How to Crop a Pitbull's Ears

Pitbull ears are cropped for cosmetic reasons.
Pitbull ears are cropped for cosmetic reasons. (Image: Pitbull in giardino image by Alpapiro from

The purpose of cropping a pitbull's ears is to give the dog a "breed standard look," or the ideal look for the dog as set forth by guidelines of kennel clubs. Both the natural and cropped forms of ears are acceptable in dog shows, so cropping your pitbull's ears is a matter of personal preference. If you decide to crop, the procedure must be done when the puppy is 9 to 12 weeks old.

When the puppy is of age, discuss the procedure with your veterinarian. The puppy should be up to date with her vaccinations, de-wormed, and in overall good health before getting her ears cropped. The veterinarian may be able to refer you to a good veterinary surgeon who specializes in this procedure.

The puppy will have to stay at the hospital for at least one day following the procedure. The surgeon will suture his ears and affix an aluminum rack or an inverted paper cup to the puppy's head. This helps support the ears, although the puppy will likely try to remove it. If the puppy succeeds, contact the doctor to have the support fixed. The support will have to stay on for one to three months.

Clean the ears twice a day with soap and water. If there is a lesion on the ear, it can be cleaned with antibiotic ointment. After seven days, take the puppy back to the surgeon to have the sutures removed. Waiting longer than seven days can cause the ears to scar.

Tips & Warnings

  • This procedure should only be done by a veterinary surgeon with expertise in this procedure. Do not attempt this at home.
  • Be sure the puppy does not eat or drink anything 12 hours before surgery. Food or drink can cause the dog to vomit while sedated, and that can be fatal.
  • Be consistent in cleaning the puppy's ears to avoid any complications following surgery. Failure to do so can result in immune system suppression, moist dermatitis or ear infection.

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