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  #41  
Old 01-29-2014, 10:26 PM
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I've held puppies too, and very few screamed loudly and endlessly. Most made panicked squeaking sounds, but once put down with its littermates, they got quiet again.

We actually got to where we would hold one a certain way (special hold with the puppy rear-facing) while having a second puppy blocked in our arms (hard to explain, but puppy was safely and securely on a thick towel on the table awaiting it's turn). The puppy being docked was able to smell/touch it's litter mate, and the noise made went way down.

I'm not going to argue what occurs (the tail is cut off at a specific vertebrae depending on breed standard), but I'm not going to say the puppies screamed for hours. It is what it is.

I couldn't tell you the number of tail docks and dew claw removals I assisted in, but my next dog is going to be a Rottweiler and she will have a docked tail.

As for tail docks and ear crops, they are more different than they are the same. Both are cosmetic procedures for the most part, but some working dogs have it all done for working purposes. But one is done between 2 and 4 days with no anesthesia other than a little numbing cream, and the other is a major surgery done under general anesthesia preferably between 10 weeks and 16 weeks of age.

As for the original post, as Fran said, it's about determining what you'd give on and what you wouldn't. Personally, I'd take a docked tail over no health testing or titling or what have you.
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  #42  
Old 01-29-2014, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by SpringerLover View Post
Neither am I, but I will be looking for that within the whole package.
I just feel like it's such a rare thing. Not that I've specifically looked for it. There's just so many other things on my wish list, I don't think I can find someone who matches that AND doesn't dock.

I will not be part of tail dockings at work. I was involved in it once and that was enough, I won't do it again unless I have to. Thankfully we only have one client at the moment who ever needs the service, a norwich terrier breeder and it's not like she has puppies all the time.
They're fine afterwards and I'm pretty sure my adult dog is a-okay with her docked tail, but the idea of it and the procedure itself.... blech. I don't like seeing little itty bitty tails lying there.
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  #43  
Old 01-29-2014, 10:35 PM
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It's not just about what goes on during the procedure either.

Bailey has always chewed the end of her tail. When it happens, it honestly looks like some kind of shock (neuro thing) started it--and hers was done by her breeder/vet.

Dogs use their tails for balance all the time and it's easy to see Buzz and Bailey move their tail like a dog would trying to counter balance but--not having it help, because there's not enough there.
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  #44  
Old 01-29-2014, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by JennSLK View Post
Heath and temperament is much more important to me than tail or no tail
I'm not responding to you particularly, but I've seen this sentiment several times.

I don't think it's as simple as "is a tail important/as important as health and temperament" as "I have a certain ethical concern, how important is it to me?" I think the fact that it happens to be tail docking is fairly irrelevant. It could be lots of different practices that someone might ethically object to.

There are a few things that ethically are really deal-breakers for me, and even if a breeder otherwise 100% aligned with my thoughts and opinions I would pass on the breeder... or if necessary, the breed if I couldn't find anyone who didn't do those things.

It's not necessarily a matter of which is "more" important as "what is important to me?" The way I see it, either something is important enough to you to absolutely not compromise on it, or it's not. And yes I understand that choices can be limited by what is available. For any of us, those limited choices may end up illustrating that maybe we are more willing to compromise on something than we thought when it was all hypothetical, and that's ok. But it's ok for it to be important enough NOT to compromise on, too.
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by SpringerLover View Post
Bailey has always chewed the end of her tail. When it happens, it honestly looks like some kind of shock (neuro thing) started it--and hers was done by her breeder/vet.
There is evidence that early pain experiences (especially when pain is un- or under-managed, which I'd guess most dockings are) can sensitize an individual to pain later in life locally or generally - that is, can essentially lower their adult pain threshold. Also may predispose an individual to chronic pain syndromes. Obviously there are individual differences but it is what it is. (Not trying to start a thing about docking but just to say, your experience isn't necessarily a weird outlier.)
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  #46  
Old 01-29-2014, 10:57 PM
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Ethics would never let me purchase a dog with a docked tail or cropped ears from a breeder. I feel so strongly against it that no amount of otherwise perfection would get me to buy a dog who had it done for cosmetic reasons.

