The Hawkeye

Dogs are our friends, not accessories

by Siddharth Gaulee

by Siddharth Gaulee

Madison Smith, [email protected]

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Dogs come in a variety of different shapes and sizes—and so do their ears, but certain breeds have them surgically altered to make them look more “pleasing,” which is just a really fancy way of saying, “I want my dog to look more menacing and tough.”
This practice is called “ear cropping” and it’s done to all of your favorite breeds: Dobermans, Boxers, Great Danes and Pit Bulls.
It’s usually done to pure breeds when they are puppies, the human logic being that they will be young enough to not remember the pain.
The ears are sometimes bandaged until they heal with the hope that they will have that distinctive pointed look.
A lot of people will chalk ear cropping up as just another surgery dogs undergo like spaying or neutering, but they’re not at all the same, and here’s why.
Spaying and neutering are completely regulated operations which means they are overseen by trained specialists.
Ear cropping is not and is often done by people with no medical authority.
Spaying and neutering has also been linked through studies to keep your pet healthier for longer as it lowers the risk of aggressive reproductive cancers. Ear cropping has no health benefits.
It only perpetuates harmful stereotypes that lead to the continued labelling of “aggressive breeds.” It also encourages mass hysteria and the euthanizing of these animals.
The myth that it lowers the likelihood of your dog getting ear infections is just that, a myth.
It is purely done for cosmetic reasons, which brings me to my next point.
Surgeries performed by unskilled hands can lead to ears that are mismatched or bent.
One reason this can happen is because there is not enough cartilage left in the remaining ear to keep the ears upright.
It can also happen because the person doing the cropping cut “too much” of the ear for the dog’s size.
To supplement this, people will pump their puppies with extra vitamins like calcium in order to get the ears to stand up.
This, for one, can lead to growth problems in dogs. Secondly, this scientifically isn’t going to work.
And finally, why would you go to such lengths for something so incredibly unimportant? Aren’t there better things to worry about?
Either way, dogs are not our accessories. They’re not handbags or shoes. They are living beings who we are lucky enough to share our lives with as partners and friends.
We do not get the right to put them through unnecessary slicing and dicing, because we want them to look a certain way.
Dogs are worth much more than their looks and deserve to be appreciated for their personalities and their capacity to love unconditionally.
Ear cropping has been banned in Canada and Australia and, it’s disappointing that the U. S. is lagging behind.
We need to collectively come together as pet owners and make it clear we value our pets for who they are and not what they look like.

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The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe
Dogs are our friends, not accessories