Should You Have Your Dog’s Ears Cropped?

If you're purchasing a Pit Bull, Doberman Pinscher, Schnauzer, Boxer, or Great Dane, you need to decide whether or not you want to have the dog's ears cropped. This isn't an easy decision to make, either, because cropping ears is a very controversial subject. Some people believe that there are several health benefits to cropping a dog's ears, while other people believe that it's cruel. Before you make your decision, learn more about what happens when you have your dog's ears cropped, and how it could benefit your furry friend.

What is Ear Cropping?

Cropping a dog's ears involves removing part or all of the pinnae or auricles -- the external visible flap of a dog's ear. The procedure, which is known as a cosmetic otoplasty, is performed by a veterinarian, on puppies that are between seven and 12 weeks old. During the procedure, the puppy is placed under anesthesia to eliminate the puppy's pain. After the ear flap is removed, the wounded edges are secured with stitches to help the wounds heal properly. Then, the dog's ears are carefully bandaged and tapes until they completely heal so that the dog doesn't accidentally scratch at the wound. The procedure has to be completed on young puppies, because once a dog reaches 16 weeks of age, the procedure is more painful and there is a chance that the puppy will remember the pain.

Why Do People Crop Their Dogs Ears?

People decide to crop their dog's ears for several reasons. It's common for owners to crop their dog's ears if the dog is a purebred and will participate in dog shows, because ear cropping is required as part of the breed standard at some dog shows. In fact, the American Kennel Club (AKC) stated that ear cropping practices are integral to defining and preserving breed character in certain dog breeds.

It's also common for owners to have their dogs' ears cropped if the dog was bred to be a hunting dog. Avid hunters crop their dogs' ears because it's less likely for their dogs to have an ear injury during hunting. Also, many hunters believe that cropping a dog's ears improves the dog's hearing and helps prevent ear infections.

Ultimately, it's up to you whether or not your want to have your dog's ears cropped. If your dog is considered a family pet, cropping the dog's ears probably isn't necessary. However, if you plan to show the dog, or use the dog as a hunting dog, you should considered having your dog's ears cropped. Regardless of which option you choose, it's important to make you decision quickly so that your dog doesn't experience unnecessary pain during the procedure. Contact Animal Clinic of Bensonhurst for more information.