Adrienne is a certified dog trainer and former veterinarian assistant who partners with some of the best veterinarians worldwide.
Is Ear Cropping Dogs' Ears Bad?
The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) considers the practice of ear cropping for cosmetic purposes only medically unnecessary and therefore opposes its practice. While the battle went on for quite a while, since 2008, the AVMA has been directly attempting to ask breed clubs within the AKC to eliminate both ear cropping and tail docking practices from breed standards.
More and more veterinarians are recently refusing to crop ears. The reason why many veterinarians are opposed to it is that they consider the practice unnecessary and painful—not to mention the fact that not all ear croppings have a happy ending. In some cases, the ears may not ''stand'' as owners may like. This scenario creates frustrating situations for both veterinarians and owners.
The AKC still seems to have trouble accepting that ear cropping is really only for cosmetic purposes. They claim the practice of ear cropping and tail docking is “integral to defining and preserving breed character and/or enhancing good health.'' Unfortunately, this is far from true. There are absolutely no real medical benefits when it comes to cropping ears.
Rather, in some cases, complications may arise from the ear cropping practice itself. Ears may get infected; the pinna may not stay erect as wished, there may be bleeding, not to mention the risks associated with putting a puppy under general anesthesia for just cosmetic purposes.
9 Myths and Reasons Why Ear Cropping Is Still Practiced
These nine myths about ear cropping contribute to owners continuing to crop their dogs' ears despite the AVMA's recommendation to eliminate the practice.
1. It Prevents Ear Infections
Some people may claim that upright ears tend to develop fewer ear infections. First of all, if this were true, cropping ears for this sole purpose would be an exaggerated preventive method.
Because all tissues have the potential for infections, this would translate into cutting toes, appendages, and tails for the simple fact of preventing infection. It is also not uncommon for dogs with cropped ears to develop ear infections because ear infections set in for a variety of reasons.
On top of this, according to American Veterinary Medical Association, it would be inaccurate to make claims that dogs with floppy ears are more likely to develop ear infections. A predisposition to ear infections should be looked at on a breed-by-breed basis. Interestingly, one of the dog breeds most predisposed to ear infections is the German Shepherd, which ironically, is equipped with erect ears!
The AVMA explains that while some dogs breeds, such as the Dalmatian and the Anatolian Shepherd Dog were cropped in this past, once this tradition waned, there were no apparent detrimental effects. The AVMA therefore concludes that " it cannot be assumed that ear cropping has a medical purpose."
2. It Is a Standard of the Breed
Dogs are born with full-length ears as a result of domestication and because humans have been selectively breeding dogs for specific looks and purposes. Like it or not, floppy ears have become a part of the package.
Humans though spoiled and fastidious beings, have decided that those floppy ears are a big no-no and therefore, after crafting some breeds in a certain way, have decided to subject them to cosmetic surgeries. Dogs, though, shouldn't be treated as objects that we can morph on a whim with drastic measures just because we don't like something about them.
But it's the breed standard! Well, if a dog is born with floppy ears because that's how we bred them to be, who are we to decide one day that it's no longer acceptable? More and more dog owners are straying away from standards because they have no purpose. Most dogs are no longer working dogs, and fortunately, dog fighting is outlawed in most places. So unless you are planning to show your dog in the ring and plan to win a lot of trophies, what's the purpose?
Dog owners who refuse to crop and dock tails have come to appreciate their dogs for who they truly are.
3. A Boxer (or Other Cropped-Ear Breed) Is Not a Boxer With Full-Length Ears
People and breeders really have grown accustomed to cropped ears. They associate them with the breed standard. They have been fixated on the idea that pinnas must be erect, and they believe that refraining from having them that way makes their dogs look like half a dog. They fear changes, and they feel their dog breed is stripped from its dignity and breed status. They are perhaps also afraid to be ridiculed by others.
Yet, humanity evolves, and often for the better. Jets fly faster; we reach out to others with a click of a mouse, we talk from different countries. The day may also come where dogs will be different from what they are now. We may look back and think of how naïve they looked without tails and without ear tips. We may actually laugh at our mistakes, just as the first cars developed made us smile.
4. Ear Cropping Is Like Getting Ears Pierced
Ear piercing is to ear cropping like an injection to an arm is to an arm amputation. There is really a lot of differences. Ear piercing requires no anesthesia, whereas ear cropping requires total general anesthesia. Ear piercing consists of a little needle prick, and the procedure is over.
Ear cropping consists of general anesthesia and weeks of recovery and bandages. People would not get their ears pierced as often if they had to go through general anesthesia and getting almost more than half their ear chopped off!
5. Ear Cropping Is Like Spaying and Neutering
Many pro-ear-croppers, when confronted with the unnecessary practice of ear cropping, may state that if the practice is considered painful, then people must not spay or neuter their pets. However, there is a big difference in this scenario.
Spaying and neutering can help prevent some diseases such as testicular cancer and pyometra. More of all, it prevents hundreds of dogs from being euthanized because of the pet overpopulation problem. If you visit a shelter, you will see how many dogs are put to sleep a day, and that is disgusting until we as humans learn to be responsible owners.
Interestingly, some exemplary countries have started to not neuter, and yet, they are not contributing to the pet overpopulation problem. This is because they are being very responsible and adamant about not letting their dogs roam free.
