Many pet parents believe that cropping a dog’s ears will enhance the look of the head. Other pet parents crop a dog’s ears to help the dog maintain their historic function since the shorter ears are conducive to some working breeds.
For some dog breeds, cropped ears is a breed standard. These dogs likely aren’t required to have the ears done if they are going to enter the show ring. American Bullies, for example, can be shown with cropped ears or without.
Each kennel club has its own standards for each breed. The American Kennel Club, for example, has 20 dog breeds on its rolls that can have cropped ears. Checking the breed standard for a specific breed with your chosen kennel club will let you know the position on cropped ears that you need to follow if you will show the dog.
The Ear Cropping Procedure
The dog is evaluated before the procedure to determine the type of cropping and the suitability of the procedure. It is given anesthesia and the surgical procedure is done to remove the portion of the ear that would normally flop over. The incision is closed with either staples or sutures, depending on what is best at the time of the procedure. The dog is then taken into recovery while it comes out of anesthesia.
Dogs will usually recover remarkably well after this procedure. The ears are sometimes wrapped to help train them to remain erect. They may be given antibiotics and pain relieving medications to help with the recovery. Pet owners will have to make an appointment to have the ears rewrapped if required. Suture and staple removal will come at a predetermined interval after the surgery is completed. Dogs usually don’t have any long-term complications after the ear cropping procedure.