Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Cropping/Docking (corrected post title)

I never intended for this blog to become a forum for debating cropping and docking, but apparently some critics are not content to let it be (see comments to previous post). So, since this is my blog, I guess I should be entitled to express my own thoughts.

If we're going to address "how a Dobe should look," we cannot avoid discussing conformation. To that end, I submit that the physical requirements detailed in the breed's standard are far more relevant than the ears, as conformation and temperament are genetically determined and passed to future generations, while cropping and docking are not (sorry, Jean Baptiste Lamarck).

When we've achieved a stable breed without CVI, overangulation or cardio problems, etc., with universally correct temperament and sound conformation, and when every specimen of breeding stock can pass the ZTP, then we can afford to debate whether cropping should be required or merely optional, as it is now.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- I'm not opposed to cropping and docking. But I am consistently amazed at those who say, "I have a right to crop and you can't tell me what to do!" who then try to tell me what to do. /sigh/

I will NOT tolerate comments which attempt to argue in favor of or against c/d, in response to this post. I'm not interested in hosting that debate. If the main thrust of your comments is to promote cropping or to protest cropping, your comment will be deleted.

Further comments on my personal qualities will still be cheerfully accepted. /grin/


Anonymous said...

I was not intending to try and start a c/d arguement. I am just troubled by the current fad for all natural Dobes (and other traditionally c/d breeds). For the record I also have Danes, and I generally leave them natural and I show in breed.

judi said...

Hi Laura-

I for one think it is so cool she is all natural. I want one someday!!

Judi (Cheeko's Mom)

Anonymous said...

There are some bizarre people out there, don't let them stop you from writing about your crew - keep it real!*

*by 'real' this is in no way an argument for or against c/d ... or is it?

Laura said...

I don't think you have to worry about the "fad" for all-natural Dobes -- I think I've counted three Doberman tails in person in the last ten years. Um, maybe four. Or averaging out to one every 2.25 years, even in arenas heavy on European dogs. Though I did see two at once, one time.

What, specifically, is troubling? That's an honest question. Are you worried that someone might make it illegal for you to crop and therefore you want cropping to be too popular to ban? Or are you offended by the look of the dog? Surely you're not just concerned about someone off the street being able to correctly identify my dog at a distance. What specifically troubles you about the natural ears and/or tail?

I'm also curious why you would crop a Doberman and leave a Dane natural. I don't have a problem with it, just curious as to why the two different standards. Honest question, really.

Laura said...


"*by 'real' this is in no way an argument for or against c/d ... or is it?"

Thanks for the chuckle.

Hi, Judi & Cheeko! Glad you like Laev's look. I'm not trying to start a trend, though; I don't have any personal stake in her ears and tail except that darn it, she's got 'em, and I ain't cuttin' 'em off now. :-) But if you like the look, then go for it.

I will say that after years of tail-less or nearly tail-less dogs (Chaucer had a spitz tail which kept out of the way), I'm having to reaccustom myself to dealing with it! We did lose a drink to a wagging Dobertail, once.

Laura said...


Okay, I never claimed to be good at math. Four Doberman tails over ten years equals one every 2.5 years.


judi said...


I think you should move to Cincinnati and be our trainer. Cheeko needs a good tracking teacher, and Lucy needs a good agility teacher.

I've been reading some of the comments and I just can't get over how this anon person keeps giving you such crap! And the way she/he goes by anon...and she says it's because she doesn't have a blogger ID. Neither do I, but I was able to put in my name.

Anyways, you've got a nice blog here, I saved the link so I can check it out again later. And please post more pics of Laev, I love her ears and tail!!!

Judi who's only seen one dobe w/ a tail in rescue.

Laura said...

Thanks, Judi. I appreciate it.

But I don't think I qualify as a "good" tracking teacher. If you read back, you'll see that I continuously refer to *my* tracking teachers! I'm barely competent in tracking. My poor breeder and Laev's poor FH2-before-the-age-of-2 mother -- I know Lisa must cringe when she gets my updates. /grin/

And while I feel pretty comfortable teaching introductory agility*, I don't remotely pretend to teach higher-level agility work. I like agility a lot, but I don't focus enough on it, really.... I just bought some new equipment, though, so maybe that will motivate me. Must justify cost. Get out there, Laura.

But Cincinnati's not too far! Maybe we could get together and track sometime?


*Independent confirmation, to avoid the appearance of self-promotion: I was told once that a class I took to a higher-level instructor than me was the best-prepared in the basics she'd seen, and just over a month ago CIA was voted both Best Place To Go For Agility and Best Agility Instructor in Indianapolis, in a write-in vote I didn't even know was happening.

Independent agility board certification and juried review is still pending. ;-)

I draw the line, though, at posting a complete doggie history and resume. /friendly grin -- I'm really not upset about this/

judi said...

Ok Laura, I know you did well for Jazzy (Lori G's girl). I'd love to train w/ you sometime.


Melissa A. said...

Hi Laura!

Tee hee. My, my, you've found someone so insecure or unhappy with her own life that she has to criticize others to bring them to her level.

I *have* met you AND Shakespeare (who I wouldn't mistake for anything other than a Dobe), and you're both terrific. Truly. I liked you immediately. Smart, talented, well-spoken, confident. I wouldn't have a moment's hesitation recommending you to someone in your area needing help.

Of course, I'm not really one to judge, am I? I'm just a writer who dabbles in dogs and horses. The only real dog people, we all know, are the ones who have specially-bred-for-sport-or-conformation dogs with titles.

What really makes me laugh about this is that you're successful in your career, you're happy with your dogs, you're happy to be learning more and increasing your skills, you're happy in your relationship... you're happy with life. Why on EARTH would you care if you couldn't please 100% of people? It's not your job to make them happy, even if it were possible. Besides, I think this woman is overstating her case... with no offense meant to you, I'm betting that you really don't dominate the gossip vine beyond an occasional comment.

And let me second Vicki's observation... This person is anonymous by her own choosing. All she has to do is click "Other" and she can type in her name. But that's not nearly as safe. I mean if she talks about you, then others would surely talk about her, right?