Why Do You Clip Dogs Ears

In America and several European nations, the practice of ear cropping is legal. While in the UK, a growth in celebrities who own cropped dogs has led to the cropped look becoming normalized and even glamorized. In fact, pictures of cropped dogs are frequently used in advertisements, as well as on apparel and other products.

Dr. Samantha Gaines, a dog care expert with the RSPCA, says:

The practice of ear clipping is painful and unneeded. Contrary to what some breeders may assert, clipping a dog’s ears has no positive effects on the animal. Both immediately and over time, it may be harmful to their welfare, behavior, and health.

Dogs’ ears are cut for one and only one reason: to create a particular “look.” Simply put, it gives them a harder, more commanding appearance. Breeds like Dobermans used to have their ears clipped as puppies and then splinted, or taped to pieces of wood or cardboard, to force their ears to grow upright rather than droopy. Nowadays, it’s common to see breeds like American bulldogs without their entire ears.

Dogs go through this grueling process just to give them a particular appearance. It’s entirely up to the owner’s preferences and might have a long-term impact on the dog.

To improve their hearing: FALSE.

Different breeds have had their ears cropped for a variety of reasons, but most notably for hunting, fighting, and working purposes. It was believed that cropping the ears of several herding and livestock guardian breeds would enhance their hearing. This kind of thinking is incorrect.

To prevent ear infections: FALSE.

Although historically people have clipped their ears in the mistaken belief that the enhanced airflow would make ear infections less likely, this is not the case. Dog ear infections are instead caused by a variety of hereditary, environmental, nutritional, and anatomical factors. However, research has not found a link between cropped ears and a reduction in the frequency or severity of ear infections.

For Intimidation:

Some hunting dogs had their ears cropped in order to keep their target from capturing them easily, whether they were rats, bears, cats, or boars. This was also believed to be advantageous for guard dog breeds protecting livestock, preventing wolves and coyotes from having an easy time capturing the dog. This was also the rationale behind cropping fighting and battle dogs. Ear injuries are common, especially in dog fights, and anyone who has ever had a dog can attest that they bleed like stuck pigs and are a common site for damage.

A dog’s ears being cropped has any advantages?

In order to change their shape and, in some cases, make a naturally drooping ear stand upright, some dog breeds in the United States typically have their ears cropped short with a blade or scissors. Depending on the breed and body type, cropping is done when dogs are between 6 and 12 weeks old.

condition. In larger breeds, the ears are taped, bandaged, or placed in other positions following surgery to encourage an upright position. 1,2,3 Studies that are well-controlled and investigate the effects of

Dogs’ ears cannot be cropped. Case studies, however, provide evidence that some dangers related to the

Welfare concerns: risks

overall sedation Cropping should always be done when completely unconscious, which carries risks of its own. 4

Following Surgery Care

After surgery, stretching, re-taping, re-bandaging, and other manipulations may cause some discomfort in dogs. Some will require bandaging or taping their ears up for days to months; during this time, they may be kept apart from other dogs.

Issues that could arise

Cropped ears are susceptible to infection, just like any incision. Cropped ears may also be unable to stand or have a distorted shape or position, which could require additional surgery. 5,6,7

Reasons given for the practice

Animal Advantages According to some theories, dogs with trimmed ears are less likely to get ear canal infections. Although the presence of a heavy hanging ear has been associated with the development of several serious infections8, there is little proof that cropping effectively prevents or treats these infections. Additionally, it has been asserted that cropping prevents future ear damage9 or enhances hearing, but there is no proof to support either of these assertions.

Human Advantages

In security or guard dogs, cropped ears generate an alert expression that may help a purebred breed stand out from the crowd.


Legislation and acceptability

Owners who desire to crop are encouraged to do so by the American Kennel Club, which states that “ear cropping, tail docking, and dewclaw removal, as stipulated in particular breed standards, are permissible practices vital to defining and conserving breed character and/or increasing excellent health.” 11 However, dogs with cropped ears are not permitted to compete in UKKC competitions. 12

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), the Australian Veterinary Association, and numerous other veterinary associations condemn cosmetic cropping in addition to the AVMA.

15 The viewpoints of many veterinarians vary (e.g., letters 9,16,17,18).

Cropping is currently forbidden in Australasia, the majority of European and Scandinavian nations, and the United Kingdom, where it has been considered objectionable for more than a century19.

Exactly why are Pitbulls’ ears clipped?

According to legend, ear cropping first appeared in ancient Rome, when dog battles frequently resulted in ear injuries. The ears were cut so they couldn’t be broken as readily. Since ears are simple targets, they were frequently pulled off or bit off, causing the dog great suffering and making them lose the battle. Even though dogfighting is prohibited in many places, the practice is nonetheless carried out today for this reason.

