Cropping Dogs Ears

In England, the Royal College of Veterinarian Surgeons forbids vets to crop any dog’s ears or tails. As a result, England is full of Dobermans, Schnauzers, Boxers, Boston Terriers, and Great Danes proudly wagging their long tails and showing off their intact ears. In addition, the cropping of dogs ears has also been outlawed in most of Europe as well as Newfoundland, New Zealand, and Australia.

Laws to ban the cropping of dogs’ ears have been introduced in California, Vermont, and New York in the past. All have failed even though winning the support of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Kennel Club, and several other pure breed associations. In addition to supporting the passage of various bills, these organizations have worked to delete cropped or trimmed ears for dogs as a breed standard.

The American Veterinary Medical Association issued a position statement that read, “Ear cropping and tail docking in dogs for cosmetic reasons are not medically indicated nor of benefit to the dog. These procedures cause pain and distress to the animal and are accompanied by inherent risks of anesthesia blood loss, and infection.” In spite of all this support, too many of these breeds of dogs are being put under the knife for cosmetic surgeries on their ears and tails.

One of my friends who has been a practicing veterinary surgeon for over 20 years, said he will not perform any surgery involving the cropping of a dog’s ears or the docking of its tail. When he was recently asked by an owner to crop the ears of a newly acquired Doberman, he replied “Why would I submit a perfectly fine animal to having a hefty chunk of his skin and cartilage chopped off, followed by weeks of ridiculous taping and splinting while you try to change your dog into something he was not meant to be.”

Strong words from a veterinarian, perhaps, but he has a commendable point of view. If dogs were the dominant species and mankind was in the role that our pets play, would we want our ears or behinds chopped, sewn up, and bandaged?

The justification owners make for cropping their dog’s ears is to decrease the rate of ear infections and reduce the chances of injury from another dog. If pointed ears really prevented ear infections, why isn’t every Beagle or Cocker Spaniel in this country also having their ears cropped?

Some people believe that Dobermans look more “masterful and perky” with cropped ears, and that the procedure really is no different than women having breast implants. If you agree with that statement, chances are good that you’re a man.

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