Why Do You Crop 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.

Why not crop the ears on your dog?

Much like the many varieties of dogs, dog ears come in a variety of sizes and forms. However, some dog owners believe it’s a good idea to indulge in ear cropping to give their dog a more “pleasing appearance” rather than cherishing their dog for how they have naturally come into the world. Breeds like Great Danes, pit bulls, Dobermans, and schnauzers are prone to this happening frequently.

The issue is that ear clipping is essentially forced mutilation done on dogs by ignorant owners to make them appear more attractive or fearsome.

They frequently claim that since natural, floppy ears are susceptible to infection, they should be removed. However, that is untrue. Actually, studies reveal that a dog’s chance of contracting an infection is not greatly affected by the shape of his ears. At least 80% of dogs never even experience one. Poodles and spaniels, breeds whose ears are often left uncut, are the ones who actually get the most infections.

Puppies often get their ears cropped as early as 6 to 12 weeks old. The puppies must wear tape and bandages around their ears for several weeks after having their ears clipped with scissors. The dogs are given a general anesthetic during the procedure, which can occasionally result in swelling from allergic responses or more serious consequences, like anaphylactic shock. Oddly enough, despite the fact that owners who crop ears frequently cite the risk of infection as justification, infection is one of the concerns associated with the procedure.

The American Kennel Club endorses ear clipping in order to uphold the aesthetic standards for particular breeds, and they also assert that it prevents dogs’ ears from being bit and improves their hearing, among other benefits.

However, groups like the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association are opposed to it.

Dogs that have their ears cropped experience unnecessary physical discomfort as well as potential long-term psychological stress. Dog owners may find it difficult to interpret their dog’s communication if they have had portions of their dog’s ears amputated. Puppies also utilize their ears to communicate.

Additionally, the practice reinforces inaccurate assumptions about particular breeds; for instance, some owners crop the ears of Doberman pinschers and American staffordshire terriers because they believe it gives the dog a rugged or fierce appearance.

Additionally, ear cropping doesn’t always work. Unskilled veterinarians may undertake surgeries that result in a dog having permanently damaged, misaligned ears.

In numerous European nations as well as Canada and Australia, ear cropping has already been outlawed. In terms of outlawing this cruel practice, the United States has lagged behind; we believe it’s time to catch up. All dog owners must first decide to value their pets for who they are rather than just how they look.

Why are pitbulls’ ears cropped?

Why does anyone do it in the first place if it’s so dangerous? This cruel behavior has been brought on by a variety of factors and false information. The following are some typical justifications for trimming a Pitbull’s ears:

To Protect During Dog Fights

Pitbull ear clipping was popular among animals used for hunting or combat to reduce the possibility of ear harm during combat. The dog’s adversary was thought to be a simple target for the ears. It is incomprehensible why the practice persists among breeds that historically engaged in animal hunting or combat given that it is prohibited in the majority of the world.

To Avoid Infections

Another widespread misunderstanding was that in particular breeds, trimming the ears could reduce the risk of infection. It was often thought that dogs with floppy ears were more likely to acquire an infection because they retained more moisture. However, a study that appeared in FETCH found that 80% of dogs don’t suffer ear infections, and more importantly, that the shape of the ear has absolutely nothing to do with it.

To Improve Hearing

Additionally, it was thought that cropping could help working dogs’ hearing. Sound waves may not be able to reach the eardrums effectively because of the droopy ears. They said that Pitbulls could hear better directly because of their elevated ears, which also made them more attentive of potential predators.

There isn’t much evidence to support this. Even if this were the case, a woman pushing her hair back behind her ears would still improve her hearing more. In none of these circumstances is there much of a difference.

It is a Standard for Specific Breeds

One of the main causes of this procedure is breed standards. Benefits to health and medicine are frequently just an appeal to the eye. Functionality is less significant than human appeal.

For some breeds, cropped ears have become the norm; typically, many people think that breeds should appear a certain way to live up to our expectations. For instance, if a boxer’s ears are not cropped, they are not considered boxers. Owners of dogs often assume that this procedure is required for their pet’s benefit rather than their own because of this unquestioning mentality.

It is a Requirement for Some Dog Shows

Many pet owners are compelled to undergo this operation in order to “meet standards” and improve their chances of winning dog shows and competitions. Thanks to the participation of numerous mixed-breed or All-American dogs in dog shows, this tradition is thankfully slowly changing. However, until recently, several breeds, such as the Pitbull, were either prohibited from competing or had very little chance of winning if their ears weren’t trimmed.

Is ear cropping advantageous?

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.

Why are dog tails docked?

Although most owners and breeders do docking and cropping for aesthetic reasons, many claim that doing so could protect hunting and farm dogs’ tails from harm during chases or herding. Some claim that docking prevents active breeds like boxers from damaging their tails by banging them against crates or walls. Some owners think that cutting the ears reduces the likelihood of infections.

The University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society director, James Serpell, PhD, contends that docking itself may be seen as an injury. On the other hand, according to study, an unbroken tail is rare to sustain an injury, and if it does, the damage is typically mild and straightforward to repair. According to research, at least 80% of dogs won’t develop ear infections, and the breeds that are most susceptible, such cocker spaniels and poodles, don’t have their ears docked, adds Patterson-Kane.

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.

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

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 obvious benefit to our patients in performing this procedure because there is no evidence that shows dogs who have their tails docked experience self-esteem or pride in appearance, which are common 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.

Removal of a dog’s tail for medical reasons is not referred to as “docking. Traumatic injury 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 trauma due to a congenital defect, breed, or intended working activity. Such a justification must, however, be backed up by evidence, such as empirical data or unbiased expert judgment based on in-depth,