Boxer Dog Ears - Cropping Issues

Overview:

The debate on whether or not to crop a Boxer's ears is a big one. Those who oppose it usually strongly oppose it as an alternation that is against nature.

Those who agree with cropping do so with the argument that this breed has been known for its cropped ears for centuries.

So, the question is: 

Should you crop your Boxer's ears? Before you make a decision, be sure to understand the facts and not the hype.
Is it Legal?
Is it legal to crop a Boxer's ears?  Which countries allow cropping and which consider it an actual crime?  Cropping is legal in:
  • Argentina
  • The United States
  • Canada
  • India
  • Mexico
  • Russia

Cropping is not legal in:
  • Australia
  • France
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • New Zealand
  • Netherlands
  • South Africa
  • Sweden
  • The UK

 

 What Exactly is Cropping?

When a Boxer has their ears cropped, in countries in which it is legal, it is considered to be cosmetic surgery. When does a Boxer have their ears cropped?  The general rule is to do so when the Boxer puppy is 10 - 12 weeks old.  Although a dog of any age can have it done, a young puppy ears are small and soft thus making the healing process smoother. 

 The dog is sedated during the surgery.The animal surgeon will mark the area of where the ear will be cut.  Just as the name suggests, the ear is literally cut off.  It is then stitched in such a way so that the ear does not flap over; it will stand straight up.   It is the act of cutting the ear that causes many people to vote against having this done.  However, it must be noted that the dog will not experience pain during the surgery.  A dog will have discomfort for up to 3 weeks afterwards while the ears heal.  Small paper cones are usually placed on the ears to protect them in this sensitive stage.  An owner is given disinfectant from the  veterinarian to careful put on the healing ears twice per day. 

When an owner decides to have their Boxer's ears cropped they must make a commitment to following the very precise aftercare that is needed; if not, scarring will occur.  It should also be noted that not all cropped ears will stand up. 

 Why Do People Crop Boxer's Ears? 

In many countries, the Boxer is known for having cropped ears, something that has been done since the breed was introduced and owners feel that they should maintain the breed standard.  The argument being that the Boxer breed does not have controlled ears.  That throughout the breeding process of the Boxer bloodline, this breed's ears grow uneven. 

Some believe that long, floppy ears can trap moisture which can lead to ear mites and yeast infections.  However, this can also happen with floppy ears. 

Do Boxer Ears Need to be Cropped to Enter Dog Shows?


The answer is no.  While some may say that the Boxer standard is cropped ears, just about every recognized dog club, including the AKC accepts Boxers with or without cropped ears. 

 Should you Have Your Boxer's Ears Cropped?

This is most certainly a personal decision.  Cropping is not clinically proven to reduce ear infections or reduce the chance of a dog getting ear mites.  Dog shows allow Boxers with their normal floppy ears.  The only valid reason an owner would have is that they prefer their dog to look a certain way.  Is that worth the pain and discomfort that a Boxer puppy will need to endure?  While we must stay neutral on this subject, we suggest that an owner carefully think about this issue before deciding.
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