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State of the Breed Today

In response to legislation currently proposed throughout the country in an effort to eliminate purebred dogs and their historical conformation:

Cropping and Docking Facts:

Most of our veterinary practices were built upon elective surgeries.

A retired Pennsylvania State Representative and retired DVM Robert Bastian states concerning cropping…

“I did the surgery because the owner wanted it done, and let’s face it, ear cropping kept people coming through the front door. Besides the financial benefits to me, the dog did benefit from fewer ear infections.”

Chronic ear infection is one of the top five health issues that affect mainly, dropped eared dogs.

January 2, 2009 Judge Judy Shindlin hears a dog bite case and finds that the dog (lab mix) had bitten to due an ongoing painful, ear infection.

*Most veterinarians throughout the country agree that dogs with erect ears have little to no problem with ear infections.

Dr. Robert LaBounty of Studio City, California and veterinarian of nearly fifty years states…

“An ear that hangs down serves as a trap to hold in moisture to provide an ideal climate for infection. The Egyptians were doing it (cropping) about three thousand years ago with their hunting dogs for these reasons. The ear is sometimes called a “mobile Petri dish” because of the potential for infections. There are few, if any, mammals out in nature whose ears hang down”

Ear cropping causes very little temporary discomfort and no lasting side affects.

Dr. Powell Anderson DVM states…

“I have cropped over 40,000 pups with almost no negative feedback. People having their first trim done have usually heard stories about pain and have a logical concern. I tell them that it usually is not a big issue, and suggest that if they think necessary that they can give a dose of one-half of a regular Tylenol twice a day. Then at the time of stitch removal I always ask ‘how much Tylenol did you give?’
They seem surprised and respond ‘The pup seemed so happy and playful I never thought about it!’
When this happens hundreds and hundreds of times, it means something.”

“Ear cropping has medical therapeutic and preventative benefits”, according to Dr Al Stinson DVM

There are many elective surgeries that are unnecessary and are in medical terms “invasive” Many can cause serious and permanent side effects.

Dr. Al Stinson DVM points out…

“What other procedures are performed for non therapeutic reasons: the removal of the ovary and uterus is an operation widely supported by the veterinary profession. Is it okay to perform an ovariohysterectomy to remove normal, non pathologic organs? Who decides whether it is beneficial for the patient?”

With early docking the pups nerves are not myelinated so the pup feels nothing but a momentary discomfort.

Retired DVM Bob Bastian sums up docking as a “benefit to any dog.”
He outlines his argument with four points…

1.Tradition to preserve breed conformation
2.Sporting dogs injure tails on briars and brambles – Active dogs injure tails hitting them against walls and others get caught in doors. “It’s hard to treat a wagging tail”.
3.Dogs with long hairy tails, as with sheep, become soiled and are difficult to keep clean, making for unsanitary conditions.
4.Tumors, as often seen in practice today. “No tail, no tumors”.

From a wheelchair to a car door, dogs without tails are protected from the clinical, medical and documented pain and trauma caused to them by these injuries.

Elective surgeries, people have been having them done for centuries

We circumcise our baby boys for the same reason one crops a puppy. We remove growths from our children’s bodies and spend years straightening their teeth with wires, all for appearance sake. Should not we want the best for our beloved pets?

“I think we would have a better understanding of the situation. After all, this is the 21st century – not the dark ages – and medical schools teach physicians cosmetic surgery as a viable procedure. Veterinary schools need to do the same!”
- Dr. Powell Anderson DVM

“Why not use human knowledge for the betterment of our animals? After all, all advanced canine research is done on the apron strings of humans.”
- Dr. William Hope DVM


  • Legislators should consider the importance of the purebred dog and its breeders.
  • There is no need to create new laws that penalize law abiding citizens and curtail breeding of purebreds.
  • Keep legal the right for veterinarians to perform elective surgeries that are beneficial to the preservation of our breeds.
  • Do not become a tool of the radicals who seek to end all breeding through their financially driven, legislative efforts.
  • We hope that through this presentation we have demonstrated that:
  • “The purebred dog community is not the problem but the solution”.


EDUCATE THE PUBLIC – Instead of spending our licensing revenues on more laws, more dog law officers, equipment and training; work together with law abiding breeders. Celebrate the purebred dog. Identify what makes a purebred and also what makes a designer dog a mixed breed. Post photos names and location information of breeders, kennels, puppy mills and pet shop operations that keep unsanitary conditions violating state law.

With the aid of dog clubs create a quarterly magazine similar to game magazines. Include breeder stories; highlight Pennsylvania veterinarians, schools and universities. Spotlight our great dog trainers, dog shows and hunting dog trials. Show off America’s best, not its worst. Spotlight government officials who are active with dogs. The subjects are limitless.

As does the American Kennel Clubs Gazette, publish the names and locations of animal abuse violations. Give the public the information and they will use it. Allow the consumer to put the “bad guys” out of business while encouraging responsible growth of purebreds.


Dr. A. W. Stinson DVM
Professor Emeritus, College of Veterinary Medicine
Michigan State University
Director of Legislative Affairs
Michigan Association for Pure Bred Dogs
Michigan Hunting Dog Federation
1915 Eply Road
Williamston Michigan 48895-9488

DVM Bob Bastian Retired
Pennsylvania State Representative
347 Blackburn Road
Friedens, PA 15541

Dr. William Hope DVM
114 Mount Pleasant Road
West Newton, PA 15089-1814 

Dr. Powell Anderson
1451 Dixie Hill Road
Dillwyn, VA 23936

Dr. R.D. LaBounty
11966 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604

Council of Docked Breeds
United Kingdom

American Kennel Club
Sarah Spouse – Legislative Department

Compiled by:
© 2009 American Doberman Pinscher Educational Foundation