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Cropping a pitbull's ears

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  • Cropping a pitbull's ears

    I peruse the pet section of craigslist quite often. The majority of the puppies and dogs on there looking for homes is pitbulls, sadly. Also they appear to be the majority of dogs seen in the humane societies around here.

    But my question is: I see ads and pictures of pitbulls with their ears cropped. How is that done? Does the vet do it when they are very young puppies? or do the owners take scissors to them? I believe I read that some docking of tails of puppies is done with scissors and seems barbaric, to me anyway.

    Edited to change clipping to cropping.
    Last edited by Joanne; Jan. 13, 2013, 02:40 AM.
    The virtual "woodshed" seems the only remedy for willful fools .

  • #2
    Ears are cropped, not clipped.

    The vet SHOULD do it, and it should be done around 10-12 weeks+.

    In reality, if even 10% of the pits I see went to the vet for their ears I would be shocked senseless. It's probably more like 2-5%. Crappy home crop jobs are as obvious as they are ugly.


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by gaitedincali View Post
      Ears are cropped, not clipped.

      The vet SHOULD do it, and it should be done around 10-12 weeks+.

      In reality, if even 10% of the pits I see went to the vet for their ears I would be shocked senseless. It's probably more like 2-5%. Crappy home crop jobs are as obvious as they are ugly.
      My mistake. You are correct---I meant to say cropped.

      It's just so sad that there are so many pitbulls here in Florida.
      The virtual "woodshed" seems the only remedy for willful fools .


      • #4
        What wrong with pitbulls?


        • #5
          Originally posted by ElisLove View Post
          What wrong with pitbulls?
          Lots of people don't want them.


          • #6
            Many breeders cut tails in puppies if that is what their breed demands.
            Not all do, but many do.
            Tails are cut at two days of age in puppies that are in good health.
            At that time, their nervous system is not evolved enough to take note of the tail cutting any more than if another puppy steps on a paw to retract it and yelp, maybe.
            Cutting tails after the puppy is more neurologically mature is surgery that should be done by a vet.

            Tails serve different purposes, from helping balance the dog to a way to communicate how they feel by the way they use them.
            When cut that young, dogs grow up fine without that, so it is a toss up if to cut tails or not.
            There are some dogs with tails that have continuous problems with injured tails and eventually need amputation when grown, it is a problem in some danes.

            Now, ear cropping is done when the puppies are older, it is hard on them, it is really unnecessary, cosmetic surgery.
            We have to choose as the breeder or owner of the puppy if we want to go there in the breeds that used to demand cropped ears for a certain look.

            We had some dobies in the early 1980's for obedience and they were cropped by the breeders, no one would sell a puppy that was not going to be cropped, it was not done then and we didn't want our puppy to go thru that, so for that and other reasons, quit dobies.
            At that time, it was not unheard of for a vet to go to a breeders home and crop a litter in their kitchen table.
            The cropping was simple, the aftercare not so much.

            My guess would be, many of those pit bulls with cropped ears are part of the underworld of dog fighting, where they crop the ears to keep the other dog from having something to hang onto when fighting.


            • #7
              They are very powerful dogs, and when in the wrong hands can be really dangerous.

              But I also know many that are absolute mushy, sweet, goofy dogs. The majority of them are this way.

              So if you have a child or another dog/small animal at home, would you be willing to take a chance that your new pit bull is a good one or a bad one ? A lot of people wouldn't.


              • #8
                Many of the pitbulls you see are basically mutts that are bred for type, I seriously doubt that any of them have their ears cropped by a vet.


                • #9
                  England banned all cropping of ears/tail docking a few years ago, and they are absolutely right.
                  My Pembroke Corgi is without a tail, but the English ones keep their tails now and are GORGEOUS - they look like little foxes! If I ever got another Corgi I would have the breeder leave the tail alone.
                  I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


                  • #10
                    There is a big difference in tail docking v. ear cropping, but to be perfectly honest, if done by a vet I really don't care if people have it done to their dog (and I own a dog with a docked tail).

                    But I do agree that most of the "cropped" ears you see on "pitbull" types are probably not done by a *good* vet - you can tell; they procedure is ugly and coarse, and probably very painful.


                    • #11
                      Ugh I once stumbled upon some byb's site with plans and instructions on how to make a crop board, including photos of their homemade restraint thing. Put the board over the dog's head with ears flat on the board. One person holds dog while the other cuts the ears with a sharp knife. Lines on the board served as a guide to length of crop. The width of the sides of the box prevent the dog's teeth from reaching either abuser.

                      For awhile I was into researching 'game bred', weight pulling, and those extreme body-type pits.

                      Some crops absolutely look like a pair of kitchen scissors whacked away.


                      • #12
                        Ugh, I could have gone my whole life without knowing that. So sad. People suck.


                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=Joanne;6777519]But my question is: I see ads and pictures of pitbulls with their ears cropped. How is that done? Does the vet do it when they are very young puppies? or do the owners take scissors to them? I believe I read that some docking of tails of puppies is done with scissors and seems barbaric, to me anyway.

