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Koda's Girl

"Ear Confusion" and growth/taping

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You know that debark thing is just horrible. I saw something about it in a movie once and thought it was made up. Silly me thinking nobody would be that horrible. One of my friends told me that they do it for guard dogs and declaw them so they can just get you without any warning. Wow. It just amazes me. And the big deal about the ears. God made them that way for a reason.

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Debarking is legal, and while some people do it for weird or unethical reasons (although take some of those stories with a grain of salt), others do it to save the dog's life. We have had clients who come in for debarks because if the dog barks at its current level, the neighbors will shoot or poison it (this even with at least two I know of who were inside while the owner worked, but barked enough that the other half of the duplex was ready to kill them ALL, owners included). Training doesn't always work for barking (deaf dogs in particular seem hard to retrain on this). I know of one person who I consider HIGHLY ethical who debarked a dog (something she swore she'd never do); the dog was a rescue (a dog with behavioral issues who was about to be destroyed) and she debarked him because in the first six days she had him she didn't sleep AT ALL due to his incessant whining, barking, yodelling and other vocalizatins. She knew if she didn't do something the dog would have to be destroyed because he was destroying her health and putting HER at risk of death (while driving, etc) from exhaustion. So she debarked, and they both lived.

 

Ear cropping - I really hate this on a personal level. I won't do this procedure. I think it really hurts - the ear is a sensitive area. Like Bill, I personally think it's idiotic for the ear set to be so critical to the quality of the dog (one reason I've got BCs). Tail crops - I don't do this procedure either, though I have more sympathy with it than with ear crops. We once did a crop on a beautiful 8 month old lab, a breed who doesn't normally get the tail docked. I asked, "Why are we doing this?" as I was examining this happy enthusiastic dog - and then I found out, because standing next to him was like being caned. He had a heavy tail and was able to wag it with such force that I actually went home with bruises - and I was just standing next to him for a minute. I can only imagine how much pain his owners went through before they decided that they couldn't take the injuries any more.

 

I can picture taping an ear for health reasons - Finn had an injury in one ear just where it folds and due to the crease it would NOT heal for the longest time. I tried several different things to tape the ear up so that air could get to the injury, but none of them worked for more than a day. Eventually, through dint of four-times-daily attention and getting the ear to stay up for a few hours here and there, I got it cleared up - but I was rather relieved that the taping didn't permanently affect the shape and set of his (truly gigantic) ear. If it had - oh, well. But I'm used to them how they are, and it would seem weird for him to have different ears than he does. (I clearly spend WAY too much time looking at him). But to have taped his eas to make them look a certain way? Not for me. Like Melanie says, *why*? Vive la difference and all that jazz.

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Thanks AKC Doc for the debarking message. We haven't done this yet, and hopefully won't ever have to, but IMHO if it saves a dog's life, it's worth it. We have one BC who has a very high pitched bark that evidently carries further than I thought. The day before I had to go back to school (I teach), my neighbor's boyfriend came out and screamed at me that my dog had been barking for 2 years and he was tired of it and I had to stop it right now or he would take care of it for me. We ended up putting an electric bark/shock collar on her and the barking is no more, but in my heart, I think debarking would have been the kinder solution...This man yelled at another neighbor and her 4 year old daughter for walking their lab past his flowers on the city owned terrace in front of his girlfriend's house and the dog was on the sidewalk. I've noticed lately that most people tighten their leashes and rush past that house and I'm thinking he's yelled at lots of dog owners, but since we live so close I think our dog would be the one poisoned by meat over the fence etc.

Barb S

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I am not against debarking but only as a last resort. Billy is a border collie rescue that came to stay at my home. He has some neurological damage---I am not sure of the extent and I don't have the money to find out the extent, but as a pup, as best as I could trace this dog's history, he had one severe bout of seizures. Never had one since, but what ever damage it did to him, it left him as a dog with an aggravating bark and no off switch.

 

If we lived out in the sticks, his barking would have been aggravating to me. The fact that I have neighbors relatively close to me and multiple dogs to begin with, I could not risk endangering keeping my "family" because of one dog's barking. Since Billy is/was pretty much unadoptable, I decided that this in fact is a last resort, so I had him debarked.

 

I went to one vet who said he would do it as a last resort, but suggested I try an electric bark collar. Even though Billy has a remote history of seizures, I didn't want to chance it.

 

My current vet breeds and shows a couple of toy breeds. I explained the situation to her and she understood. In fact, at the time, she had just gotten a laser tool to do this procedure and had used one of her dogs to try it out on and really needed more "subjects" to practice on. She didn't "solicit" Billy. I offered Billy to her as another subject to practice on. She did it for the price of anesthetic. There was minimal bleeding, no scarring and none of the "hack, hack" that I've heard some other debarked dogs have. Now, years later, Billy still barks, but it's like a really loud whisper---still aggravating, but not annoying neighbors and he still has enough voice to razz the other dogs, which makes him feel extremely happy.

 

I'd gotten some flack from other people about it, one person who declaws her cats---talk about the pot calling the kettle black!!

 

There is a law in this state against debarking because drug dealers would do it to their pitbulls and other "man-stopper" breeds, and in a raid, officers were attacked by dogs they didn't hear.

 

In anycase, debarking is an option that has to be left open for legitimate reasons.

 

Vicki

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Thanks AK dog doc for the information on debarking. After reading that, I think it's acceptable to debark a dog in instances such as you stated as a last resort, it sounds like something my mother in law should look into. She has two dogs that are required to stay outside at all times because the owner of the house she's renting won't let her live there otherwise and she's had several complaints from her neighbors about their barking.

 

The dogs aren't used to being outside all the time like that, they were primarily house dogs before this. She got bark collars for them which are working ok for them, but her neighbors were at one time and may still be purposely aggravating and teasing the dogs to make them bark so the collars would be activated. She's trying to find new homes for them though. They are mainly her daughter's dogs and she moved out, didn't take them with her and never comes over to walk or feed them anymore, or even see them. But doesn't want Mom to find them new homes or take them home with her, go figure.

 

The TV show I saw that mentioned the debarked dogs that were being used for wild game poaching was on the Animal Planet and was interesting. It was a special feature that aired last winter about a wildlife and game preservation agent that was based in an area with heavy poaching activity. I'll have to look it up to find out where it was at.

 

I don't own cats because I don't like them and am allergic, but I think cat de-clawing is horrific and un-neccessary. Cats can be trained not to scratch furniture same as dogs can be trained not to chew it. I've seen the instrument used to declaw cats and it looks like a medieval torture device.

 

I receieved a little flack when I had my BC mix Betty's rear dewclaws removed, people that didn't know what they were thought I had had her declawed. Once I explained that it was an extra, fifth if you will, toe on dogs paws that they don't use and what hers were like most understood. Her front dew claws were like her other claws but her rear dew claws were loosely attached by a thin layer of skin, floppy, and stuck out at a 45 degree angle. Because of those things, they were always getting caught on her collar, leash, carpet, etc.; so I had just the rear ones removed before they got ripped off when I had her spayed.

 

Back to the original subject of the thread, I personally love ear confusion on dogs. I like the uniqueness and variety of it, it really makes a dog an individual and you can always tell what their mood is by their ears.

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I have never seen a BC with ears being forced to a tip, but then, a show BC breeder around here is REALLY uncommen,(canada-no AKC lol) we have UKC, and plenty of BCs are reg'd with them, but they are all either sport collies are border collies. by the way I have been in the dogsport world for a long time and I have NEVER met a person who cared what the dogs looked like as long as they could run, and were reliable, good temperment.. etc. now I did meet a collie when misty was a pup, they are the same age, they were both little pups at the time, when I met Roper his ears were tied to the top of his head with yarn, and tied into a tipped position :rolleyes:

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Here is Bree with "ear confusion"

 

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and then floppy ears

 

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These were taken within 5 minutes of each other, we think she will end up with prick ears, but I guess time will tell

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47b4d902b3127cceb29f846ee83b0000001610

Gingers ears did this for quite a long time.

 

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Sometimes they did this.

 

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This was around 8 wks or so.

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