Historically, ear cropping has been advocated as a health benefit for certain breeds with long, hanging ears. There is some evidence that dogs with standing ears may suffer from fewer ear infections than dogs with hanging ears. It has also been hypothesized that standing ears are less prone to damage and subsequent medical complications, especially in working dogs. Some claim that cropped ears enhance Boxer's hearing. Long, hanging ears cannot function the same way as erect ears which can swivel toward a sound source. The erect shape directs sound waves into the ear canal and additionally amplifies the sound slightly. Long, hanging pinnae also impose a physical barrier to sound waves entering the ear canal.
Popular breeds that often have their ears cropped include Doberman Pinschers, Boxers, Schnauzers, Great Danes, Boston Terriers, and Pit Bull Terriers. Ear cropping generally takes place when a puppy is between 8 and 16 weeks old, while the cartilage and muscles of the ears are not yet fully developed and will allow the cropped ears to be trained to stand upright. During the procedure, a veterinarian anesthetizes the puppy, trims away unwanted ear tissue, and closes the incision with sutures. The healing process takes up to 2-3 weeks.
Cropped ears on your dog can look great. But you want to make sure the procedure is done properly and safely, to ensure you get the results you want—while keeping your dog as safe and comfortable as possible.
- The first question you have to ask yourself when considering this procedure is, when should you have it done? The typical age ranges from 12 – 16 weeks.
- The next thing you need to do is choose an ear crop style.
It’s important to choose an ear crop style before you go looking for a vet, because some vets will only perform one style of crop.
Medium crops and Show crops have the greatest chance of standing erect. Ears that are cropped too long, or too short, are less likely to stand erect.
Choosing a Vet
We reccommend East Point Animal Hospital, Dennis Haynes DVM for our local puppy buyers, they charge $150, they are located at 724 US Highway 278 E. Cullman, AL 35055 and their phone number is 256-734-6060. They have cropped Sable & Ziva's ears.
If you are not local you will need to find a good vet near you. This procedure is going to determine how your dog looks for the rest of their life, so make sure to do your homework and find a good vet.
When you talk to the vet, you’ll want to talk about to them about two things:
- The Price: On average, you can expect to pay anything from $150 to over $600. Keep in mind, a more expensive vet does not necessarily mean you’ll get a better crop. A fair price that you should expect to pay for a good crop is probably about $250.
This price should include everything, including the procedure itself, the follow-up visit, and any medications (pain medicine and potentially antibiotics).
- Picture of Prior Crops
In addition, it’s a good idea to bring in a few pictures of ear crops that you like. Show them to the vet and ask if they are willing and able to crop ears in that style.
(Some vets will only crop ears one way, so make sure they can provide what you want.)
- Follow the Vet’s Instructions. This should go without saying, but make sure to follow all your vet’s instructions! Your dog has just had surgery, and it’s important to do everything you can to help them heal properly.
- Remove scabs. When you were a kid, your mother may have told you not to pick at scabs. Well that might be good advice for yourself, but when it comes to cropping ears, you want to remove any scabs on your dog’s ears immediately. This is important because the scabs could interfere with the ears properly standing up.
- Keep the Ears Clean. You need to keep the skin clean until it’s had a chance to heal. This is important in preventing infections that could require an emergency trip to the vet. We use original Vaseline for our Miniature Schnauzers, we keep Vaseline on the ears for at least the first 2 weeks after surgery, rub the Vaseline on the ears at least two-three times a day to keep them moist.