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If you choose a breed with cropped ears or a docked tail because you like the look, purpose and personality, would you let some political activist change it?




Joseph Byer, Jr., Research Editor


SPOILER ALERT: Well, as it turns out - you can! And with the difficulties arising from ear infections, cropping the ears would tend to alleviate much of this affliction but to the enormous dismay of breed traditionalists. And then there’s the purpose for those long ears.


We must step back for a moment to make the point that for years, the AKC has strived to have parent breed clubs eliminate ALL disqualifications from their standards. A look at the breed standards of all dogs will confirm this fact. The list of DQs is mostly down to color and size thus placing a considerable latitude in the hands of AKC Judges


The elimination of breed type disqualifications lowers the bar of excellence and gives lesser skilled judges much power under the less rigid rules. The result? Non-standard, a-typical dogs receiving the champion title.


The American Cocker Spaniel Breed Standard does not specifically prohibit cropped ears and there is no DQ for a cropped Cocker although I suspect considerable blow back would occur if this happened. This is true of most of the other traditionally non-cropped breeds. Instructions from AKC to their judging corps is if there is no DQ, you are encouraged to make your own decision.


An unfortunate result of the animal rights crowd is that bleeding hearts all over the globe are trying to dictate how someone else raises their dogs, how we care for them and even how we show them. One point of attack for the animal rights radicals are the dog show judges. Here's the way they are doing it.


In judging the goal is to be approved for your judging license for as many breeds as possible. This helps cut expenses and makes a judge who can do it all very attractive to kennel clubs. Then there’s the fact that the most coveted judging assignments are out of the country. The pay is good and it means free travel abroad, especially to Europe, Australia and South America. Just a few years ago, the judges who were licensed for the most breeds were most likely to be given the plum European judging assignments.


Now however, there’s another factor in getting those lucrative foreign judging invitations. As part of the attempt by Europeans to change the American show scene, if a judge goes rogue and awards points to say, a tailed Rottweiler (non-standard), the foreign show committees take note and favor that person for a dog show circuit assignment.


Why crop ears and dock tails? Many hunting dogs endure the scourge of thorns and briars that shred their long ears during a hunt. A friend who hunts with his Weimaraner complains of frequent severe ear hematomas. Wouldn't it be a plus if his dog were cropped to radically reduce this pain and damage? But wait, this would defeat the purpose of long ears on Weimaraners. Remember that long ears are NOT natural, they are the result of man tampering with Mother Nature which is why we have written breed standards that describe the differences and the talents of each breed.


An examination of all purebred standards shows that quality is under assault. Judging at AKC and other American events is under pressure to transform into the European model. Without accountability, like a written critique by judges for example, AKC judges are free to award points to whatever enters their ring.


This process is already happening with deleterious effects on the purebred dog, i.e. Doberman Pinschers with long ears and tails, Rottweilers with long tails. With the elimination of disqualifying faults and pressure to reduce the number of serious faults listed in each Breed Standard, the standards of ALL purebreds are being reduced to the lowest common denominator and we are headed for a single standard; mixed breeds.


Mixed breeds that no longer have distinguishing features, talents, or personality. Most people call them mutt or mongrels and delightful they may be but they don’t excel at hunting or herding or guarding or adorning a lady’s lap. EST 1998 © 1609



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