The Truth About Ear Cropping: Why You Shouldn’t Crop Your Dog’s Ears

by Dani Buckley

Ear cropping is commonly seen around breeds such as the Doberman, Pit Bull, and the Cane Corso. While having the dog’s ears cropped may make them have a “big and bad” appearance like that of an aggressive guard dog, the dog is not born with the ears being cropped and is a long process before the dog is back to normal. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t crop your dog’s ears.

the dangers of ear cropping

Ear Cropping is Essentially Plastic Surgery for Dogs

Ear cropping is completely cosmetic on dogs. There is no medical reason as to why a dog’s ears should be cropped. Ear cropping is a surgery that requires general anesthesia at 6 to 12 weeks of age. Even before dogs are spayed or neutered at 6 to 7 months of age. This is placing a puppy under unnecessary anesthesia and placing them at the risks of anesthesia at a very young age, even at a younger age than when a puppy usually receives a Rabies vaccine.

the dangers of ear cropping

The Procedure Requires a Long and Painful Recovery Process

Ear cropping procedures have a very long and painful recovery process for the dog. It requires external sutures and constant pulling, reshaping, taping, and bandaging of the ears once a week or more. Some people even use tampons placed down in the ear canals to help shape the ears. Ears are extremely sensitive and the cropped edges can become infected, making the recovery process even longer. While being bandaged, taped, and shaped, it is also common for ear infections to happen in the ear canal themselves. Once the ears have finally healed, which can take weeks, the sutures still need to be removed which can be difficult and future ear exams can be difficult to do as well as the dog will associate something bad and painful with their ears.

ear cropping

Thankfully, Ear Cropping is Banned in Many Places

Most veterinary hospitals will refuse to perform the surgery because ear cropping is an unnecessary cosmetic procedure. All AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) accredited hospitals will not perform the surgery. In fact, the American Veterinary Medical Association Animal Welfare Division released information about being opposed to ear cropping and it even becoming a welfare issue due to the procedure having no benefit to the dog whatsoever, being a cosmetic surgery with “potential negative outcomes for the dog.” Although the American Kennel Club (AKC) supports cropping of the ears, show dogs with ear croppings will not be allowed to compete in any of the United Kingdom dog shows.

the dangers of ear cropping

Many people believe that ear cropping will help the dog in that the procedure will alleviate the chance of the dog having ear infections because of the increased airflow to the ear canals. In fact, there is no way to eliminate the chance of any dog having an ear infection. And dogs recovering from an ear cropping procedure are at risk for ear infections.

A dog with cropped ears may have that tough and aggressive “bad dog” appearance that people want, but the process is not in favor of the dog. It is painful through recovery and being placed under general anesthesia comes with risks of itself, the greatest being death. Are you willing to put your dog at risk of death just for an unnecessary cosmetic surgery?

the dangers of ear cropping in dogs

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