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AGC
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I know this may be very controversial but the reason for me posting this question is based on the horror stories ive heard and read about (just look at the postings on this forum as an example) and damage done to our beautiful breed when people are obsessed with cutting the ears of Dobes . Why do it??? its time to ban it..... Discuss!..... Also why hack their tails off (but thats another story!!)

AGC I really don't see a controversy over crop and dock. If people are opposed to crop and dock then by all means they should keep their animal natural, I see nothing wrong with that. The horror stories you refer to on this forum, you would have to show me those. Of course there were some minor infections, ears not standing, a stitch pulled out but I wouldn't consider those horror stories. As far as the "damage", please point out to me where in these pages you found that. If you love the "beautiful breed" so much, you would not have to ask why crop and dock are done on doberamnns. You would have researched the breed and know that answer.

If people are of the opinion that crop and dock should be halted or banned then I'm sure they would want to stop spaying and neutering also. Considering that spaying and neutering are a much more invasive procedure than crop and dock and the possibilities of much worse complications exist. If they are of the mindset that spay and neuter eliminates certain health problems, there has been much research that they are just trading one set of heath problems for others. Yet spay and neuter are very acceptable forms of mutilation. In fact highly promoted but not really necessary.

Now some say that crop and dock is cruel. They are entitled to their opinion but nothing could be further from the truth. Every puppy I've had that went through the procedure came home raring to go and totally unaware of the procedure. Just acting like a eight/nine week old puppy.

So it's my opinion that those who advocate banning these procedures are very unaware of the facts and are driven by emotion only. Because if they knew the facts they would say to each their own and mind their own business.

Gunny

 

mackerboys mom's picture
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Couldn't of said it better myself Gunny......     Dodie & Hoss

Tinks65's picture
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Well said Gunny!

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AMEN, Gunny

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said perfectly, Gunny!

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Most of the things that people list as "negatives" about crop and dock are not ACTUALLY negatives.  They are PERCEIVED negatives based on a lack of understanding on the topic.  It's a part of the breed standard, and is there for good reason.  The thing to remember, the further we go away from the breed standard, the less our companions resemble what they are supposed to, the more watered down breeds become, and eventually we no longer have our beloved breeds.  This is why we have breed standards, and this is why good breeders base their breeding decisions off of how closely their dogs resemble said standard. Most people think it's simply an appearance thing, but that can't be further from the truth.  It has aproximately zero to do with appearance in terms of why the breed standard says that dogs are to be cropped and docked.

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The historical reasons on record were that owners said they wanted to reduce the incidence of ear injuries and make it harder for their dogs to be caught by the ears when hunting or guarding and now some people consider it a breed standard like KevinK opinion.

I personally don't mind the look of cropped ears, however I do view it as unnecessary and more of a cultural conditioning by owners .."it use to be done so it must be justified". I doubt that any Dobie here is a hunting dog so its done purely because you prefer them to look like it. It seems silly to me that its justified as a breed standard. It seems similar to that of some cultures that stretch the necks of their daughters because its considered the best example of the female form?


I do disagree with tail docking though as there are many published reasons about it how it serves a critically important role in canine social behavior, not to mention that a puppy is born with a fully developed nervous system. But it is also about the risk factors of the surgery, Spaying is risky but necessary for obvious reasons. Cosmetic surgery runs similar risks for no pay off other then changing the look of the dog. 

There are many countries including Australia that have eliminated it, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Finland, Germany and Denmark. Several other European countries including Cyprus, Greece, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Austria.

It is a culture shock at first, it took about 5 years before I stopped hearing, "they just aren't Dobermans with their ears and tails intact" .. a comment that just irritates me to this day.

I was shocked to read a comparison drawn on cosmetic surgery vs spaying and neutering?
Does the general public honestly believe the outcomes of these two surgeries are on par? seriously?

No-one in their right mind would compare the risk vs necessity/outcome value on these two and draw similar conclusions..

To summarize, its a Dobermans owner culture and nothing more. Allot of the world has grown out of it and I'm not sad to see it go. If its not illegal in your country then leave it be, if you have the right to do it, by all means consider it but it would be nice to see the culture grow out of it with out it having to be legislated on them like it was in my country.