Additionally, working dogs that protected animals or pursued game had their ears cropped. Cropping the dog’s ears was a technique to protect them from harm if they had to confront a predator.

Additionally, cropping is supposed to help dogs avoid ear infections, albeit there is no evidence to support this claim. Ear infections can affect dogs with or without clipped ears.

Why are the ears clipped on war dogs?

Cropping was traditionally done on working dogs to lower the danger of health issues like hematomas or ear infections. Crops were also done on dogs that might need to fight, either while hunting animals that might fight back or when guarding cattle herds from predators, or because they were utilized in games involving pit fighting, like dog fighting or bear-baiting. [4] [5]

In some pastoral societies, cropping the ears of livestock guardian dogs was and possibly still is customary. Working flock-defense dogs’ ears, such as those of the Caucasian Shepherd Dog (Kavkazskaa Ovtcharka)[6]

Traditionally, the Pastore Maremmano-Abruzzese were trimmed to lessen the chance of wolves or rival canines grabbing them.


One account claims that cropping took place at six weeks after the weaning of puppies. Using common, well-sharpened blade shears used for shearing, it was carried out by an older or more experienced shepherd. The ears were either rounded like a bear’s or trimmed to a point like a fox’s. First, grilling was done to the removed auricle[8].

given to the dog to eat in the hope that it would increase his “sourness.”

[7] An additional approach involved pulling the ears off of newborn puppies; this left the dog with essentially no external ears.

[7] More than three hundred years ago, ear-cropping and the use of spiked collars were both mentioned as wolf-repelling measures.


Dogs that participate in dogfights, which are generally prohibited in many areas, may have their ears cropped, whether legally or illegally.


Should I trim the ears on my pitbull?

Pitbull ear clipping results in needless misery for the animal. This surgical modification serves only the owner’s wish for the desired aesthetic. An ethical owner wouldn’t subject a puppy to this surgery.

The procedure of cutting a pitbull’s ears has no real health advantages.

Owners assert that it reduces ear infections and improves hearing, but there is no proof to back up these assertions.

Ear cropping has numerous health dangers as well as no health advantages.

Infections that can be fatal or more surgeries that end in the whole removal of your dog’s outer ear can happen from botched operations. Your dog might experience excruciating discomfort as a result of these issues.

A puppy’s injuries from a big operation at such a young age may leave permanent scars. They could experience behavioral problems and develop an excessive fear of their owners.

Finally, erect ears also contribute to the unfavorable stereotype that surrounds breeds of the Pitbull type.

It is difficult to think that ear clipping is still endorsed given all of the drawbacks that it has.

According to the American Kennel Club, the breed standard includes the cropped ears. Unfortunately, conformation judges are bound by breed standards. People may do this in order to win, docking their tails or clipping their ears.

Why are American bully ears cut?

Most people imagine fighting dogs or aggressive dogs maintained on heavy chain leads when they think about ear cropping on American bullies. The media actively promotes this stereotype. The majority of pitbull owners in America desire the best for their four-legged companions and discover that ear cropping has several advantages.

Most dog owners do not seek augmentations for simply cosmetic reasons, and it is quite difficult to find a veterinarian who is prepared to perform such treatments.

A dog’s life is mostly improved through augmentations, which are carried out by qualified experts.

Ear clipping is encouraged by dog kennel clubs all around the world in order to standardize. The goal of American bulldog ear clipping is not to portray the dog as fearsome or dangerous.

This notion is untrue. Most often, ear cropping is done to improve performance or to reduce the possibility of future medical problems, like ear infections.

Is docking a dog’s tail considered cruel?

A: Three factors are thought to have contributed to the development of dog tail docking over the course of history. The tail tip and/or a portion of the dog’s tongue could be amputated in order to prevent rabies in dogs, according to ancient Roman theory. 1.2 In the past, dogs were docked if they belonged to a poor person who was not allowed to hunt game since it was thought that the tail assisted a dog in the chase. Ironically, there are some who think that docking a dog makes them stronger or faster. 3) Working dogs’ tails are often docked in an effort to prevent injuries to the tail during activities like hunting (see related question below). Early sources, however, tended to advise docking only when the tail was excessively long for the animal’s size and so would be vulnerable to harm. 4

A:Tail docking appears to have come about for a number of reasons, but for some breeds, the main motivation was to enhance looks. Books from many eras freely discuss docking some breeds to give them a more appealing appearance (e.g. The American Book of the Dog, 1891, p. 619, 6695; also6). The anecdotal evidence that supports preventive docking is strongest when it comes to pointer hunting, although even in this instance, the idea of enhancing “beauty” is brought up. Regardless of where the tradition originated, docking was codified within particular breed fancies by rules for pedigree dog shows in the United States that were developed in the middle of the 1950s.

Veterinarian objection to aesthetic tail docking has a long history. In The Dog by Youatt & Lewis, aesthetic tail docking is described as “indefensible,” as one example from the United States (1854). 8 However, there is a dearth of information about especially the attitudes of veterinarians in the United States, and there are dissenting opinions. The majority of veterinarians tend not to favor systematic, cosmetic tail docking as part of a breed standard.9,10,11 (just as some breeders have opposed docking in breeds where this is traditional, see12).

Although the AVMA first recommended breed clubs remove cosmetic modifications from breed standards in 1976, the recommendation’s inclusion and wording in the Association’s policy have changed over time. Other veterinary associations have likewise made it clear that they oppose tail docking in their policies (e.g., Canada,13 Australia,14 and the United Kingdom15).

What is the current justification for performing preventive partial or tail amputations on working dogs?

A: According to some observers, several working dog breeds may be at risk due to long tails. For instance, it has been recommended that

  • A guard dog could be stopped in its tracks by being grabbed by the tail. 7
  • Pointers and other hunting dogs may suffer injury to their tail tips in undergrowth.
  • 8,4,16
  • A drooping tail may cause long-haired dogs to become more dirty.
  • 17

These arguments in favor of removing working dogs’ tails are not well-supported by science. The incidence of tail injuries in dogs was 0.23 percent in the greatest study to date, and it was determined that 500 dogs would need to have their tails docked to prevent one tail injury. 18 It has been hypothesized that tail injuries are more common in certain dog breeds or canines utilized for particular jobs. An uncontrolled research of German Shorthaired Pointers conducted in Sweden raised the possibility that a ban on tail docking would result in a significant amount of tail injury. 19 According to Diesel et alreport, .’s working dogs (mostly gundogs) did not have a significantly higher incidence of tail damage than non-working dogs, but dogs kept in kennels did. The distinctions between docked and undocked breeds are frequently negligible. For instance, only the German Shorthaired Pointer is customarily docked among the two extremely similar Pointers, German Longhaired Pointer and German Shorthaired Pointer. 20

A: Some breeds may have their tails docked because their non-working members are thought to face risks similar to those faced by working dogs, but more often than not, it’s done to maintain the particular appearance or standards of the breed. According to survey results, it is not essential to preventively dock the tails of pet dogs. 18,21 Therefore, until there is proof to the contrary, tail docking of non-working dogs is seen as a cosmetic treatment, even though their breed was originally intended for working purposes. The breed standards of traditionally docked breeds have been altered in nations like the United Kingdom where tail docking is illegal (with a few exceptions). 22

A: Given that most dogs descended from a tailed species, having a tail is natural. However, there isn’t any solid proof that dogs with naturally bobbed or surgically docked hair are less fortunate in terms of their physical or mental well-being. Docking may affect a dog’s ability to communicate with other dogs23 and may also increase their likelihood of developing incontinence, according to some preliminary but inconclusive studies. 24

A: Docking with the tail is uncomfortable.

25 It is challenging to determine the degree or length of the discomfort under ideal or normal conditions. Negative long-term alterations that influence how pain is absorbed and perceived later in life might emerge from painful operations performed during the newborn period when the nervous system is vulnerable. 26,27

A: Is there sufficient justification for undertaking the procedure? rather than “How dangerous is the procedure? Surgery that is done purely for aesthetic reasons (i.e., for appearance’s sake) suggests that the surgery is not medically necessary. There is no evident advantage to our patients in doing this treatment because there is no evidence that shows dogs that have their tails docked experience self-esteem or pride in looks, which are popular justifications for having cosmetic procedures done on people. The owner’s perception of a nice appearance appears to be the only advantage of aesthetic tail docking of dogs. The AVMA believes that this is not sufficient justification to carry out a surgical procedure.

The naturally bobbing animal is not taken into account “docked. Many pedigreed breeds, like as the Old English Sheepdog and the Australian Shepherd17, have bobbed bloodlines, and others have also been exposed to them (e.g., Boxer28). Both historically and now, some breeders favor addressing unfavorable conformation only through breeding.

The practice of detaching a dog’s tail for medicinal purposes is not known as “docking. Traumatic damage where complete tail repair is not possible or advisable is the most frequent cause of amputation or partial amputation of a dog’s tail. If a dog’s tail malformations make it harder for it to perform normally or put it at danger for damage, amputation may also be necessary. On the basis of repeated prior harm, a case could be made for removing a dog’s tail.

A young puppy’s tail should only be removed as a precaution if there is strong proof that it is at a high risk of suffering tail damage owing to a congenital condition, breed, or intended working activity. Such a rationale must, however, be backed up by facts, such as empirical data or unbiased expert judgment based on in-depth, directly applicable experience.