German Pinscher Breed Magazine - Showsight


and even within the veterinary community, with opposition grow- ing from both. I am sure many of you already have a general idea of what has been said and has been concluded about the practice. If I could share any takeaway, I hope to remind all of us that our role as advocates for breed preservation and improvement should not be to end our side of the debate with it being “simply tradition.” It is our responsibility to reflect on the contribution cropping/docking con- tributes to visually representing the German Pinscher’s (and many other breeds’) original purpose, reducing work-related injuries and pinnal vasculitis, as well as complementing its marvelous confor- mational highlights. The ultimate goal ties back to breed preserva- tion and the aim to respect this breed’s history in the modern day. Without keeping the foundations of our breeds in mind, we fail to truly preserve and protect them. Equally, it is crucial that we represent the German Pinscher well, educate others, and always respect those who may disagree, as this breed is more popular in European countries where crop- ping/docking is typically banned. Because of the limited gene pool of the German Pinscher, irrespective of opinion, we must build

Pinnal vasculitis (ear tip necrosis) is a common issue in natural-eared German Pinschers residing in cold climates. photo courtesy of Sue Cox

bridges and work together for the security of this breed’s future. Additionally, it is heavily worth mentioning that there are highly- dedicated veterinarians who take exceptional care to make the pro- cess of cropping/docking as purposeful and respectful as possible, with adequate pain control provided during and after the proce- dure. Veterinarians who are renowned for this service are the few who understand visual anatomy, can complement each individual puppy’s head profile, and have an emotional investment in doing good for each breed. Many of these veterinarians show dogs them- selves and uphold the meaning of this practice. As a newly-graduated veterinarian learning the intricate artistry of cropping, I myself first reflect on both the historical and intend- ed role of the dog in front of me. I hope that maybe, someday, that puppy will develop into a respectable representation of its breed, conformationally and purpose-wise. It is an honor to work with breeders who strive to preserve and protect their cropped/docked breeds with regard to their breeds’ origins and standards. Crop- ping/docking in German Pinschers pays homage to the breed’s his- tory, reduces risk of injury for pets and for those dogs performing their original jobs, accentuates their classic beauty, and makes each dog recognizable in the ring for spectators and fellow dog fanciers to admire.

The alert appearance of a hunter and protector, accentuated by the cropped and docked appearance. photo courtesy of Dr. Janice Y. Park

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Janice Y. Park, DVM is a recently graduated veterinarian who is now a resident and PhD candidate at The Ohio State University. She actively shows her German Pinscher and is equally enamored with Standard Schnauzers. Through her journey of showing dogs and working with a wide range of breeds in her career, Dr. Park has become a strong advocate for the dog fancy and is in the process of training in the art of ear cropping in hopes of giving back to the breed preservation community. She equally aims to serve as a liaison, promoting mutuality between the general public and those involved in showing/ breeding dogs. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, exploring international cuisines, and learning new craft hobbies.


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