Ban Tail Docking, Ear Cropping, Dewclaw Removal as Dog Breed Standards. Quit Promoting Animal Abuse.

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There is no longer a defensible reason to dock, crop or declaw a dog. This animal cruelty is unnecessary and perpetuates animal abuse. Currently, more than 20 countries ban these forms of animal mutilation completely, while many others have partial bans. The United States does not.

Currently, more than 50 breeds of dog have their tails docked. Many of them also have their ears cropped and dewclaws removed. This behavior is perpetuated by the breed standards set by the AKC as judgement criteria for breed excellence. 

As a club that purports to respect animals, encouraging these practices via your breed standards is contrary to the AKC Mission Statement:

Founded in 1884, the AKC® and its affiliated organizations advocate for the purebred dog as a family companion, advance canine health and well-being, work to protect the rights of all dog owners and promote responsible dog ownership.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association:

Some commentators consider a long tail to be a potential hazard for some breeds of working dogs. For example, it has been suggested that:

A guard dog could be seized by the tail to thwart its attack.

Hunting dogs, such as pointers, may damage their tail tip in underbrush.

Long-haired dogs may become more soiled if they have a hanging tail.

These justifications for docking working dogs’ tails lack substantial scientific support. In the largest study to date on tail injuries in dogs the incidence was 0.23% and it was calculated that approximately 500 dogs need to be docked to prevent one tail injury.

Tailing docking is painful. The intensity or duration of the pain under ideal or typical circumstances is difficult to quantify. Painful procedures conducted in the neonatal period when the nervous system is vulnerable can result in negative long-term changes which affect how pain is processed and perceived later in life.

The only benefit that appears to be derived from cosmetic tail docking of dogs is the owner’s impression of a pleasing appearance. In the opinion of the AVMA, this is insufficient justification for performing a surgical procedure.

Traditions are challenging to change and many of your participants have already docked, cropped or otherwise conformed to your current standards. As a practical solution, these animals could be "grandfathered" during a transition period toward banning this behavior completely.

Please be true to your mission and end this senseless cruelty!