6. Owners Have a Right to Crop Ears
Sure, you can crop your dog's ears, but what is the purpose? It's not medically necessary. You are not going to show your dog in the ring. Who cares what others think? If you just like the look, admit it's for that purpose. Don't come up with millions of excuses just to justify that.
However, consider that dogs are not fashion accessories and shouldn't be primarily used to boost a human's ego. Ear cropping is taken seriously and banned in many countries nowadays. The right was taken away in these countries because the practice interferes with the dog's well-being and has been deemed unnecessary.
Dogs use ears for communication, and dogs cropped very shortly (think battle crop) no longer can use them to communicate effectively. These dogs also have little protection against bugs and other irritants from entering the ear canal.
7. Ear Cropping Is Not Painful
There is proof that the procedure is not a walk in the park. Pain meds are often prescribed for recovery. Puppies may yelp as they hit their ears against furniture. They are obliged to wear cones for many weeks to allow the ears to stand up correctly. Owners and breeders often may say that their dogs act normally, but dogs are very well known for their stoicism. And since dogs cannot talk, it is unfair to presume that they are free of pain.
8. Ear Cropping Helps Dogs Hear Better
You may have heard that many dog breeds are cropped to help them be good guard dogs and to therefore hear better. How true is this? Well, it may help to a minimum, perhaps. An ear flap shouldn't impact hearing to a significant extent of making dogs with floppy ears poor guardians, just like having humans can still hear if they have long hair in front of their ears.
But don't take my word for this: consider that there are amazing guardian dogs such as Rottweilers who have floppy ears and are alert to all noises.
9. There Are More Important Factors to Consider
It is true; the Animal Welfare Organization may focus on bigger issues than ear cropping. But then why should owners spend so much money for dog cosmetic surgery when they can donate to shelters or other charities? There are so many more proficuous ways to spend money other than turning dogs into fashion accessories.
Ears have a function, and there is a reason why dogs were born with a complete set of ears. Floppy ears help prevent water from going into the ear canal and protect the ears from insects and burrs and other irritants.
Dogs need their ears to effectively communicate their feelings, keep debris and bugs away, and last but not least, as a statement of who they are and who they were meant to be.
More and more dogs are showing their full-length ears, and long tails as owners and breeders are educated about the disadvantages and unneccessity of ear cropping.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2009 Adrienne Farricelli
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 07, 2020:
How so if neutering decreases the chances of male dogs developing prostatic disease and hernias, and eliminates the chances of developing testicular cancer and spaying leads to reduced risk of female dogs developing mammary tumors, the canine equivalent of breast cancer? Sure, there can be health issues too, but have you ever visited a dog shelter and seen how many dogs are put to sleep every day because people's dogs keep on popping unwanted dogs?
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 16, 2020:
I have heard the cropping to prevent injuries thing for some time, but this makes me wonder why many serious guardian dog breeds such as Rottweilers, bullmastiff, Fila brasiliero, Brazilian dogo and boerboel are for a good part uncropped and have been providing guard duties with no problems for centuries.
Not Yours on July 16, 2020:
This article has nothing to do with ''Myths'' it's your personal opinion about the cropping community more or so no. 4 and no. 5. Also Ear cropping and tail docking were used for guard dogs and hunting dogs. Also dobermans are used as K-9 and military dogs. Where they crop the animals ears to prevent injuries while working (floppy ears can be easily grabbed and torn off by invaders or offenders. Many people may excuse this as ''I wouldn't think of such thing'' but it's because you never commited a crime. Just because someone gets their dog's ear cropped doesn't mean they are bad human beings and that they are abusing their animals. Also, spaying and neutering brings more long term health issues into account than cropping.
njetdal on July 15, 2020:
The Neutering and Spaying is bs. Because your dog can have long term health issues FROM spaying/neutering while from cropping they do not.
Chelsea on April 10, 2020:
I almost started crying when I saw pictures of dogs post-crop... why do people do this? It's not cute or fun or whatever... it hurts them and doesn't even benefit the dog. Get over your own ego and stop cropping ears!
Always Hunting on March 18, 2020:
I live in the country, as in 100 miles from an airport. My nearest neighbor is a mile.... Literally a mile straight shot and they are meth heads. My chickens get raided all the time by coyotes and they run in packs, also there are mountain lion, and black bears. I have a wife and kids to protect so I also have a pit bull, two dogo Argentino, and two great Pyrenees and a gun safe that looks like I'm preparing for WW3. The dogos and pit all have cropped ears for hog hunting and to keep them from getting injured by fighting off the crack head neighbors, dogs, and coyotes. Not everyone lives in town and there are still working dog's, my dogs have job's and work hard. The pit and dogos stay inside but the great Pyrenees are outside 24/7 And yes the great Pyrenees have ears.... Well three ears between the two of them, one lost an ear early on in a scrap with something and that's why I got other breeds and cropped the ears.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 16, 2020:
Julian, that's true that several dog breeds were cropped for working purposes, but most dogs nowadays cropped are just kept as pets.
Julian on February 16, 2020:
"Breeds like Great Danes, APBT, Dogo Argentino etc are breed to hunt wild boar or ask as catch dogs for wild for or bulls. Floppy ears would be very prone to being torn by tusks or horns so they are cropped to prevent those injuries. APBT and Dogo are both still commonly used as catch dogs by those that hunt wild boar with dogs."
Seems that was never addressed
Wolf on October 14, 2019:
I'm so happy that its illegale in Germany!
Why, just why do people this?
I hate it when I see pictures of cropping dogs on Instagram.
