Anonymous asked in PetsDogs · 8 months ago

Is it cruel or unethical to buy a puppy who has had it’s ears docked?

First of all it’s not me who’s buying one. I was talking with someone else who wants to get a dog with its ears cropped. I told them it was cruel and all that jazz but they just justified it with “I’ll just buy one with it already done so I don’t have to do it”. It’s illegal to do it in the state they live in and they know that which means they’ll knowingly be buying a dog from someone who’s done it the wrong way. Thoughts?

14 Answers

  • 8 months ago

    • "Is it cruel or unethical to buy a puppy who has had it’s ears docked?"

    Why are you using [Anonymous] to hide from us the avatar & username YOU chose?

    Assuming that you meant "ears cropped":

    👹 Cruel? Somewhat. At the age when whelps are docked without anaesthesia their nervous system is so under-developed that, although their nerves can detect things such as hunger & warmth, they can't work out WHERE the "signal" is coming from. In effect, they feel the tail-cutting over ALL the parts of their body. Thank goodness they don't feel it at full strength! If they had more control of their nervous system they probably WOULD scream "MURDER!!" - but their brain doesn't switch on until some time during Day 21. (Experimenters have established that there is almost NOTHING we can teach a pup before it is 21 says old - whelps are dependent on the INSTINCTS delivered by their genes.)

    Pups that are in trouble during the the first 3 or so days just quietly lie there and die silently.

    🤯 Unethical? THAT is a tricky word! To me, having spent 53 years studying dogs (longer, if you count my childhood working out how to train my Fox Terrier x Cocker Spaniel) - especially my beloved GSD breed - I have NO wish to alter the ears or tails of GSDs, apart from a very few whose tail not merely "reaches the hock" but also drags on the ground. I avoid as much as possible inflicting unnecessary pain on dogs or children. But there ARE times when a little pain is unavoidable - and can produce DESIRABLE results. Mere "fashion" does NOT justify ANY degree of pain.

    Different people in different eras have differing definitions of "ethical".

    The Hippocratic Oath beginning with "First do no harm" is a good way to decide whether an action is ethical - and over the centuries most doctors & veterinarians have attempted to become more & more ethical.

    As I don't consider dog fighting - let alone BETTING on which dog will survive! - to be ethical, I consider so-called "preventative cropping" and "preventative docking" to be UNethical & BARBARIC !

    However, CORRECTIVE surgery after an injury is a different matter.

    So I'd MUCH prefer BREEDERS to choose their bìtches' mates to GENETICALLY PRODUCE the HEALTHY shapes (including backs, chests, ears, heads, legs, tails) their breed's TASKS require.

    Maybe it should be illegal to own a fertile stud or fertile bìtch before "you" have studied the genetics relevant to the one BREED "you" wish to produce?


    Although you've typed:

    "Studies have shown a medical benefit - when tail docking is done to puppies who may be smaller or are not thriving as well as others."

    you failed to TELL us what it is alleged to be, then LINK us to the actual EVIDENCE of this mysterious "benefit".

    Any unnecessary medical procedure that legislators, professors, veterinarians OPPOSE in most of the civilised world is unlikely to produce ANY benefit. The only one I can imagine for docking is the one that hunters have long claimed as a "justification" for docking their pooches:

    "A shortened tail is less likely to get ripped or torn while hunting."

    Quite likely to be true.


    If the hunters were actually concerned about their dogs possibly getting damaged  & hurt while doing their work, why haven't their BREEDERS:

    ✔️1: done a cross-breeding to a stud that is naturally bob-tailed - such as: an Australian Shepherd, Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog, Jack Russell Terrier, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Schipperke, Swedish Vallhund, or another from the total of 33 breeds that have either the dominant C189G allele or an as-yet-unidentified recessive allele of some other gene, then

    ✔️2: back-crossed to their "own" breed, always selecting short-tailed members of their litter for continuing their line?

    Those dog breeders who are fully literate can consider the most appropriate breed from which to obtain one of the 2 gene alleles responsible for natural "bob-tails" as listed in":

    before asking their kennel club for permission? They will need to be aware that the dominant C189G allele is lethal when homozygous - the result being that they can get a consistent 50% of their pups being bobtailed but 50% being long tailed if they mate a bob-tail to a long-tail; or they can mate bob-tails together and put up with ¼ of the litter dying in utero, leaving 2 bob-tails born per long-tail:

    Whereas the recessive has the disadvantage that you don't SEE it's effect unless the pooch has TWO copies of it - but only that way can you avoid the drawbacks of the lethal dominant C189G.

    Those wide-awake lovers of Boxers will be aware of this "tail" programme in 11 sections:

    Those wide-awake lovers of Dalmatians will be aware of this programme:

    but, because Y!A limits us to 3 "activated" web-addresses, the rest will need to copy-&-paste this 4th web-address to the computer's web-address field.

    Kreaky Kiwi - first pup in 1950, GSD trainer & breeder as of Easter 1968

  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    Not really. I bought a Basset Hound puppy with docked ears.

  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    "They'll be buying a dog ... who's done it the wrong way."  Cropping isn't illegal in all States.

    I feel the same way about docking and wearing fur.  I would NOT wear fur, do not wear fur, because someone MIGHT see me, like the garment, decide to buy one.  It's not just about the one garment I buy.

    I feel the same about cropping.  I would RESCUE a dog with cropped ears, but I would not buy one.

  • Ocimom
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    Are you talking in the USA?  No state in the USA bans cropped ears.  Overseas there are countries that do ban ear cropping.  Not sure what that country would do regarding someone owning a dog that had cropped ears from another country.

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  • 8 months ago

    docking gets done to tails cropping to ears , and no i prefer dogs just as they come thx

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  • 8 months ago

    Ears are cropped not docked. You dock a tail & you crop the ears. Clear up any confusion as to which is which.

    No there are no problems buying a dog or adopting a dog that has already had their ears cropped.

    The cropping of the ears is totally unnecessary & any one who has it done is doing it for their own vanity. No good reason for it. Just the owners vanity.

  • ron h
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    It this point, I dunno what more you can do other than tell them that dogs are born with ears that are just right and messing with them lets dirt get into them and depending on how it's done, and cause hearing problems.

  • Maxi
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    If it is illegal in the state they live in, then purchasing any dog that has already been cropped would require it to be legally certififed.. eg done for medical reasons otherwise this "someone else" is going to get fined for owning/having a cropped/docked dog.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    To mutilate a puppy for just cosmetic reasons IS in MY opinion barbaric and thank goodness it`s now illegal in the UK and some other countries and quite a few states in the US. Those are MY thoughts. 

  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    I bought a puppy with its tail docked and felt horrible about it, but I didn't reserve the puppy (or even know the puppy existed) until after it had already been done. If it had been up to me, I would have left its tail alone.

    I think specifically seeking a chopped up dog is unethical, but it is a widely accepted practice. At the very least, I would like to know that the dog was treated by an actual veterinarian and provided with pain medication while it healed.

    Edit: I'm totally against circumcision. It was discussed early on in my relationship that IF we got married and IF we had a child and IF he was a boy- no mutilation.

    And I do have a three year old son.

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