At What Age Can You Crop a Cane Corso’s Ears?

A Cane Corso puppy with cropped ears lying on grass

Have you ever been excited about receiving and holding someone you love but still can’t explain the feeling? That was how I felt when I first held my Cane Corso puppy.

It was the most surreal feeling ever. It was so cute and small with fluffy ears that I loved playing with it. However, from experience, I knew I had to do something about those ears.

I wasn’t confident and certain about the right time to crop its ears, but I knew that my window was getting smaller as the weeks flew by.

I made contact with a few Cane Corso owners at a local kennel club who gave me advice on how best to go about the process while alerting me to the reduced time I had left. I knew I had to act quickly.

At what age can you crop a Cane Corse’s ears? The generally accepted and medically advised period to crop a Cane Corso’s ears is between 8 and 12 weeks old. Cropping outside this window is possible but more difficult as the ear’s weight results in the cartilage breaking down. This makes it hard for the ear to stay in an upright position.

It is crucial to get an experienced veterinarian to examine your dog. This way, he can examine the dog’s ears and advise you on your dog’s right cropping style.

It is extra important to get a veterinarian especially when it involves late cropping. That way, you can decide if cropping is still a possible option or the dog might have to live the rest of its life with uncropped ears.

Why the Short Window of Time?

The truth is, you don’t have much time to crop the ears of your Cane Corso. The advisable window is when the dog is between 8 and 12 weeks old. After this period, it becomes increasingly difficult with each passing week. This is as a result of the ears growing bigger and weighing more on the ear cartilage.

You must stick to this window as cropping the ears too early might be risky. It is difficult to envision how the ears would grow to be when cropping is performed too early. In the same way, waiting to perform outside this window presents its own level of risk.

You should understand that as the puppy gets older, the ears begin to grow bigger. The cartilage contained in the ears becomes hard and grows thicker. It will be a very painful process if you try to crop its ears. Moreover, there is no guaranty the ears might stand.

While the window provided is generally accepted for Cane Corsos, recognizing the probability of having a Cane Corso that can be cropped outside this window is crucial. You must consult a veterinarian to guide you.

The doctor should be able to advise you on the appropriate time to carry out a cropping exercise. Most doctors would always want to see the dog and examine it. Through careful examination, they will be able to decide when the cartilage is soft enough to shape it into a standing position.

Ear Cropping an Older Cane Corso

Cropping the ears of an older Cane Corso is a very delicate, and in most situations, a painful process. Most veterinarians would advise against it. Some would flatly reject an offer to carry out the exercise.

It is considered cruel to even consider cropping an older Cane Corso. Not only is this process painful but it could potentially damage the dog’s ears.

At an older age, the dog’s cartilage has become hardened and there is no guarantee the ears would assume an upright position after the process is over.

That is why most breeders and veterinarians will advise against putting a dog through a painful process that offers no positive guarantee of success.

However, it is possible to carry out a cropping exercise on older Cane Corsos. Contrary to popular belief, there are a few veterinarians that are willing to perform the procedure. First, they examine the ears to see if the cartilage will be able to restructure and assume an upright shape.

In very rare cases, a select group of older Cane Corso might still retain thin cartilage even at an advanced age.

For this select few, cropping might still be possible but there is no guarantee the cartilage will grow any thicker or stronger. If it did not grow strong at an older age, what is the guarantee it will grow stronger after the process?

For the select group of veterinarians that will carry out the procedure, they attempt to replace the ear cartilage with an implant. This implant helps to make the ear assume an upright shape. But beware, this is a new procedure and some doctors might even use a wire instead of the implant.

Is It Legal to Ear Crop a Cane Corso’s Ears?

While cropping is a universal activity amongst dog enthusiasts, some countries have placed a ban on the practice of cropping a dog’s ears. Most of these bans come with severe punishment while some are pretty mild.

However, these laws could change at any time after the publication of this post. It’s important to check if there have been any recent changes.

Ear cropping a Cane Corso’s ears is allowed in the following countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Chile
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Egypt
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Kuwait
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Nepal
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • Spain- including the Andalucía and Catalonian regions.
  • Sri Lanka
  • Taiwan
  • Turkey
  • United States (However, states like New York, Vermont and a handful of other states have been quietly proposing bills to abolish the practice)

Ear cropping a Cane Corso’s ears is illegal in the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Denmark
  • England
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France, but tail-docking is allowed.
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Northern Ireland
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Scotland
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Virgin Islands
  • Wales

What Exactly Is Ear Cropping?

My guess is most of you reading this post already know what ear cropping is all about. But I also believe there is also a group that is knowing about it for the first time and for this group, I will explain in detail what ear cropping is all about.

Ear cropping is a medical procedure that involves cutting off all or some parts of the flap located on the outer ears of a dog. There are several reasons why people crop their dogs’ ears.

Some claim it helps prevent diseases, although there is little or no evidence supporting this claim. The most widely agreed reason is that it enhances the dog’s appearance and gives it a better look.

How is this procedure carried out? Ear cropping mostly occurs when the dog is young and the ears are still soft. The dog is administered anesthesia to numb the pain after which a majority of the external flap is removed surgically. This procedure could also involve removing nerve endings.

When this has been done, the ears get stitched up and bandaged. The dog will have to wear the bandage for weeks to make sure it heals properly. These bandages are replaced with fresh ones regularly by the veterinarian after each examination.

