Pitbull Ear Cropping: Why Is It Executed and Is It Merciless?

A brown American Pitbull standing on the road

Whereas individuals have completely different beliefs on the subject of ear cropping, we don’t advocate this apply. This text is supposed to elucidate and never encourage ear cropping.

Pitbull ear cropping is a controversial matter. Some individuals suppose that it’s barbaric and merciless, whereas others suppose that it’s a suitable process. Whereas we don’t advocate ear cropping, we’ll check out just a few of the explanations that it’s executed at the moment.

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What Is Ear Cropping?

Ear cropping is carried out on Pitbulls when they’re between 6 and 12 weeks previous. That is typically executed by a veterinarian on an anesthetized canine. Sadly, particularly in underground canine preventing rings, the ears of the canine will likely be lower off by individuals utilizing knives, razor blades, and scissors with out the canine receiving any anesthetic. The ears will normally heal erratically and look lopsided when that is executed. Typically, the ears are lower so near the pinnacle that the canine seems to be like they don’t have any. Performing this process unprofessionally on canine which might be over 12 weeks of age could cause lasting harm and excessive ache and drive them into an extended restoration. Unprofessional procedures additionally imply the specified impact could not even happen as soon as the ears heal. They will nonetheless flop and never get up straight.

When this process is finished correctly by knowledgeable, the floppy a part of the ear, known as the pinna, is lower off to make the ears get up straight. The lower ears are then taped to a tough body across the ears for a number of weeks so the ears heal in an upright place.

Discovering a veterinarian to do that process might not be simple. This system isn’t taught in veterinary college. Veterinarians who want to carry out this process should study from different vets both by helping in surgical procedures or watching them being executed. Which means there isn’t a common means to do that, and one canine’s cropped ears could look completely different from one other’s.

Pure Pitbull Ears

Pitbulls naturally have ears that resemble these of Labradors. The ears could grow to be extra erect because the canine will get older, they usually have little curls on the high, giving the canine a contented, inquisitive look. Some individuals favor the pure look of the ears.

Ear Cropping Historical past

Ear cropping is alleged to have began in historical Rome, when canine fights would end in ear accidents. By cropping the ears, they couldn’t be broken as simply. Since ears are simple targets, they have been typically torn or bitten off, inflicting super ache to the canine and inflicting them to lose the combat. Immediately, the apply continues to be used for this objective though dogfighting is illegitimate in lots of areas.

Ear cropping was additionally carried out on working canine that guarded livestock or hunted prey. If the canine could must combat with a predator, cropping their ears was a method to keep away from harm to them.

It’s additionally mentioned that cropping would allow the canine to keep away from ear infections, though this has not been confirmed to be true. Canine can get ear infections whether or not they have cropped ears or not.


Why Is Ear Cropping Executed Immediately?

The American Veterinary Medical Affiliation opposes ear cropping. Nonetheless, the apply continues to be executed at the moment for varied causes.


Some individuals favor the look of cropped ears and suppose that they make the canine look extra aggressive. If they’re utilizing their Pitbull to attempt to defend themselves or their property, they might desire a vicious-looking canine. Floppy ears received’t at all times accomplish that look.

Beauty causes are the driving drive behind most ear cropping procedures carried out on canine at the moment. If the canine is a household pet, the historic causes for getting the ears cropped are now not mandatory.

Breed Customary

With regards to cropping ears, some Pitbull house owners really feel they don’t which have a selection. They suppose that ear cropping have to be executed with a view to have a “true Pitbull.” The American Kennel Membership (AKC) approves of ear cropping, stating, “The American Kennel Membership acknowledges that ear cropping, tail docking, and dewclaw removing, as described in sure breed requirements, are acceptable practices integral to defining and preserving breed character and/or enhancing good well being. Acceptable veterinary care needs to be supplied.”

Some canine exhibits received’t permit a canine to compete until the ears are cropped. The AKC will permit canine with cropped or uncropped ears to be proven, relying on the breed.

pocket pitbull
Picture Credit score: casso, Shutterstock

False Beliefs

Canine house owners consider that canine with cropped ears have higher listening to, fewer ear infections, and higher ear well being. None of these items have been confirmed to be true.

Sound is meant to be higher capable of attain the ear canal of cropped ears with out the pinna blocking any of it, enabling canine to be extra conscious of predators. However floppy ears don’t block the ear canals of Pitbulls, and there’s no proof of canine with cropped ears with the ability to hear any higher than these with uncropped ears.

