ShowSight January 2019

Removing prejudice against unaltered dogs in the conformation ring here in the USA would help support our dogs being shown outside of our country, thereby giving us the ability to repre- sent the USA at international shows. What should a breeder do when faced with the decision to crop or dock their dogs? American Kennel Club con- formation judges are required to evalu- ate the “whole” dog, and most do. We expect the AKC judges to do so without personal bias or prejudice toward dogs being shown as they were born. Consid- er for a moment your dog’s DNA, what is passed on to its offspring. That DNA contains the characteristics of the natu- ral dog, regardless of whether the dog is cropped/docked. As breeding stock, the natural dog deserves to be judged equitably in comparison to its cropped/ docked competition in the show ring. In this section of ShowSight you will see many quality pure-bred dogs being shown in their natural born state despite their breed standard reflecting docked or cropped. Many of these dogs and many others not pictured in this issue have been awarded their AKC Championships, Grand Championships, group placements and national spe- cialty placements. Some are even top ranked. We thank the multitude of judg- es who look beyond the parts that have not been cosmetically altered. Many of these judges acknowledge that change is coming, and it’s coming sooner rather than later. These judges uphold the stan- dard yet realize that the breed standard is not compromised when they award dogs being shown as they were born. Together we celebrate as a large diverse group. We consult and support each other at dog shows and through social media. We are well versed on those judges who care about the future of our pure-bred dogs and we understand the importance of work- ing together with our global friends and breeders for the betterment of our breeds. We also know with the contin- ued decline of dog show entries that the future of this sport is in the hands of all of us. If you are interested in joining the hundreds of breeders and exhibitors, a group that is growing daily, who want to know more about showing natural dogs in the USA, feel free to request membership to the Facebook private group called Tales about Judging Tails. For now, it’s ultimately the breeder’s decision. We choose not to alter our dogs yet most respect the rights of our colleagues who decide to cosmetically alter their dogs. Let’s unite and put our personal bias aside for the betterment of this wonderful sport and for pure- bred dogs everywhere.

“TOGETHER WE CELEBRATE AS A LARGE DIVERSE GROUP. WE CONSULT AND SUPPORT EACH OTHER AT DOG SHOWS AND THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA. WE ARE WELL VERSED ON THOSE JUDGES WHO CARE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF OUR PURE-BRED DOGS AND WE UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF WORKING TOGETHER WITH OUR GLOBAL FRIENDS AND BREEDERS FOR THE BETTERMENT OF OUR BREEDS.”

that action be taken to delete men- tion of cropped or trimmed ears from breed standards for dogs and to pro- hibit the showing of dogs with cropped or trimmed ears if such animals were born after some reasonable future date. 2012 POLICY Reaffirmation of the 2008 policy recommended by the Animal Welfare Committee and approved by the AVMA Executive Board. The AVMA opposes ear cropping and tail docking of dogs when done solely for cosmetic purposes. The AVMA encourages the elimination of ear cropping and tail docking from breed standards.” This position as stated by the AVMA is one that we stand behind. The American Kennel Club states their current position on this issue as follows: “The American Kennel Club recog- nizes that ear cropping, tail docking,

and dewclaw removal, as described in certain breed standards, are acceptable practices integral to defining and pre- serving breed character and/or enhanc- ing good health. Appropriate veterinary care should be provided.” The AKC’s position is to accept alter- ing, not require it. We acknowledge and respect that the breed standard is set forth by each National Parent Club. We also acknowledge that AKC prohib- its any breed standard to include any disqualification verbiage for showing dogs in their natural state. One must ask why the controversy? We live in a global society and we know it is imperative for us to work together with breeders all over the world to protect and maximize gene pools in order to sustain and improve our pure-bred dogs. Most countries have a ban on docking and cropping.

296 • S how S ight M agazine , J anuary 2019

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