My dogs are my friends, my family I'll never want to hurt theme.
I wish it would be illegale in the howle world.
J.B on October 06, 2019:
Thank you for writing this! So true
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 26, 2019:
I meant to change the picture of the Rottweiler puppy forever, but couldn't find a picture of a Dobie left with floppy ears. I will search one to fix that.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 26, 2019:
1) The article never said that it's the standard for all breeds.
2) True, floppy ears are a product of domestication. This makes the issue of cropping even more disturbing: we first selectively breed dogs for certain qualities and floppy ears come with the package and then decide to crop them. How fair is that? That just shows how unpredictable and hypocritical human kind is.
3) Thanks for bringing the ear infections to my attention. I need to edit to add that according to research, the German shepherd which has erect ears is ironically one of the most predisposed to ear infections.
4) I have known countless people who have purposely had their dogs' ears cropped just for the purpose of looking more "mean." These claims were often made in the waiting room by the owners as the dogs were waiting to be cropped.
5) Most dogs who are cropped are no longer used for working but simply for companionship. Again, I witnessed this over and over working at the vet's office, so I am providing an insider view.
6) If ear cropping was just as innocent as portrayed, it wouldn't have been made illegal in several countries. And more and more vets are refusing to perform them.
ChrisMazz on August 26, 2019:
I’m going to play devils advocate here and offer up a different perspective that paints this debate with a litter more color than the usual black n white. First off, it’s not the standard for all breeds (it’s less than 10%) that have their ears cropped - nice try with the adorable Rottie pup photo. Second, on the subject of nature and allowing for dogs ears to remain “natural”, we as humans have been interfering with canine natural selection and evolution since the beginning of time and pendulous ears is a direct result of that interference and in my opinion is NOT natural as one would think. Look at all the wild cousins of our domesticated dog: wolves, coyotes, jackals, African prairie dogs, dingos...etc, all have erect ears. Now look at every other animal for that matter: lions, tigers, bears, hyenas, badgers, raccoons, skunks, even your house cat and yes, even us humans all have erect ears where the ear canal is exposed. Before humans started breeding dogs to serve man, all dogs had erect ears. Third, infections, abscess’, ear mites, wax build up and a slew of other ailments that can effect hearing and cause our pets undue suffering are a lot more common especially for dogs living in warmer climates; pendulous ear folds only serves to trap heat and moisture aggravating these conditions and their symptoms. Notice how when a dog first stands up after a long sleep, the first thing it does is shake it’s whole body then scratch behind the ear? This ritual they perform almost on a daily basis is due to discomfort of having ones ears covered and not properly ventilated. Fourth, certain breed standards call for the cropped ears because it mitigated certain risk factors while in the commission of certain jobs they were bred to perform, which for the sake of space and time I will not bother listing here. Lastly, just like in humans and with certain cultures that practise generational incestual marriage, certain physical abnormalities can develop in their offspring, therefore, centuries of certain breeds being inbred by imperfect humans can develop physical defects and I believe that overly, pendulous ears is a direct result of inbreeding and human interference and is not how nature intended it to be. If you have a dog who’s ears appear to be disproportionate to the size of its head, giving the dog an unflattering appearance as YOU the owner perceive it as, and the standard calls for it, then I think it should be left to the owners discretion. This nonsense that dogs are being subjected to unnecessary pain n suffering is a bunch bleeding heart crap - as if these dog owners don’t love their pets. The stigma attached to dog owners of them wanting their dogs to look “aggressive” or like “fighting” dogs is also a bunch of rubbish as well. Who made you the judge n jury of these animals to begin with? All-in-all, it boils down to preference and while most ppl (errr women) might think long floppy ears looks flattering on a dog, others will think the opposite...I am one of those ppl. Working breeds like the APBT, Cane Corso’s, Boxers, Great Danes and Doberman’s (breeds with often disproportionate, oversized ears) in most cases look more attractive and striking with cropped ears...and that is my opinion as well. Spaying/neutering is a much more traumatic and riskier procedure for dogs then ear cropping and it’s supposed health benefits FOR THE RESPONSIBLE PET OWNER is greatly exaggerated as well - according to independent medical studies not linked to the AVM...but that’s a topic for another day. Thanks for reading!
ChrisMazz on August 25, 2019:
Tony Deleeuw, the author was speaking in favour of spaying/neutering, not against. Perhaps you should read it over again carefully.
Tony Deleeuw on February 25, 2019:
Adrienne Janet Farricelli if you honestly believe what you said then you have no clue what you are saying. Neutering I’m not only important to control the dogs from having pups but also from having their periods. They don’t wear clothing and tampons like women do. So this would be a lot of extra work most dog owners don’t want to tend to. You would have to put a diaper on them until they are finished from bleeding so they don’t stain your furniture or your clothing or even onto yourself which would make you severely stink. Having a male dog spayed calms the dog down and also helps them to not get so stressed whenever they smell a female in heat. You would never be able to control your dog every moment if he ran into a female that was in heat at a public place or a dog park, which is why they are too many dogs.
Anitacerniglia@gmail.com on January 26, 2019:
My daughter has a pit bull his name Is Bentley his ears were cropped already when she got him , the person who did this did not know what the - - - - they were doing ! Bentley shakes his head black gooey junk comes out he has scratched his ears to wear they bleed . So please make sure they know how,and what they are doing .
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 05, 2018:
Girnipointer, you make great points. I am impressed how neutering is not performed much in certain European countries and this is because they know how to manage well their intact dogs.
