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Old 03-16-2014, 03:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ear Tattooing

We have rescued a PB GSD named Buster (his name was Jake when we got him, but since my name is Jake, too, we went with Buster for the sake of confusion!). He is about 15 months, we have all his vet records, and have just gotten him neutered. When he got neutered they asked if we wanted to chip him, and we did not, because I would actually like to go with the ear tattoo for identification...does anyone know where I might get this done? I live in west-central Indiana, about 45 minutes northwest of Indianapolis, or about 30 minutes south of Lafayette/West Lafayette (where Purdue University is located). Local would be good, but we can travel if necessary.
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Old 03-16-2014, 03:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Why a tattoo? There is no way for a shelter to ID him and contact you with a tattoo.

Tattoo's are typically used by breeders to ID their litters. The USCA uses them when a dog is trialing to ensure it's the right dog.

A microchip is really the way to go.
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Old 03-16-2014, 03:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you for your input--I have read and heard many varying opinions on the tattoo vs. the chip, and my personal opinion is based on a couple of very good articles I read that said the chip CAN BE (not always) a shot in the dark if your dog gets lost; for example, if you chip your dog with a chip from Company A, and your local shelter only scans for chips from company B, there is no guarantee your dog will be identified. Plus, we travel and take him with us, so imagine all the different types of chips vs. all the readers in various parts of your state alone, not to mention the country. Plus that, I have never personally seen with my own eyes a shepherd with an ear tattoo, which leads me to believe that should he get lost, if I were to search for him via Facebook, Craigslist, local classified ads, anyone who has seen a Shepherd of his color and markings would DEFINITELY notice his tattoo, making him unmistakably recognizable even to perfect strangers in a strange town or state.
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Old 03-16-2014, 04:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Shelters have universal readers. Home Again and Virbac can be read internationally as well.

Breeders do their own tattooing so maybe contact a breeder local to you.
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Old 03-16-2014, 04:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Not many dogs tattoos are visible unless you really look. And like Michelle posted, there is no database to trace the dog back to you with that as an ID.
Microchips are much more reliable.
My male has a tat that is readable, but I only use it for trialing(ID) not in the hope that he'll safely be returned if stolen or lost. Some dogs have tattoos on the inner thigh, but again, there must be a way to trace back to the owner.
Karlo's tattoo shows fairly well(black coated dogs are harder to read)
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Old 03-16-2014, 04:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ok, these replies are definitely very helpful...our local shelter uses HomeAgain, and it sounds like this is a very common or "universal" system. Now, is this an "outpatient" procedure, or is this something that he would need to go to sleep for and have an extended vet stay? I know the cost is relatively low, but I didn't get any info on the actual procedure (at least nothing in writing, and my memory is TERRIBLE!!).
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Old 03-16-2014, 04:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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they put the chip in a needle and insert it. Takes 2 seconds.

Some chips tend to migrate but Home Again doesn't seem to have that problem as much for some reason.

Just make sure the vet registers the Home Again chip for you. it's free! You do not need to pay the yearly fee the "offer".
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Old 03-16-2014, 04:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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By the way, Jane, your dogs are BEAUTIFUL!!
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Old 03-16-2014, 04:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Most (if not all) people who tattoo also chip. Like Jane said, many fade over time. Normally dogs are tattoed as puppies, 6-10 weeks old. If you want something that someone will notice if he got lost, I recommend a good collar with a brass ID plate riveted onto the collar (not dangly tags). Gun Dog Supply provides these for free on there collars.

I get microchips at the county pound. $20 walk-in, takes like 2 minutes (well, 2.9 minutes to fill out the paperwork, .1 minute to insert the chip).
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Old 03-16-2014, 04:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Jax08, thanks for the info. From you, who has chips, and Jane who has chips and one tattooed, I think y'all are right, and chip is the way to go for my Buster! I appreciate all the input!
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