "one stop shopping" approach.

    I guess what i was looking for is "your" response as an owner/enthusisist if someone approached you at the dog park and asked "why"? a true curiousity...i would do it at the dog park myself, but we dont have one....and very few dogs here are purebreed at all. and the only cropped dogs here are the pitties, but i already know the answer to the "WHY?" with those (dog fighting)[:'(][:@][:(]



  • Dobermans were bred as a protection dog.  Their ears were cropped to increase the sharpness of their look.  They look much more alert and aggressive when their ears are cropped as opposed to natural.  To answer your question Doberman's ears were done for comsetic reasons.
  • Dobermans were bred as a protection dog. Their ears were cropped to increase the sharpness of their look. They look much more alert and aggressive when their ears are cropped as opposed to natural. To answer your question Doberman's ears were done for comsetic reasons.


    thanks...that is what i was looking for! anyone else? what about tails? I thought i read that soem tails are so thin and weak that docking them is to aviod future breakage/pain/suffering.
  • I once read that dobermans were cropped because of their job they were guard dogs for I think tax collecters and if someone tried to hurt the human not having a tail or floppy ears would protect the dog from injury, so if someone tried to hurt the tax collector and the doberman was protecting the attacker couldn't injure the dog as easily. Does that make sense? But I could be totally wrong[sm=lame.gif]
  • A lot of breeds had ears and tails docked for a specific purpose when the breed was being used for its original purpose, ie hunting, fighting,. Now it is continued to preserve the breed standard. Sure it may seem selfish to some people but people tend to take extreme pride in their favored breeds and  a lot of the times that includes sticking with the breed standard. Rory is a APBT, she should ahve her ears cropped however it is no longer neccessary in dog shows. I chose to not dock her ears to a gentler appearance and it has worked!
  • I might be wrong, but I think with the Dobie, it was more scaring people into paying their taxes.  I think some of the war-mastiff type dogs were cropped and docked so that the people they were attacking could not grab onto the ears or tail as the dog attacked, maybe that's what you were thinking of, Cassie?  Dobie tails are fun, they're prone to happy tail, which is a condition where the dog whacks its tail against things and eventually the tip will break open and bleed.  It's just because of the long, whiplike tail with very little fur covering.  As far as Pit Bulls go, I've heard it's best to leave the ears natural for fighting, because if their opponent gets a hold on them, it is better for them to grab an ear than the neck.  I've never seen it, of course, but if the other dog got ahold of an ear, the dog that's being held should have an opening for the neck.  I might be completely wrong, but it makes sense to me.  That, and if you look at pictures of most of the old time fighting dogs, they've got natural ears. 
  • I believe they used to almost completely remove the ears of desert bred Saluki's. I always thought this was interesting. Foxhounds/Hunting hounds also have various notches made in the ear for ID purposes among the packs...below is about the Saluki's ears...
     
    [font=arial]  A few of the Bedouin tribes would crop
      ears. This practice is more common in the northern areas, particularly
      among the Kurds. Cropping was done for a variety of reasons: to
      prevent the ear leather from being torn while hunting predatory game
      such as jackal and fox; for beauty; for protection against damage from
      thorn bushes; for identification (cutting only one ear or only part of
      the leather); for speed; for alertness. Some Salukis imported from the
      Middle East have had cropped ears.

    [/font]
    I always felt that Danes "should" have been a docked breed....given their propensity for tail injury. But the I realized that keeping this ancient breed in close enough quarters such that injury could result...was a really recent event. Before this they've been outdoor kenneled estate dogs, prior to that...hall/keep/castle dogs. Only very recently has the advent of suburban housing, apartment, close quarters become a normal place to find them. Long after their standard was written....always interesting to really think about the historical "why's and why nots" of appearance in the dog world.
  • Danes have had their ears cropped because they were used for boar hunting. Long floppy ears were torn while hunting as boars are rather aggressive. So the Dane lost his long ears so that he did not have to deal with mangled torn ears after hunting. Schanuzers have their ears cropped for the same reason, the hunted was vermin. I believe most of the cropped eared dogs come from German descent. The Dane being one of the oldest of German cropped eared dogs, may have infienced the other breeders of dogs whom had the job of protection may have taken the look from the Dane, who had a practical reason for being cropped. From what I remember, Boxers and Dobes came to be breeds after the Dane. The traditional fighting breeds (Am Staff, Staffie Bulls, APBT, Cane Corso, Neapoltan, etc) had their ears cropped for fighting and battling purposes. There are a few Russian breeds that have their ears cropped, but I can't remember why. I'll remember in a few hours.