Boxer Ear Cropping – What To Understand Before You Decide

A brindle Boxer dog with cropped ears lying down at the park.

Some dog breeds are known for having short, cropped ears. While some people do not agree with this procedure, it is common with Boxer dogs.

If you are considering getting your dog’s ears cropped, make sure you understand the procedure and the care it requires.  

Why are Boxer dogs’ ears cropped? Boxer dogs originally had their ears cropped to help protect them from injury when they were hunting, working, or fighting. Now, the ears are cropped for cosmetic purposes, to improve hearing, or to make care easier. Ear cropping is not required by the breed standard, and many feel it is unnecessary.

Before you get your Boxer’s ears cropped, it’s important to understand the reasoning behind the practice, how it might affect your dog, and the care required after the surgery. 

Does Ear Cropping Hurt Dogs?

Ear cropping is a surgical procedure. While dogs are put under for the actual procedure, they can experience pain when they wake up and while the ears are healing.

It can also cause ear problems that can be painful throughout their life.

Boxers: Benefits of Ear Cropping

There are a few benefits of ear cropping. It can help improve their hearing as the ear canals are not covered and sounds can easily pass through them.

It can also make the ears easier to clean and help reduce buildup and ear infections. 

Boxers: Disadvantages of Ear Cropping

Ear cropping can be painful and may cause emotional trauma to your dog. Ear cropping also makes the ears very thin, so they can rip easily.

Sometimes the ears do not heal properly and can lead to deformities that can affect hearing and cause other ear problems.

Is Ear Cropping Part of Boxer Breed Standards?

While many people prefer to have a boxer’s ears cropped, and cropped ears are accepted, they are not necessary for the dog to meet the breed standard.

Natural ears are also acceptable, and since ear cropping is so controversial, many owners are choosing to keep their dog’s ears natural.

An adult Boxer dog lying among golden autumn leaves.

At What Age Should a Boxer’s Ears Be Cropped?

If you do decide to have your boxer’s ears cropped, you should do so between eight and 12 weeks of age.

Most veterinarians who are willing to do ear cropping will only do it if your dog meets the age requirements.

Some may prefer to wait until the dog is at least 10 weeks old to do the procedure. The earlier you do it, the better the results.

Where Can I Get My Dog’s Ears Cropped?

You will need to find a veterinarian who will crop your dog’s ears. This is the safest and best option. You may also find some breeders or groomers who are able to do ear cropping.

No matter whom you choose to do it, make sure they are reputable and experienced with Boxer ears.

Boxer Ear Crop Styles

There are different styles of ear crops for boxers. Some people have a preference, and other people just allow the person cropping the ears to choose the best option. 

  • Short Crop – This is a short crop where the ears stand and are very short. There is some ear noticeable, but the ears are very small.
  • Show Crop – This crop is the most common and preferred. The length is in between the short and long crop, and this is the most common for dogs that are cropped for cosmetic reasons.
  • Long Crop – This is the longest style of crop. The ears still stand, but they are much longer than other cropped styles.
  • Battle Crop – This is the shortest style of crop and leaves hardly any of the ear intact. It was created to prevent the ears from being grabbed by other dogs in a fight.

Boxer Ear Cropping Price

The price of ear cropping can vary based on the style and the person doing the cropping. On average, you can expect to pay between $300 and $700.

Boxer Ear Cropping Procedure

During the procedure, the dog is put under, and the surgeon removes a small section of the ear. This allows the ears to stand.

The ears are then sewed up the sides and bandaged. When the dog wakes up, they are able to go home with the owner, but care is required for many weeks to ensure the ears heal properly.

Boxer Ear Cropping Aftercare

It is important to keep the ears clean and allow them to heal. Their bandages can come off and be changed, and the dog’s ears should have some type of support to help them stand while they are healed.

There are kits that include tape and supports, but some people make their own supports using tampons or plastic sticks wrapped in gauze.

It is important to make sure the supports do not go into the dog’s ear canals and are even so that the ears stand evenly.

How Long Does Ear Cropping Take To Heal?

The incisions heal fairly quickly, usually within two weeks.

It can take a while for the ears to be trained to stand, so many people keep the ears taped and supported even after the stitches are out or dissolved and the incision has healed.

How Long Does It Take for Boxer Ears To Stand?

Most of the time, the ears will start to stand on their own around three to four weeks after the procedure. Sometimes it can take up to nine weeks.

Most owners have to remove the support and tape every few days to check the ears to see if they are standing and if they will stand on their own.

If the ears do not remain standing, they can be supported and taped again until they do.

Boxer Ear Cropping Infection

Ear cropping infections can occur. It is important to clean the ears and allow them to get air to scab over and heal.

If you notice your dog’s ears are swollen or look red and painful, consult your veterinarian. An antibiotic may be needed to help treat the infection.

Boxer Ear Taping

Ear taping is a way of training the ears to stay in a certain position. This is commonly done with ears that have been cropped, and some people tape the ears with supports to help them stand.

It can also be done with natural ears and is something used to prevent the “flying nun” ears that boxers are sometimes known to have.

The ears are positioned and then taped to hold that position. The tape can be removed every few days so the ears can be cleaned and then taped again.

Taping After Cropping

Ear taping is done after cropping to help the ears stand. The ears are gently put into the desired position, and the tape is wrapped around the base of the ear to hold them up.

The ears are not completely wrapped and are never wrapped tightly.

Another method is to use tampons and insert them alongside the outside portion of the ear and then tape the ears around them. This ensures they stand tall and won’t fall.

Taping Natural Boxer Ears

A boxer’s natural ears can also be taped to change the natural fold and pull it forward for a more uniform look. This also prevents the ears from flapping as much and can give them a shorter appearance.

To do this, the ears are simply pulled forward and allowed to fall over toward the front of the dog’s face. They are taped to hold their position.

Tape is removed every few days so the ears can be cleaned, and then they are taped again until they stay folded forward on their own.

Conclusion 

While ear cropping is a controversial procedure, it is still very common and popular with certain dog breeds.

Boxers are a breed that often has cropped ears, and there are plenty of breeders, groomers, and veterinarians who will crop a boxer’s ears.

Proper care and the right taping technique will ensure the ears heal properly and look good.