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Why do people crop dogs' ears?

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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 11:53 PM
Original message
Why do people crop dogs' ears?
Edited on Sun Mar-22-09 11:54 PM by Critters2
I saw a puppy at the park today, looked like probably a giant schnauzer or maybe a Bouvier. The poor thing had its ears all bandaged up. If the dog's ears are pendulous, why not just leave them that way?
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Lil Missy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 12:14 AM
Response to Original message
1. I wouldn't assume they were cropped. My pup's ears were sewn to the top of his head for a surgery.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. These were cropped. The pup was the right age at which people do it,
and the way the bandages were...I know what cropped ears look like. These were cropped ears. I don't understand it.
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Lil Missy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. I don't understand that either. Why? Sounds barbaric to me.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 12:18 AM
Response to Original message
3. same reasons they get tattoos or wear the latest designer duds
ego/fad/fashion
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sammythecat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Yep, it's all about us
We even have designer breeds that probably shouldn't even exist.
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soleiri Donating Member (913 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Puppies get tattoos?
:wow:
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #6
21. Yes, mine has a really garish tramp stamp... I tried to talk her out of it
Actually many cats and dogs are tattooed for identification purposes
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silverojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 02:08 AM
Response to Original message
7. I found this answer at Yahoo answers:
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090306220...

Breeds are cropped for different reasons. My breed, the Doberman, is a companion protector. They were bred to have no loose skin or any type of excess for a would be human attacker to grab on to. Cropping the ears and docking the tails removed the ears and tails as hand holds for a would be attacker also. The erect ears is also better able to pinpoint sound which is an important characteristic in a protection breed.


Answers regarding other breeds continues at the link.
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 02:39 AM
Response to Original message
8. People are douchenozzles.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #8
18. I think that sums it up nicely!! nt
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #8
28. I like this answer!
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Shell Beau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 10:11 AM
Response to Original message
9. I really think it is mainly for cosmetic purposes.
I have a mini-pin and her ears are "supposed" to be cropped, but I thought it was a needless thing to do. I love her ears floppy and all.
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Arkansas Granny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
10. I'm with you on this one and also on docking tails. It's nearly always
done for cosmetic purposes to suit human standards and just seems totally unnecessary to me.
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geardaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
11. Agreed.
It's cruel and unnecessary. x(
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
12. On some breeds, cosmetic alteration *used* to have a purpose.
Either for hunting or protection, docking and cropping sort of had a purpose it's believed. In today's modern world, there's no sense in it, and it's solely done for cosmetic reasons.

It's incredibly cruel, IMO.
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BeachBaby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. I've never done that to my dogs, but.....
(and I'm asking you because of your extensive knowledge of canines):

I've had German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, and Alaskan Malamutes in my life - as well as Black Labs, Chocolate Labs, Golden Retrievers, Beagles, Bullmastiffs and English Mastiffs. If there has been one constant that I've noticed, it's that the floppy-eared pups got ear infections, here and there - but the pointy-eared dogs did not.

On its face, I would say that it has to do with moisture collecting in the ears of the floppy-eared dogs, while the open air prevents that in the pointy-eared dogs.

Thoughts?

(FWIW, I'm in NO WAY advocating cropping. I just know that I have to clean Bayleigh and Natasha's ears frequently, for this very reason)
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. That's part of it, yes.
There's also more skin mass to most of the floppy eared dogs, too which aids in trapping dirt and moisture in the inner ear and the folds of the outer ear. Also, if you look at the breeds with the biggest ears, you'll see a propensity for ear infections, such as the cocker spaniel.

This isn't true for all floppy eared dogs, though. I've had two uncropped danes now, and Zen got an ear infection maybe once every couple years if that. Dharma (knock wood) has yet to have one. But, danes can have problems if you don't pay attention. A yearly vet visit should be enough to keep it at bay, unless there are immune circumstances or something like that. That said, most of my pits are uncropped so they have floppy ears. I've never had a pit get an ear infection of any kind (knocks wood again).
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BeachBaby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. ".... if you don't pay attention".
I believe that that is the operative phrase. I know you take good care of your pups - and they have the good health to show for it.

