Cropping a dog’s ears involves a surgical procedure to remove part of the dog’s ears. This practice is limited to only a few breeds like Boxers, Dobermans, Pit Bulls, and Great Danes. Dog ear cropping surgery has no medical benefits and is usually done only for cosmetic purposes. It is not necessary to a dog’s health.
There are certain breeds like Dobermans that are considered to have a more “standard” look if their ears are cropped.
During ear cropping surgery over 70% of the ear flap is removed. This procedure can be very painful to a dog who is older than 12 weeks. At this young age most dogs won’t experience a high degree of pain while recovering. They still feel the pain, but not to the degree they would if the surgery were performed when they are older. But all dogs, whether young or old, will feel pain after the anesthetic wears off because a dog’s ears contain a profusion of nerve endings.
The average recovery time for this surgery is 12 to 14 days, and the dog will need to be given pain medication for 3 to 4 days after the surgery.
Some dog owners believe that cropping dog’s ears may prevent ear infections. It is an erroneous belief that not having the dog’s ear canal covered by the ear flap allows air to circulate more freely in the ear.
Dogs don’t need ear cropping. There is no proof that ear cropping has any benefits for a dog. There are often complications such as excessive bleeding or infection after the surgery, and too many cases have been recorded where a veterinarian has cut too deeply into the dog’s ear, with the unfortunate result of impairing the dog’s hearing ability.
Many veterinarians refuse to perform surgery for cropping a dog’s ears, and most animal rights advocates consider ear cropping to be an inhumane procedure. A dog is born with ears unique to its breed, and no dog should be forced to undergo ear cropping surgery.