The Consequences of Ear Cropping

The practice of ear cropping has been banned in some places because it’s a painful procedure with no benefit to the dog. In fact, it can have negative long-term effects. Let’s look at some of the physical and behavioral consequences of ear cropping.

Ear cropping is a surgery that involves reshaping a dog’s ears to give them a particular appearance and make them stand up. The practice is painful and purely cosmetic, leading some places to ban it. Certain breeds are more likely to have cropped ears, including Boxers, Doberman Pinschers, Schnauzers, Mastiffs, and Great Danes. Cropping usually happens in puppyhood, and aside from permanently changing a dog’s ears, there are also physical, emotional, and behavioral consequences of ear cropping. Let’s look at how this practice impacts dogs.

Long-Term Physical Pain

The process of ear cropping involves cutting into the cartilage to give it a different shape. These painful wounds can take weeks to heal. What’s more, you must change the bandages regularly, causing the dog even more pain. And the wounds don’t always heal properly, and the scar tissue can result in pain that lasts throughout the dog’s life.

Risk of Infections

Ear cropping leaves an open wound on a dog’s ears that can become infected, which can cause swelling, burning, additional pain, and discomfort.

Negative Impact on Hearing

Although ear cropping is cosmetic, ears are not. Animals have ears to facilitate hearing: ears trap soundwaves like a satellite dish and direct them into the ear canal. It’s entirely possible that ear cropping negatively impacts a dog’s hearing.

Inability to Communicate

Dogs also use their ears to communicate with people and other dogs. For example, when a dog flattens their ears against their head, this is a sign of fear or anxiety. By contrast, when their ears are facing forward, it means the dog is showing attention or curiosity. When a dog pulls their ears back and close to the head, it’s a display of aggression. One of the consequences of ear cropping is that it hinders a dog’s ability to communicate, which can cause behavioral and social problems, including aggression.

Poor Emotional Health

Ear cropping is a traumatic experience for a puppy that can have lasting effects on their emotional and mental health. What’s more, the fact that ear cropping can prevent a dog from communicating properly can further impact their well-being.

The consequences of ear cropping can last a lifetime. It can leave dogs with physical and emotional scars, prevent them from communicating properly, and even cause behavioral issues. Many places have banned ear cropping, but it is still legal in parts of North America. For this reason, it’s good to know how this practice can impact dogs in case you encounter or adopt a pooch with cropped ears.




Animal Wellness

Animal Wellness is North America\’s top natural health and lifestyle magazine for dogs and cats, with a readership of over one million every year. AW features articles by some of the most renowned experts in the pet industry, with topics ranging from diet and health related issues, to articles on training, fitness and emotional well being.

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