Its very hard to change perceived value, in fact its often met with aggressive defense or insults like Gunnys post, the tone is demeaning from the start rather then a good counterpoint to educate and develop the opinion.

I hope you don't feel this post takes anything away from your cropped dobie, I have tried to make this post thoughtful and not insulting, it would be nice if your replies offer the same consideration... In other words, dont flame me for having a different opinion. Educate!

AGC
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Well put Andrew, I was also amazed that cropping/docking has been argued in the same sentence as spaying.... that being said I join you in not wanting to take anything away from cropped and docked dogs... and I respect the previous comments. Good job that we are not all the same and have the same opinions eh.

It does horrify me when I read ears oozing black gunk, posts pushed deep in to the dogs ears, ears being taped inside out, idiots still wanting to crop their puppies ears when they are too old ALL FOR COSMETIC REASONS (what ever anyone says its done for COSMETIC REASONS without doubt)... Take some deep breaths Gunny

 

I really would not have a problem with an all natural Doberman, but greatly prefer cropped and docked as the traditional look of the Doberman. 

I've docked, removed dew claws, and cropped 3 litters now. I'm not saying that there is no discomfort to the procedures, but docking and dew claws is done so young that the nervous system is not complete AND the bones are still soft.  Puppies cry as much because they are held on their back than anything. As soon as they are placed back in the whelping box, they have forgotten about it - no crying or whining at all.  I have my tails and dews done at my home by a registered Vet tech that does a better job than most vets since she is also a breeder and knows exactly where to dock. This is legal in my state as long as they are done by 5 days of age. The best part is that I don't have to take them to a vet office where germs are all over. 

Cropping is done between 8-9 weeks by a specialist vet. I have literally seen them waking up from surgery & within a few hours they are eating and running around like nothing happened. No e-collars - just ears glued to cups. Within a couple of days, the cup is just part of their body - no big deal. The same goes for posts - they are used to them, and they don't bother them if done correctly. 

It is when new owners are left to flounder around by uncaring breeders that problems start. Those people are left to find answers and lucky for them there are good forums to go to for help. As for those uncaring breeders, I have some choice words for them!!

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The example of spaying/neutering and crop/dock is a good one, there is nothing that says you HAVE to spay/neuter same as there is nothing to say you HAVE to crop/dock, yet spay/neuter is expected and dobermans are "expected" to be cropped/docked - both require anesthesia which is a risk; both can prevent medical issues down the road - spay/neuter prevents unwanted animals and prevents alot of cancers; cropping and docking can prevent issues with ear infections and broken tails down the road....floppy ears do encourage infection and long spindly tails encourage broken tails as was the case with many a dog with a doberman type tail that were clients in the animal hospital I worked at.....and a broken tail requires a serious surgical amputation on an adult dog....does the tail indicate to other dogs the mood of the dog yes, but so do a miriad of other body signals that we have yet to understand the tail is NOT the only indicator of mood and behavior.....another dog will be able to read a docked dog just fine.....people maybe not so much unless they are good at other body language of their dog......and breed standards do not change as time goes by usually, such as double dilute collies are like dilute black dobermans not accepted as a breed standard color for serious reasons, would we want those standards to change just cause the dogs are pretty?? and exsist ??? no; breed standards are there for reasons and should be held to otherwise you do get watered down versions of the breed.....can a judge judge a dog with ears and tail natural - of course they can but the "look" of certain breeds are part of their standards. Some dogs are judged with whether the tail wags, the look of the eye, even whether there is a grumble or two when the judge handles the dog, some breeds it's expected to hear a grumble or two. Without the cropped ears and docked tail the "look" is not as instantly recognized as with a crop and dock....in a personal family member it is by all means a choice.....and one to take seriously.....but the natural look should not be forced on the breed because the majority of those arguing against it haven't seen the surgeries personally or educated themselves on what's involved, and only go on assumptions of trauma and pain in relation to how "they" themselves would feel but that is not a good comparison as dogs do not see either of these as a problem, they are usually back to themselves in 24-48 hours. People get worked up over this without complete knowledge of how its done they can only assume and that is always bad......people go in all the time for cosmetic surgery for eye lifts, saggy chins etc. and no one has protested and fussed that those surgeries should be outlawed, and those are more invasive and painful than crop/dock.....one might liken the docking of the tail to that of getting your ears pierced it's a sudden pinch and it's done no trauma afterwards no emotional scarring just a pinch. The ears done under anesthesia so no pain there - maybe a bit of soreness afterward but nothing of what people drum it up to be.....crop and dock is not a form of abuse as some would have others believe, no one is torturing their dogs with these procedures.....if you want to see true abuse just go to a rescue organizations page and scroll and see the horrible things that people do to their animals - crop and dock is only abuse when the ears are cut by untrained stupid people, without pain meds and with shrubbery shears or the tails are cut after the tail has hardened in the same method......

