This is why you should never, ever crop a dog’s ears

a dog with cropped ears on a blue background
No look is worth an animal suffering (Picture: Getty Images/Shutterstock)

Regardless of whether you like the look, a dog’s ears should never be cropped.

Cropping, or docking as it’s sometimes also known, is illegal in the UK – and for good reason.

There are some cases that may medically necessitate the removal of part or all of a dog’s ear flap, but cropping refers to an unnecessary procedure done just to achieve a specific look.

It involves part or the whole of a dog’s outer ears being cut off to give them a small, pointed appearance. Sometimes their tails are also cropped short.

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This procedure usually happens when they’re still pups between six and 12 weeks old.

Despite the legislation in place to protect them, there are unfortunately still those who are willing to put dogs through the ordeal for purely the sake of aesthetics.

Becky Thwaites, Head of Public Affairs at national pet charity Blue Cross, tells Metro.co.uk: ‘Dog cruelty is on the rise in the UK. The horrific and utterly unnecessary practice of ear cropping is illegal in this country and yet charities are seeing a staggering increase in reports.

‘This abhorrent altering of an animal’s appearance is favoured for the aesthetic by many shipping in these dogs from breeders abroad, and we’re glad new laws are on the way to ban the importing of these dogs.’

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My cute Pit bull dog
Why would you want to deprive him of those lovely velvety ears? (Picture: Getty Images)

Here’s why you should never have a dog’s ears cropped

First of all, the procedure and recovery are very painful and distressing for the poor dog.

As the Blue Cross website points out, the fact that cropping is illegal means that it’s not possible to know for sure that the pup has had proper medical care or even pain relief.

Just like any surgery, cropping comes with risks like infection and blood loss, so putting a dog through something like that for anything other than to benefit their health is deeply unethical.

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It’s a very traumatic thing to happen to a puppy, especially as their brains are still developing, and there’s no telling what kind of effect it could have on them psychologically in the long term.

To top it all off, surgically altering a dog’s ears or tail can also impede their social skills.

As Becky puts it: ‘Not only is it cruel, but dogs use their ears (along with their tails) to communicate with us and other dogs. Without them, they can really struggle.

‘To take them away for superficial “fashion” would be like chopping off our thumbs simply if viewed as unsightly.’

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If you see anyone trying to sell puppies with docked ears or tails, you should contact the police or the RSPCA.

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