Performing a crop comes with its risks. The ears can get infected during surgery or after surgery if not properly bandaged. There could be bleeding and it could lead to death if it becomes excessive and not immediately treated.

In rare cases, a botched process has led to dogs having their ears amputated. Dogs will experience tremendous pain and the downside is that there are no guarantees of success in certain situations.

Why Ear Cropping Is Done?

The discussion centered around ear cropping has always generated different views and opinions.

Not everyone is comfortable with the idea and although this practice has been banned in some countries, it is still very much allowed in other countries. Now the reasons are quite a few but not still justifiable to some sections of the canine community.

Many Cane Corso owners do not support the practice because it presents more risks than benefitsOpens in a new tab.. If you really want to have your Cane Corso’s ear cropped, make sure it’s done under the supervision of a certified veterinarian. Let’s have a look at the several reasons people practice cropping.

  • Appearance: One major reason dogs have their ears cropped is to improve their appearance. A lot of dog owners believe dogs with upright ears are better looking than dogs with flappy ears. This is a matter of preference and this is not supported by any study or advocated by veterinarians. Dogs can still look beautiful and cute with flappy ears.
  • To Prevent Infection: According to owners who crop their dogs’ ears, this practice helps to prevent ear infections. Surprisingly, there is no research backing this claim. I am not trying to destroy any ones position but pointing out that this reason is not based on any verifiable data. 
  • To Prevent Ear Attacks: Dog owners who breed dogs for fights usually crop the ears to prevent any dog injuries. There is a tendency that the opposing dog may choose to target the dog’s ears and this presents a huge risk to the dog. An attack on its ears might cause permanent damage to its outer ear and could lead to amputation. It could also lead to excessive bleeding which can result in death.

Other than these reasons, you may decide to crop your dog’s ears for other reasons peculiar to you. If you decide to go ahead with it, ensure to get the services of a certified veterinarian. This is the best way to ensure best practices are adhered to.

Finding a Good Veterinarian to Do the Ear Cropping

When you have decided to crop your dog’s ears, the next thing you must do is to find a good veterinarian. This is an important exercise and must be carried out carefully. Seek all available options before deciding.

Choosing a vet doctor can be tricky, but below, I have listed specific guidelines that can help you pick the best vet doctor.

  • Specialization and Experience: It will benefit you more if you can locate a veterinarian specializing in cropping the ears of Cane Corsos. Yes, many vets can perform a cropping procedure but vets with years of specialization will have more experience and offer more guarantee that your dog’s ears will be properly cropped. Also, ensure he provides you with evidence showing the work he has done. Be the judge and decide if he has done a good job.
  • Reputation: Working with a reputable veterinarian will reduce the risk of a bad job. Remember, if a bad cropping procedure is performed on your dog, he will have to live with the scars for life. There is hardly any fix for bad crops. Ask your friends for contacts, if you can reach out to a Cane Corso club, ask for the most reputable vets around and set meetings.

Whatever the reason for the surgery, it’s important that ear cropping is handled by a skilled professional that is specially trained and experienced in performing this delicate procedure.

Do Cane Corso Ears Need to Be Cropped to Enter Dog Shows?

It is hard to give a definite answer to this question. There are quite some dog shows for Cane Corsos and each has its own set of rules. If you intend cropping your Cane Corso for show purposes, ensure you check your preferred show’s guideline to verify if this is a requirement.

Ear Cropping Styles

When you have decided to crop your Cane Corso’s ears, the next step is to choose the cropping style that will fit your Corso.

There are several styles and if you have no experience with styles, then you should consult your veterinarian. While his advice can be very beneficial, you should also make sure you understand each style confidently. 

This is the only way you can make your own decision concerning your dog. There are three cropping styles you can choose for a Cane Corso.

  • Show Crop: This show crop is probably the hardest to perform. It is time-consuming, needing more wrappings around the ears. This style of cropping presents a higher risk of failure and no guarantee that your Cane Corso’s ears will stand upright, but performing right can yield amazing results. It is called the show crop because it is mostly performed on show dogs. Therefore if you intend using your Cane Corso for show purposes, you should be considering this style.
  • Battle Crop: The battle crop style is the shortest crop style available. If you want your dog’s ears to be short, then this is the style you will need to pick. Most veterinarians often recommend this if your Cane Corso is older and there is no guarantee that any other style will work.
  • Short Crop: This is the best style to choose if your Cane Corso is still young and their chances of the ears standing upright are still great. This procedure ensures the ears are short, but not as short as that of the battle crop. This style ensures there is still about two-thirds of the ears left standing.

Final Thoughts

There is no doubt that ear cropping will make your dog different. Even till today, some sections of the canine community still vehemently oppose the practice and have gone as far as attempting to sponsor bills in some states. Make it your duty to verify if the practice is legal in your region.

In addition to that, do not be hasty to pick a veterinarian. There are quacks in the industry and working with one can pose a great danger to your dog’s health. If possible, visit the local dog club for advice. And whatever you do, always remember to put your dog’s wellbeing and health first.

Related Questions

Are there any guarantees that the ears will become erect after cropping?

There is a high success rate of ear cropping procedures achieving the desired results. But there are also situations where it won’t work although these are few and rare. This could be due to weak cartilage or scar tissue that’s beginning to form.

How soon will you see results?

Post cropping, healing periods can last anywhere between 4 to 6 months. In most cases, there are several visits to the vet where the ears are constantly redressed with fresh bandages. This window is not standard and can vary with different dogs.

John Carter

My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially dogs. I've got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.

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