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A New Year’s Resolution

Virginia Zurflieh, editor

No, we’re not going to resolve never to write another word about "ears" again. In spite of all the words that have been written and spoken during ‘97 and ‘98, "ears" is still a burning issue for American boxer breeders and exhibitors. Here’s how things stand now: Amendment A - the amendment to the Boxer Standard that specifically allowed for and described the boxer’s correct natural ear - failed to get the required 2/3 majority vote of ABC members the first time it was voted on. The petitioners for "A" didn’t insist on a revote when the American Kennel Club threw out the first election on procedural grounds, because we doubted "A" would get the 2/3 majority vote so soon after the first election.

On the other hand, the people who oppose natural ears in the show ring will never be able to get a 2/3 vote on an amendment making natural ears a fault, either. Yes, Amendment B - the "deviation" amendment - did pass, but it is so unclear and vague that no knowledgeable boxer judge will be able to interpret it as making the boxer’s natural ear a "deviation" (read: fault) that he or she must penalize.

In the meantime, three uncropped boxers have finished their championships to date in the US, and one of them is being shown successfully as a special and has just qualified for the Top Twenty. This controversy is not going to go away just because we’re tired of hearing about it.

So here’s BU’s proposal for a compromise that will give both the "Traditionalists" and the "Progressives" some fairly comfortable middle ground to stand on: By a vote of the membership present at the 1998 ABC General Membership Meeting, Amendment A - the natural ears amendment - was sent to the ABC Standards Committee, presumably for revision (why bother to send it to the Standards Committee, if not for revision?). The committee could re-word the brief mention of ears in in our standard in such a way that it was plain that either cropped or uncropped ears were allowed, but that cropped ears were preferred. That should satisfy all but the most uncompromising anti- and pro-choicers, and would give boxer judges clear guidelines for judging the uncropped boxers that are going to continue to appear in their rings.

For example: "Ears--Are cropped or uncropped, cropped ears preferred. If cropped, they are set at the highest points of the sides of the skull, cut rather long and tapering, raised when alert. If uncropped...(description of the correct natural ear follows)."

The ABC Standards Committee - four very knowledgeable, longtime breeders - have it within their power to call a halt to "Ear Wars" once and for all. Here’s hoping they resolve to accept that challenge in ‘99!


Willy, The Rescue
Farewell to Audrey
Cultural Differences
Breeding to Improve
Bobtail Story Part 2
Don't Buy that Puppy
Canine Cuisine
Osborn Saga
Boxer Bytes
Bear Speaks

Editor: Virginia Zurflieh
Webmaster: Pat Mullen

Contact Virginia
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Last Revised: 04/22/00

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