When push comes to shove I guess the real thing that matters is are you ok supporting someone docking their dogs? If it is something you can bend for that is your choice to make.
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  #47  
Old 01-29-2014, 10:58 PM
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If I was in your situation (I can sort of understand- I am a must-have-front-dews kind of person), I would be equally on the fence. Dews may not seem as big a deal as a tail, but they are to me... Do I WANT a dog without dews? No. Most definately not. Honestly, if Roxie did not have dew claws, I may not have adopted her.

So, if I was in your situation, faced with a breeder that always removes dew claws... I would probably talk to the breeder about leaving them on, or other options. Of course, they would have to really know me and really know their dogs for this to most likely work out, and that's not always certain. Do you have this kind of relationship with this breeder?

If not, I honestly would keep looking for another breeder. If we both feel equally (you about tails and me about dew claws), then this is my best suggestion. There may never be two of the same snowflakes (breeders in this instance), but there are similar ones.

This is a 1000x harder with an uncommon breed, but I believe that patience can pay off. As has also been suggested, you can look for people who have her dogs, and see if they leave tails. That's a very good option as well.

Whatever you decide, I wish you luck!
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  #48  
Old 01-29-2014, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
There is evidence that early pain experiences (especially when pain is un- or under-managed, which I'd guess most dockings are) can sensitize an individual to pain later in life locally or generally - that is, can essentially lower their adult pain threshold. Also may predispose an individual to chronic pain syndromes. Obviously there are individual differences but it is what it is. (Not trying to start a thing about docking but just to say, your experience isn't necessarily a weird outlier.)
Yeah, I've discussed it with a few different vets and the general consensus is that something obviously changed when her tail was docked. The way she chews it, reminds me of when I get tingly limbs. Thankfully, it's never been chewed to the point of injury.

We used to work with a Rottweiler breeder who docked tails (super duper short, she requested Pem-like tails... okay?) but left dewclaws?! Very odd to me.
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  #49  
Old 01-30-2014, 05:25 AM
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Import one? There are some great GSP breeders around here ..all very small scale but with fabulous dual purpose dogs& none of them have docked tails because docking is illegal here aha
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  #50  
Old 01-30-2014, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by yv0nne View Post
Import one? There are some great GSP breeders around here ..all very small scale but with fabulous dual purpose dogs& none of them have docked tails because docking is illegal here aha
I'm not against the ideal of importing at all.

Link me up!

Here it's illegal unless you can provide evidence you use them for working (gun licence and written evidence from farmer or land owner you work the dog on). Even then you have to find a vet who will csrry out the procedure.

Gsp are still very much a working bred dog, and although pet owners are out there and there's quite a community of them, a huge percentage still come from working dogs. Pet owners tend to be outdoorsy types who have links to those kinds of hobbies.. Not all of course. Horsey people tend to own gsp for some reason lol

Working breeders have a totally different outlook than pet or dual purpose breeders. They all dock, they all work, they hate that people make dogs into pets and usually have rigid thinking on the dogs purpose! As you'd expect. That is a generalisation of course.

There are some pet owner/breeders. Not interested, thanks.

Then you have show and dual purpose. And there's probably more dual purpose than only show. Gsp people are very passionate about maintaining the dual purpose nature of the breed and not developing separate lines. So you will find a lot of the show lot are the working lot, who've expanded their horizons and now show and are passionate about their dogs doing well on both fronts. There are a handful of field and show champions, not tons though.

And they all dock, because the dog is traditionally docked and worked. Many of the uk show champions won't be at crufts as they are docked! You can't show a docked dog at crufts. You can show a docked dog in shows that don't charge the public an entry fee (weird).

There's not many breeders at all that I've found that encompass EVERYTHING I like.

I like modern thinking around training, development, nutrition, husbandry, etc etc etc.

And breeders in the UK are just not up to speed on that yet, in any breed! Especially not gundog breeds lol! Seems many more us breeders are completely up to date with modern developments... I don't know.

There are fab breeders, I'm very very happy with Fred's breeders!! They are one of the top (show) gsp kennels and have offered tons of advice, support etc.

I just want to branch out into more dual purpose type dogs, and expand my horizons and perhaps find a breeder who would do things how I would do them if I was a breeder......

Maybe I should breed my own. lol. Maybe that's the only way to get what you want, the way you want it
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