Although this is a very common practice in certain breeds, consisting of mutilating the dog’s ears or tails to supposedly get certain benefits, the truth is that cropping a dog’s ears or docking his tail provides absolutely no benefit. Quite the opposite, in fact.

We all know someone who has a dog with cropped (mutilated) ears or with no tail; some breeds like Pitbull and Boxer are typically the victim of these harmful practices. Here, we’ll explain in detail the reasons why you should never, ever mutilate your dog in this way.

dog ears

Should I crop my dog’s ears?

No, no and no. Ear cropping is nothing but a form of mutilation done to certain dogs so that they look more “fierce”. It is a very painful practice for the dog and can have negative effects on his development and socialization.

It isn’t just a trauma for the dog, but it is a very painful procedure (imagine if you were the one being amputated). Dogs need their ears to protect the inner ear from air and dust, to orient themselves and to hear better (something very important in guard dogs), or simply to express their mood and relate to other dogs. All professionals in the dog world know that correctly socializing a dog is extremely important for his development; if his ears have been amputated, it will be more difficult to communicate with other dogs.

On the other hand, it causes health problems for the dog. Having his ears amputated makes it easier for them to accumulate dirt, dust, etc., which can cause infections like otitis or associated problems like conjunctivitis: How to clean your dog´s ears

And that’s assuming that the operation goes smoothly. It’s very common for dogs to get infections during the mutilation – infections that can even be fatal for your dog.

boxer with cut tail

Should I dock my dog’s tail?

Proponents claim that mutilating a dog’s tail helps them run better, defend themselves better, etc.… They also claim that some dogs have tails that are too strong and which could hurt someone, that it’s more aesthetically pleasing, and so on. They claim things that are so absurd, which we will see shortly, that it’s simply a matter of uneducated people who don’t understand how serious the situation is, whether because of lack of knowledge or simply lack of brain cells.

A dog’s tail is an extension of his spinal column. Yes, you read that right – if you cut a dog’s tail, you are removing part of his spine. A dog’s tail is essential in all aspects of his life.
As everyone knows, the movement of a dog’s tail has precise meaning, which not just humans are able to understand, but other dogs too, and this is one way they communicate with each other.

Dogs use their tails to keep their balance when they run, jump, or play. Have you ever seen a dog’s tail “spiral” when he comes running up to you and then has to stop suddenly? A dog’s tail is essential for him to socialize with other dogs.
Docking a dog’s tail isn’t just an absurd and cruel mutilation, but a life sentence for your dog. It’s an extremely painful process that will cause him problems with balance and communication for the rest of his life.

If you don’t like the way a dog’s tail looks, maybe you shouldn’t have that dog, simple as that.

Dog at Vet

Is it legal to cut a dog’s ears or tail?

Generally speaking it’s legal in some countries and illegal in others. In the UK, for example, the practice is illegal (with a few exceptions), and in Australia it is completely forbidden, and amputating any part of a dog without a valid medical reason (removing a tumor, for example) is penalized. Other countries like the United States and Canada don’t have laws that prohibit it, although we hope they will soon, and all the major veterinary associations strongly disapprove of the practice. However, it’s something that only a vet can do, because there is a big risk of infection for the dog.

At, we want to clarify that we will report any breeder, veterinarian or dog owner who mutilates a dog’s ears or tail. And we ask that you report them, too, you can report this anonymously.

Please, don’t mutilate your dog, and don’t let anyone else do it either.