GirlnPointer on April 05, 2018:
3 years ago
"'Cutting their nut sack off' as you so bluntly put it, has many benefits to dogs in the long term. It often calms a temperament, stops them running off in pursuit of a mate, but most importantly lowers the risk of cancer and other disease and helps to reduce the population of millions of unwanted pets that are dumped or put to sleep each year."
If neutering (vs. vasectomy/keeping hormones intact) is so beneficial to dogs, surely, it would benefit the exponential growing human population and the above paragraph could be rewritten as follows:
'Cutting their nut sack off' as you so bluntly put it, has many benefits to human males in the long term. It often calms a temperament, stops them running off in pursuit of a mate/infidelity, but most importantly lowers the risk of cancer and other disease and helps to reduce the population of millions of unwanted children that are dumped into the foster care system or aborted each year.
It is actually possible to be a responsible pet owner with intact pets (assuming the owner takes responsibility for containing their pets properly). I grew up with intact male dogs and none of them impregnated females (or died of prostate cancer). With that being said, I am for spaying and neutering, as I believe the majority of pet owners do not properly contain their dogs at all times. However, I would much prefer dogs getting vasectomies and tubal ligations, so as to keep their hormones intact while preventing unwanted litters, but vets are not taught these procedures in school--just complete removal of the sex organs (spay/neuter). Women who get hysterectomies are known to go into early menopause, so hormones clearly play a role in the body
Kiersten on December 12, 2017:
What age is it that they stop cropping ears
heatherjasper on August 20, 2017:
I am for ear cropping, tail docking, etc., only if the dog is doing what his breed is intended. For instance, if a Dobie is being used as a guard dog--trained and raised for just that for his job, not as a family pet who so happens to also scare away would-be thieves--then crop the ears to protect his ears and face, as that's what the docking was originally for. Same with tails and herding dogs. It would hurt the dog and cost the owner more to have to deal with a trodden tail than it would to have it cropped.
But if the dog is only being kept as a family pet, then keep both ears and tail as they were. "I'm used to them being that way" is a poor reason for doing that to a dog.
Also, the US is just about the only country that practices almost blanket circumcision.
Josef Viereckl on March 01, 2017:
Sounds like most of you voted democrat.
have had two Boxers with ears cropped will do the same with my 3rd. God bless my parents had me circumcised without asking me..
Anonymous on February 05, 2017:
Spaying and neutering is not medically necessary, and going by your own argument, the dog is born that way and you are simply doing it for convenience. Breed standards are written by humans, not nature, so if the standard says crop, you crop. Also some breeds, like the Doberman, are bred to be guard dogs, and ear cropping prevents severe injury from a someone grabbing the ear and ripping it off.
Melanie on January 28, 2017:
I think ear cropping and tail docking is not only cruel and a horrible practice, but think it should be banned workd wide!!
Dionne Ison Coburn on January 23, 2017:
Sorry I disagree, My Doberman had her ears docked, they gave her pain meds which this article did not mention! If you don't want a Doberman don't get one, but don't criticize those that do!! Healed very fast played normally with her sister. This docking sets the breed apart!! My vet was very humane maybe you should get another. This is only one person's opinion. As long as I have Doberman's I will be docking their ears HUMANELY!!!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 20, 2016:
I agree, if they must really do it, better have it done by a vet than engaging in butchery. But isn't it scary that people are so eager to get this stuff done they'll even resort to do this at home if they can't have it their way? .
Ar on March 19, 2016:
Although many are against cropping, there are still plenty who want their dogs ears cropped. If veterinarians refuse to do them, we will see an increase in people attempting to crop at home with improper anesthetic, pain medications, or care. I rather have vets who are willing to do this under general anesthesia then puppies getting their ears done by those with no medical training.
brigitte St jean on March 11, 2016:
Leave animals the same way God created them!!!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 13, 2015:
Animals are not people and they don't adhere to aesthetics as humans do. When was the last time you saw an animal who was unhappy with its looks?
MikeyB on December 05, 2015:
Uhh peeps gets plastic surgery all the time duh
Marsha on March 15, 2015:
" it really all depends on what look you like! " that'a exactly the mentality I cannot grasp and have a problem with. Dogs are not fashion accessories and people treat them like if they're property! I personally would never put my dog through "cosmetic surgery" luckily, in my country this practice is banned.
Lin on March 15, 2015:
yeah that is a crock of shit. I have a Dobbie had her ears cropped by a professional. we live in Canada so it's not illegal here, I had a hard time deciding but we are very happy with the outcome. it really all depends on what look you like! the doctor gave her pain killers and she was running around the next day like nothing happened other than the doughnut she hated
taylor88 on December 19, 2014:
Why are most of the pro-croppers reiterating the same rubbish, and seem to be illiterate to boot? 'Cutting their nut sack off' as you so bluntly put it, has many benefits to dogs in the long term. It often calms a temperament, stops them running off in pursuit of a mate, but most importantly lowers the risk of cancer and other disease and helps to reduce the population of millions of unwanted pets that are dumped or put to sleep each year. Ear cropping? ..um...cuz it luks wickid rite, an my dog needs a bit of plastic srgry.
