Tails and Ears Please!
Many people think schnauzers are scary, but when they see ours they go goo-goo-ga-ga. We don’t have his ears and tail removed like the majority of schnauzers in North America. He has natural pendent ears and a long-haired curly tail, and Americans don’t recognize the breed as a result. When told, they say, “Oh! Of course! How cute that tail is! Why would they cut that off? It is so happy.” Fig wags the entire time that people talk in his direction.
Americans think cutting off ears and tails is normal, but if we are keeping up with the Jones’ we’d quit. this practice is outlawed in most of Europe.
In Germany, where the schnauzer originates, they no longer allow schnauzers with missing appendages to compete in dog shows or be sold by breeders. Docked schnauzers are banned from shows, even when the dog is foreign. In spite of this, North American breeders still customarily removes tails and ears, and you still must secure a breeder contract before your pup is born to get a miniature schnauzer with its tails and ears.
I love our pup’s tail. It instantly tells us from a distance when he is happy, nervous, fearful, or playful. It’s his flag.
Scientific research (Ref 1, Ref 2) confirms docked tails contribute to dog miscommunication. Dogs approaching a happily wagging dog are relaxed. When approaching a dog with only a stub, the approaching dog was hesitant, defensive, and aggressive. There are proportionally more fights involving dogs with docked tails in America, than those with undocked tails. Perhaps docked pits and boxers fight and attack more frequently because they have trouble communicating with other dogs and are on guard more frequently.
Our pup’s ears are naturally floppy. He cocks his head back and forth when he listens. His floppy ears keep bathwater and bugs out. I wonder if flapping ears also buffer loud urban noises that hurt my own ears because he hardly flinches when my ears bleed. I didn’t find a study on the response to ear clipping, but Alaskan dogs are more often attacked because they have high ears that are close together and floppy eared dogs have ears that are far apart.
Below are a few black mini schnauzers with ears, tail, and varied hair cuts:
Related story: 10-reasons-to-fight-for-tails