Natural Or Cropped Ears?
What Is Ear Cropping?
Ear cropping is a cosmetic surgery to remove a portion of the dog's natural ears to teach them to stand upright. The sole purpose it to create a certain defined, polished look. It is a very controversial topic with strong debate on each side. One argument insists there are no health benefits to cropping ears. And still, many claim ear cropping helps prevent chronic ear infections, especially for dogs spending a lot of time in the water.
Should We Crop Our Puppy's Ears?
That is a personal choice for you and your dog. We suggest doing your research and talking to professionals! Some will encourage supporting the breed standard. Some passionately believe cosmetic surgery isn't for animals. It is only for you to decide. There is a push now in the US away from ear cropping. Vets are beginning to drop it from their services.
What Is Involved With Ear Cropping?
Ear cropping is a surgery that needs to be performed by a licensed, professional veterinarian in a sterile environment with proper surgical equipment. After researching and finding a trusted veterinarian with experience in "show dog" ear cropping, your puppy will need to fast for 12 hours before this surgery. No food or water after dinner the day before the surgery. Your vet will measure and mark your puppy's ears, cut, shape, and stitch. Once the surgery is complete, maintain proper aftercare and continue training your puppy's ears to stand upright correctly. Some breeders perform at-home croppings. This is not sanitary, safe for the puppy, or recommended. Breeders do not have access to the anesthesia or equipment needed to safely crop ears. If your puppy has cropped ears at your 8-week old pick-up, you know the breeder performed the cropping. Veterinarians will not do an ear cropping surgery on a puppy less than 8-weeks old.
What Can I Expect For Puppy Aftercare?
After the surgery, you still need to train the puppy's ears to remain upright. Ear cropping only shapes the ears. Usually 7-10 days after the surgery, the puppy will need to revist the veterinarian to remove the stitches. The vet will have placed a rack or cup on the ears to begin the training stages. Another week later, the vet will take the rack or cup off and begin taping your puppy's ears. This process cannot beign until the ears have healed enough. You will continue to visit the vet weekly for cleaning and retaping until you puppy's ears stand up on their own. The vet's office will remove the tape once they see your puppy's ears standing perfectly.Be patient. This process can take a few weeks or up to a few months. Every puppy is different and will have varying recovery time.
Please note: We are not licensed, professional veterinarians. We do not attempt to diagnose your dog. If you are concerned about possible health issues or post-surgery complications, consult your veterinarian. The FAQ above is purely for informational purposes on common questions we see and our personal experiences handling them.