Aussie dog on October 18, 2014:
Its interesting to note that ear cropping seems to be only in America. The practise just doesn't happen nor has it ever been considered in Australia. Tail docking is now also illegal. There is no justification whatsoever for mutilating a dog
Mary on June 27, 2014:
There are far more better ways to spend $600 on a dog than cropping. How about premium dog food for 6 months? Obedience training classes? Agility? Toys, beds? A donation to a local shelter? What you call as "Cutting the "balls off" is done to prevent unwanted animals in shelters getting killed every day. Visit your shelter and see why there are so many people advocating neutering. I cry when I see dogs being put to sleep because there is no home for them. Irresponsible people allow dogs to mate and then they give the pups to the shelter. I also cry when I see dogs being cropped just for "looks". In pit bulls it increases the bad rap, so sad.
Alexia on June 27, 2014:
I was think about cropping my pit ears. I'm against animal cruelty or abuse. But...what is the wrong is it exactly. I love my baby to death. She is my world. Cropping her ears and spending 600$ dollars on her isn't love? Cause it is. We're not mean and or cruel people, there is worst....I mean I bet half of you cut your dogs balls off... That's disgusting. Do they have a say in that? Or put them to sleep we you don't wanna pay for surgeries or care for them when there sick. Or give them up over stupid reasons. My dog looks mean shit to me really I love her for her but there is so much worst then cropping
Detronyx on May 02, 2014:
Last month I started a petition in an attempt to hopefully make it illegal to crop and dock ears & tails, and also to stop declawing cats. All are cruel and unnecessary! Please sign and share, and hopefully this can put an end to the cruelty! http://www.change.org/petitions/president-obama-ma...
Penny Skinner on March 05, 2014:
People directly equating cosmetic surgery with surgery to reduce animal overpopulation clearly don't give much thought to how actuation are ethically justified, rather than just what the action is. But even in terms of just the action, tapping ears and crating puppies alone to get the ear to stand to show height... it's not the best. At least once the balls are out, that's the end of it.
Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on March 05, 2014:
P.S. You're very welcome. I volunteer with a dog/cat rescue/adoption organization, mainly on the cat side. ;-)
I see red when people like "bullymaster," above, make such ignorant comments. Of course, he is not a Hub Pages member, but from his name and comment, I can peg him perfectly: He is a white male, dyed-in-the-wool redneck; probably from the deep South, or with ancestry there, is most likely an uneducated member of the hateful "Tea Party" that wants to return to the days of slavery, keep women 'barefoot and pregnant,' and take away all rights of every living creature except for white males. His very name says it all.
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Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 02, 2014:
Thanks for your support in this Dzymslizzy, I worked for a vet who did these procedures (along with tail docks) and I felt awful, awful, awful when those ear parts fell to the ground as if they were useless strands of hair. Not to mention the painful recovery of many pups whose owners had to pick up pain meds. Floppy ears help keep bugs out, protect the ear and are used for important doggy communication.
Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on March 02, 2014:
I agree with you 10,000,000 to the 'nth' power percent!
There is NO reason for this cruel procedure, any more than there is any reason why cats should be declawed. (They NEVER should!)
As you so correctly point out, if they are so interested in the so-called "breed standard," then they should pay attention to how the dog is BORN! That is the true standard for the breed.
Altering an animal's appearance by surgical methods for cosmetic or other artificial and unnecessary reasons is not only cruel and barbaric, it is selfish and egotistical.
Brava, brava, brava for your stand on this.
Voted up, interesting, useful and shared!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 02, 2014:
Can't get more real than this. look at statistics of dogs put down in shelters. There are more than cosmetic reasons for neutering dogs, try to work for a shelter and see how many dogs and puppies are put to sleep. It's terrible.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 25, 2012:
What breed is your dog?
ivorylace on July 25, 2012:
my dog i 7 months. her left ear i not up. I am so anxiety that it;s nuts. I hope keeping them taped a little while longer will help
Pete Fanning from Virginia on July 18, 2012:
Great hub alexadry, personally I would never crop a dog's ears or tail...I like the floppy ears!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on October 06, 2011:
Ask your vet for ''protective gear'' maybe an elizabethan collar and extra padding. Bring a crate so he/she can stay safe inside. I don't think it should be a problem, but play it safe and ask your vet. Your pup may be wobbly after the surgery so the crate will keep him safe.
blunt on October 04, 2011:
is it safe after ear-crop to travel the pup for 4hours?
choctawhatcheedanes on September 02, 2011:
We have great danes. I wanted to find out why people would chop their dogs up. With danes, they were originally bred to hunt wild boar. Their ears were cropped because of the # of veins in their ears, they could bleed out if something happened. Now, I don't know of anyone who hunts boar with their dogs, so my babies have all their ears. I want to show my girl, but I'm not cutting her up to do so. She's perfect!!
doberman on August 29, 2011:
i like the way the cropped ears look if they were naturally like that. it would be much better saves dogs and humans a lot of pain. all my dobermans have cropped ears and they allow me and my little sisters to touch there ears so no prolems there.
Allie on June 30, 2011:
This is a very old post, but I'm a groomer and I love the look of the big deer ears on the Schnauzer and really don't find the cropped ears on them very attractive, but it's all a matter of opinion. Besides that, I agree with this thread about cropping being unnecessary and I just don't understand why some people feel the need to change the ears just because they like the look of it better? Does it not matter that it is painful for your dog to go through just for your superficial needs? I guess I just don't understand it at all. Some of my favorite breeds (great dane, doberman) are dogs that get their ears cropped a good amount of the time and I think they're gorgeous just as they are. I don't mind the look of the cropped ears on them at all, either, but I don't see any reason that it has to be done or any reason that I would want to put my dog through that.
abbey on January 15, 2011:
I hate the fact that it is painful to my dog, but sometimes our dogs have to have surgery or other things that our painful and that is why they have pain meds.
