Is there a medical reason to clip a dog’s ears? What to Know

What is Ear Cropping?

Ear cropping is the act of removing part (or sometimes all) of a dog’s ears, and is often followed by taping the remaining ear upright so that it heals vertically, giving the ears an upright triangular appearance, rather than the hanging-down floppy ears of most dogs. Breeds where cropping is prevalent are Dobermanns, American bullies, pitbulls, Staffordshire bull terriers and other similar breeds. Do note that some breeds have naturally upright ears like huskies, German shepherds, westies and corgis.

To prevent ear infections: FALSE.

Although ears have historically been cropped thinking that the increased airflow would decrease the likelihood of ear infections, this is not the case. Instead, there are a number of genetic, environmental, dietary, and anatomical reasons that dogs get ear infections. Still, studies have shown no positive correlation between cropped ears and a decrease in frequency or severity of ear infections.

Legal Aspects of Ear Cropping to Consider

Ear cropping is now considered an elective and cosmetic procedure; it’s not necessary. Many countries and breed associations have banned the surgery. Even in Germany, where several of the most popularly cropped breeds and the practice likely originated, it has been banned. It remains legal in the US and the majority of Canada, despite legal battles in several states to outlaw the practice. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) also does not support the practice or that of tail docking when pursued strictly for cosmetic purposes due to the unnecessary risk to the animal implied with any surgery. However, at this time, both the American Kennel Club and Canadian Kennel Club support the practice and allow registration and showing of cropped dogs.

Ear cropping is a surgery and should only be performed by a qualified veterinarian. Sometimes the procedure is performed at home with no more than a pair of scissors while the animal is forcibly held down. This is painful, cruel, and can have catastrophic consequences, including infection, possible loss of the entire ear, or death. Therefore, serious thought should be given before pursuing an ear cropping. As with any surgery or anesthetic event, it carries significant risks. These risks should be discussed with your veterinarian extensively before pursuing the surgery with a qualified veterinarian.

Dog Ear Cropping the pros and cons of Ear Cropping?

Ear cropping and tail docking are common today, but are these practices necessary or merely cosmetic? These procedures seem archaic to some, but it’s still considered the norm for certain dog breeds. We explore this topic and give you the information you need to make an informed decision for your pup. Table Of Contents

Cropping, also known as clipping dogs’ ears, removes all or part of the external ear flap on a dog. Many countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia, ban this practice (as well as tail docking) because it’s thought to be purely cosmetic; thus, it’s considered animal cruelty to perform unnecessary surgery on an animal.