Boxer Blog...

Cropping and docking... a cosmetic procedure?

(6 comments)

O.K, so this is a touchy subject. All of us in the sport of dogs and dog shows know that cropping of ears is nearly necessary to success of fulfilling the breed standard, as people have interpreted since the conception of the breed. However, we also know that it is an invasive procedure that requires a lot of research into just what happens with the surgery, the healing process, taping, and MOST important a reputable and skilled veterinarian who can perform the surgery without injuring or ruining the look of the dog.

In addition to cropping, the tails are docked between 2-5 days of age. Though a little uncomfortable, the pups are really not bothered much and heal very fast. The dewclaws (thumbs) are usually done at the same time, and are additionally a quick heal.

I always leave it to my pet people to decide whether they want to put their dog thru a cropping procedure or not, frequently encouraging them not to if they are not planning on showing the dog. It is a huge commitment of time and a bit of an expense. As far as the tails and dewclaws, I have them taken care of by my vet and feel it is a necessary action. 

The reason for this blog is that the AKC is trying to pass a policy that makes it so that no one under any circumstances will be allowed to dock, dew or crop any breed of dog for any reason. In my opinion, it is a decision between the dog owner / breeder , and veterinarian.

This is a communication I had with one of the people in charge of passing this policy :

"Due to the fact that I SHOW my boxers, I feel you are doing the sport of dog shows a huge disservice by deciding for others whether this procedure should be done or not. Boxers, since the conception of the breed have been cropped, it was in the standard for YEARS, it just recently was revised to include natural eared dogs. I have RARELY seen a natural eared dog in the ring, but when I do, I am both glad the choice is available, and a little thrown by the appearance, as it gives the breed SUCH a different look and appeal. You loose the elegant and alert look that the standard calls for.


Aside from aesthetics, with breeds like the boxer there ARE medical reasons for the docking and dews. I am not in the belief that those are a cosmetic procedure. With the activity level and rambunctiousness the boxer is known for, having a full length tail would be a bit of a hazard. With the intensity of which the dog wags and would whack things with it, it wouldn't take much to split the tip of the tail. With all the jumping and pawing, also is at risk for snagging and ripping the dewclaws, as well as injuring others. There are good MEDICAL reasons for doing this, not just cosmetic. Though the crops are primarily cosmetic, they do aid in keeping ears better circulated, less occurrence of yeast and ear infections, as well as keeping the ears from tip injuries that are HARD to heal . I know from experience. I had a natural eared boxer who ripped the tip of his ear on a blackberry bush, and I had to tape his ear to his head, because he kept shaking his head and reopening / injuring the area."

So, what do you think? How do you feel on this subject? I am interested to see where others stand on this issue.

My biggest thing is not to have ALL our rights stripped away, and keep in mind that the majority of people who are having these procedures done are doing it for the right reasons.

Most dogs aren't great guard dogs unless they have tniaring. And chances are you won't find a dog that's awesome with kids but also be a fearsome guard dog. Sussex are supposed to be pretty laid back dogs and there's no reason why they wouldn't be good with kids. They're not a very common breed and you may have trouble finding one.

Mom - You have such a large heart for such a petite body. Hopefully your deisre to rescue the world will be contagious. I'm glad you've given these dogs a voice to be heard. The pictures say more than words could ever convey. I'm sure the rescue groups will benefit greately from your efforts. I'm very proud of you.

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