Hundreds of years ago cropping (surgically changing the shape of the ears) was done for practical purposes. For example, to stop the ears being snagged in rough territory and being injured while hunting or working. For dogs that were bred for fighting it gave less for an opponent to grip on to rip off and sure gave a real “don’t mess with me” look. For guarding breeds, it made them look very alert and in tune with everything around them. Some of those purposes have carried on through to today and it’s an important part of the breed’s feature for many people, for aesthetical reasons (they like the look). It can be looked at as a breed’s trademark so to speak and has been said to have even given the upper hand in the show ring on more than the odd occasion. However, nowadays, I must mention that it is becoming less and less popular generally with an ever-growing resistance and controversy to it and even banned in some countries, especially in Europe such as Germany. This is rather interesting, as many of the breeds that typically have the ears cropped, originate from there. In Great Brittan, dogs with cropped ears are actually barred from entering shows.
Types of Crops?
Long Crop: skinny and tapered at the end and here are some typical breeds that experience it. Usually taping, splinting and bandaging will occur with this crop and it is not always guaranteed to hold that perfect erect posture, especially if done poorly of course.
Tell me…do women look better with breast implants? You are probably thinking “what the hell does silicone have to do with dogs?” Not much, I agree, but as an analogy, it is striking. Today I was walking in a shopping mall and saw a woman with “fake boobs”. My train of thought steamed ahead of me and I found myself thinking: “Hey! This is much like cropping a dog’s ears or docking its tail! So….I would like to talk about docking and cropping. (At the end, feel free to answer my initial question, if you feel like it, of course)
Much like with silicone implants, tail docking and ear cropping have been met by a lot of opposition. The tradition first originates from selecting breeding practices and it is seen as cosmetic modification of that which is God-given.
So let me start by explaining what ear cropping is. At about age 9-13 weeks, puppies go under the knife and their whole look changes. While the puppy is anesthetized the outside edge of the puppy’s ears are cropped. The cuts are sutured closed and the ears are placed in a rack so that they stand up, while they heal. Breeds that undergo this procedure include the American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Schnauzer, Boxer, Great Dane, and Doberman Pinscher. Cropping was originally done on fighting dogs…to decrease their chances of having an injured ear. On hunting dogs it was also done, but in this case it was done, so that they wouldn’t get tangled in the bushes. Now the main question arises: Is it good to have this procedure done? Well, I have to be honest with you; I like the look of a hardcore Great Dane with cropped ears….or the sleek look of a Doberman with cropped ears. But…- and yes, there is always a but – ….Cropping is no longer necessary. Dog fights have been banned and working dogs have become more family dogs.
Tail docking on the other hand, is a procedure that is done when the puppy is only days old.