Ear cropping is a surgical procedure that modifies the appearance of a dog’s ears. It’s a popular procedure for some breeds like the Cane Corso.
At birth, Cane Corso ears look floppy and have a V-shape. Cropped Cane Corso ears stand upright and have a triangular shape.
This procedure isn’t necessary, but many dog owners opt for cropped Cane Corso ears for cosmetic reasons. Here’s what you need to know about ear cropping for Cane Corso.
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An Overview of Cane Corso Breed Standards
Cane Corsos are intelligent, motivated, and loyal dogs. They became an official AKC breed in 2010, but their history dates back to the Roman Empire.
These dogs were guard dogs, and the cropped ear look quickly became a standard practice to enhance their intimidating appearance.
Official breed standards matter if you want to enter shows and competitions with your dog. The breed standards also matter if you plan on breeding your dog and selling puppies with a pedigree.
However, you should know that the AKC doesn’t require a Cane Corso show crop to meet breed standards. The AKC will recognize your Cane Corso as a pure breed dog with cropped or uncropped ears.
Some standards apply to the ears, such as not having floppy ears that descend past the jaw bones in the case of Cane Corso’s uncropped ears.
If you decide to have a vet crop your dog’s ears, your dog will need a proper Cane Corso ear crop with symmetrical results to meet breed standards.
Even though the AKC doesn’t require cropped ears to meet the official breed standards, cropping remains a common practice among breeders because this ear shape represents the tradition associated with the breed.
What Is Ear Cropping?
Before we discuss the pros and cons of cropped Cane Corso ears, it’s essential to understand what happens during the procedure.
Ear cropping is a surgical procedure that requires general anesthesia. While your dog is asleep, an experienced veterinarian surgeon will remove part of the ear flap and use suture points to connect it to the skull.
This incision changes the shape of the ear and the way it sits on the head.
Your pup will then go through a healing process that lasts several weeks. You’ll have to tape the ears to a support device to help them heal properly and adopt the desired shape.
Usually, your puppy will undergo this procedure between six and 12 weeks. Healing takes four to eight weeks, and you’ll typically have to bring your puppy back to the vet to remove the sutures two weeks after the procedure.
Are There Any Benefits to Cane Corso Ear Cropping?
The Cane Corso ear crop remains a popular procedure among breeders and owners. Read on to learn more about the potential benefits of Cane Corso cropped ears.
Cropping for Cosmetic Reasons
Aesthetics are a crucial motivation for ear cropping, especially for those who plan on entering their dogs in shows and competitions.
The natural Cane Corso floppy ears don’t match the intimidating image of the breed. Upright ears create an alert look that matches the breed’s reputation as fierce guard dogs.
Aesthetics are purely a matter of personal preferences. Some owners prefer the cropped ear look because it makes their Cane Corso look more alert.
Keep in mind that having a 100 lbs dog should be enough to intimidate any would-be intruders, regardless of whether your guard dog has cropped ears or not.
Cropping is an aesthetic choice, but there are also some practical reasons for this procedure. Floppy ears are prone to injuries, tears, and bites from other animals.
Traditionally, the Cane Corso was a working dog. Injuries were a legitimate concern, which explains how cropped ears became commonplace.
Ears are vulnerable since other animals can bite them. They can also get caught or stuck. An ear injury is usually not life-threatening but can be painful and lead to complications like infections.
When deciding if you should leave your Cane Corso without cropped ears, it’s important to think about your lifestyle:
- Activity level: How active is your dog? Cropping can prevent injuries if you’re going on hikes and other adventures regularly.
- Amount of dogs in your home: Do you have more than one dog? Cane Corsi can be rough when they play. With more than one large dog, the ears can become a target when play-fighting.
- Water-related activities: Swimming and other water-related activities can be a great way to help your dog get the exercise they need. However, floppy ears can trap moisture and increase the risks of ear infections. If you live near water, there are benefits to ear cropping.
The Downsides of Ear Cropping for Cane Corso
Ear cropping is a surgical procedure. It’s not a major procedure, but some risks must be considered if you decide to put your dog through the process.
Lack of Strong Evidence Regarding Health Benefits
There are limited studies regarding ear cropping. Research suggests that breeds with heavy ears are more likely to develop ear infections, but there is no strong evidence that Cane Corso uncropped ears increase the risks of ear infections.
