Ear Cropping

The “Crop” Effect: Some breeds of dog are known for having their ears cropped, but is that what you want for your pet?

Breeds such as Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes and Miniature Schnauzers are known for their cropped ears and bobbed tails. If you are wishing to show your dog at competitions, then you may have no choice but to follow that tradition. However, if your pet is simply a companion to nestle with you on the couch, you may be debating whether to style your pooch that way.

First and foremost, there are no health advantages to cropping a dog’s ears. According T.J. Dunn, Jr., who has been a practicing veterinarian for almost 32 years, dogs with cropped ears don’t get any more or fewer dog ear infections than dogs without cropped ears.

Second, like any other surgical enhancement, there are risks involved. You could go through the trouble of surgically changing your dog’s ears to not even get the desired effect. The point of cropping ears is for them to stand erect on your pet’s head. However, some ears will refuse to stay erect for multiple reasons, such as:

  • The cartilage in the ear is too thin to support the weight of the ear.
  • The ear crop is too long (it is too long to defy gravity).
  • The ears could be set too low. (You’ve never seen a Golden Retriever with cropped ears, have you?)

Also, scar tissue can form, which would also lead to the ears slumping. Cropping a dog’s ears is a cosmetic choice and should be considered carefully before making a decision.

Did you crop your dog's ears? Why or why not?

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