Humans and dogs deserve compassion on this controversial topic
Once in a while, I end up in the eye of the storm, especially when it comes to the subject of ear cropping, tail docking, neutering and spaying. Today, I want to clarify:
1. Why I feel so strongly against ear cropping and tail docking,
2. Why those who disagree and get angry need to be treated with compassion,
3. My stance on birth control
Why I feel so strongly opposed to ear cropping and tail docking
Some time ago, I wrote a blog about ear cropping. The reason I am so radically against this elective procedure is because it is only done for looks. Some people may argue about the risk of tail injuries when it comes to tail docking, but nature is always right when it comes to anatomy. Every part of the body has its function. The energy in the ears and the tail are connected to other parts of the body and to internal organ functions. This is clearly described in traditional Chinese medicine.
Removing the ears and the tail results in the following:
1. Discomfort and unnecessary suffering (think of having a child's ears cropped; it is NO different).
2. Disturbances in energy flow and poorer health on average. Some people may argue this point, but 25 years of practice is plenty enough to see the difference (think of Dobermans and Boxers).
3. The absence of body language cues from ear and tail movement, which can cause misunderstanding and conflicts with other dogs.
Why do some people get angry
I confess, I didn't use to feel a great deal of compassion when it comes to ear
croppers, but now I feel different.
I do not doubt that most ear croppers love their dogs and I believe the only reason they crop their beloved dog's ears is due to a lack of knowledge or vanity.
So, why do some people get angry, aggressive and rude when I post the above information? It is because, intuitively, they know that they have harmed their dog and the truth is hard to bear. All that is left is to get angry with someone else.
What to do if you ear cropped or tail docked
1. If you have cropped your dog's ear, you need to forgive yourself because you did not know how much damage it causes.
2. If your dog has a docked tail, the impact is unlikely to be as severe. However, if you have a choice in the future, just remember that nature is never wrong.
3. If you are against ear cropping and tail docking, my suggestion is to be kind and understanding. When you are talking to people in the pro camp, tread water carefully because the only way to change the situation is to build their trust and that will not happen through aggression.
What is the difference between ear cropping, tail docking and birth control?
People from the pro-cropping camp often argue that neutering and spaying are no different, but I disagree.
Ear cropping is a cosmetic procedure, whereas birth control prevents the suffering of millions of dogs that would be born without any chance of being adopted. Those of us who have visited a homeless shelter or traveled around the world understand. Seeing the suffering and sadness makes us choose the compromise of birth control.
Currently, we see the positive trend from early neuter or spay to vasectomy, zinc anti-conception, tubal ligation or partial or full ovariectomy (ovary removal).
However, no one can argue that without the compromise of population control, more dogs will be thrown into the abyss of homelessness, suffering and possible euthanasia.
No matter what side of the ear cropping or tail docking fence you're on, let's be nice to each other because, in essence, we are the same—we love our dogs and we do not want to harm them in any way.
© Dr. Peter Dobias