Why Rottweilers Don’t Have Cropped Ears

Credit @ivar_thedoberman

Do Rottweilers have cropped ears? No, it’s rare to see Rottweilers with cropped ears as it’s not part of the official breed standard. It’s far more common for them to have cropped tails, which is part of the recognized breed standard in the US, however, bans in some countries and a change in the breed standards for Germany and the UK indicate a move away from this.

Ear cropping of several breeds of dogs, such as the Doberman, Boston Terrier, Boxer, and Great Dane  is actually relatively common, but also controversial. Cropping the ears of you dog may fit a specific aesthetic you are looking for but is also a purely cosmetic procedure with, let alone extremely painful for the dog. Unless you are entering your dog into a show where the breed standard calls for cropped ears I would highly recommend you don’t have this procedure done, or buy from a breeder that does so.  

There is a great deal to learn about cropped ears before you decide that this is something you want to do with your dog.

Why Are Dog’s Ears Cropped?

The number one reason that people tend to have their dog’s ears cropped is for aesthetic reasons. There are many who believe that this makes their dog look better and so they choose to have the ears cropped for this purpose.

Traditionally cropping was done to make dogs look fiercer or intimidating. This is especially true of some breed’s military background and when historically these dogs were used for the ‘sport’ of dogfighting and guarding.

For some breeds, such as the Doberman, The American Kennel Club still considers the process to be integral to the breed, which means that it is part of the breed standard. This is another reason that many will get their dogs ears clipped because they believe that’s what they are ‘supposed to do.’ Or they may wish to enter their dog in events where this is required. In contrast, the UK Kennel club allows both natural and cropped ears as part of the breed standard and in the UK, with the government even banning the practice altogether in 2015.

One of the only potential positives for having a dogs ears cropped is that it was once believed that this would help to decrease the odds of ear infection. This, however, has not proven to be the case. Dogs are unlikely to get ear infections at all, and if they do there is little evidence to suggest that cropped ears actually helps with this.

Why Rottweiler Cropped Ears Are Unnecessary

Having any type of surgical procedure done on your dog when they don’t’ need it, for purely aesthetic or cosmetic reasons is definitely not fair to your dog. Cropping the ears of your dog is most definitely a surgical procedure and it’s one you should talk about with a veterinarian before you decide to do it.

Research has shown also that there is no good reason to get your dogs ears clipped in order to prevent infection. The vast majority of dogs will never have an infection, and clipping the ears will actually not help with this even if your dog was to get an infection. This should be evidenced by the fact that dog breeds that are more prone to infection are not commonly clipped.

There is no benefit that has yet been found for cropped ears. Rather, there are a number of negatives and this is a reason that many countries are looking to ban this practice as well as the practice of docking the tail of rottweilers and other breeds.

This procedure is painful and it leaves the potential for health problems or infection for your dog. And all of this while receiving no benefit or even potential benefit for the process. This is definitely not something that you should be considering as a loving pet owner.

Common Beliefs on Cropped Ears

There are many people who feel that cropping or docking your rottweilers ears is not that big of a deal and that it is a relatively simple procedure. Whether it is simple or not, however, is not actually the point of the question. The most important part is that it is an unnecessary procedure that involves a great deal of pain for the dog.

Clipping the ears does not serve a purpose. And that means you are putting them through this process for no good reason. Even if you believe that they look better with cropped ears, the idea of putting them through something like this procedure for no other reason than looks is definitely not fair to them.

What to Know If Your Rottweiler’s Ears Are Cropped

What if you have purchased a puppy or an older dog that already has their ears cropped? If that’s the case you should be aware of just what you’re getting into. Because of the somewhat negative view that cropping has started to develop, as well as the costs involved, some people choose to have it done with a less-than-professional procedure.

If your dog has cropped ears make sure that you find out more about how the procedure was done and with who. You want to make sure it was done with a professional or a veterinarian to make sure that your dog is going to have minimal complications.

