The Miniature Pinscher is probably one of the most friendly dog breeds. Fondly referred to as Min Pins, they are clever and playful, which was one reason I chose to get one.
I experienced how friendly it can get the first day he got delivered. Although he tried to protect himself from me, he soon relaxed his guard and wagged his tail at me in no distant time. What a friend he eventually turned out to be.
Despite his size, his ears were growing and sagging. To be honest with you, I loved it that way but after a few strangers who were dog lovers pointed out the need to crop his ears, I knew I had to get as much information as I could.
I searched the web for the veterinarians in my state and got the address of a few reputable vets. After consultations, I was armed with enough information.
At what age can you crop a Miniature Pinscher’s ears? Miniature Pinschers should have their ears cropped when they are between the ages of 8 and 12 weeks. This way, the ears can be shaped and modeled to suit the dog’s appearance. The duration of the window gives the owner enough time to crop the ears.
Professional advice and guidance are essential for carrying out the right ear cropping for your Min Pin. This might cost money when working with reputable veterinarians, but it is far better than doing an amateur cropping.
If a cropping process goes wrong, it is extremely difficult to correct and the dog will have to live the rest of its life with a scarred ear.
Why the Short Window of Time?
When it comes to ear cropping, it is important to know that there is a window in which this procedure must be carried out.
Generally, breeders have told me that Miniature Pinschers are ear cropped between the age of 8 and 12 weeks. This is not a short window. This window is large enough to make all consultations and decide if you still want to proceed with the process.
Even though 8 to 12 weeks is the accepted window, cropping the ears too early is soundly discouraged. Most breeders and dog owners try to carry out the procedure at an early age to save money. This is dangerous and presents a higher level of risk.
The ears may become unflattering and the result may be bad. Bad crops are hard to correct; hence it’s wise to wait till your dog falls between the advised age window.
Most breeders agree that ear cropping in the specified time makes it easy to shape and contour the ears into a dignifying and flattering position.
Although there are some speculations that Min Pins can have their ears cropped after that window, it is incredibly risky and there is no guarantee the process will be successful.
This is because the cartilage may have become hard and will become more difficult to shape. Moreover, it is a more painful process at this stage.
Ear Cropping Older Miniature Pinschers
You must have heard that Min Pins can have their ears cropped at a much older age. While this is true, it is not recommended. Why is this?
Cropping older Min Pins presents fewer chances of success because at this stage, just like I pointed out in the last section, the ears have taken a new shape due to the cartilage becoming thick and strong.
A lot of veterinarians would refuse to carry out this procedure at a later age. Some flat out consider this inhumane and unethical.
Many people wonder why anyone wants to put a dog through such a painful process to shape their ears and enhance their looks. But as with everything, there are exceptions.
You will find vets who will carry out this process although most will admit to you the chances of success are slim. After proper examination, they will hold consultations with you and present all case scenarios for you to decide if you still want to proceed.
In rare cases, the ear cartilage will still be soft, but what are the chances of it growing stronger after the procedure if it is not yet strong at that age.
The few vets who would decide to carry on with the procedure would often than not replace the cartilage with a metal implant. The work of the implant is to hold the ear in an upright position while it heals.
Generally, I would advise against cropping an older Miniature Pinscher’s ears. But then again I admit the choice is yours.
Is It Legal to Crop a Miniature Pinscher’s Ears?
All over the world, ear cropping is received with mixed feelings. While some countries have no objection or no legislation against it, some other countries have strict regulations prohibiting the cropping of any dog and most of these laws come attached with strict fines.
Except for Morocco with no laws protecting animals, the following countries below have no legislation against ear cropping:
- Costa Rica
- Sri Lanka
- United States- some states like Vermont are currently considering passing legislation that prohibits cropping.
*In Canada, there are no laws banning the practice, although the Canadian veterinary medical association has constantly spoken against it. However, some provinces like Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Quebec all have passed provincial legislation that outrightly bans the cropping of dogs’ ears.
The following countries below have legislation banning the practice of ear cropping in dogs and could come with attendant fines. Hence, ear cropping a Miniature Pinscher is illegal in:
- Czech Republic
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- Northern Ireland
- South Africa
- Virgin Islands
What Exactly Is Ear Cropping?
You may likely be wondering what ear cropping is all about. This whole article is centered on the practice and yet not an explanation as to what it is. If you do not know about it, do not be worried. I will proceed to explain in detail what the concept “ear cropping” is all about.
Ear cropping is a surgical operation carried out on animals, in this case, a dog. This procedure is aimed at removing the parts of the outer ears. It involves shaping the flappy part of the ears to the desired shape.
In most cases, this procedure is carried out when the puppy is still young and the cartilages in its ears are still soft and can be shaped. There are several reasons for this procedure and I will explain that in the next section.
Since this is a delicate medical procedure, it is advised that this process is carried out by a certified veterinarian. The procedure involves anesthetizing the part of the ear flap that is to be removed. This is to numb the pain and reduce the discomfort.
After surgery, the ears are bandaged and held in place with splints and in some cases, a thick layer of tape is used to keep the ears in position. This bandage is changed regularly after each scheduled visit and healing can take some months before the bandage can be removed completely.
Why Ear Cropping Is Done?
Ear cropping is done for various reasons. Some of these reasons are debatable and leave question marks as to their validity and effectiveness.
In the canine community, there is a divide with those who oppose the practice at one end and proponents on the other end. I doubt if these reasons will ever be generally accepted.