                          Ear cropping should absolutely be done by a vet, and hopefully one with a lot of experience in the procedure and how the ears should look. It is expensive if done correctly, so a lot of what is out there is a home hack job, unfortunately (and sadly).
                          People can be pretty sick. I had to do a search to find it but a couple of weeks ago this article was linked on one of the major news sites: [URL="http://http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/story/2012/10/30/sk-neutering-spca-121030.html"] Can you imagine thinking that you should perform an actual surgery at home, despite not being a vet? I can't. Heavens, you wouldn't operate on another person - what would make you think you should do surgery on an animal?


                          • #14
                            ear cropping should be done by a vet under anesthesia, usually done before 12 weeks, after 12 weeks it can get iffy and most likely won't set right

                            the after care of long crops is very time consuming and takes lots of posting after the stitches come out, at this point you are "training" the cartilage and it does not hurt the puppy

                            a good crop is a work of art, it takes a vet that knows what they are doing and to get a good crop the dog needs to be under

                            a bad crop, well you are better off with natural ears


                            • #15
                              Personally I hate cropped ears! I like docked tails but the cropped ears make me sick.... I know that's hypocritical of me and I'm okay with that. I just think the ears are putting the dogs through unnecessary pain while the tails are done at such an age the pain doesn't register.
                              If owners want ears done, I agree that they must be done by a vet, a home job is easily recognizable and looks horrible.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Bicoastal View Post
                                Ugh I once stumbled upon some byb's site with plans and instructions on how to make a crop board, including photos of their homemade restraint thing. Put the board over the dog's head with ears flat on the board. One person holds dog while the other cuts the ears with a sharp knife. Lines on the board served as a guide to length of crop. The width of the sides of the box prevent the dog's teeth from reaching either abuser.
                                Oh dear lord. How terrible.

                                I worked for a vet that did crops for show people. He was really very good and did everything the right way. When we had a Doberman puppy that was cropped that the owners were going to test for Von Willebrand's AFTER the crop (Head. Desk.) I became an anti-crop proponent. That puppy just kept bleeding.

                                Tails are totally different. They're done so young and the puppies stop crying after a minute. The dam is more bothered than the babies.


                                • #17
                                  Not a fan of cropped ears, especially on bully dogs. It does make me think of dogfighting when I see pits with cropped ears. On some of those pits they do them so small! (seems the smaller the ears, the bigger the dangling testicles....ah, my neighborhood is a treat).

                                  I think just about everyone looks nicer with them intact (the ears, NOT the testicles). The cropping is not a necessary procedure, so why do it?

                                  DEF needs to be done by a vet, if it is going to be done. I have heard vets say that if they stopped doing it, breeders would just do it themselves & risks to dog would be worse. I guess that is what happens, reading Bicoastal's post. eeesh.


                                  • #18
                                    Our local shelter is absolutely stuffed with pit bull type dogs, most of them are picked up as strays. I haven't noticed a lot of cropped ears though, at least not ones that have been poorly done.

                                    Personally I prefer a natural, un-docked/cropped dog, except for the dew claws. To me that is a safety issue, and not a cosmetic one, and I wish that the breeder who produced my cattle dog would have taken the extra step to have them removed. If I don't keep them as short as possible she snags them on brush and they bleed. There is a person selling cattle dog puppies near me and I was thinking about getting Maizy a new companion, but they had the tails docked, so I will keep looking.
                                    My blog: Crackerdog Farm


                                    • #19
                                      This has nothing to do with pitbulls, their natural ears are pretty short anyway, but I have had spaniels and a doberman with natural ears and the one thing they all had in common was stinky ears and occasional (to more frequent in the spaniels' cases) ear infections. My doberman that had (vet) cropped ears never had an ear infection and never had ear stink like my floppy eared dogs have. And yes, I know how to maintain and clean ears, etc.--which the dogs hate, btw.

                                      I can't imagine a DIY ear crop. Sad. But a vet crop doesn't bother me and I prefer docked tails in a doberman (they have very long skinny tails that hit stuff and can get sores).

                                      My point is, I think someone screwed up a long time ago between man domesticating wolves and deciding it would be cool to create unnatural floppy ears.

                                      Don't get me started on mushed in face breeds that can't breathe. Or dogs who need eye lid surgery because their wrinkles hurt them.

                                      We had a dog in our training group tear off a dew claw last summer in an accident. Dew claws are a hanging hazard in a working dog.
                                      DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                                      • #20
                                        Fortunately our animal control gets more pit mixes without cropped ears than with them, because it's so rare that the crop job is done well that it's actually noteworthy when it doesn't look like a legally blind person used a combination of their non dominant hand plus dull craft scissors. It's also horrible when a clearly NOT bully breed comes in with hack job ears. There were two hound type dogs just around a year old that were in animal control a while back. Precious faces.... but ears cut off at a completely horizontal line about half an inch above the top of their heads. And uneven lengths. It was the most horrible ear cropping I've seen. I wish I had a photo to really express how bad it was. I also couldn't help but think if I were to adopt those dogs i would have to have the vet do SOMEthing about the ears while the dog was under anesthesia for the spay/neuter. I would hate for people to see those ears and think I had anything to do with them... I mean, they were horrific.
                                        I also wish people knew what they were doing with tail cropping. The weimaraner we have has an ugly bald end to his nub, like the person grabbed and pulled the tail away from the body, taking any excess skin that would cover the stub away with it. Not handsome (not that the dog is very handsome or dignified to begin with... he's a walking comedy/freak show, but still)