I had my schnauzers ears done 11 yrs ago only because she had ears that stood straight up and they were huge like the ears on a deer. I wish they would of flopped over. I now have a new puppy and he is 7wks old and I am researching my options. I found the Dr that did my older dog in another state, I just hope that my new puppy doesn't have huge deer like ears that stand up. Flopping over is great, but I haven't read comments about someone cropping ears because the ears are ridiculously huge and already stand.
DarkPittieGirl on December 30, 2010:
Yes, i have owned a APBT before, only reason i don't have him now is due to family issues.....other than that, yes, i am HIGHLY aware of the importance of buying from a very reputable breeder and that they are alot of "dog". Requiring double the training, socialization and care than a less "dog" breed. Especially since they do have such a "bad" name due to irresponsible breeders, ignorant owners and the over exaggerated and inaccurate media...most of the time the dog not even being a true APBT. But yes, i will continue to research this further. (:
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 30, 2010:
I own two Rottweilers so I can understand the bully breed passions. Only thing is that a dog with cropped ears very likely looks highly aggressive and this can add to the negative stereotyping that responsible pit bull owners have to fight against.
Not to mention the psychological hindrances on the dog's mind at a time when permanent damage to the puppy's temperament can be sustained as a result of the trauma of the operation, post-operative bandaging, racking, and taping.
Some dogs also become sensitive to having their ears touched after the procedure. Make an informed decision before you crop and learn as much as you can about pitbulls. Buy only by a reputable breeder who knows what he is doing and that temperament tests its breeding pool and gives health guarantees. This is in your best interest as you may end up with a weak nerved dog or one suffering from orthopedic and other health problems..
Pitbulls are lovely dogs but as a dog trainer, I can attest that they require loads of socialization, leadership and training. They are not a breed for ''everyone''. It takes a great amount of nurturing and care to own them responsibly and fight breed specific legislation (which if allowed to expand may force owners to give up their beloved Pits and even put them to sleep as it already happened in Jacksonville and other towns) see news below
Best wishes and good luck in your dog passion/obsession.
DarkPittieGirl on December 29, 2010:
I don't know whether to take that as a compliment or not. lol. I own no dogs at the moment, although, i plan to in the near future and it will most likely be an APBT. I'll also be up front with this, i'm 18. I'm a female. I have a passion/obssession for dogs, especially the Bully Breeds. I love reading about dogs in general, anything to educate me further. :P
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 27, 2010:
I asked because I noticed many pro-earcroppers were often owners and breeders of Dobies. Most people seem to be ok with APBT if left uncropped. Do you show your dogs or are they just pets? I love APBT's as well, and love their natural rose ears.
DarkPittieGirl on December 27, 2010:
I tyically like my American Pit Bull Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, Boxers, and Great Danes to have cropped ears, although, the APBT I like them either way, floppy or cropped, but i do prefer cropped. The rest I like the look of cropped ears better. Either way, i do love all these breeds with a passion. Especially the APBT. (:
Such wonderful dogs.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 27, 2010:
Yes, indeed you were very civil and understanding! I also like engaging in conversations on debates and learning stuff. Just for curiosity: when you think about cropping ears and making the decision, are you considering a particular breed? Is there a breed in particular you feel that MUST have a cropped look to look good? I feel like there are some breeds that for some people it is unacceptable to go un-cropped whereas there are others were floppy ears are not so much of an issue...Just curious..:)
DarkPittieGirl on December 26, 2010:
I thought i was being pretty civil?
I love to talk about things and hear others perspectives.
It helps you to gain knowledge and grow as a person. (:
So, the knowledge i've gained here is how cropping a dog ears causes MUCH more problems than not cropping them. However, i am pro-cropping regardless. So, at least i'm informed when making this decision. (:
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 26, 2010:
Once again, good for you... I am happy to see in this last post your honest opinion. You like the looks of erect ears and are pro-cropping, whereas I am not, and things will remain this way... Know that I am always open to civil discussions about this.. best wishes!
DarkPittieGirl on December 26, 2010:
I agree with the idea that breeders should breed for erect ears, rather than floppy ears. It would make more sense if the dogs were just naturally born with erect ears instead of going through all the trouble of cropping ears. But i guess, until i see breeders doing this, i will be for ear cropping. Like it or not, that's my personal opinion and taste, whether its "cruel" or whatever.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 26, 2010:
It may not be directly related to domestication from the very start, as I agree the very first dogs may have been healthy, but definitely as years passed, the selective breeding of domesticated dogs to create specific breeds certainly was deleterious to the wellbeing of many dogs...
According to PBS: ''By tinkering with its genetics, humans made the dog the most varied animal species on the planet — and also created a host of hereditary health problems.''
Let's make some examples: The flat face of a bulldog causes serious respiratory disorders,the excessively wrinkled skin of the Chinese Shar-Pei causes frequent skin infection, Bloodhounds suffer chronic eye irritation and infection, Dachhounds suffer significant back problems, and large breeds suffer from hip displaysia... and yes, all these are certainly exacerbated by backyard breeders (even though some good breeders get a batch of defected pups every once in a while)...
About floppy eared dogs, this trait is categorized as a ''pedomorphosis,'' in other words, a tendency to retain juvenile traits in adulthood (floppy ears are characteristic of newborn wolves). It cannot be listed as a defect or hereditary disorder.
If you read according to AVMA there are German Shepherds with erect ears developing recurrent ear infections, whereas there are Beagles with long floppy ears never getting ear problems... ear infections therefore are not directly linked to floppy ears but rather, seem there seems to be a genetic predisposition in certain breeds... this explains why there are plenty of dogs with floppy ears doing well in countries where ear cropping is banned and why there are some dogs with erect ears suffering from chronic ear infections...
So floppy ears are here now, like it or not,.. what should be done? I personally cannot see how a dog may benefit from cropping them just because the dog does not look good with them... as humans we selectively bred for floppy ears in some breeds and we must take responsibility for it rather than playing '' god'' and deciding what body parts should stay or go...
Ear cropping is like forcing an Asian baby to undergo surgery to change the shape of almond eyes...there is no point..perhaps a better choice than ear cropping would be trying to selectively breed certain breeds of dogs for the erect ear trait, rather than forcing a dog to get an ''ear job''. But I doubt breeders will want to wait so long to ''see results'' and would rather chop than wait.
DarkPittieGirl on December 25, 2010:
Hmm, i don't think it has to do with domestication why dogs have all these health problems. That is do to all the Irresponsible/poor breeders out there who inbreed their dogs and cause these problems. Not domestication. I'm sure the first domesticated dog didn't have all these problems. But then man too things to the extremes. I'm just saying, this "dilema" wouldn't be going on if humans had never "created" floppy eared dogs.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 25, 2010:
Nothing to hmmm about..I did not post your previous post because I could not find literature backing up your ear canal statements... all I have is the AVMA stating the contrary so I do not feel comfortable posting something not backed up by reliable facts just because you are ''pro-ear cropping'' I am posting your post now since I had to work on finding the reliable sources and facts to back things up..
I am aware that floppy ears are a result of domestication, the farm fox studies indeed back this up however, we cannot force all dogs with floppy ears to be cropped just because they were domesticated! There are many other ''inconveniences'' caused by domestication ''ie hip displaysia, elbow displaysia, trouble breathing in brachycephalic breeds, skin infections in Chows etc...
If we were to try to undo the damage we have done we would have a tremendous amount of work!
Any how here are the AVMA facts about ears and ear cropping, I trust the AVMA and applaud them to take a stance against ear cropping and tail docking
''Reports of several surveys indicate that when pedigree dogs are grouped according whether they possess pendulous or erect ears, there is a higher incidence of otitis externa in the group with pendulous ears. The difference in incidence is in often in the range of 13 to 14% versus 5%.1,2 Otitis externa incidence, however, is most closely associated with particular breeds within each group (whether ears are hanging or erect), and is especially prevalent in Cocker Spaniels,1,3,4 Poodles,2,3,4 and German Shepherd Dogs.4
So German Shephards have erect ears yet, they are one of the breeds most likely to develop ear infections! And working at a vet's office I have experienced this first hand!
Also ''No group deems high incidence of otitis externa a valid reason for advocating routine cropping of the ears of Cocker Spaniels or Poodles.11,12 Some breeds, such as the Dalmatian9 and the Anatolian Shepherd Dog13 (where erect ears are an AKC disqualification14) were historically cropped, but this tradition waned without apparent ill effects. Nor are traditionally cropped breeds among those with the highest incidence of otitis externa, even in countries where cropping is rare. Thus it cannot be assumed that ear cropping has a medical purpose unless this is in some way demonstrated''.
And again ''Current veterinary opinion appears to be that ear conformation affects ventilation and may be a factor contributing to otitis externa incidence and severity. However, most dogs with hanging ears will not suffer from infections,16 and ear conformation is not considered to be a primary cause. The basis for this opinion includes the low incidence of otitis externa in many breeds with pendulous ears (e.g., Beagles, Setters6) and the presence of other directly causal factors in otitis-prone breeds.''
To debunk the myth that ear cropping is beneficial and prevents ear infections, according to AVMA
''Furthermore, the surgery commonly performed to avoid (re)occurrence of otitis externa aims to open the ear canal rather than reduce the pinna.''
So reducing the pinna will not likely prevent ear infections but actually opening the ear canal will, therefore this debunks the myth that ear cropping is medically necessary when we obviosuly know it is not..
WSAVA THE World Small Animal Veterinary Association continues:
''Ear cropping and/or tail docking in pets for cosmetic reasons are not medically indicated nor of benefit to the patient. These procedures cause pain and distress, and, as with all surgical procedures, are accompanied by inherent risks of anesthetic complications, hemorrhage, and infection. Therefore, the American Animal Hospital Association opposes both the cropping of ears and the docking of tails when done solely for cosmetic reasons. Veterinarians should counsel and educate pet owners that these procedures should not be performed unless medically necessary. The American Animal Hospital Association also encourages the elimination of ear cropping and tail docking from breed standards.''
So lets face the facts: ear cropping is not done for medical reasons (even though many pro-ear croppers wished it was). In Europe where this practice is banned and considered animal cruelty, there are millions of happy dogs with full length ears to prove things..
People who like the look of cropped ears would be far more honest to themselves and others just to state they like the looks rather than trying to convince others otherwise and passing out false information..so your first post was quite honest.. but your second was just trying to convince others about facts that are not factual (when you mention floppy ears make dogs more prone to infections).. not a good practice from your part..