AGC
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Beleive it or not I like the look of a docked and cropped dobes. When I first became interested in the breed back in the 70's, to think of an undocked Dobe was, well, unthinkable. Its surprising though how quickly I became used to seeing Dobes with tails and now it is accepted here in the UK by most, although I have seen quite an increase in puppies coming from places like Serbia and Eastern Europe where they still dock (and crop).... I also like to see "natural" ears and tails. Most important to me though is a well cared for great condition Dobe.... Cropped or not!

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Andrew, it's not my opinion on what the breed standard is, it simply is what the breed standard is.  I'm also similar to Fitzmar in the sense that I don't really have much of a preference one way or the other.  While I do like the look of cropped ears, it would in no way influence my decision to choose a particular dog or not.  :-) 

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Love all the answers to this often controversial talked about topic!  I love the look of the docked and cropped Dobe. 40 years ago, I had no idea that it wasn't "their natural look".  Lol In my opinion, Atticus has not suffered any traumatic problems and pain from it either.  I've had friends that have dogs (various breeds) that haven't liked their ears touched.  Atticus loves, loves, loves to be petted and touched everywhere!  (Especially his ears!). He seems to really love when I rub and pet his ears.  Which I love how soft his ears are, so he gets a nice ear massage a lot.   If cropping and taping them had been that painful or bothersome, I'm sure he'd not have freely let me tape them when I was still doing that for a year and he'd certainly not let me constantly pet and play with them now. 

I've also had many different dogs over the years.  Most that I've brought home from an Animal Shelter and a couple that were dumped at our farm house we were living in at the time.  I have wanted a Doberman for many years.  I finally got one and I wanted the cropped and docked Dobe that had been in my vision.  He is a very happy, sweet guy.  I have seen no sign that he suffered from it at all.  

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Some very well explained points above, Sorry Kevin, you are correct about the statement of breed standard, I should have quoted "as you have said.." Not " like KevinK's opinion.

I've continued this discussion in the workplace and an interesting thing was brought up.

Inhumane practices of docking are the real issue, one person explained. Its not that a professional vet can perform the surgury comfortably and successfully its the fact there are people out there that do back yard jobs or even unskilled vetinarians.

He says it should be heavily regulated, certified etc and I think this is a very good compromise from a total ban.

There are videos on youtube of a dobe pup getting docked with a razor blade.. He beleives the motivation to Ban the practice of cropping and docking was to illiminate the hackers and abusers.

What do you think about that? Would you agree with the idea that the culture of croping and docking opens the door for abuse and inhumane practices from BYB's and others?

I can say, if you saw a cropped Dobe around here you would know it was done illegally by a backyard surgen.

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Interesting idea, and it sounds good in theory but from what I have seen people are going to abuse their animals whether or not there is a "law" against it, I mean look at all the animals circulating FB asking for signatures on petitions to prosecute animal abusers who have done things to their animals that are totally illegal, there is no way to regulate whether a person will take pruning shears to their dogs ears or not (I use this example as a pit bull I was about to adopt had her ears cut that way all the way to her skull by a 17 year old boy)......would it be traceable maybe if the person pursued the "breeder" but those who would buy from that sort of backyard puppy mill person is not likely to report them.......I think conversing on the subject could come up with a somewhat acceptable solution, but one would think that common sense would be the solution......but people have been known to do surgeries on others without licenses etc. or say they are experts when they know nothing so if we can't stop human to human misuse of surgerical procedures human to animal would be even harder, but putting it out there is a great first step......

