Cropping Your Dog’s Ears and Tail: Ethical or Not?


In the modern day, it has become quite ordinary to get or hear of somebody getting any kind of plastic or cosmetic surgery solely for aesthetic purposes. However, this is not a decision that is made lightly, as any type of procedure could have undesired side effects and most lead to painful recoveries. Unfortunately, it has now become standard for owners of certain breeds to crop their dogs’ ears since a young age, usually from a mere 8-week old pup and above.

Some of the most commonly ear-cropping breeds are Great Danes, Pitbulls, Schnauzers and Dobermans. Most owners who choose to submit their dogs to the painful procedure of clipping its’ ears do it for cosmetic reasons only; however, some also believe it can prevent certain undesired illnesses and provide benefits to their pet.

Contrary to popular belief, cropping dogs’ ears does not actually prevent any kind of ear infection or other potential ailments. In fact, research indicates that cropping your dogs’ ears has zero benefits and does not actually prevent any kind of infection or disease.

Not only do these cosmetic procedures provide no benefits, but they actually have negative side effects. The American Veterinary Medical Association, often referred to as simply AVMA, states that “[Ear cropping and tail docking] procedures cause pain and distress, and, as with all surgical procedures, are accompanied by inherent risks of anesthesia, blood loss, and infection. Therefore, veterinarians should counsel dog owners about these matters before agreeing to perform these surgeries.” It’s a bit ironic that doing these procedures can lead to infections when most owners believe they are doing it to prevent them in the first place, isn’t it?

Moreover, dogs communicate with each other and with humans through their tails and ears. Removing these parts of the body, or clipping them to a certain extent, is somewhat saddening as it solely due to aesthetic purposes. Clipping these necessary body parts can hinder the understanding an owner has of what their pet is trying to communicate.

Despite it being prohibited in many countries and entire continents, including Australia and various European countries, many people continue with this practice as it is encouraged by the American Kennel Club and ‘pageant dogs’ that compete for pure-bred prizes.