If the procedure isn’t done properly or is done by someone who is not a professional it could result in infection, health problems and a whole lot more. You want to make sure that you avoid this whenever possible. By finding out more about the breeder and the person they went to you will be able to protect them as well as possible.

If you do purchase a dog with their ears already cropped, or if you do decide to clip their ears yourself, hire a professional or veterinarian to get it done properly. This will be the only way to keep your dog as safe as possible both during and after the procedure.

Banning Copped Ears

Tail docking has already become a very controversial subject for many dog owners and lovers. As a result, there are many countries that have banned the practice. In fact, there are also a number of states within the United States that have chosen to ban the practice.

While it is still legal to have your dogs ears clipped within the United States in general (there are no federal laws against it), many states have taken a different stance. Also, even in areas where the practice is allowed, you may find it difficult to find a veterinarian or other professional who will complete ear docking.

While many parts of the world do still allow the practice, there are many that are seeking to have it banned outright. The idea is that it is a cruel and unusual practice with absolutely no redeeming qualities. As such, many organizations are looking for ways to convince governments in different parts of the world to change their rules.

Who is Against Ear Cropping

In general, there are several countries that have banned the practice of ear cropping. These countries believe the practice to be inhumane and do not allow anyone to have their dogs ears cropped within the country. However, some countries do allow for dogs to be imported that have their ears cropped.

There are an increasing number of breeders and veterinarians, who do not approve of the practice of ear cropping either. These individuals believe that it is cruel and inhumane for the dog and we agree with them. These individuals, and a growing number of others are looking to outlaw the practice.

The idea of getting rid of ear cropping entirely is one that has a large following and the numbers are growing, and we are definitely happy about that. We think that all responsible, loving pet owners should be against the idea of this type of unnecessary mutilation for their dogs.

The Ear Cropping Process

Ear cropping requires the dog in question to be between 8 weeks and 12 weeks of age. It is then put under anesthetic to keep them still and comfortable during the procedure, though this will not help them with the recovery process after.

During the process, the floppy part of the ear is removed to leave the stiff portion of the ear behind. This removes the ‘cover’ over the inner part of the ear, which is likely where some of the misconception that it can help with reducing ear infections actually comes from.

Credit @tia.the.doberman

This floppy part of the ear can actually help the dog to keep out pests and in general is just part of how the dog is made. It’s entirely normal and should be left alone, but in the course of this procedure it will be removed.

The portion of the ear that remains will then be taped to a hard surface, which retains the stiff, upright look that goes along with cropping the ears. This requires upwards of 4 weeks and often as much as 8 weeks to be completed, during which time the dog must have their ears taped and bandages changed frequently.

Making the Right Decision for Your Rottweiler

When it comes to taking care of your rottweiler you want to make sure you fully understand all of the different possibilities. You want to make sure that you understand what it means to clip your dogs ears and what it will do to them if you do.

Make sure you consider any other procedures that you are considering for your dog, including tail clipping, which is another elective but unnecessary procedure. You want to make sure you are doing everything you can to protect your dog, and that means paying attention to what they need and what they don’t.

Some veterinarians will not complete either of the elective procedures. Make sure that you talk with your veterinarian to find out more about what your dog actually needs and doesn’t need and what procedures you are willing (or not willing) to do with them.

Keeping your dog healthy and happy is the most important thing as a pet parent, and that starts with getting rid of these types of procedures. Make sure that you are treating your dog right from the tart and that starts with keeping their ears just the way they’re supposed to be.


Your dog needs you to protect them, and that means protecting them from anything and everything around them, including unnecessary surgeries. By keeping them from getting their ears docked unnecessarily, you will be providing the protection that they need.

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About The Rotty lover 2159 Articles
My name is Dr. Winnie. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa. I have been an animal lover and owners all my life having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! I'm also an amateur equestrian and love working with horses. I'm a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2 kids and Big G in my free time. Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone