Fried is among a small but growing number of breeders willing to voice opposition to docking tails or cropping dogs’ ears to make the point that these are cruelties that should end.
Docking and cropping date back generations to times when, for instance, people falsely believed that removing part of a dog’s tail could prevent rabies.
Today, even though the American Veterinary Medical Association shuns the procedures as painful and cosmetic, some breeders insist they are necessary to, say, prevent animals from having something to latch onto in a fight.
But in many show rings, including the widely televised event that the Westminster Kennel Club hosts every February in Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden, traditions die hard.
Men will be wearing bow ties at ringside, the official colors will include regal purple, and, some breeders predict, “naturals” will be excluded from the winner’s circle in some breeds.
AKC spokeswoman Brandi Hunter said many dogs with natural ears and tails from traditionally cropped and docked breeds earn championships.
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