And give the big goof a hug for me. Those dogs are the coolest.
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Lyric Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #15
26. We've been fortunate so far. Toby has never had an ear infection
or any other problem with his ears at all since he was born about four years ago. I honestly don't mess with them much. I just clean the external parts with a Q-tip and some witch hazel whenever he has a bath, and then blow the dryer on "cool" into his ears to dry them completely before letting him loose. He's cool with the hairdryer, thankfully--I guess all the years of being vacuumed and blow-dried have made him pretty much unconcerned about loud things wielded by his humans.

:hi:
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. I give the beagle an ear wash once a week.
Beagles can have ear problems, but my vet says letting them get exercise outside, especially on breezy days, can help prevent problems. A good breeze, that gets under the ears to some extent, helps to dry any moisture that can build up. My vet swears that it's indoor dogs who have the most ear problems.

A simple ear wash, though, seems like a much easier fix than mutilating the poor creature.
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Jamastiene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #14
22. A bit of trivia...
Look for a floppy eared canine in the wild. Let me know if you find one.

I read that the floppy ears were a human construct. In the wild, dogs just don't have the floppy ears. So, because of human interference with dog breeding, we now have floppy eared dogs and ear infections.

Instead of cropping the ears, though, you can use a Scrunchie to pin a dogs ears up like a loose fitting pony tail for just a little while each day. The idea is to sort of prop them up, not actually make a pony tail. You don't want it tight. That sometimes helps with ear infections that are moisture related as opposed to mite related.
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SacredCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
13. I've had many Great Danes in my life....
The only ones that had cropped ears were rescues that I acquired later in their lives.

I guess people do it out of tradition of the breed- but I never did it to any of my pups.
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timtom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
17. So they'll fit in the photo?
:shrug:

Just sayin', is all...
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
19. Because if they cropped their children's ears they'd be arrested
Apparently the law doesn't frown on some particular forms of animal mutilation
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
23. I have a shelter ob tained Wheaten Terrier and I LOVE her floppy ears
and full tail; I can't even think of her being mutilated like that. She's undeniably 100% Wheaten, but I just had her clipped for summer and she's ADORABLE with her big fluffy tail.

BTW,if my typing sucks, it's coz she;s sitting on my lap at the moment! :rofl:
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. LOL! I've typed more than a few messages with a critter in my lap! nt
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Mutley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 09:00 PM
Response to Original message
25. I'm sure most people do it for cosmetic reasons
which is a really cruel thing, imo.

I know an old roommate of mine had two dobermans, and did not have their ears cropped as puppies. For the most part, they got along, but when they did fight, they went right for one another's ears. He ended up cropping their ears to stop them from shredding each other.
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WindRiverMan Donating Member (693 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 10:05 PM
Response to Original message
27. Mostly because AKC standards for "show"!.
For many breeds, cropped ears and tail served a purpose at one time, as in the doberman having nothing to grab onto to stop the dog's onslaught. Unfortunately, the AKC promotes dog beauty shows, and the board of directors are mostly rich CEO wives who don't have much else to do. The health of the dog, its working ability, etc....none of it matters, only looks are paramount in the AKC show ring.

Some cropping still has some function. I have run pointing breeds all of my life, and I honestly perfer a cropped tail. I have had english pointers literally knock the tip of their tails off while hunting in heavy cover. It hurts the dog badly, has them out of commission for days, and the blood that sprays is horrible and hard to stop the bleeding. My german shorthaired pointers and vizla's never had these problems due to the last 1/3 of their tail being cropped. Removing dew claws is also something I prefer, as I have had a dog with dew claws tear one off, and it was pretty dehabiliating for the dog and pretty emotionally distressful for me.

I now run dogs imported from Germany where all dogs must pass two hunting tests (and preferably a third), have their temperment evaluated, they hips x-rayed, blood tests, and have a conformation and coat evaluation which must be at least "functional for a hunting dog". Only after these tests are completed will a dog's pedigree be stamped "Approved for Breeding". About 25% of the puppies are trained and evaluated to be suitable breed stock. Some don't pass the muster due to genetic predisposition, others just are not tested, as not everyone tests their dog.

Still, in my breed, the incidence of hip dysplasia is about 3%, in the AKC version of my breed, it is about 8%. The German system is, in my opinion, a far superior breed organization for producing healthy mentally stable dogs capable of doing the task for which they were bred.
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