Surgery and Associated Risks
Ear cropping means putting a puppy through surgery. This procedure entails full anesthesia.
While the benefits outweigh the risks when your pet needs a procedure for medical reasons, you have to ask yourself if putting your dog through general anesthesia is worth it for a cosmetic procedure.
Experienced vets can perform anesthesia in safe conditions, but there is always a risk of complications. Your pet could experience a cardiac arrest or a stroke during the procedure.
Infection is another potential complication to consider. You’ll have to monitor your puppy closely while they recover and keep the incision site clean while it heals. Plus, your dog will likely attempt to paw at the support device and tape.
Your puppy will likely need to take medication to manage pain after the procedure. You should know that pain medication has side effects, including a loss of appetite, vomiting, disorientation, and lethargy.
The lengthy recovery period can create some constraints. Your puppy will need constant supervision so they don’t attempt to remove the support device.
You’ll also have to limit interactions with other dogs to prevent another dog from chewing at the tape or support device. Exercise and socialization are crucial for puppies, and ear cropping means your dog will have to be isolated for a while.
Cost and Possible Complications
A pet, especially a large dog like a Cane Corso, can be expensive. On average, dog owners spend over $3,000 during the first year of a puppy’s life. It’s common to see owners spend over $20,000 over their dog’s lifespan.
Ear cropping will add to these expenses. You can expect to spend $1,500 or more between the anesthesia and the surgical procedure. Since it’s a cosmetic procedure, you won’t be able to use a pet insurance policy to cover any of the expenses.
You should also consider possible complications. If your dog’s ears don’t heal right or the result doesn’t look even, your puppy might need to undergo a second surgical procedure.
It means you’ll have to spend more, and the healing process will take even longer.
Plus, the general feeling regarding ear cropping is changing, and finding a vet who is willing to perform this procedure might not be easy. If few vets offer this procedure in your area, those who are willing to perform ear cropping surgery might charge more.
Cropped Cane Corso Ears and Communication
Dogs use their ears to express their feelings. Ear cropping results in ears that stand upright and indicate alertness, but it might not reflect how your dog feels at the moment.
With the natural Cane Corso floppy ears look, your companion can use their ears to indicate that they’re feeling stressed or playful. Their ears will stand up when they feel curious or on alert and relax when they want to engage in play or feel friendly.
These signals are important when interacting with other animals or even approaching strangers.
Cropped ears will make these signals difficult to read and can lead to aggression if an animal or person fails to pick up on the fact that your dog is feeling anxious and needs some space.
A Cane Corso with ears that have been cropped will not necessarily display aggression, but it’s important to consider that these guard dogs can have a strong response to the people they perceive as threats.
As a result, it’s best to supervise interactions with strangers and wait until your dog feels relaxed and comfortable before a person can get closer.
If you decide to have your dog’s ear cropped, consider getting help from a professional to do some desensitization training to avoid negative reactions in case someone misreads your dog’s signals.
Should You Crop Your Cane Corso Puppy’s Ears?
Ear cropping is a personal decision. It’s important to consider both sides of the issue before deciding.
You should also bring up the topic during your next vet visit to better understand the surgical procedure. Your vet will also answer questions about risks linked to putting your puppy under general anesthesia.
To sum up, ear cropping has some benefits if you want a dog with the traditional Cane Corso look. Cropping can prevent injuries in active dogs or pets who are likely to engage in rough play-fighting with other dogs.
If your dog swims regularly, cropped ears can help prevent ear infections to some degree, but not much research supports this benefit.
Overall, ear cropping offers limited benefits. It’s a purely cosmetic procedure that yields few benefits in terms of preventing ear infections.
More dog owners are opting against this procedure, and some countries, like the UK, have even outlawed this practice.
You also must consider that vets recommend neutering your dog between six and nine months of age. Your dog will need to undergo this procedure that requires general anesthesia and a healing period of at least two weeks.
Ear cropping means your dog will undergo two significant surgical procedures within a short time frame, which can be expensive and translate into a long period of inactivity for your growing puppy.
Conclusion For “Should You Crop Cane Corso Ears?”
Ear cropping is a popular surgical procedure but offers few health benefits.
Some Cane Corso owners choose to have their puppy’s ear cropped to achieve the traditional alert look of the breed, but you need to ask yourself if putting your pet through a surgical procedure is worth it.
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For more information about the Cane Corso Ear Cropping, check out the video below: