What are your views on cropping and docking?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Julee, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Torch

    Torch New Member

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    There are several breeds that I prefer cropped and/or docked. It's a personal preference and I don't find it terribly cruel.
     
  2. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    But acknowledging the level of pain, distress, and anxiety that is inherent in an elective surgical procedure is (or should be) part of what goes into making the decision to do it or not. I mean, honestly I think ear cropping IS kind of awful for the dogs, and personally I couldn't do it... the outcome/perceived benefit isn't worth it to me. But me saying that isn't the same as demonizing a person who made the choice to do it. It's just a different cost/benefit analysis for them.

    Strong, hurtful opinions about topics ranging from vaccines to spay/neuter to diet to declaw are expressed on Chaz all the time, why is this particular topic verboten? I don't doubt that people who crop and dock love their dogs just as much as I love mine, just like I don't doubt that someone who feeds Old Roy or neuters their dog or vaccinates more often than I do loves their dogs just as much as I love mine. It just means everyone has different lines in the sand.

    A judgment of the procedure isn't the same as a judgment of the person who chose to do it. People have reasons to do the procedures, the experience and recovery period is very short compared to the dog's lifetime, and most dogs don't have any mental or physical long term ill effects - the same as many elective surgical procedures that we all make choices about every day, from OHE/neuter to removing cosmetically displeasing lumps.

    The conversation shouldn't be "if you make this decision you are bad" IMO, it should be "if you choose to do this procedure, put thought into why you are doing it, weigh the benefits and risks, find someone who is good at it (including not only the procedure but up to date anesthetic and pain management protocols), be prepared to do proper aftercare, and be aware of how to recognize and address complications." That's the best any of us can do for any elective procedure.
     
  3. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    One of my cats is declawed. I don't like to talk about it. At the time, it was a choice my parents gave me of having him declawed, or making him live outside. I chose declaw. Do I regret it...? If you look at the whole picture, no. But I really, really, really, hate the fact that he's declawed and he moves differently because of it. For him it basically came down to a life/death situation. I made the best choice I could at the time with the choices I was given.
     
  4. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Yes, a number of them. Why?
     
  5. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Most likely because you proclaim it inhibited their ability to communicate and ruined their interactions with other dogs and people. That has not been my experience with debarked dogs, I am guessing nor Alerons.

    Was your experience of these debarked dogs through the shelter setting? Is it not possible there was another factor?

    Ime debarked dogs bark, they just rasp, and are otherwise normal dogs.
     
  6. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Yes, that's what I mean by I'll take the cat over the claws. Declawing is kind of awful, but again - with a good surgeon, good anesthesia, and good pain management (which in this day and age there are great multi-modal options for aggressive pain management for declaws and no excuse not to use them), the experience is a relatively short period of time out of the life of a cat with IME a very, very low risk of long term mental or physical effects and it keeps many, many cats in homes and out of shelters or off the streets.

    It is definitely becoming more the "norm" not to declaw than to declaw, and I'm truly happy to see that. But personally over my career I have seen hundreds if not thousands of cats who have been declawed and IME/IMO the vast, vast majority of them do not suffer any long term ill effects (mental or physical). So I can't really fault someone between a rock and a hard place choosing to declaw the cat so it can stay in their home.
     
  7. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Mine, too. They pretty much act the same, just the noise they make is different IME.

    I think there is a perception that people debark primarily for convenience. The only dogs I've ever known who have been debarked were either dogs with severe SA whose barking could not be controlled any other way and people were about to be kicked out of their apartments, or in one case a woman who got an anonymous note threatening to harm her dog ("shut your dog up or I will"). It's really a last resort for people IME.
     
  8. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    One was a neighbor's dog, one was a grooming client, two were day care dogs, one was a close family friend's dog. The three clients were debarked by owners, the other two were puppy mill dogs debarked before rescue.

    Did they lead horrible, completely abnormal lives because of being debarked? No. I don't think I said it ruined their interactions with other dogs and people. But it definitely did AFFECT their interactions. The first time I heard a debarked dog bark, I thought it was coughing. It was certainly not loud enough for a dog to vocalize in an emergency to someone in another room.
     
  9. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    We're talking about debarking in comparison to cropping and docking. Dogs aren't cropped and docked as a last resort, and lots of them aren't debarked as a last resort, even though many are.

    To me, cropping and docking is acceptable if it's being done for serious safety reasons for the dog, the same as debarking is acceptable if it is A LAST RESORT (Last resort is after you've called a professional trainer to deal with SA. It's after you've worked your schedule as best as possible so your dog isn't barking at the most inconvenient times. It's after you've put your eligible dog in day care. It's not "oh, she won't shut up and I got a complaint so I'll debark her).

    Cropping and docking done purely for aesthetics, IMO, while silly, and unnecessary, and honestly a little bit mean, (I also think the incorrect use of prong collars is mean and leaving a high energy puppy in a crate for 10 hours is mean and bringing a shy and nervous dog to a dog park is mean. Lots of people do those things. They're not horrible people.) I don't think it's a horrible decision or should be banned.

    Debarking a dog because it's annoying, or because you have 6 more dogs than your lease allows and don't want anyone to hear it, or because you don't want to pay a trainer, or because your dog is alone for 14 hours a day and you shouldn't have gotten it in the first place and you won't pay a dog walker....is not remotely the same as changing a dog's ear shape.
     
  10. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

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    My grandmother had diabetes and a cat that loved to "pounce" on her and claw up her legs. Her choices were to declaw the cat, rehome her, or have her euthanized.

    She chose to have her euthanized, because she was SO against declawing.