Common sense apparently is a high commodity nowadays and in slim to none proportions to the stupidity of people. Common sense should prevent ALL abuse to anyone animal or human or planet for that matter.....

As for the docking issue, I have seen several methods used the rubberband method has horrified alot of people but it was common practice years ago, and human doctors did the same technique for hemorroids, my dad had that done. The idea is to place the band snug but loose, then every day or twice a day?? can't remember, you would twist the band one-two twists and keep this up till the tail fell off - the theory behind this was that it would gently and slowly cut the blood flow to the tail and it would just naturally fall off which it did, the puppies had no idea and could have cared less.....once again the backyard puppy miller will most likely just band the tail to the maximum twist and that will cause some discomfort cause it suddenly stops the blood flow, like twisting dental floss around your finger. Any procedure can be botched and done in barbaric ways that unfortunately lead others to immediately assume that that's the way it is done and it's abusive......but a proper procedure done by a professional is NEVER abusive.....The razor blade method at the animal hospital I worked at was considered to be abusive and I never saw them use that.....but I did see them correct the damage done by at home dockers.....and for those that feel the emotional impact to the puppy is great should remember that at the days old age that the docking takes place is done during a period where the most important thing in that baby's life is food, so any discomfort no matter how short or long takes a backseat to the survival of nursing, there really is no emotional impact on a docked puppy, if done at the right time by the right person. I was witness to numerous dogs of several breeds having to come into our hospital to have their "whip" type tails amputated due to injury from wagging too much and whacking it on door casings, tables, and other hard surfaces some had amputations 2 times cause the owner didn't want to shorten the tail too much and the dog continued to injure their tail resulting in a total amputation, the pain endured by those dogs was great as the tail had hardened so it would have been so much better on the dog had the tail been docked at birth. Sometimes well meaning people do not see what the future might hold and just freak out over an idea that they are unfamiliar with which in the end can lead to worse pain for their dog than the original minor discomfort they fought against.

I do love the look of the cropped docked look; however like everyone else here I would never let that decide whether or not to add that dog to my home......and I LOVE seeing all the dogs here whether cropped/docked or not and some of my favorite dogs here have tails and ears flopping :))

I also think that calm and informative discussions about the subject without emotional input and projection of human emotional trauma onto a dog is necessary to come to a happy solution to a controversy

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Well here's my honest opinion.  I wanted a cropped and docked Doberman of my dream.  I got one.  He was a sweet, beautiful little boy that was cropped, dewclaws removed, and tailed docked, all from the breeder.  I took him home and was responsible for the after care of ALL physical and emotional needs.  I tried my best to be the best "Mommy" that I could be.  With the advice from many! on this site, I think I have done well.  Granted.....Atticus has one ear that seems to have a mind of it's own.  But I don't care.  That ear tells me a story.  It flops totally down when he's totally relaxed.  It perks up BEAUTIFULLY along with his 'always erect' ear when he is at "Attention" and thinks he hears something exciting, and it juts backward when he's in a contemplating mood.  His ears are TOTALLY his personality.  He's a sweet, loving dog to my grandkids (ages 4 - 15). He's a sweet boy to our snowshoe siamese kitty,  he was a sweet little brother to our much loved and departed Rottie, Roman.  And his cropped and docked body has not hindered him one bit!  So I don't think there is one bit of difference.  What I think is ALL SWEET dogs, cats, birds, living creatures etc etc etc deserve love, caring and attention.  Whether we color their hair, put a bow on them, tape their ears up (humanely, of course).  ALL THEY want is to be loved!

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Oh atticus I always have my heart to a flip flop when you mention Roman, miss those rotties here.....you are right all they want and deserve is love.......

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I read here that cropping the ears helps to protect them from being caught on things etc..that is not the only reason! It is however one of the only reasons I have found for tail docking! Cropping ears also gives the dog a better hearing radius! the flop over can cause distortion and lower the radius at wich the dog hears, cropping allowes them to hear much better as there is nothing in the way of the noises! it would be the same as a person wearing earmuffs in a sense, you can't hear as well with them on! it also helps keep the ears cleaner as they can drain easier on their own if cropped! I am not in anyway telling anyone to cropp their dogs ears! it really is a matter of personal preference, but these things are something to keep in mind!!!!

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The responses are very long and some of them informative some of them just opinions. I myself have a doberman puppy who is 19 weeks and 3 days old today. When i got him at 6 weeks of age his tail was already docked. I know many would disagree with me taking him away from the mother at that age but i loved him so much that i wouldnt leave him behind. Alao because i asked around and people said they didnt have problem giving their puppies/getting a puppy at 6 weeks of age. I waited until he was 12 weeks old and at 12 weeks and 2 days old he had his ears cropped. Now this may sound crucial to some people and i really dont care who is going to hate me but the reason why i got a doberman in the first place is for their look and a dobie with floppy ears... They just dont look like a dobie to me. Doberman was created for people to look at it and get scared and frankly natural ears dont scare people. I got my dobies ears cropped because i wanted him to look like a real doberman and yes i say REAL because that is how their creator created them. I have read that tail docking and ear cropping affect the health positively but like i said my dobies tail was already docked and i cropped his ears ONLY FOR THE LOOK. I have read that ear cropping is banned in the UK not sure how much of that is true but if it is true then people fear getting a fine and thats the reason most of them dont crop the ears. But if that was true again which i dont know then im sure most of those natural ear dobie owners would love to have their dobies ears cropped. Again this comment is not to insult anyone on this forum or disrespect anyone it is purely my opinion and means absolutly no insult what so ever. I havent read few comment posted later but i have to agree with Gunny. Also Fitzmar had a good point. Overall i have just one thing to say. Have a dobie with taped ears go outside and whoever you see ask them if they know what it is on their ears. Here in the LA area where i live everybody that saw me walking my dog was like "thats a good looking dog you ALREADY cropped the ears?" So people know the breed as cropped ears. Anyhow if people say doberman the only thing i picture is black and brown dog with ears sticking up that gives a look to be afraid of. I would also like to add that when my pup had his surgery he just had 2 accidents of potting inside the house but that was because it was our first dog and we didnt know that it happens (that is very normal for puppies to go even though they dont realize they have to go). Of course he would scratch himself around the ears but not because it hurt but because there was tape and it was unusual and it felt weird but after couple days like Gunny said i believe it becomes part of them. Now what comes to posting the person who used to post my dogs ears who did a really wonderful job posting had just one problem with my puppy (not sure if other puppies had this problem since my dobie has demodex) was the tape he used. That tape didnt let the ears to breath and after a day or 2 days max the ears were wet and they smelled bad. After 3 times seeing this i just stopped taking him to anyone and i did research myself and thanks to the internet and wonderful vets who dont mind being recorded posted videos on youtube. Now i already saw how to post but the tape they used was porous (has lots of holes so the skin is able to breath) and ever since i started posting there were absolutely no further complications. Like many on this forum have said to me my dobie looks soo freakin amazing and those who would like to see go to "forums" then "dobermans ears (3rd choice) then my post is titled as "NEED HELP WITH POSTING" and i have url there to my dobies pics... One more thing i would like to mention is that my dobie doesnt scratch his head at all when postings are on... Matter of fact i dont even hold him when my brother does the posts. All i do is hold his head from the lower jaw up in horizontal position so the head is straight and i dont hold him at all just place my hand there. Now if postings bothered him he would run away and wouldnt sit quitely and patiently wait for us to be done. If they bothered him he would scratch them off but all he does and i repeat ALL he does is shake his head once right after we are done. I want to repeat again that my comment is purely a personal opinion and means no insult of disrespect to anyone but as i said dobermans were created for people to be scared from them and this is not possible with natural ears. As stated above tail docking and ear cropping is doberman standards.

 

 

Lots of love from Blackie

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Charles Darwin noted that an indication of a domesticated breed was floppy ears.