As per the reports of RSPCA, In the last five years ear cropping of dogs has increased by 236%.📈 But what is ear cropping and why Do People Crop Dog’s Ears?
Many dog owners crop their dog’s ears in order to make them look more straight. This affects dogs badly and damages their sense of understanding things around them. This does not end here, there is so much more to know about this practice, let’s dive into it…
Why Do People Crop Dog’s Ears?
People also know ear cropping as an elective cosmetic procedure. In this procedure, the vet surgically alters a dog’s ears by removing part of the flap.🐶✂️ People primarily perform ear cropping for appearance reasons rather than medical necessity. Let’s see why people do this with their dogs:
Ear cropping has historical roots in some dog breeds. People used to crop ears for practical purposes, such as reducing the risk of ear injuries in hunting dogs.
As stated by Dr Samantha Gaines at RSPCA, “Ear cropping is an unnecessary, painful procedure done solely for cosmetic reasons that can have destructive effects on a dog’s health, behaviour, and welfare. The practice should be discouraged🚫 as it provides no benefit to the dogs.”
Let’s look at some potential problems with ear cropping:
- Pain and Discomfort: Ear cropping is a surgical procedure that can be painful for the dog. They may experience pain during and after the surgery.
- Infection: There is a risk of infection after ear cropping if proper care is not taken. The surgical wounds need to be monitored and kept clean to prevent infection.
- Communication Difficulty: Dogs communicate through body language, and ear cropping may affect their ability to convey emotions and intentions through ear positioning.
- Hearing Impairment: Ear cropping can potentially lead to hearing problems as it alters the natural shape of the ears, which helps direct sound into the ear canal.
- Recovery Time: The dog needs time⌛ to heal after ear cropping. This can be uncomfortable, and owners must be diligent in caring for the surgical sites.
Laws on Ear Cropping in the UK
Ear cropping is illegal in England and Wales under the Animal Welfare Act 2006,📃 except for medical reasons carried out by a vet. The procedure is banned for cosmetic purposes, as it is considered an unnecessary mutilation of dogs.
The UK does not allow showing dogs with cropped ears. The Kennel Club refuses to register dogs that have undergone cropping. If someone performs ear cropping illegally, that offender can face fines, imprisonment, and bans from owning animals.
The bans aim to end unnecessary surgical alterations and prevent the associated unnecessary pain and risks to dogs. If you ever come across any such case then kindly register a complaint with RSCPA or the Police.🚨
How Is It Any Different Than Neutering a Dog?
Let’s see how neutering and ear cropping in dogs are different:
|Aim||Population control, health benefits||Cosmetic only|
|Health impact||Reduces reproductive cancers/diseases||No health benefits|
|Behavior impact||Curbs roaming, aggression due to hormones||One-time, under anaesthesia|
|Vet’s view||Advised for dog’s well-being||Condemned as unnecessary|
|Procedure||The better companion helps overpopulation||Surgery, taping ears for weeks|
|Risks||Rare complications if done properly||Chronic pain, infections, deformities|
|Perception||Responsible dog ownership||Harmful mutilation|
|Benefits||The better companion helps overpopulation||Mainly owner preference on appearance|
Where Does This Leave You and Your Dog?
Well, we all need our ears so do not crop✂️🚫 your dog's ears solely for cosmetic reasons. Cropping provides no health or behavioural benefits to the dog unless some medical condition such as chronic pain, infection, and deformities.
The surgery and recovery process can be highly stressful for dogs. Consider your dog’s ability to communicate. Flopped natural ears are expressive and part of the dog’s body language. Cropping takes away this form of expression.
Understand cropping is widely criticized by vets as an unnecessary cosmetic surgery. It offers no advantages for the dog. Be mindful that ear cropping is illegal in many parts of the world.🌍 This situation leaves you and your dog in a good place in the UK.
The law against ear cropping ensures the well-being and safety of your dog. This law reflects the belief that animals, including your dog, should be treated ethically and not subjected to painful surgery for looks alone.
Cropping removes a portion of the ear flap and the removed portion will not magically grow back because of a lack of aftercare. The removal of part of the flap reduces the weight of the ear so that, with correct aftercare, the dog’s natural cartilage will be sufficient to hold the ear upright instead of drooped.
In short, it makes them look tougher and more intimidating. Historically, breeds such as Dobermans had their ears cropped as puppies and then splinted – taped to bits of wood or cardboard – to make their ears grow upwards instead of leaving them too floppy.
During early life, the brain of a puppy is still developing, which means that the trauma associated with ear cropping has the potential to negatively affect the pain tolerance of the puppy – these effects can be seen throughout the entirety of its adult life.
The practice of cropping a dog’s ears has been performed since the time of the Romans around 2,000 years ago. The Romans also practised tail docking as it was thought that would decrease the spread of rabies (it doesn’t). They also cropped dogs’ ears for dogfighting.
In conclusion “Why Do People Crop Dog’s Ears?” In rare cases dogs need their ears to be cropped, but people are doing this just for cosmetic reasons and it is unnecessary and cruel.🚫
Many countries have banned this procedure. This affects dog’s health in a negative way as their hearing power is very important for them and in order to make their ears appear straight we damage this.
As responsible pet parents, we must provide our dogs with a safe and healthy life. We must ask ourselves that if our dogs can accept and love us just the way we are, why can’t we do the same?💖❓
- British Veterinary Association. (n.d.). Ear cropping campaign.