Skip to content
Previous article
Now Reading:
Ear cropping and tail docking - Painful, unnecessary, and harmful to your dog's health.

Ear cropping and tail docking - Painful, unnecessary, and harmful to your dog's health.

Why this outdated procedure should be illegal

Perhaps you are aware that in the past few days I have voiced my opinion on ear cropping and tail docking, two cosmetic surgeries that are still done on certain

As a vet, I believe it is my obligation to inform my community about possible health and emotional consequences of these unnecessary, but still relatively common procedures.

I realize that when the status quo is challenged, opposition and anger of others may be the result.

First, I need to emphasize I understand that graphic images of the procedures or creating analogies between ear cropping and cutting parts of human ears may be graphic and upsetting. 

I also want to say that I have never said those who have cropped and docked their dog’s tails do not love or care about them or that they are not good people. Of course they are! 

In the last few days, I have been faced with criticism and even harsh verbal insults for voicing my opinion and suggesting that ear cropping and tail docking, other than for medical reasons, should be made illegal.

One person said that “ I have the kindness gene missing." Another person wrote that I should "teach the public about caring for their dogs and not be an ignorant vet."

A kind and well-meaning friend told me that people on a variety of forums have been spreading the suggestion to sabotage our holistic healing website and products because of my stance. 

Over 15 years ago I made the switch from conventional to holistic medical thinking. It was hard. Some of my colleagues tried to ridicule my work, but after a while they left me alone because they sensed that my principles were solid and that they worked.

This time, I need to voice my opinion about ear cropping for two reasons. The first one is medical because the ears and the tail are areas of energy, acupuncture points and meridians, that affect your dog's well-being and organ health.  

Second, there is no reason for these cosmetic surgeries other than aesthetics.

Instead of voicing my past experiences with ear cropping and describing the agony and distress I have seen dogs with cropped ears and tails go through, I would like to share two Facebook comments from our community members.

Here is the first one from Cheryl Gilray: 

"When I was in high school all I wanted to be was a vet. I did my work experience at a local vet office. I assisted in an ear cropping surgery. It was barbaric. I never went back. Instead, I became a paramedic."

Johnny Gomez wrote: 

"I worked for a vet many years ago. She did beautiful ear crops, just beautiful, but one day we did a Dane pup's ears and he was in so much pain upon waking that the vet, myself and a tech looked at each other with tears in our eyes and agreed we would never crop ears again."

I would like to emphasize again that I DO NOT think that the people who crop their dog's ears are not caring or loving. It is simply my responsibility to inform you and take a stance on this important topic.

In the past, I believed that a change could happen within the cropped breed organizations and kennel clubs, however, I have come to realize the change is too slow. I have been told that many dog-show judges still favour cropped and docked dogs, which results in pressure on the breeders and a conflict of interest. 

That is why I have made the decision to come forward and voice my opinion, despite the possible financial consequences. I have promised in the past that I will always put the well-being of dogs first and that is why I can’t stop. Nor do I want to take back my statement that ear cropping and tail docking should be made illegal here similar to countries such as the UK and Australia. 

I understand that some people may find images of cropped ear incisions gruesome and unnecessary, but many people do not understand how severe they are. I think it is important for us to imagine what it would be like to have our ears cut. This brings us closer to understanding what this procedure is like for dogs who are helpless.

It has been suggested that ear cropping and tail docking is still mainstream in many areas and that is why I have decided to do a survey on this issue and need your help. 

If you care about this issue please cast your vote and share this
 blog with others. There will be pressure from those who support ear cropping and tail docking. They may even try to sway the results in their favour. That is why I need you to share this blog to achieve a fair vote and get an idea what our society thinks of these cosmetic and unnecessary procedures.

One thing I would like to ask of you is, no matter what your opinion, please be kind and respectful. I am not asking for your opinion to be the same as mine, just to be polite. 

Similar to my real home, our Facebook page and our website are our online home and I will not tolerate any rude or aggressive comments. Those who can’t help themselves will be asked to leave and will be blocked. 

If you are in support of making ear cropping and tail docking illegal, I thank you for your support. We can’t allow business interests to take precedence over the health and well-being of our dogs.

I know that people from both sides love and care about their best friends. 

I am taking this stance about ear cropping and tail docking because it is the only one that rings true to me and I feel obligated to do so.




© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM

About the author

Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM is an Integrative veterinarian, nutritionist and creator of natural supplements for dogs and people. Helping you and your dog prevent disease, treat nutritional deficiencies, and enjoy happier, healthier, and longer lives together.

