Cropped Ears vs. Natural Ears

In North America, we have the option of having cropped ears or natural ears.  This is a controversial topic.  This section will address the physical differences between the two styles.


Black & Silver demonstrating the Cropped Ear

(side view)

Salt & Pepper demonstrating the Natural Ear

(side view)

Both styles of ears are completely different.  Both will appeal to certain individuals.  There is an article in Milestones about our first decision to show a dog with natural ears.  What is right and what is wrong is a matter of personal opinion. 


The cropped ear creates a keen and alert expression.  Cropping does require a general anaesthetic and is surgery to resection the base of the ear.  There is a small window of time in which cropping can safely be done, this is typically between 9 and 12 weeks of age.  The cropped ear stands upright with the ear leather shaped to a steep triangle with a sharp point. 


The natural ear provides for a softer look and expression.  The natural ear is "V" shaped and there should be a fold in the ear to drop the ear forward with a slight lift to break above the skull, not too extreme but should also not be too houndy.  There is more movement to the natural ear when the dog runs and plays but while still the ears should fold forward and frame their face.


Natural Ears vs. Cropped Ears

(front view)



These two black & silver litter mates nicely illustrate the difference between the natural ear and cropped ear on a frontal view.


Both provide a wonderful look but clearly both are different.


Natural Ears vs. Cropped Ears

(front angle view)


These two salt & peppers are demonstrating the physical characteristic differences in expression with the natural ears and cropped ears.


Puppy Ears!



The photo on the left depicts a black & silver puppy with cropped ears.  In this photo the ears are taped to get them standing.  Taping is done until the ears are correctly upright and may take a couple of weeks to a couple of months.



The photo on the right shows a salt & pepper puppy with natural ears.  At times natural ears need to be glued to encourage the fold and break.  Gluing can be started as soon as it might be noted that the fold is breaking incorrectly and may be continued until teething is complete.  Many ears never need gluing.

To view a video on how to set natural ears click here or photo to the right.


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