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Ear Cropping for Boxers

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Tags: Boxers, Ear Cropping, Medical, Grooming

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A sensitive topic in many boxer communities, ear cropping was once considered to be more or less standard practice but in recent years has fallen into disfavor as being cruel and potentially dangerous to the dogs. Both sides of the argument raise several valid points, and when it comes down to it whether or not to crop the ears of a boxer remains a matter of the owner's preference. Here are some of the main arguments both for and against ear cropping so as to help you to make the decision as to what's right for your boxer puppy.

If you aren't sure of exactly what's being referred to when cropping is mentioned, it's a cosmetic surgery procedure that involves cutting off a portion of the boxer's ear while young in order to give the dog a more majestic or imposing appearance. The cropped area of the ear will have to be tended to for a few days after the surgery takes place in order to make sure that the pup doesn't scratch at its ears (which could potentially lead to it pulling out stitches), and the site will need to be checked and cleaned daily in order to prevent scabbing which could lead to scarring. The surgical wounds should heal rather quickly, so you would most likely have to spend only the first few days watching for signs of problems with the recently-cropped ears.

Proponents of ear cropping cite both tradition and medical reasons in support of ear cropping for boxers. Not only is cropping recognized as a common practice by international boxer organizations, but it also can help to prevent ear problems which can be caused by the boxer's normally floppy ears which would otherwise cover most of the ear canal. Cropped ears can have significantly fewer cases of ear mites and other ear infections because the ear canal is more open to light and air, resulting in a reduced humidity in the canal and a less-ideal environment for mites and infection.

On the other side of the argument, those who are against ear cropping point out that it can be a painful procedure for young dogs to undergo and maintain that the surgery is both cruel and outdated. If not properly cared for, the surgical site can become infected and cause additional problems for the boxer pup. A more recent concern which should also be considered if you're considering cropping your boxer's ears is that many cities and other governmental bodies have begun passing laws restricting the ownership of aggressive dogs or dogs which appear to have been raised to be fierce. In some localities, these laws can apply to boxers with cropped ears because the surgery tends to make the dogs appear more intimidating (and many would relate this change in appearance to an increased hostility, even if that connection doesn't really exist.)

It's important to keep in mind that as a surgical procedure, ear cropping cannot simply be reversed at a later date. Make sure that you carefully consider the pros and cons of ear cropping before deciding whether or not to have your boxer's ears cropped.

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