The issue of cropping ears and docking tails has become a focal point for many dog breeders and owners. Back in the days when dogs were largely used for work and herding purposes, docking tails and cropping ears was a matter of safety. Now, with dogs taking on more of a companion role, the practice is mostly considered cosmetic. While some are for this practice others are staunchly against it, calling it cruel and unnecessary. A third side to the debate insists it is simply a matter of choice. There are a number of countries that have already banned the practice while individual states and provinces have only banned non medical professionals from performing the task.
The Miniature Pinscher has traditionally been a breed that has the tail docked and the ears cropped. Tail docking takes place only a few days after birth while the nervous system is still undeveloped. Responsible breeders who crop their Min Pin's ears have it done within the first year of the dog's life. This allows the ears to be contoured and shaped in a manner that is flattering to the dog. Some breeders will attempt to crop the ears on a pup when they are newly born, leading to an unflattering and sometimes lop sided result. This is often under the guise of saving the prospective owner money; however, if the result is less than flattering there is little that can be done to fix the problem.
Other than obtaining a breed standard, there is no real reason to crop the ears and dock the tail of a Min Pin. Many breeders find that they are being asked for intact pups more and more often. In all reality, a Min Pin's ears point skyward on their own and they face no significant damage to their tails when left intact. Still, there are some breeders who feel that the Min Pin is not a Min Pin without the docked tail or cropped ears. Others feel it is a matter of choice and leave the ears to be cropped by the dog's new owners.
The breed standard for organizations such as the American Kennel Club allows the Min Pin to be shown with or without cropped ears. The tail, however, is expected to be docked in proportion to the dog's size. When making the decision to take on a Min Pin with cropped ears or a docked tail, it is important to make sure the breeder has an in depth knowledge of both procedures. If the breeder does not offer ear cropping, they should at least be able to provide recommendations for getting the procedure done in a safe and hygienic manner. The main concern is keeping the Min Pin safe and healthy at all times.