    I would have MUCH rather seen the cat declawed, so she could've lived out her life with my grandmother. She was an inside cat, young, and being declawed would've been much better than death.

    I'm not a fan of declawing, but like you said, it's a better option than many of the alternatives.

    Ian's cat in high school was declawed, and entirely an inside cat. She ended up sneaking outside and was attacked by a neighbor's dog in a matter of seconds. She tried to use her non existant claws to fight against the dog, but he bit her neck and killed her.

    Besides the whole procedure, that's the biggest thing that scares me about declawing. If the cat gets outside, it doesn't have much of a way to defend itself.
     
  11. Gypsydals

    Gypsydals New Member

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    I like the way most traditionally cropped and/or docked dogs look. I've done the after ear care on a dane, and it was a PIA. But that was mostly because I was over worrying about what I was doing.


    Its a strictly personal choice in the matter.
     
  12. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    From what I've seen, the anatomy is a bit different. There isn't as much to cut through with a dewclaw, especially as a two day old puppy. That said, I'm not a huge fan of removing them either. The horrible vet I used to work for used guillotine nail clippers to hack off the nails. And then you would find the little kitty 'fingers' all over the place. And then the cats would wake up and be absolutely devastated and you had to cut the bandages off the seriously pissed off kitty. They would hop around the cage like a bunny with the front legs tucked up. It's just a sucky thing to put them through.

    If it's done, it should be done with a laser.
     
  13. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

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    Yeah, dewclaws are cut off when the puppies are only a couple of days old. They cut them before the bone fuses, so it's a really easy process.

    All of my dogs have their dewclaws except for Chloe- her breeder removes them from her litters. It makes cutting her nails SO much easier than the others. I can't even see where her dewclaws were- no scars, no weird patterns of fur growth, etc. She's the most agile of all our dogs as well.
     
  14. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Other than having to clip them - I'm curious what the issue with dew claws is. I've heard people say they get caught on things. For those who have dogs with them, is that frequent for you?

    Both of mine have front dew claws (I even googled a picture just to make sure I wasn't calling them by the wrong name), and I've never had an issue at all, even with all the off leash running my guys do in the woods and brush.

    The ears and tail I get from a visual standpoint - like I said, the look doesn't do it for me, but it is obviously a big change and I can understand people doing it because it looks good and right to them. I'm just not sure I'd ever notice dew claws visually, and like I said, I've never actually seen a dog have an issue with them. Have I just been lucky?
     
  15. MandyPug

    MandyPug Sport Model Pug

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    I can't recall any dogs I know having issues with them.

    Izzie uses hers all the time and it isn't a big deal to keep them dremelled nice like the rest of her nails. I mean if you don't do your dogs nails at all I guess they're an issue because they don't get worn down like the other nails.

    My sport vet strongly advises against removing dewclaws plus she's an advocate of tails. When watching dogs weave in agility it's amazing to see how much work the tail does and then to feel the muscles along the tail on a dog with awesome weaves? Incredible.
     
  16. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    There was a conversation on a Flatcoat list recently on the issue of dewclaws...it was an interesting discussion. People fell very strongly on both sides of the fence. For a long time I guess it was just one of those things people did...cheapo BYBs (all breeds) trying to save a buck or not paying attention to the puppies wouldn't do dewclaws...responsible breeders did...it was seen as a way to tell a puppy came from a Good Breeder. But the sentiments have changed quite a bit especially with recently information on the role a proper front dewclaw plays as a structural component of the wrist and in certain movements (most commonly cited article by Chris Zink, DVM, PhD here).

    Nowadays some FCR breeders do and some don't. In the field crowd (actual hunting or field trial or hunt test or some combination thereof) there was a mix as well. Some in support of keeping dewclaws either because they'd heard of the research or because they aren't fans of elective surgery. Others opposed, either due to tradition or because of some dog or someone else's dog who had an issue with tearing a dewclaw one time, not necessarily out in the field. But reports of people who actually had one of the THEIR dogs tear a dewclaw (not this one guy they knew from way back whose brother's dog tore one) where rare...other injuries in the field were as or more common and it seemed to fall into the category of freak things that can happen to active working dogs.

    Yeah this is one reason why I'm so pro-tail. I mean first off I just like tails...I like the look of tails and the big goofy over-the-top wagging of tails and being able to see what my dog is thinking while working a field with her back facing me...but also the way a dog moves in agility is definitely affected by the lack of tail. There is a blitz-fast Aussie here owned and ran by a world-team class handler and the dog is amazing but still just corners and weaves a bit differently because of the lack of counterweight. Has learned to compensate pretty well and is awesome to watch but it just bugs me :p. Many don't compensate nearly so well.
     
  17. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

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    My parents shepherd had back dew claws that were very loose and floppy, she got them caught on things constantly. After the third (more serious) injury which made her limp like she was totally lame and took a loooong time to heal, they got them removed when they had her spayed as well... Never seen problems with the front ones, though :p
     
  18. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I've seen a few dogs get dewclaws caught and ripped off on things, but thinking about it, not more than dogs I've seen get regular nails caught and split or torn off on things. Heck, I've ripped my own toenails off, and while that's really unpleasant, I'd rather not have my toes amputated to prevent it.

    I can see the pros and cons to declaw removal, though. I've never heard anyone want to declaw their cats because it's preventative of an injury to the cat.
     
  19. MandyPug

    MandyPug Sport Model Pug

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    An interesting video on dewclaws and hunting dogs.

    [VIMEO]<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/39124130" width="700" height="394" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/39124130">Dew Claws Do Have a Purpose!</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user10922276">Erica@ Quartermoongoldens</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>[/VIMEO]
     
  20. MandyPug

    MandyPug Sport Model Pug

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