Hundreds of years ago cropping (surgically changing the shape of the ears) was done for practical purposes. For example, to stop the ears being snagged in rough territory and being injured while hunting or working. For dogs that were bred for fighting it gave less for an opponent to grip on to rip off and sure gave a real “don’t mess with me” look. For guarding breeds, it made them look very alert and in tune with everything around them. Some of those purposes have carried on through to today and it’s an important part of the breed’s feature for many people, for aesthetical reasons (they like the look). It can be looked at as a breed’s trademark so to speak and has been said to have even given the upper hand in the show ring on more than the odd occasion. However, nowadays, I must mention that it is becoming less and less popular generally with an ever-growing resistance and controversy to it and even banned in some countries, especially in Europe such as Germany. This is rather interesting, as many of the breeds that typically have the ears cropped, originate from there. In Great Brittan, dogs with cropped ears are actually barred from entering shows.
Types of Crops?
Long Crop: skinny and tapered at the end and here are some typical breeds that experience it. Usually taping, splinting and bandaging will occur with this crop and it is not always guaranteed to hold that perfect erect posture, especially if done poorly of course.
- Doberman (pictured)
- Great Dane
- Schnauzer (Giant – Miniature)
- Miniature Pinscher