Skip to Content

Schnauzer Ear Cropping Can End Up In A Botched Ear Job Or Worse

Schnauzer Ear Cropping Can End Up In A Botched Ear Job Or Worse

Schnauzers are small, rowdy, resilient, job-driven dogs that have naturally floppy ears. If, for some reason, a dog owner decides to have their Schnauzer go under the knife, they should definitely know what they are getting into.

Still, I don’t know which one is harder, finding a good plastic surgeon or a veterinarian that knows how to crop a dog’s ear. Your options might end up being a Batman-looking Schnauzer, or Dr. Frankenstein’s second attempt at a project.

Who Is Right? The Naysayers Or Traditionalists?

picture of a schnauzer with scissors

Potatoe, potato. Should you care about what other people think? I don’t think so. However, you should care about what your dog would think if it could switch places with you. Would you put the decision of cosmetic surgery in your dog’s hands? Well, you probably would.

With the surgery involving scalpels, scissors, sutures, followed by weeks of ear posting and vet check-ups, your dog will most likely regret for growing ears in the first place. Oh, and you might regret going through it all simply to have a Schnauzer that looks like every other one.

I will presume you are catching on with what is going on here. Those who have their dogs compete in conformation events should look away. Let’s just say it will not be complementary to their owner standards.

Who am I to say these things? Well, I simply happen to agree with Dr. Patricia Turner, Chair of Canadian Veterinary Journal, in that there are no health benefits to ear cropping [1]. Even in the case of ear infections or similar issues, there are far better medical treatments available.

Are me and Patricia the only humans that share this sentiment? No, we are not. The AVMA, RSPCA, VCA, and other animal veterinary medical associations are slapping the life out of this practice, by calling for legislation revision and more owner education from breeders.

The purpose of ear cropping a dog mostly changed the perception of the dog and owner in other people’s eyes, a study found [2]. So, if someone wants to treat themselves with some cosmetic surgery, they have an entire human body at their disposal.

I mean, who even invented this dogpoo procedure? An even more intense question mark is why would you ever chop a dog’s ear off for any reason other than to save its life? I mean, it’s not like their ears get stuck on things by the minute.

Thank You, Misconceptions From The Past, Said No Dog Ever

Thank You, Misconceptions From The Past, Said No Dog Ever

Mini, standard, or giant, the Schnauzer was always a hunter’s go-to choice –  a weather resistant coat, adequate size, strength, and speed for specific animal hunting and the brain to mush those features together in a capable doggy package.

Enter humans. The creatures that love to come to conclusions without any evidence. Farmers and hunters cropped their Schnauzers’ ears because they believed it would reduce the chance of ear infections and prevent rodents from latching to the ears.

Rat extermination is a dangerous job, I’m sure. However, I simply can’t see the vermin hanging from a Schnauzer’s ears while causing James Bond levels of damage. 

Cropped ears were somehow deemed as a “preventative measure” for rabies. I guess nobody told them that there is an entire dog body under the ears that can be a target for bites as well.

Dogs with hanging ears cannot hear well. People actually believed that. How could they even consider that to be an option when their dogs protected farmsteads and properties from animals and trespassers? 

I love how ignorance dismissed and still dismisses millions of years of evolution to then simply claim that “tradition” trumps natural ears. It’s like a kid saying their dad can beat up Dwayne Johnson because he took Zumba classes. I’m looking at you, American Kennel Club.

Chopping Block Mishaps 

two pictures of schnauzers

Of course, a procedure that involves cutting, slicing, gluing, posting, and other weird stuff done to a Schnauzer’s ear can have “unwanted” results. You can get The Seagull (left) or The Dab (right). Very creative, but not worth the “Really?” reaction from both you and your Schnauz.

GIF Image Source: Tenor

Half-floppers or half-croppers, whatever you want to call them, are not the worst blunder your vet can make. Yes, one semi-folded ear and one fully upright are not what you or your dog want, but worse things are possible.

A vet with flappy hands might cut more tissue than necessary. This can create nasty scar tissue, reduce ear mobility, or even cause excessive bleeding [4]. Owners should always look for a portfolio of ear crops from a vet they are screening.

Thankfully, technology is at a stage where laser ear cropping is available, but not across all the US. It is also spicy-pricey, so it is best to avoid Schnauzer flopper-cropper surgery altogether. Just saying.

While we’re at it, let me just tell you that simply cropping a Schnauzer’s ears is not the end of it. Owners who decide to do this surgery will have to post and glue the ears in place to preserve the upright position. Imagine having to endure this.

YouTube Video

Schnauzers Have A Social Life, Too

Having fully functional ears with a range of a NASA satellite dish is important for communication. No, not satellite communication, but inter and intraspecies social interaction.

Ear positioning is one of the main tools for sending clear signals to humans and other canines. Cutting off a part of it can result in scrambled messages, insecurity, or even anxiety. This was clearly stated in the previously mentioned reply from Dr. Patricia Turner.

Breed Standards And Legislation On Ear Cropping Are Due An Update

Breed Standards And Legislation On Ear Cropping Are Due An Update

Conformation events are the only “valid” reason a dog owner would crop a Schnauzer’s hanging ears. The American Kennel Club has been making brochures and PDFs debunking myths about cosmetic surgery in the effort to keep breed standard legislation changes at bay.

While the UK, EU, Australia, and Canada (to an extent) have laws in place that strictly prohibit body modification solely for cosmetic purposes, the US is still sluggish about it [3]. The only measure in place is related to proper veterinary care during surgery.

Even that aspect of the procedure varies from state to state, which means breeders could not care less about it. In many cases, the breeders give you a choice of cropped or uncropped, so that’s something.

Breed standards and “historical significance” do not sound like enough of a reason for cosmetic surgery, or mutilation in countries where it is prohibited. In the countries mentioned above, the breed standards were updated to allow natural ears in conformation events.

Wouldn’t you prefer your Schnauzer to compete as a natural, rather than have surgery, so a panel of humans could accept it as a candidate and have a chance at winning a piece of paper and a ribbon?


[1] Turner, P. (2010, October). Tail docking and ear cropping — a reply. The Canadian Veterinary Journal. Retrieved March 22, 2023, from

[2] Mills, K. E., Robbins, J., & von Keyserlingk, M. A. G. (2016, June 27). Tail docking and ear cropping dogs: Public awareness and perceptions. PloS one. Retrieved March 23, 2023, from 

[3] Participation, E. (n.d.). Animal Welfare Act 2006. Retrieved March 23, 2023, from 

[4] Welfare implications of ear cropping-dogs. American Veterinary Medical Association. (n.d.). Retrieved March 23, 2023, from