Clipping dogs’ ears and tails: Cool or cruel?

Pit bull with cropped ears

Sean Byrne

Many people would say docking a dog’s ears and tail off is incredibly cruel and pointless. I agree to a degree.

Clipping a dog’s ears off, for the sake of making the dog look vicious, is sickening. This is seen primarily in the pit bull community.

The pit bull has to be the most misunderstood dog out there. I have been around a lot of pit bulls, and they are sweethearts. I don’t see find them to be any more vicious than other dogs. 

These dogs get a bad rep for being pure fight dogs, with intense mean streaks and locking jaws. Both couldn’t be further from the truth. No dog’s jaws can “lock,” and any dog can have a mean streak. It is all about how you raise and socialize the dog.

Pitbulls are a breed that have their ears clipped predominately to make them look intimidating, furthering the myth of them being evil dogs.

Not only does this practice make sweet dogs look like fighting dogs, it is also extremely painful for the dog.

Cutting off a family dog’s ear is pointless and inhumane. It is a selfish act of the owner and has no benefit to the dog. It impairs their hearing, because they can no longer cup the sound as they were able to before, so not only does it hurt them it also weakens their senses.

I have differing ideas about docking a dog’s tail. If it is for a family dog and just for the pure preference of the owner, then I am against the idea. If it is for hunting dogs, then I am for it. I believe in docking hunting dogs’ tails, purely for the dog’s benefit.

I am for the docking of hunting dogs’ tails. I am for it, because when the hunting dog is traveling through the bushes and shrubs, they can get burs stuck and tangled in their tails. This is extremely painful for the dog  and the burs are painful to pull out.

Also, if a dog with a docked tail is searching for a fox, boar or any other dangerous animal, and gets in a fight, it doesn’t run the risk of the foe animal biting the dogs tail. If it bit the tail and tore it off, it could lead to the death of the dog by excessive bleeding.  

Now, as a non-hunter and dog lover with my 180 lb Great Pyrenees, Thor, I would never think about cutting off his gorgeous tail or clipping off his adorable ears. Nor, should I have the right to. I feel that this option should only be available to hunting and working dogs in which the deed is necessary and not just of the owner’s selfish personal preference.

For more information on docking the tails and ears of your pet take a look at these sites

http://www.peta.org/issues/companion-animals/ear-cropping-tail-docking.aspx

http://www.squidoo.com/ear-cropping

http://www.petmd.com/dog/care/evr_dg_ear_cropping_is_it_right_for_your_dog#.US7XPBnio7A

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