Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cropping and Docking - Dobermans are a Cropped and docked breed

Occassionally I get asked about leaving a puppy uncropped.  In the past I have allowed a few puppies to remain uncropped.  Never undocked.  I believed people had a right to choose, but since our dogs are under fire on every front I took a stand several years ago to just crop all puppies and for a couple reasons.

One is from a breeders perspective and one is from the Breed Standard perspective.

I will cover the first reason today from the breeders side :   Show puppies -  Ears are usually cropped at 7 weeks as this give the breeder time to let the ears heal before going to their families and since you don't grade a litter til 8 weeks it would be hard to say which might be companion puppies and which ones show puppies. They are changing so rapidly as they grow. 

So at 8 weeks you pick the puppies you really like want to watch and see how they grow for the next couple weeks.  This healing time gives you a couple more weeks to watch and observe further to see what puppies hold together til 10 to 12 weeks and which ones do not.

By the time they go to their families you have a nuch better idea on who the best picks are. For myself all puppies get the same crop.  This makes it easier for the vet and it makes it easier since I don't know which for sure will end up the show picks. 

A responsible breeder will handle the cropping and docking of all puppies.  New people who are not experienced at aftercare should not have to struggle with this part of the development process.  Breeders should not be in a rush as this is an important step.

The follow up and after care determine the outcome.  I like to get my puppies off to a good start on the aftercare before turning it over to their new families.

Many things can go wrong if a new family is trying to get their puppies ears cropped.  First the challenge of just finding a good vet who can crop and still approves of it is very difficult. Just because a vet says he can crop does not mean you will get a beautiful crop.  Ear croppoing is an art form.  Precious time is lost in the window to have a beautiful outcome.  It is recommended that puppies be cropped at 7 to 12 weeks.  After that time frame the optimum time for ears to stand has mostly passed.

The puppy has already had one major change in its life as it goes to it new family.  I strongly feel that a second major adjustment at this young stage is too mcuh to put a puppy thorugh and family through.  The puppy should be having fun bonding with their new family not stressing over too many changes at once. 

 When they are cropped with their littermates and come home with their siblings to the home they know and are familiar with they sail right through with little problems.  The new family can just focus on bonding, playing and training their new puppy.  Everyone is off to a great start.

Tomorrow -  Is there a valid medical reason to crop and dock

Dobs4ever  Where Doberman's RULE!!

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