Skip to Content

The Benefits to Cropping Dog Ears — Are There Any?

The Benefits to Cropping Dog Ears — Are There Any?

Over the years, human beings managed to develop interesting relationships with dogs.

We love them like we love any family member, yet somewhere along the way, we’ve determined that they should look a certain way.

The American Kennel Club has set some rigid standards regarding what every breed should look like, from weight to grooming methods.

These guidelines are for nothing other than aesthetics, and due to that, the world remains torn regarding this question: what are the benefits of cropping dog ears?


What are the benefits to cropping dog ears?

There aren’t any benefits to cropping dog ears other than conforming to breed standards. The procedure is surgical and is akin to human plastic surgery. However, if your passion is breeding and showing dogs, cropping their ears makes complete sense because they cannot compete without the alteration.


The Ear Cropping Debate

Most professionals in the dog world have their opinion on ear cropping. In 2008, the American Veterinary Medical Association made it incredibly clear that they oppose ear-cropping for any reason that isn’t medical.

This proclamation puts many people in a pinch because they cannot show their dogs unless they fit the breed standards set by the AKC.

In theory, the issue is not the breeders or the dog owners but the organizations that enforce absurd breed standards just to achieve a particular appearance.

In short, you might not want to change your dog cosmetically. Still, if your livelihood is breeding and showing a breed that historically “requires” alteration, then you find yourself in a troubling situation.

Ear cropping is done for no reason other than to streamline the look of a breed, and in all honesty, the AKC should roll back its regulations.


Cropping Interferes with Body Language

Not all breeds face alteration enforcement. For example, Golden Retrievers and Labradors do not require any surgical interference.

However, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Great Danes, American Pit Bull Terriers, and Staffordshire Terriers, per the AKC, all require either tail or ear cropping.

This message is detrimental for some reasons. First, it encourages at-home cropping jobs for those that cannot or do not want to pay for professional alteration.

At-home cropping can cause severe infection and blood loss, and overall, it could not be a worse idea.

Second, it messes with your canine’s body language. Dogs communicate through the use of their ears, tails, and vocals to communicate with the world around them.

When you crop your dog’s ears, you’re taking away one of the ways he can communicate, which means you, or another person may be misreading or missing essential signals your dog is trying to tell you.

Body language is a huge part of understanding your dog, and without it, the relationship or bond is not as strong as it could be.


The Ear Cropping Argument

Those that advocate for ear cropping will often come up with benefits to the process, but there isn’t any science behind the reasoning.

Yes, owners absolutely have the right to crop their dog’s ears, but there isn’t a purpose behind it unless you’re headed into the show ring.

Ear cropping does not prevent ear infections, nor is it akin to the process of spaying and neutering, which prevents many cancers and pet overpopulation.

Ear cropping, no matter how you swing it, is painful and unnecessary. You are, quite literally, chopping off a body part for aesthetics.

Before cropping your dog’s ears, it’s critical to consider that, just like a facelift, cropping doesn’t always turn out the way you’d like.

Even in the event that you have your dog’s ears surgically altered, they may end up flopping over and not standing the way you intended.

If floppy ears are the outcome of a crop job, then what was the point? It’s best to leave those adorable, floppy ears alone.


Frequently Asked Questions about the Benefits to Cropping Dog Ears


What is the point of ear cropping?

There isn’t one. Ear cropping doesn’t come with any benefits, and it’s done to fit a breed standard enforced by the American Kennel Club, breeders, and other organizations.


Is my dog still a member of its breed if I don’t crop its ears?

A Boxer is still a Boxer even if you don’t crop its ears. The fact that your dog isn’t a member of its breed if you don’t conform to breed standards is a myth. Don’t buy into that nonsense.


Am I a bad dog owner if I crop its ears?

Your preference for aesthetics does not make you a bad dog owner that loves your dog any less than the rest of us. Before you take the plunge and bring your dog in for surgery and local anesthesia, please do your research to make sure it’s really right for you and your pup.


A Long-Term Debate

Chances are, ear cropping will always be a debate among canine owners and professionals.

As long as breed regulations that state dogs need to look a certain way are in place, there will always be those that feel they need to crop ears to fit a breed standard.

While there aren’t any benefits to cropping a dog’s ears, doing so doesn’t make you a bad person or dog owner. However, if you don’t own a show dog, you’re spending money on an irrelevant procedure.