Why People Crop Pitbull Ears (And Why You Shouldn’t)

Why People Crop Pitbull Ears

The ‘prick-eared’ appearance of Pitbulls is achieved through a cosmetic surgical procedure known as ear cropping that entails getting rid of part of the outer ear. Also referred to as ear trimming, this look is typically part of the breed standard that must be maintained for dog shows.

As a canine member of your family, it’s essential to ask yourself, is it necessary to crop Pitbulls’ ears? Does doing so benefit your pet in any way? If you intend to get the ears of your Pitbull trimmed, we’ll explore the pros and cons that will permit an informed decision. Read on!

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What is a Pitbull?

While these dogs are different breeds, they undoubtedly have a boatload of similar traits and common ancestors. Pitbulls were initially bred to fight. However, proud owners of these dogs describe them as incredibly playful, loyal, intelligent, and affectionate.

These medium-sized to small dogs have muscular, compact builds with shiny, short coats that come in a vast assortment of patterns and colors. Their unique heads are wedge-shaped and broad with defined cheekbones.

Pitbull Puppy Ears

A Pitbull puppy has drop ears that closely resemble those of Labrador puppies or Greyhounds. Pitbull puppy ears are folded flaps that are naturally soft and visibly large compared to the size of their head.

It’s this ear shape that’s referred to as rosebud. The title implies an erect curl in the cartilage that relatively elevates the folded ear flap and ushers in an enquiring and cute countenance.

As Pitbull puppies grow into their oversized flaps, their ears become more proportional to their head size.

Pitbull Ears

The ears of adult Pitbulls usually stand upright and are curled at the top. You’ll find Pitbulls with floppier ears than others, along with a varying size in firmness and size, depending on the breed.

It’s no secret that all dogs have a pinna, which refers to the ear flap covered with velvety skin and made of cartilage. Upon lifting the pinna, you get a clear view of the dog’s ear canal, a long, tubular structure extending down to the eardrum, of which only a small part is visible.

Crop Pitbull Ears

Cropping Pitbulls’ Ears

It alters the natural shape of the ears through the removal of part of the pinna, allowing the cartilage to stand erect. It’s worth noting that this surgical procedure is only performed on Pitbull puppies as opposed to adult dogs. Furthermore, the puppies are usually anywhere between 9 weeks and 12 weeks old.

Cropping Pitbulls’ ears is done at such a tender age because as the puppies get older, the ear cartilage thickens, making the surgery more painful for the dog. Moreover, operating after 12 weeks ushers in the likelihood that it won’t be successful in keeping the ears upright and giving them the desired ‘raised-ear’ appearance.

The Cropping Process

It’s a procedure that should always be done not only under full anesthesia but also by a qualified veterinarian with years of experience in performing this procedure. The cropping process usually lasts anywhere between 30 and 45 minutes, during which the pinna of both ears is trimmed to a specific length, after which the edges are sutured.

Once the surgery is complete, the vet will carefully wrap bandages around the ears to ensure healing in an upright position. The bandaging can last for a couple of months.

During the healing period, the Pitbull ears will be sensitive and painful for weeks following the operation. The vet will administer medication to aid in reducing soreness while keeping infection at bay.

Why Do People Crop Pitbulls’ Ears?

As a practice that is centuries old, cropping Pitbulls’ ears was initially to protect them from getting bit during dog fights.

Today, a multitude of jurisdictions have banned ear cropping. They range from New Zealand, the UK, and most Canadian provinces, to nearly all European countries. Nonetheless, in a boatload of states and cities in the US, the practice is legal.

The American Kennel Club endorses ear cropping to maintain the standard on Pitbulls, especially for dog shows. After all, some people prefer their Pitbulls to have a particular ear shape to compete in shows.

Furthermore, some claim cropped ears curb a wealth of ear infections while boosting a dog’s hearing. In the end, cropped ears are solely for cosmetic purposes. It impacts the appearance of a Pitbull by making him look fierce, tough, and intimidating, cultivating a misleading myth about this breed of dogs.

Pitbull Yawning

Are The Pitbulls With Floppy Ears More Susceptible To Infections?

Ear problems are tied to liver balance, spine injuries, diet, neck injuries, digestion, and little correlation with floppy ears. Trimming ears may sever a boatload of energy lines and meridians, which can usher in a wealth of health adversities.

Why You Shouldn’t Crop Pitbulls’ Ears

It’s a needless medical procedure that ushers in immense pain and serves no purpose for the dog. On the contrary, it can be harmful to a Pitbull. As is the case with other surgical procedures, some risks stem from complications from infection afterward or anesthesia.

If the procedure isn’t performed well, it could mean a dog may need an additional operation or be scarred for life, resulting in the dog losing even more of its outer ears. Moreover, there’s a high likelihood of traumatizing your dog from having an operation done at such a tender age.

Pitbulls use their ears to communicate not only with other dogs but also with their owners. Therefore, losing part of their ears can usher in fights with other dogs and misunderstandings.

To Wrap It Up

There are no pros and a myriad of cons that come with cropping Pitbulls’ ears. These dogs already have a bad press to contend with, so making them look more vicious is in bad taste for these breeds.

With no evidence to support the claims that trimming their ears lowers ear infections and boosts their hearing abilities. The only reason why a multitude of people crop Pitbulls’ ears is for cosmetic purposes. They prefer the way it makes the Pitbull look.

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Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.