Let me start by saying that I stand firmly behind the phrase "Dogs are man's best friend," like my soon-to-be 2-year-old Chihuahua, RayRay.

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RayRay is 5 pounds, and if you see him from across the room, you'd think that he has 3 pound ears. Here's a recent photo.

Photo of RayRay by Large "Daddy" Dave
Photo of RayRay by Large "Daddy" Dave
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Here's my point: I love those ears, they're so expressive. I would never crop RayRay's ears. I understand that Chihuahuas are not a breed that historically has had their ears cropped, but a situation has come up that has made me look into the reasons why someone would do this to their puppy. Oh, for you cat people, ear cropping is a surgical procedure in which a dog's ears are trimmed, so that they stand straight up, rather than flopping over.

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A buddy of mine and his wife just got a beautiful Boston Terrier, it's about 17 weeks old, and they're debating on whether or not to get its ears cropped. The Boston Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Rottweiler, American Bully, Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes, Brussels Griffon (Oh Banana Joe), and Boxers, are the most common breeds that have their ears, and sometimes tails <shudder> trimmed back, or lopped off.

Why? Cosmetic reasons. Many people like the fierce look that cropped ears give off. Cropping used to be done specifically for practical reasons: To improve the hearing of guard dogs, or, the ears of a hunting dog. Hunting dog ears were also cropped in order to prevent them from being bitten by their prey.

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While much of the USA still allows this practice, most of the rest of the world has regulated, or outlawed cropping. Here in Connecticut, our law, Sec. 22-366, states:

"Any person who crops or cuts or causes to be cropped or cut off the whole or any part of the ear of a dog, unless such person is a registered veterinary surgeon, and unless such operation is performed the dog is under an anesthetic, shall be fined not more than $50 for the first offense, and be guilty of a Class D misdemeanor for each subsequent offense."

So, no, you shouldn't crop your own dog's ears here in CT. Have a vet do it, or you'll face a $50 fine. Not much of a deterrent for the dunces who are hacking up their poor pit puppies with kitchen shears. In my opinion, let them flop.

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