Ear Cropping Is Cruel and Unnecessary

Humans often choose painful, unnecessary procedures such as ear-cropping and tail-docking in order to give certain breeds so-called "desirable" traits.
Ear Cropping Is Cruel and Unnecessary
Francisco María García

Written and verified by the lawyer Francisco María García.

Last update: 22 December, 2022

In this time and age in which human and animal rights are at their peak, there are still many people who think ear cropping and tail-docking are a good idea. Seriously, they actually claim that this practice is good for the animal!

Of course, there’s a huge controversy about it. We really need to analyze the subject and understand the consequences of this kind of mutilation.

Some dog breeds are known by the appearance of their head and it’s often listed as a reason for ear-cropping. Generally, such breeds are the “purest” and most “interesting”. We’re referring to breeds like the Dobermans and Great Danes among others. People even crop the ears of some small breeds; it’s basically a widespread practice today.

The practice of ear-cropping and tail-docking

A Corgi sitting on the snow.
The good news is that some countries have completely banned ear-cropping and tail-docking and many others are following suit

Many of us wonder why would anybody in their right mind cut a dog’s ears or tail?

  • Many “experts,” say that it’s a way to preserve the personality and innate character of the animal. They say it helps to preserve the purebred traits.
  • Others say that such practices are dangerous because ear-cropping and tail-docking may lead to tumors. This is an unnecessary risk for any animal.

You may not know it but this kind of surgeries is performed without the use of anesthesia. So, the animal is in a huge amount of pain throughout the entire procedure. In addition, dogs communicate through their tails and ears and you only seriously impair them by removing these parts that are so key to their emotional development.

There’s also the argument that you should crop the dog’s ears and tail to prevent possible infections. Those who defend this position, most likely also in favor of circumcision, argue that the surgical procedure is extremely simple. They say it’s as simple as castration or sterilization and that the pain experienced by the animal will be temporary. All myths.

What does ear-cropping surgery involve?

This surgery is usually performed in dogs between 2 and 4 months of age. The surgeon immobilizes the ear to a hard surface and applies an injection that numbs the ear. A few weeks later, this part is removed.

There are zero scientific studies confirming the medical benefits of cutting the dog’s ears. This practice is merely done for the purpose of achieving some sort of aesthetic standard. In addition, the recovery process is quite lengthy. Of course, it depends on the breed. What’s definitely true is that the dog goes through a lot of pain during this kind of surgery.


A sad, mutilated dog recovering after ear cropping.

Some veterinary specialists opt for applying general anesthesia to the dog. However, others prefer to perform the surgery without it “because they barely feel it.” Unfortunately, many dogs do actually die due to allergic reactions to anesthesia. Just like any other surgical intervention, dog-cropping and tail-docking surgeries are quite risky.

There are many instances where the amputation of a dog’s ears can lead to a hemorrhage. This is due to circulation problems, which weren’t taken into consideration prior to surgery.

Performing these types of unnecessary procedures that perpetuate the image of dogs as fashion accessories is outrageous. Sadly, some veterinarians still see nothing wrong with mutilating a dog whose owner is willing to pay for it.

The American Veterinary Medical Association states that “ear-cropping and tail-docking have no health benefits to a dog. These 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.”

The good news is that there are more and more people every day who opt-out of performing this procedure on their pets. Have you seen just how cute a Doberman looks with their floppy ears and a long tail?

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Tail Docking: Why Would Anyone Mutilate a Dog?
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Tail Docking: Why Would Anyone Mutilate a Dog?

Tail docking is a practice that's been around for a long time, there's evidence as old as the beginning of the Gregorian calendar.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.