How Old Should a Pitbull Be to Have Its Ears Clipped?

Pitbull puppy
Pitbull puppy (Image: "Baby puppy pit bull, Bach" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: BL1961 (Beverly) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.)

Ear cropping provides a distinctive look on pit bulls. The procedure is done on puppies and has created controversy. Here's a look at some of the pros and cons.


Ear cropping is done on a variety of dogs, including pit bulls. The only purpose is cosmetic; there is no health reason for this procedure.

Time Frame

Cropping should be performed before the pup is 14 weeks old. The older the pup, the longer the healing process, and you are less likely to get the best results.


The effects of this surgery are upright, pointed, perky-looking ears. This also, however, removes the natural protective covering that the long ear provides.


If you are planning to show your pup, you might want to have the ears cropped. If it is just to be a family pet, you might choose to leave the ears natural. This will save you a lot of money and the pup a lot of pain.


Some breeders will crop the pup's ears for you, but it is best to find a veterinarian who specializes in this field. Otherwise, you might not get the results you desire. Using a vet makes sure that your pup can get the care it needs if there is a problem.

Expert Insight

The Association of Veterinary Medicine has come out with a statement that they would like to see this practice discontinued for cosmetic purposes.

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