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Editor’s note: since the ratification of Amendment B to the Boxer Standard by the AKC, the "ears" discussions on the Showboxer-L e-mail list have really heated up. Especially after reports that a judge in one state excused a major-pointed, natural-eared dog from the ring, while a judge in another state withheld a ribbon from a young puppy because its cropped ears were not standing properly! What do the judges think about all this? The following are comments from one of our most prominent all-rounders.*

More (!) on the those dreaded ears. . .

By Richard G. Beauchamp

As a Boxer judge and once-in-a-blue-moon Boxer breeder, I feel I have to throw my three cents into the ring. If all this nonsense of defending positions on the cropped and uncropped situation continues, it will serve to seriously injure the breed.

When I saw that someone said in a post to the SB-L that it is a perfectly fine to dismiss a dog because it has a "fault" (whether it be a natural ear or a dip in its topline), I thought to myself, that is sheer madness! All dogs have faults! If a judge walked into a ring and dismissed every dog with a fault, he or she would wind up with an entry of zero. The ABC opted to make the uncropped ear simply "another fault." It is now entirely up to the judge to place the fault in its proper context.

The ABC answered the ear problem by not really answering it, and in so doing, put the ball in the judge's court. If the uncropped ear were a disqualification, it would be an entirely different matter. But since it is not and only a fault, those who champion the natural ear will be unhappy when their dog loses, and those who advocate the cropped ear will be unhappy if the dog with the uncropped ear wins.

But then, no one ever told those of us who judge (nor should they have) that this was about making people happy--it is supposed to be about selecting the dogs best suited for BREEDING!

* Reprinted from the SB-L with the author’s permission.


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