If you have a Rottweiler or you are thinking of getting one, you’ll probably want to gather as much information as possible on this breed. One of the most frequently asked questions has to do with “ear cropping” and if Rotties should have this procedure done.
Rottweilers are not among the dog breeds that have their ears cropped. This is not a characteristic included in the international standard for this breed. The ears of a Rottweiler, according to the AKC (American Kennel Club), should be pendant and triangular in shape. Anything else would not be accepted in any show or contest.
This is not the only reason why a Rottweiler doesn’t have cropped ears. In this article, we will explain why these dogs shouldn’t have their ears cut and why other dogs shouldn’t undergo this procedure either. We will also give you all the details on how the cropping of the ears is done and if it provides any benefits to the dog.
Do Rottweilers Get Their Ears Cropped?
As we mentioned before, a Rottweiler doesn’t usually get its ears cropped. The main reason for this is that none of the international kennel clubs have included such a feature in the standard for this breed. There is also no practical reason to cut the ears of a Rotty.
Unlike other breeds, Rottweilers were never used for dogfighting. During a fight, the ears of a dog are exposed to aggression and can easily get bitten. To prevent having their ears destroyed, breeds such as Bulldogs or Pittbulls have them cut off. Unfortunately, these types of dogs are used for fighting and their ears are considered weak points that should be removed.
Another reason why some dogs get their ears cropped is to make them look more aggressive. This is the case with Dobermans that appear much more intimidating when they have their ears up high.
Why Do People Cut Rottweilers?
The reason why people crop a Rottweiler’s ears is not easy to establish. As we said earlier, the international standard for these dogs does not include ear cropping. If the owner of a Rottweiler crops its ears it would usually be to make the dog look more aggressive.
Having ears that point upwards can look quite intimidating. If a Rottweiler is used as a guard dog it could get its ears cropped for this reason. Even though Rotties are big and strong they have sweet faces and gentle expressions. This is partially due to their floppy ears. Unfortunately, not everyone appreciates cuteness.
How Is Ear Cropping Done?
Ear cropping is done under general anesthesia when the puppy is between 6 and 12 weeks old. The ears of the dog will be cut to give them an upright shape. The surgery is usually performed in 1 or 2 hours, but patients should be kept in observation for a few hours.
After the ears have been cut, they are taped to a hard surface so that they can heal in the desired position. The bandages will usually need to be changed every week until the skin is completely healed. If everything goes as expected, the process will take between 4 to 8 weeks.
What Happens If You Have A Dog With Cropped Ears?
A dog with cropped ears could develop infections and hearing loss. If the procedure isn’t performed properly by a licensed vet it could even lead to more serious health problems. Ear cropping is done under general anesthesia and this alone can carry many risks.
Is It Illegal To Buy A Dog With Cropped Ears?
Countries where ear cropping is illegal, are growing in number year after year. Most of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the UK have all banned this practice for being unnecessary and cruel.
Other countries like the United States don’t have a specific law that regulates this matter. Every state can decide if and how ear cropping can be done. To this day there is no state that specifically bans this practice. Some states like Pennsylvania have passed a law that only licensed veterinarians can perform this procedure. Additionally, it is required that the dog is under general anesthesia during the surgery.
Does Ear Cropping Have Any Benefits?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, ear cropping should not be performed on any dog breed. This procedure is done solely for cosmetic reasons and there are no real benefits for the dog.
There are claims that cropping the ears can prevent infections and improve the hearing of a dog. There is no scientific evidence, though, to back up these statements. It has been demonstrated that dogs with floppy ears don’t get their ears infected more often than dogs with upright ears.
Is Cropping A Dog’s Ears Dangerous?
There can be quite a few risks associated with cropping the ears of a dog. The main one is the general anesthesia that the dog has to undergo. Not only this is always a risk, but it is even more so when it is done on a puppy that is only a few weeks old.
Another possible health issue could come from the wound getting infected. As with any incision, the risk of infection cannot be undermined. If this happens and the dog doesn’t get the right treatment there could be severe complications that could even lead to the amputation of the ear.
Additionally, there is no guarantee that the surgery will be successful and the ears of the dog will be in a perfectly upright position. It is not uncommon that cropped ears don’t “come out” as expected. This would mean another surgery for the dog and more unnecessary pain.
What Breeds Of Dog Get Their Ears Cropped?
The main dog breeds that get their ears cropped are:
- Doberman Pinscher
- Miniature Pinscher
- Great Dane
- Boston Terrier
The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes over 20 breeds that can have their ears cropped. According to the AKC this is a historical procedure that helps the dog complete the tasks for which they were bred.
Rottweilers are not among the breeds that have their ears cropped. This doesn’t mean that Rotties with such a feature don’t exist at all, but that they are quite rare. The breed standard for a Rottweiler has never required cropped ears. According to the American Kennel Club, their ears should be triangular in shape and pendant.
The only reason why someone would want to cut a Rottweiler’s ears would be for cosmetic purposes. In most cases, it would be to change how the dog looks and possibly give it a more intimidating appearance. This is even more so if the dog is used mostly for defense purposes or for guarding.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are no benefits in cropping the ears of a dog. It won’t prevent ear infections and it won’t improve their hearing ability. There are instead several risks associated with this kind of surgery.
There are numerous countries where cropping the ears of a dog has become an illegal procedure. In many parts of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK vets are not allowed to perform this surgery. It is considered unnecessary and cruel since it is painful for the dog and doesn’t provide any benefit.