French Bulldog Cropped Ears

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Cropped ears?! What exactly are they?

Are Frenchies’ ears cropped? How do they stand up pointy like that…? Should I crop my Frenchies ears?!

There’s a lot to know about Frenchies & their ears, but let’s get some things out of the way: Frenchies ears aren’t cropped & stay upright naturally— that’s just the way Frenchies are!

Table of Contents

What are Cropped Ears?

The practice of cropping a dog’s ear consists of cutting the floppy part of a dog’s ear.

The fancy name for this operation is a cosmetic otoplasty. It’s a highly controversial elective surgery that some dog owners choose to do for its intimidating appearance.

Not to be confused with docking, the practice of surgically removing part of a dog’s tail.

Believe it or not, Frenchies tails aren’t docked either— that’s just how they are!

Breeds commonly seen with Cropped Ears

Frenchies definitely aren’t known for having cropped ears— but these breeds are:

  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Boxers
  • Great Danes

Not just dogs!

Dogs aren’t the only animals that have their ears cropped. While uncommon, cropped ears are sometimes seen on these animals:

  • Livestock
  • Lab mice
  • Neutered feral cats

3 Reasons why people crop their dog’s ears

1. For an intimidating appearance

Some dog owners like to crop their dogs’ ears for the fierce & intimidating aesthetic. Think guard dogs or fighting dogs. Cropped ears look intimidating to me… what do you think?

A Very Intimidating French Bulldog

Nowadays, the only reason someone would crop their dogs’ ears are for cosmetic reasons.

2. To compete in some dog shows

For some dog breeds, cropped ears are part of their breed standard. Frenchies are not one of these breeds.

What the AKC thinks

The American Kennel Club (AKC) said that ear cropping is “integral to defining and preserving breed character”.

Both the American Kennel Club and Canadian Kennel Club allow dogs with cropped ears to register & compete in their shows (it might even be a requirement)

3. Prevent injuries in working dogs

Many many many years ago, working dogs would sometimes have their ears cropped to prevent them from getting caught on things such as thorns.

Nowadays, this isn’t really the case.

4 Reasons why you should never crop your Frenchie’s ears

While there are some people that love the appearance of cropped ears, others consider it to be mutilation!

1. It can cause pain

As you could imagine, removing part of a dog’s ear will never be a pleasant experience. Some claim that ear cropping does not hurt the dog— but many experts disagree.

Surgery pain

While dogs have to go under anesthesia to have their ears cropped, the recovery is not pain-free by any means. The ears are cut with a pair of medical scissors like these.

Phantom pain

Phantom pain is when you feel pain in a body part or limb that is no longer there. It’s pretty common in people who have a limb amputated— their leg could be gone but they still feel very real pain where their leg used to be.

This same phenomenon can be seen in dogs with cropped ears.

Due to this traumatizing surgery, the animal may develop seizures and have what veterinarians call “phantom pain,” pain where no body tissue is present.

Ear cropping has been known to make a dog dislike his head being touched and can even make that animal aggressive.

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2. It is illegal in many parts of the world

USA Ear Cropping Laws

While the US doesn’t have any federal laws that prohibit docking ears, there are some states that have banned the practice.

Europe Ear Cropping Laws

A majority of European countries have outlawed ear cropping. These countries include, but are not limited to:

3. Less expression/emotion in ears

I just could never imagine wanting to crop my Frenchies ears…

Frenchies express & communicate their emotions through their ears— they can’t really wag their little tails so all that energy goes to their ears!

Learn all about dog ear body language with this video from Healthy Pets:

YouTube player

4. Many veterinarians are against it

Considering the previous reasons not to crop ears, it’s no wonder that a majority of vets disapprove of ear cropping.

Did you know that veterinarians don’t learn how to crop ears while in medical school?

That’s right… they need to learn how to do it on the job.

5. Health risks

While some claim that cropping ears helps prevent ear infections— this has been proven to be false.

  • Anesthesia— there are risks of going under anesthesia for any operation and it’s best to avoid it when possible
  • Infection— as with any surgery, there is a risk of infection
  • Undesirable appearance— while many people crop their dog’s ears for cosmetic reasons, sometimes they don’t get the result they wanted

Frequently Asked Questions

When are ears usually cropped?

Ears are usually cropped between 6-12 weeks of age.