It's amazing in this day and age that breeders and dog guardians still cling to the practice of cutting away pieces of dogs’ anatomies for aesthetic purposes and/or human imposed breed standards. Not only is this practice unnecessary, it's out-dated and downright abusive.
Both the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) classify these surgeries as elective, medically unnecessary and are united in their stance that these procedures "are not medically indicated nor of benefit to the patient," and "these procedures cause pain and distress, and, as with all surgical procedures, are accompanied by inherent risks of anaesthesia, blood loss, and infection."
We know that many people judge others by appearance and it’s the same with dogs. Studies have shown that many people perceive dogs with ears and tails that have been ritually cut off to be more aggressive, less playful and less affectionate. These people are judging the temperament of cropped and docked dogs simply by their appearance, without any evidence or scientific basis. They perceive these dogs as potentially aggressive, and as we know, what we perceive is our truth. We already have a problem with unfair discrimination against certain breeds and this only serves to exacerbate the problem.
Chopping off tails and ears is equivalent to cutting out a person’s tongue. Dog's don't have a voice to communicate, they do so with body language and their ears and tails are two main components of these communications. Stumped tails and sliced ears are less informative to other dogs and humans, limiting the dog’s ability to communicate effectively.
We must ask ourselves if we would put our babies or toddlers through unnecessary, painful and savage cosmetic procedures that would not only interfere with communication for the rest of their lives but would also give them a threatening appearance. It goes without saying that it’s time for breeders, guardians and veterinarians to take a stand and say no to cropping and docking!
Written by Greg Ceci and Norma Jeanne Laurette © March 21, 2017
Artwork by permission: WeeStiv - @WeeStivArt – Visit artist's Facebook page
American Veterinary Medical Association, Ear Cropping and Tail Docking of Dogs
Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, Cosmetic Alteration — Position Statement
Psychology Today, How People Perceive Dogs With Docked Tails and Cropped Ears