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Great dane ears

(15 Posts)
extremepie Wed 01-Jun-11 20:45:25

Just curious to see if anyone knows why on earth people would want to dock a great dane (or any other dog's) ears and/or tail?

I know tail docking is now illegal but ears isn't?

Why would you do it in the first place, it just seems cruel? Is there any actual proper reason for it other than looks?

Not planning to do this by the way was just wondering!

rainbowinthesky Wed 01-Jun-11 20:47:12

It's illegal in this country.

MotherJack Thu 02-Jun-11 00:01:59

Cut and paste from Yahoo Answers...

Breeds are cropped for different reasons. My breed, the Doberman, is a companion protector. They were bred to have no loose skin or any type of excess for a would be human attacker to grab on to. Cropping the ears and docking the tails removed the ears and tails as hand holds for a would be attacker also. The erect ears is also better able to pinpoint sound which is an important characteristic in a protection breed.

Breeds like Great Danes, APBT, Dogo Argentino etc are breed to hunt wild boar or ask as catch dogs for wild for or bulls. Floppy ears would be very prone to being torn by tusks or horns so they are cropped to prevent those injuries. APBT and Dogo are both still commonly used as catch dogs by those that hunt wild boar with dogs.

Breeds like Beauceron and Bouvier des Flanders are continental herding breeds, meaning they not only heard the flock but protect them from predators. The erect ear allows them to be better able to pinpoint sound.

As far as the flap of the ear protection the ear drum that is not the case. The ear drum is well inside the ear and protected by the other structures of the ear just like yours is. Almost all wild animals have erect ears, or open ear canals. (including humans) Floppy ears are due to human intervention. The floppy ear traps debris and moisture in the ear making the dog more prone to infections.

Bast Thu 02-Jun-11 04:11:19

I know nothing about ears but tail docking isn't illegal for working dogs, which is why you will still see some dogs docked.

Breeders are only meant to dock, via a vet and if selling to homes where they are certain, beyond any doubt, that the dog will work.

It is not illegal to adopt a dog as a pet who has been previously legally docked, so there are 'legitimate' docks around as pets (such as mine sad) as well as working dogs (if any docking other than that which is for a medical reason could be considered legitimate, that is!).

There are many illegitimate docks around as pets, these are ones where either the breeder or buying owner have bent the rules somewhat ...or lied blatantly!


coccyx Thu 02-Jun-11 20:49:27

No need for a great dane to have ears trimmed, looks awful and completely unnecessary

SoupDragon Thu 02-Jun-11 20:52:40

Docking ears?!

I am currently admiring my cocker spaniel, complete with full feathered waggy tail and ridiculous floppy ears. smile

WhatTheActualFuck Thu 02-Jun-11 21:07:23

Ear cropping has been illegal in the UK for a long time.

MotherJack Thu 02-Jun-11 22:31:34

I think the OP knows it's not a good thing to dock anything whatsoever from a dog and is just asking a question as to why it has been/was/is done.... but interesting to see that it's not a good thing to breed floppy ears either, just for looks.

I always thought it was only breeds such as bulldogs suffered from breeding for certain traits too.

Bast Fri 03-Jun-11 02:20:14

Many KC recognised breeds suffer from some form of disability or health problem due to the way various 'desirable' features have been bred into them, MotherJ.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks? The 'ridge' is caused by Spina Bifida. Healthy pups (i.e., those without a ridge, therefore without Spina Bifida) are often culled to protect the 'purity' of the breed.

The original dog recognised as a Pug could actually breathe through it's nose! Modern day Pugs have had their faces shortened by intentional breeding, to a point that eye and breathing problems are common amongst the breed.

The list of damaged (in the eyes of most sane people) breeds is endless sad

MoaningMinn Fri 03-Jun-11 14:53:54

Bast, that is nonsense, the RR's ridge is not caused by spina bifida as you have stated, it is genetic and although no one knows what purpose it served, it is believed to have been there for some good reason. It is also found in the Thai ridgeback.

The RR club of GB code of Ethics states that Ridgeless puppies should NOT be culled.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks can be born with a condition called Dermoid Sinus which I imagine is what you meant when you stated Spina Bifida. It is hereditary so no dogs with this condition should ever be bred from.

Dermoid Sinus is not exclusive to Ridgebacks. It is most common in ridged breeds but has also been found in Yorkshire terriers, Golden Retrievers. spaniels and Dobermans to name but a few.

Here are the Ofcom findings from BBCs Pedigree Dogs exposed programme....

OFCOM ~ ADJUDICATIONThis is an extract from the Summary of Adjudication about the
Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Great Britain’s complaint of
unfair treatment in the BBC1 programme
Pedigree Dogs Exposed 19.8.08“Also when the programme alleged that the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Great Britain
was not doing all it could about a condition called Dermoid Sinus, Ofcom found that it
did not fairly represent the research on the subject. An inaccurate description of the
breed’s ridge was likely to have unfairly compounded the impression that the Club
was choosing to breed deformed dogs”

Bast Fri 03-Jun-11 17:59:49

My apologies, I should have said Dermoid Sinus is similar to Spina Bifida in humans smile

Bast Fri 03-Jun-11 18:12:12

Moan, this is only from Wikipedia but is referenced. I think it helps to clarify that culling of ridgeless pups was ratified by both the RRC and KC until very recently and even then, only rejected following public outcry.

"Some breed parent clubs and canine registries have even made the culling of ridgeless whelps a requirement. It was pointed out on the BBC One investigative documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed that The Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Great Britain's "code of ethics", which is ratified annually by the Kennel Club states that "Ridgeless puppies shall be culled",[15] and that "mismarked" puppies will only ever be sold on condition that they are never shown, and are neutered.[15] The Ridgeback Club defended itself pointing to the statement that follows, "if a breeder finds this morally impossible [to kill the puppy] the puppy shall be homed..." as indication that culling is not mandatory, but preferred.[16] It was only after the publicity surrounding the promotion of culling that they reversed their code of ethics to say "no healthy puppy will be culled.[17]"

You appear to be against puppy culling yourself? I personally feel any coverage which leads to retraction of draconian measures under the public eye is a good thing, particularly when those within the club (RRC, KC or any other) are unable or unwilling to seek change from within.

alice15 Fri 03-Jun-11 18:43:00

Ear cropping was banned in the UK in the nineteenth century, and the Kennel Club has banned dogs with cropped ears from being shown for about the same time, I think.

With regard to culling, some people use the word to mean "kill" and some people use the word to mean "remove from a breeding programme" - ie sell to a pet home. It's not always as bad as it sounds!

Bast Sat 04-Jun-11 00:32:16

Alice, sadly, I think 'to kill' was meant in the Ridgeback scenario with regard to culling -

"...The Ridgeback Club defended itself pointing to the statement that follows, "if a breeder finds this morally impossible [to kill the puppy] the puppy shall be homed..." as indication that culling is not mandatory, but preferred."..."

I do agree that it's generally open to mis/interpretation though!

MoaningMinn Sun 05-Jun-11 12:50:29

Bast, I am absolutely against culling a healthy animal.
Although having a ridge predisposes RR's to having Dermoid Sinus, as someone who owns them it is really frustrating to think that people have the view that they are all deformed because of their ridge. I know how healthy and fit my dogs are!

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