3 min read

Proof Cutting Off Your Dog's Ears Is The Worst Possible Idea

<p><em>Katy Brink</em><span></span></p>

Of all the arguments against cropping a dog's ears, there's one that keeps, literally, popping up.


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And again.

Katy Brink

Look at those glorious ears.

Of course, they're beautiful. And the world would be a dimmer place without them.

But if anyone still needs convincing that ear cropping is bad, consider this:

"There is zero debate that performing the surgery has no medical value," Rob Halpin of MSPCA-Angell, a Massachusetts rescue and veterinary hospital, tells The Dodo. "The animal is put through the pain and suffering of a surgical procedure for no other reason than the owner prefers the appearance of cropped ears."


Anyone prefer these ears ...

Marley's Mutts

... over these?

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We didn't think so.

But it's so much more than a superficial debate. Cropped ears, like tails, are common in the world of dogfighting. Fighting dogs' owners look for any advantage they can get.

"They want them to go for the jugular, and not to latch onto an ear," Zach Skow, founder of Marley's Mutts, tells The Dodo. "They want them to latch onto a neck, so they remove the ears so they don't have anything to latch onto."

Outside of dogfighting, several breeds - from Boston terriers to Dobermans - find themselves under the knife for what ultimately amounts to a strictly cosmetic amputation.

Marley's Mutts

The procedure usually takes place when a puppy is between 6 and 12 weeks old. But the American Veterinary Association condemns the practice, unless, in the rare case, it's for medical reasons.

Just nine states regulate ear cropping. Sadly, even in those states, the practice rema ins legal.

Which is a shame because the world needs all the dog ears - and wagging tails - it can get.

Read more about ear cropping on The Dodo.