DANELINKS.COM                                                                                                                                                         4/1/05



A perspective on the American practice of docking and cropping
By CinDee Byer


In these turbulent times there are real threats of mandatory spay and neutering, breed specific legislation, breeding restrictions, ownership number restrictions and the banning of procedures that benefit certain breeds of dogs. It is time for us to make a stand. After all we are Americans where our principles are based upon freedoms and a democracy. Americans, where we celebrate our diversity and because of our freedoms, and diversity we breed some of the finest dogs in the world! That's right we breed some of the finest dogs in the world! When it comes to docking and cropping we need not be ashamed. Those involved know these are wonderful procedures and done properly, cropping and docking is not only beautiful, part the breeds history, but are safe and beneficial in so many ways.
There is so much that angers me when we put this issue up for debate. First we have to realize this is not about docking or cropping! Banning procedures like this is a hidden agenda of those who want to take all of our rights away when it comes to owning dogs. Non issues like docking and cropping are simply a way to divide and conquer the fancy. To win this fancy needs to stand firm and I mean firm! If you don't have a back bone now you'd better start growing one! They are coming after us all and they will pick apart breeds one at a time infiltrating the fancy by leaving parent clubs in turmoil over non issues. If you want to continue owning and exhibiting whatever breed it is you love we need to stop the debates and stand united.
Okay, here is where backbone comes in. Let's admit it, most people in this country who own a breed that is historically cropped, and they choose not to crop, choose not to crop out of convenience and more often than not due to the cost of the procedure. Let's stop being kind here! They are mistaking our kindness for weakness! Some of these people hide behind the noble smoke screen of "I would never do that to my pet" but think nothing of rushing their "pet" off to the vet to have a much more serious, unnecessary procedure like a spay or neuter for their convenience.
It is time to be proud of the meticulous care we take of our dogs and it is time that we turn that accusing finger of cruelty back on our accuser who hides behind a mask of concern. I repeat, we are Americans, we have some of the greatest breeders in the world, who have bred some of the finest dogs in the world!
Another bone of contention I have is that I enjoy watching and studying dogs and breeders from different countries. Kudos to their beliefs and standards, kudos to those counties who tell exhibitors from America "you can't show that cropped dog here!" but I don't want to live by restrictions from other countries, I am an American. I am proud that we still up hold tradition using the technology of today. I don't want to conform to a world standard dictated by God knows who. I want to be an American living with my American bred Dobermans. Exhibiting them with pride, in the American Kennel Club shows. Doesn't it make anyone else just a little upset that some of these other registries, who have fallen to the pressure of banning cropping and soon docking can tell us we can't show our dogs according to our standards at their shows? Yet we seem to welcome them with open arms here at our all-breed shows, specialties and even Nationals. Then I hear "boo hoo we can't win because those "ugly Americans" crop their dogs."
Oh, please don't cry to me because you came to the prom without a prom dress!
Finally are there really breeders and exhibitors out there naive enough to believe that if we change our standards to include a DROPPED ear that the problem is solved and the radicals will just go away? Well, it's time to open your eyes, honey, because here comes "Boo Hoo, I can't show my undocked dog they need to change the standard"! Boo Hoo, I have a long legged dachshund I can't show, and I don't know why they aren't used for rodent control anymore so why does he need short legs! Boo Hoo, I don't want to groom my poodle, besides it's cruel to make them stand so long on that grooming table! Boo Hoo I have a toothless pointer, what do we need teeth for today anyway, he has a soft mouth! Boo Hoo, Boo Hoo, Boo Hoo! Please don't cry to me because you didn't wear a prom dress to the prom! We are Americans; be proud that we have standards and dressed up for the the event!
You may not like me or what I have said, but I like you and I love the dogs you breed. I am proud of the standards that you have preserved through famines, wars and tragedies. You have triumphed above all else to become some of the best breeders, teachers and exhibitors in the world -- don't allow them to force you to wear sweat pants to your prom! Changing standards is an admission of guilt. It is a plea bargain, admitting that all this time you've been doing it wrong and now you are willing to take what seems to be a lesser sentence. We are not guilty of a crime and we sure as hell are not criminals! Don't let yourself believe that changing a few words will end this radical thinking, don't believe sacrificing one breed will preserve the future of others.
Please unite, be strong, and continue being the great breeders of America that you are! We should have fun celebrating our American-bred cropped and docked breeds, so remember to keep the bar high, and never leave your prom dress at home just because the rest of the world is wearing sweat pants!


Where do the choices end and standards begin?


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