The Pros And Cons Of Cropping Your Dog's Ears
If you are the new owner to a certain breed, like a pit bull, Doberman, or schnauzer, you may be considering getting their ears cropped. As a first-time dog owner, the breeder or your veterinarian may have enlightened you to the fact that cropped ears in these breeds are not a matter of genetics, but surgical alteration. As the dog's owner, it's your prerogative to crop your dog's ears or keep them floppy. If you're on the fence about the decision, read through the pros and cons of cropping your dog's ears.
Reduced Ear Infections - Some claim that cropping of the floppy part of a dog's ear (otherwise known as the pinna) reduces the risk of ear infections. If you plan to take your dog on camping and hiking trips where they can swim often, you might want to crop their ears.
Purebred Shows - If you buy a purebred dog for the purpose of showing them at dog shows, some professionals argue that cropped ears might increase your dog's chances of placing. More and more, dog shows seem to be getting more lax about this show standard. Check specific show guidelines and speak with seasoned show owners to verify.
Purely Cosmetic - Some people are opposed to cropping a dog's ears because they view it as a purely cosmetic procedure. Other, more moderate, dog owners see ear cropping on the same level as spaying/neutering or tail docking.
Not Guaranteed - If you choose to have your dog's ears altered, it's important to note that not every surgery is successful. Since a dog's ears' natural tendency is to flop down, you will have to train the cropped ears to stay perked. Many vets won't perform cropping surgeries for dogs over 12 weeks old. The young age is chosen for optimal recovery. That being said, not all dogs' ears respond well to the surgery or the post-surgical training required. Please note that opting for surgery doesn't guarantee the ears will stay upright.
There is a lot of debated in the veterinary world as to whether or not cropping is right for dogs. While some countries ban the practice, the United States doesn't regulate it. This means that pet owners can choose to crop or not. Veterinarians also have the choice to provide cropping surgery or not. Call a local veterinarian (such as one from Animal Clinic of Bensonhurst) to talk over the pros and cons for your particular dog, and ask if they offer cropping in their clinic.