Forgive me for being a bit snarky, but it's been a bad ear day, so to speak. I was approached so many times today with, "What a cute puppy.... Oh, she has a tail. Hm. I don't know about that. Are you getting that taken off when you do her ears? What, you're not doing her ears? Oh, I hate that hound dog look. I'd never own a dog that wasn't cropped and docked. Why on earth would you want to do that?"
Well, no points for tact, that's for sure. I mean, I'd never appear in public in those pants you're wearing, but you don't hear me saying it out loud. ;-)
I just hated getting the c/d lecture when I'm not even against cropping or docking. It's just not important enough to me to put the dog through it. I'm more concerned with what the dog does, okay? And no dog person in the world could mistake Shakespeare's head for a hound's. Ye gads, people, give yourselves a little credit. I say yourselves, 'cuz I can see clearly the difference, and with so many years in the honored breed, why can't you? ;-)
I can see a real advantage to docking a thin, whippy tail, for health and safety reasons. But that doesn't mean that not docking a sturdy tail is wrong. Cropped ears can be easier to read from a distance, but natural ears are perfectly readable, too -- correct natural ears, that is. Heavy hound ears are indeed less mobile and therefore harder to read.
Fact is, cropping and docking is just personal preference. I can go with that and respect it. Defend personal preference, if you want, but don't try to make ridiculous claims that cropped ears are healthier (I've never seen evidence of that) or that the dogs hear better out of cropped ears (give me a break). Just say that you prefer them and then allow other people to have a preference, too, if they want one.
As I've said, I'm not anti-cropping, I'm just neutral, and I prefer that the side that says "you can't tell me what to do" not tell me what to do. ;-)