The decision to crop your dog’s ears, whatever your reason may be, is completely yours. I am indifferent towards the practice because I feel everyone can have peculiar reasons for doing what they do and such reason may not be fully understood by others.
All I have often advocated for is to ensure that this process is carried out under safe practices. I have stated earlier that this practice is done for several reasons and now let’s examine some of them:
- Health: Some dog owners and breeders will tell you that preventing or decreasing the chances of a dog getting infected is the reason why they crop the ears. However, this reason is heavily debated and rejected by members of the canine community and animal rights activists.
- Injury: Historically, dogs have been used as companions on hunting expedition. Since dogs are known to get into a fight in defense of their owners, their ears were easy targets for predators. This often proved fatal as severe wounds could result in excessive bleeding which could lead to death. To prevent this, most dog owners decide to crop the ears to reduce the chances of the ears becoming an easy target. Also, for dogs that are frequently part of dog fight shows, cropping the ears was a preventive method and reduced the chances of getting attacked through its ears.
- Looks: Apparently, dog owners believe that a dog’s physical look can be enhanced when its ears are cropped. Cropping a dog’s ears is aimed at keeping it in an upright position as opposed to its natural flappy nature.
Finding a Good Veterinarian to Do the Ear Cropping
Finding a good veterinarian that will crop your dog is not an easy task. It could turn out to be a long and stressful process but can be rewarding if you locate a good veterinarian. To help you out, I have listed some requirements that will help you search for a good veterinarian.
Most of these have been drawn from my personal experience in addition to having other experienced breeders’ contributions. So be rest assured, the guidelines below will go a long way in helping your search.
- Price: I must alert you to the huge importance of money in your search for a veterinarian. To be honest with you, veterinarians who are very confident in their work in addition to years of experience will likely charge you more. Your pool of choice may be limited if you don’t have enough money for this exercise. Nevertheless, an expensive vet is not proof that he is very competent enough to do a good job. You can expect to pay between $150 and $800 on average to have your Miniature Pinscher’s ears cropped by a professional veterinarian.
- Reputation: While finance may play a role in the caliber of vet you can get, reputation is a major factor. Before you finally let a vet perform a surgical operation on your dog, ask around for reviews. Try as much as possible to contact those he has worked for and seek their honest reviews. In addition to that, you can ask for pictures of previous jobs and be the judge yourself. If you are satisfied with what you see, you can proceed else you should keep on searching.
A good veterinarian is such a valuable asset and getting one is like gold. A poor job can disfigure your dog for life as a fix is difficult. Getting an insurance policy can also help with covering the cost. Do not hesitate to look for insurance companies that offer such policies.
Here is the list of vets who perform ear cropping surgeries in the United States.
Do Miniature Pinscher’s Ears Need to Be Cropped to Enter Dog Shows?
It depends on the competition. There are several dog shows and while some only allow for dogs with cropped ears to compete, other shows don’t insist on it.
Irrespective of each show’s guideline and requirement, it is common knowledge that dog shows are often decided based on appearance. Unless you are pretty confident about your Miniature Pinscher’s chances of winning even with flappy ears, go ahead with cropping its ears.
Ear Cropping Styles
Choosing a suitable working style is very important. This decision should be an informed one and your veterinarian must be involved. Nevertheless, most vets will carry out a thorough examination of the dog’s ears before advising you on the most appropriate style for your dog.
Your choice of style can be dependent on factors such as age, length of ears, and purpose for breeding. There are three cropping styles suited for the Miniature Pinscher.
- Short Crop: If you intend to crop the ears of your Miniature Pinscher to a reasonable length that is not too short, then the short crop will be more suitable. The short crop is not the shortest style as this procedure still leaves about two-thirds of the ears in an upright position. This is the standard crop style for a Miniature Pinscher, and most veterinarians I know prefer this style to any other.
- Show Crop: While the short crop above is highly recommended, the show crop is specifically used for dogs that are bred for show purposes. Unless your dog is for show purposes, using this style is not always recommended. This style takes time to carry out while also needing a lot of wrapping. What makes the style unfit for a Miniature Pinscher is the little guarantee of success it offers.
- Battle Crop: Earlier in this article I spoke about the dangers of cropping an older Miniature Pinscher. If you were to find a veterinarian willing to carry on the procedure, he or she would most likely recommend this style. The battle crop is shorter than all other styles and very easy to carry out. Moreover, your dog won’t need a lot of recovery time.
Before you decide to crop your Miniature Pinscher’s ears, be reminded that ear cropping can go wrong. A botched cropping procedure can leave your dog scarred for the rest of its life. To prevent this, make sure you pick a very good veterinarian who already has a good history and experience with this breed.
Each style you pick must be the end product of a careful consultative session with your veterinarian. Research on animal laws in your region if you are unsure about the legal status of the practice. Do not carry out the procedure if cropping is illegal in your region!!!
Should I crop my Miniature Pinscher’s ears?
To be honest with you, this decision is yours to make. While cropping is not meant to be performed on every dog, I recognize there are instances where it is necessary. In situations like this, you must endeavor to seek a professional opinion from a certified vet.
Does it take long before the ears stand upright?
For Miniature Pinschers, it can take about 2-4 months before the ears will begin to take permanent shape. During this period, there will be scheduled visits to the vet clinic to change the bandage and examine the ears to ensure it’s all going right.