Perhaps you are already 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 certainbreeds.

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. As it often happens when the status quo is challenged, opposition and anger of others may be the result.

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

I also want to say that I have never said that those who have cropped and docked their dog’s tails do not love or care about them nor 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.

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 the area of many energy – acupuncture points and meridians – that affect your dogs wellbeing and organ health.

Second, there is no actual reason for cosmetic surgery other than aesthetic.

Instead of voicing my own experiences with ear cropping in the past 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 dogs ears are not caring or loving. Of course they are but it is my responsibility to inform you and take a stance on this important topic.

In the past, I did believe that the change could happen within the cropped breed organizations and kennel clubs however, I have come to a realization that 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 interests in general.

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 the 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 main stream 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 and have either opinion 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.

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 wellbeing 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.

Source: by Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM

Sylvie Schneider


  • Terrill Root

    I am the very proud Pappa of an 8 month old male American Boxer pup. Yes, he has a docked tail and NO he does not have his ears cropped. In my case, my pup had his tail procedure done when he was a baby and thus far he is a very rambunctious, curious and playful puppy. I do not feel it necessary to have his ears done ( too late now anyways) but his little tail nub is a source of many joyous playtime’s as he loves it when I tease him by grabbing at it. As for the ear thing, that is totally unnecessary and I personally think might have caused hearing issues especially in the cold winter’s we have. The point I guess is to each his own and if you don’t agree with any of the normal”modifications” then don’t do it, but, on the other hand if this is what you consider beauty then by all means find a skilled vet and do it as young as possible. Like many issues these days,issues like these are always better being openly discussed and mutually reviewed by those it effects and not by those who do not own such fine friends as our pooches are.

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