The Anti-Ear Cropping Argument (& Why It’s Wrong)

Today’s post is going to be quick and simple. The anti-ear cropping argument is misleading, and I think we need to talk about it.

This morning somebody started a post in a Facebook group. It was one of THOSE posts. The “this is a hot topic and the initial take on it is controversial” type of conversation that results in a lot of participation, quickly.

They started the thread with a rant about how ear cropping in dogs is painful, torture, abusive, and wrong. Let’s be honest here though, it’s not that simple.


The Anti-Ear Cropping Argument is Misleading

Ear cropping is a simple surgical procedure that is done under anesthesia, and ideally only by veterinarians who are very experienced with the process. The puppies are up playing within hours as if nothing happened. They don’t care about their missing ear flaps.

Ear cropping is less invasive than a spay or stomach tack.

If you walk around a dog show in the U.S., you’ll see hundreds of cropped dogs. The solid majority of them are among some of the most well-kept and cared for dogs in the Country. They are fed an appropriate diet and kept lean and muscular. Their nails are short. They receive a lot of training and enrichment.

Those dogs who were cropped as puppies for their breed standard are far from abused and as adults, they still don’t care about their ears.

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Things That are More Abusive Than Ear Cropping

This is why the anti-crop argument is misleading. There are many, many things happening in the world of dogs that are infinitely more harmful, abusive, and damaging than ear cropping (which is none of those things to begin with). These are the things affecting dogs and the short lives they share with us.

Let’s list them out.

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You Don’t Have to Like Ear Cropping

My Great Danes have intact ears. Personally, I’ll probably never choose to crop a puppy. I can respect pro-crop dog owners choices, and have dogs with intact ears at the same time.

Most Great Danes keep their natural ears. Some don’t, and that’s ok as long as the procedure was done in an informed manner by a highly skilled and experienced veterinarian.

I think it’s important when throwing around words such as “abuse” and “torture” that we are being realistic. If ear cropping is really defined by those terms, it is implied that spay/neuter or any other simple, common surgical procedure is also abuse and torture.

We have SO many other things in the world of dogs to concern ourselves with; I’ll never understand why so much time and effort is wasted on inflammatory, misleading, and incorrect remarks about a procedure most dog owners know little to nothing about.

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