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 25, 2010:
I am aware that floppy ears are a result of domestication, the farm fox studies indeed back this up however, we cannot force all dogs with floppy ears to be cropped just because they were domesticated!
I did not post your previous post because I cannot find literature backing up your ear canal statements... all I have is the AVMA stating the contrary so I do not feel comfortable posting something not backed up by facts just because you are pro-ear cropping...
DarkPittieGirl on December 24, 2010:
Breeds like Great Danes, APBT, Dogo Argentino etc are breed to hunt wild boar or ask as catch dogs for wild for or bulls. Floppy ears would be very prone to being torn by tusks or horns so they are cropped to prevent those injuries. APBT and Dogo are both still commonly used as catch dogs by those that hunt wild boar with dogs.
Breeds like Beauceron and Bouvier des Flanders are continental herding breeds, meaning they not only heard the flock but protect them from predators. The erect ear allows them to be better able to pinpoint sound.
As far as the flap of the ear protection the ear drum that is not the case. The ear drum is well inside the ear and protected by the other structures of the ear just like yours is. Almost all wild animals have erect ears, or open ear canals. (including humans) Floppy ears are due to human intervention. The floppy ear traps debris and moisture in the ear making the dog more prone to infections.
Hopefully this gets posted, because for some odd reason you did't post it last time....hmmm....
DarkPittieGirl on December 24, 2010:
What i don't understand is why you people think that floppy ears are natural? They are not! Its because of HUMAN intervention that we have dogs with floppy ears. Notice that most, if not ALL wild animals have erect ears. This is so they can better pin point and locate sounds that coukd be predators. Even the ancestor of dogs, the WOLF, has ERECT ears.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 24, 2010:
''. Besides, sure, people may crop their dogs ears just for "looks", but i'm sorry to say, LOOKS do matter in this world, and there is really nothing other that you can say to change my mind. I love the "look" of certain breeds ears cropped.''
Well, good for you...I think it is sad that looks are so important and that our companion animals must pay the price for our ego...the saddest part is that a person can give consent for facial lifts, breast implants, but Animals cannot.
Just found today in a magazine that Italy has decided that ear cropping will be qualified as animal abuse... I applaud this take..but again this is my opinion and you have yours..
DarkPittieGirl on December 23, 2010:
Honestly, sure, i agree that cropping a dogs ears prevents no type of medical problem or disease, but it still doesn't change the fact that it is the breed standard, whether to you that's "superficial" or not. And i have to agree with CupeCake as well. Little babies are circumcised at birth. It is not "natural" to do this, even if it prevents future problems. In the end, people are going to do what they want know matter what. Besides, sure, people may crop their dogs ears just for "looks", but i'm sorry to say, LOOKS do matter in this world, and there is really nothing other that you can say to change my mind. I love the "look" of certain breeds ears cropped. And not because its a "fad" or whatever. In my eyes, that is what i see personally as the "correct" specimen of that breed. So, i'm sorry to say, call me ignorant or cruel or whatever you like, but i am for ear cropping.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 01, 2010:
Thank you for the helpful link. There are certainly risks with anesthesia and the osteosarcoma risks should be a concern for owners of large breeds prone to it and therefore should not be spayed/neutered before 18 months. I even wrote an article about the risks of spaying and neutering.
Yet, at least there are still several medical benefits if you read it the article in its entirety (I have seen the major complications of pyometra and dogs dying from it) not to mention the pet over population issues we cannot ignore.
Backyard breeders, the dog escaping from the fence and getting female dogs impregnated only add to sad abandoned animal issues.
if you read the article in its entirety it states in the conclusion ''The evidence shows that spay/neuter
correlates with both positive AND adverse health effects in dogs.'' and that
''The balance of long-term health risks and benefits of spay/neuter will vary from one dog to the next. Breed,
age, and gender are variables that must be taken into consideration'' obviously this is expected.
Ear cropping on the other hand always remains, to put it bluntly, purely cosmetic surgery for dogs.
Dobie on August 05, 2010:
I am ok with ear cropping. I crop my Dobie's ears. We all have a opinions and arguments for and against... Like it or not, it is breed standard...
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 19, 2010:
See myth number 1, also read this article below by the AVMA, there is no proof that ear cropping prevents ear infections.. The disgusting thing is that ear cropping is mainly done for cosmetic purposes..
cupcake on July 19, 2010:
Talk about taking the right to be natural and that's the way they were born. What about circumcision on little babies. To me its the same as cropping the dogs tail and ears. U crop ur kids d*ck when they r babies to prevent infections when older. The same with dogs.
dixie on July 16, 2010:
Hundreds do this all the time, it is disgusting...
4thasouth on December 30, 2009:
people like look at this at a different angle its like getting your ear pinned back or a nose job or even breast implant it just my its better looking
Steve Andrews from Lisbon, Portugal on August 26, 2009:
What human would want their own ears cropped? It is a horrible cruelty!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 07, 2009:
Great, let's offer dogs the same unconditional love they offer us!
sarah on July 19, 2009:
I prefer dogs without cropped ears! Boxers with floppy ears are beautiful and way cuter than with cropped!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 05, 2009:
Your are so right, thanks for posting. I am happy to see that more and more people are against this ''mutilation practice''!
karen on May 05, 2009:
Cropping is cruel and unjust - wtf would be any reason other then i want my dog to look scarrry!!!!!!1