Banned Apply

Ear cropping is banned in Australia, New Zealand, and elements of Europe. The apply is regulated in the US in Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington State.



Some individuals, together with animal rights activists, equate ear cropping to torture and mutilation. Because the process is especially executed at the moment for beauty functions solely, they don’t see any legitimate cause for ear cropping to occur in any respect.

Because the AKC isn’t against ear cropping, it perpetuates this controversy. These towards ear cropping are given the argument that if the AKC is for it, then it have to be acceptable.

Crop Types

Ear cropping isn’t all the identical. You’ll be able to select from 4 completely different kinds.

Battle Crop

That is the shortest crop model and the ears sit near the pinnacle. That is an aggressive look. Whereas there are arguments for ear cropping saying that it retains ear infections away, this model of the crop might trigger extra ear infections. The ear canal is uncovered and has hardly something to cease particles and moisture from getting into.

This selection doesn’t at all times end in erect ears both. With this model, the ears might flop over onto the pinnacle. There’s at all times an opportunity with any crop process that the canine’s ears received’t have the look that you just need.

American pitbull terrier_David Robert Perez_Shutterstock
Picture Credit score: David Robert Perez, Shutterstock

Quick Crop

These ears are left somewhat longer than the Battle model and appear to be two small factors on either side of the canine’s head. Since Pitbulls have blocky heads, this model is a favourite look.

Present Crop

Since there’s no assure that the ears will get up straight after a crop process, the Present Crop is usually chosen as a result of it has a excessive probability of manufacturing erect ears. Extra of the ear is left in place and the ears appear to be two triangles on the canine’s head.

Lengthy Crop

The Lengthy Crop leaves the biggest portion of the ears on the pinnacle whereas nonetheless giving them a pointed look.


Ear Cropping Professionals and Cons

Deciding whether or not to crop your canine’s ears is a private selection. Whereas we don’t advocate ear cropping, there are professionals and cons to the process that needs to be considered earlier than the choice is made.

  • Pitbulls look good with or with out cropped ears. Their pure ears are adorably floppy, and cropped ears go well with their head shapes nicely.
  • If you wish to present your canine, cropped ears are normally favored amongst canine present judges.
  • Some say that ear cropping is nice for the canine’s well being.
  • It’s painful. Not solely do the canine must endure therapeutic from a surgical process, however in addition they must undergo the discomfort of getting their ears taped for a number of weeks afterward. This could trigger stress to the canine and alter their character. Your as soon as carefree, blissful canine might grow to be depressed and unhappy.
  • No scientific proof exists to definitively present that ear cropping is useful to the canine.
  • Cropped ears normally sign to others that the canine is aggressive and imply. Whereas some canine house owners would possibly take pleasure in this, it may very well be harmful to your canine if they’re considered as vicious. In case your canine ought to occur to get free and stroll down the road, individuals could worry that the canine goes to harm them and can damage your canine first as a method to defend themselves. Folks don’t want causes to suppose that your canine goes to hurt them. Your candy canine may very well be injured or worse due to an altered aggressive look.
  • It may be costly.
  • Since puppies are put beneath anesthesia for the process to happen, they may have reactions to it and grow to be sick or not get up in any respect. Roughly one in 100,000 animals may have adversarial reactions to anesthesia. To place your canine beneath for a beauty process is to place them at pointless threat.

Is Ear Cropping Merciless?

Ear cropping definitely will be merciless if it’s executed after the canine is 12 weeks previous and by somebody who isn’t a veterinarian. Slicing off a canine’s ears is barbaric and utterly pointless. That is executed repeatedly by unlawful dogfighters who need their canine to be and look as imply as attainable.

When executed by knowledgeable who administers anesthesia and ache drugs to the canine, it’s not as merciless. They’re nonetheless arguments to be made on whether or not it’s mandatory, nevertheless.

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The choice to crop your canine’s ears must be made by you, nevertheless it shouldn’t be made till you have got all of the info. Know the professionals and cons of the process, and converse to your vet about it when you’ve got any questions. Weigh the explanations that you just need to crop their ears towards the professionals and cons, and see if that is nonetheless the fitting determination to make.

We love pure canine ears and don’t encourage ear cropping. Nonetheless, understanding why it’s executed and what’s concerned with the surgical procedure might help you make an knowledgeable determination about what’s finest to your canine.

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Featured Picture Credit score: KruBeer Photograph, Shutterstock

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