Most Popular

  • Flying with dogs
    In my article, I share the personal story of how I'm able to fly with my dog, Pax, thanks to overcoming challenges with sleepwalking and night terrors. This unique experience not only allowed me to travel with my service dog but also serves as a reminder that even difficult situations can have positive outcomes.
  • dog and pony
    Successful communication is essential for building healthier and more fulfilling relationships and happier lives. In this article, I'll share with you 8 communication hacks to help you avoid unnecessary drama, prioritize active listening and address conflicts effectively.
  • Dalmatian eating fruit
    Can dogs eat bananas, apples, strawberries and other fruit? What about grapes? Find out what fruits are safe, toxic, and healthy for dogs. Learn about the potential health benefits and risks of feeding fruit to your canine companion, and get tips on the ideal time to feed it.
  • Illustration of the anatomy of a heart
    As dog lovers, we all want our beloved pups to live long and healthy lives. Protecting your dog's heart from potential health issues is important, and in this blog Dr. Dobias shares some key points that you might not yet be aware of, read on to find out what you can do to keep your dog's heart safe. 

Dog Health

  • Husky lying on blanket with heart toy
    Dogs have our hearts and that is why we need to protect their heart. Dog’s as they age often face muscle problems and spinal misalignment and you might be surprised to know how that can hurt their heart. Learn how to protect your dog’s spine and by extension their heart.
  • The secret ingredient for a perfect No. 2
    Dogs and humans have evolved side-by-side but they are still quite different when it comes to their digestive tracts and dietary habits. We have studied their original environments such as the soils of the African savanna and consulted with top experts in the field of probiotics and microbiology to come up with a combination that reflects healthy bacterial flora of canines.
  • Man being pointed at
    Criticism can hurt a brand, but constructive feedback can help it grow. In this blog Dr. Dobias talks about the differences between these approaches, and how to handle the power of influence and opinion with care. 
  • Broccoli with vitamins and minerals
    Are you worried that your and your dog's diet is missing something? Maybe you're worried about toxin levels in food, the environment, or flea and tick products. Let's face it; we can't remove ourselves entirely from our toxin-filled world, but we can do things to reduce our exposure to harmful substances. 

Human health

  • Dr. Dobias with Pax
    How do you navigate the seas of life? How do you deal with disappointment? Whatever life throws at us, we can always rely on our dogs to bring joy into our days. In this blog I share my thoughts on the support our dogs provide during the difficult moments in life. 
  • Why 1 in 4 Americans suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
    Learn more about the alarming prevalence of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) affecting 1 in 4 Americans. Discover its main risk factors, diagnosis methods, and treatment options to better manage or prevent this silent yet severe condition. 
  • A new perspective on brain health, memory loss, Alzheimer's Disease, and dementia in people and dogs
    The Science of DHA and the Brain: Omega-3 fatty acids, primarily DHA, are the unsung heroes of brain health. They play crucial roles in brain physiology and biological activities, with exciting links between Omega-3 levels and cognitive function. Higher DHA levels have been shown to preserve the integrity of the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB), your brain's security system
  • Dr. Dobias and Pax
    It appears that most of the world is ready for change, but whenever I think about the solutions to any of the problems that plague our world, I can’t prevent myself from thinking that we humans are acting like little toddlers who have broken a toy and do not know how to fix it. Despite my generally optimistic attitude, I have had a hard time staying positive at times because I know how complex this all is. Read here for some tools that make me feel good about the world, which I would like to share with you.

News, stories and good life

  • Dr. Peter Dobias with his dog Pax on his lap
    Do you have trouble staying positive during difficult times? These days we are surrounded by a lot of negative messaging, and it's easy to let that get you down. Here are some of my tips for remaining positive, and don't forget to share your tips with me!
  • Man raising fist on a mountain
    Most of us have been exposed to panic-inducing information about the virus spread, however, I have noticed the general absence of one piece of information, how to make your immune system stronger and body more resilient. (It will definitely not happen by stockpiling toilet paper!) I have always loved immunology and the current situation has prompted me to put together two simple lists on how to increase your dog’s and your own immunity.
  • Man with dog wearing a collar
    Does your dog have ear problems, nasal or oral tumors, reverse sneezing or an  itchy head or hair loss on their head? Learn how you can address some of these problems and save thousands in vet care costs.
  • Terrier eating raw food
    Now there is no need to guess if there is something missing in your dogs diet.  The HairQ Test is a highly accurate test for mineral deficiencies, toxins and heavy metals in dogs to finely tune your dog’s diet and supplement schedule.



Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping