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Why do people crop dogs tails and ears?

May seem like a dumb question but does it have something to do with health? If its for looks -they look terrible after this procedure. I just hope there is a legit reason for it?!?!?!?!


Asked by ABusyBee at 2:31 PM on Jun. 28, 2010 in Pets

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Answers (13)
  • Why would anyone choose to cut off part of their body?? Aren't they perfect just the way they are?

    Answer by CollinBayleeMom at 9:11 AM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • Sometimes it's done out of necessity when the ear or tail is injured, and commonly done for prophylactic purposes in working dogs who are at risk for tail or ear injuries, but the majority of them are done for cosmetic purposes. I don't agree with it for cosmetic purposes. Who are we to say what an animal "should" look like?

    I know a LOT of people in my area do it to their Pit Bulls, and I about came unglued when someone asked us if we were going to have our pits ears cropped...NO WAY JOSE! I love their big floppy ears!

    Answer by milfalicious08 at 2:42 PM on Jun. 28, 2010

  • Blueliner, BEAUTIFUL BOY!!!! I love dobes but my husband doesn't. I have a friend who insists that you should never get a Doberman because their brains outgrow their heads and then the head explodes.

    Thank you for explaining cropping and docking so wisely. I have a Black Russian Terrier whose tail is cropped. His ears aren't and we clean them every two days to prevent infection. We also pluck the hairs in his ears....its a pain but he is well worth it.

    If I knew how to post a picture of him I would.

    Answer by Acid at 4:55 PM on Jun. 28, 2010

  • typically it is for looks or to show them to their standards (I dont like it!) but sometimes i can see where it is a health reason... like for long tailed hunting dogs (they can beat their tail bloody!!!!) I had one that did this and she did it just playing around in the weeds... this can be an area that can get infected so sometimes there are good reasons but not often...

    Answer by hotrodmomma at 2:35 PM on Jun. 28, 2010

  • i'v always wondered this. we didnt crop our pit. i think it's mean. although he can get pretty dangerous wagging his tail! lol

    Answer by jennifer588 at 2:35 PM on Jun. 28, 2010

  • some dogs tails are really too strong. I've heard of that reason and the pinning the ears is for looks. dont approve of either. some people may think that a dogs ears are pinned though, even when they arent. If you play with a dogs ears you can 'break' the blood vessels and it will make the ears flat. Needless to say we dont play with out dogs ears and they stand straight up as if they were pinned.

    Answer by SabrenaLeigh at 2:43 PM on Jun. 28, 2010

  • Its mostly for breed standard practices. Lots of people do it just because they think they should.

    I have a cropped tail dog.

    Answer by Acid at 3:07 PM on Jun. 28, 2010

  • Tail docking and ear cropping are done for mostly cosmetic reasons but they do have other benefits.

    In hunting and working breeds tails have traditionally been docked to prevent injury to the tail. In guarding and protection breeds part of the logic is that it's one less thing for an intruder to grab ahold of.

    Ears were cropped in some working breeds so that the ears wouldn't get caught on things (like barb wire in military dogs) and tear. In protection dogs like the doberman someone wouldn't be able to grab ahold of the ears. In fighting breeds so that they wouldn't get bitten. In some of the vermin hunters so that they wouldn't be bitten but the animals they were hunting. Ear cropping also helps prevent ear infections. My beagle/basset mix occasionally gets ear infections even with regular cleaning, my Doberman has never had one and we hardly ever have to clean his ears.



    Answer by Blueliner at 4:24 PM on Jun. 28, 2010

  • I honestly don't even think it's as bad as circumcision and most people do that too their boys. I believe like cropping circumcision is 90% cosmetic/tradition and 10% health (at most). I wouldn't do this to my HUMAN child, but I do have a cropped and docked DOG. I LOVE my dogs, I'm a dog trainer, but they ARE still dogs.

    After having gone through the ear cropping and posting process I would do it again. His ears look great and he never seemed to be in any discomfort, they were done my a VERY experienced vet under anesthesia. They healed up in less than a week and he actually enjoyed the tapping, he would always fall asleep when I was re-taping his ears to get them to stand.

    I'm also a big fan of docked tails, I've owned large breeds that weren't docked and their tails can HURT when they smack you lol, and clear coffee tables constantly. I've also met several dogs with broken tails.

    Answer by Blueliner at 4:32 PM on Jun. 28, 2010

  • I'll always be pro crop and dock, especially with my breeds, Dobermans and Giant Schnauzers. But other's can do what they wish with their own dogs, crop your dog or don't, I don't care (as long as a vet's doing it)!

    Also, if you can't find someone that really knows how to crop then I'm a fan of leaving them natural, nothing worse than a bad crop! Most reputable breeders of traditionally cropped breeds have the ears done before you get the puppy so you know what the crop will look like.

    My boy at 12 months old:


    Answer by Blueliner at 4:38 PM on Jun. 28, 2010

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