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Cane Corso Ear Cropping: Styles, Cost, and Care

Some dogs don’t do too well with uncropped ears, especially working breeds. Here, we’ll be talking about Cane Corso’s ear cropping- why it should be done, and the related styles, costs, and type of care a dog will need after going through this procedure.

Cane Corso’s ear cropping hasn’t always been something owners felt necessary. For a good long time, they had naturally upright ears, but eventually, through breeding with other breeds, they developed a floppier type of ear. The practice of ear cropping began somewhere in the late 1600s, but when it began with this Italian dog breed is unclear.

The focus of this article will talk about several aspects of ear cropping Cane Corso pups. Among which will be why to do it, how much it typically costs, what styles are available and what to do to take care of freshly cropped ears.

Why is Cane Corso Ear Cropping Done?

Cane Corso with cropped ear resting

In today’s society, ear cropping is losing favor with dog lovers as well as overall animal lovers. Some countries throughout the world have gone so far as banning the practice on the grounds of animal cruelty.

With the use of modern practices, standards, medications, and some hardcore facts, the cruelty argument is quickly dissipated. Even today there are a lot of reasons why ear cropping is still in demand that keeps the practice alive.

1.    Removing Altered Features

Some would argue that cropping the ears of a Cane Corso brings the ear back to its original form, supporting the health and long-term comfort of the breed.

2.    Safety of the Working Dog

The best reasons point to the dog’s safety while performing job-like tasks like guarding or other security positions. Cane Corsos are a traditional “guard dog,” with Roman Warrior Dog ancestry.

A lot can happen to a dog with floppy ears at the workplace, be it guarding someone’s home or out on the range protecting livestock from predators.

3.    Removing Disadvantages

Floppy ears can bleed profusely and blind a dog in combat with another animal, giving it a huge disadvantage and could cost the dog its life against a predator. Against human intruders, the floppy ears of a Cane Corso or other breeds can be used as handlebars (so to speak).

Intruders that encounter a Cane Corso have a greater chance of overtaking the dog if it remained to have floppy ears. The ears can be grabbed and used to be physically manipulated, again, creating a dangerous situation for the dog.

There are other reasons as well to have their ears cropped that don’t rely on these types of jobs. Most of which contain possibilities of getting their ears stuck or caught on something, placing the dog at risk of long-term injury, scarring, or even death.

4.    Advantages at Shows

This is probably the most presumptuous and superficial reason that a Cane Corso would have its ears cropped, but it is relevant. The standard head shape of the breed is better on display with cropped ears.

According to standards of various groups, the head should be more square-like in appearance, rather than rounded. When the ears aren’t cropped, the head appears to have a more rounded shape than it would with cropped ears.

Sum Up

So, though it appears to be cruel on the surface, it’s a necessary step that a working dog of this nature has to go through. Today, some people are just looking for a pet rather than a worker, but love the strength and demeanor of a Cane Corso.

For this and several other reasons that we’ll talk about in other sections, getting a Cane Corso’s ears cropped is left up to a new owner of a pup, rather than being up to the breeder.

At What Age Can You Crop a Cane Corso’s Ears?

Cane Corso puppy being carried by the man in red

Unlike Cane Corso tail docking which is done between 2-5 days old, ears are done much further along in the puppy’s progress, most often around the 2-month-old mark, or just a few weeks beyond that.

The common Cane Corse ear crop age is (as a rule of thumb) between 7-12 weeks (some vets recommend 8-12 weeks as well). This is the ideal timeframe for a few good reasons.

  • After 12 weeks, the cartilage in the ear will tend to conform to the drooped shape and set (or harden) that way. Even after being cropped, the ear will not be able to sit completely upright.
  • Puppies younger than 7 weeks are at greater risk of infections and would suffer a difficult time being bandaged, as it would still rely heavily on its mother (who would no doubt be wanting to remove any bandaging or topical medications).
  • The development of the ear is in a sweet spot between 7 (or 8) weeks and 12 weeks, as its shape and proportions are clearly defined, yet not set in stone (cartilage hasn’t yet hardened into shape). Any earlier the Veterinarian needs to make more of a guess as to how the ear might develop, risking the removal of either too much or too little of the ear.

Ear Cropping Styles

short and battle crop image

There are four most used styles of ear cropping:

  • Battle Crop– The battle crop style is the one that removes the most amount of material, leaving nothing to grab back in the dogfighting days. This style leaves nearly nothing left of the ear at all, but remains an option for some breeds.
  • Short Crop– This crop is just a step above the battle crop, in that it’s slightly longer. When done properly, about two-thirds of the ear is left intact.
  • Show Crop– The show crop leaves enough ear behind to allow the ear to have a more defined, triangular shape.
  • Tall Crop– This is one of the longest available styles for certain breeds of dogs. This style often requires supporting to heal in an erect position atop of the head as it has more material than the other three.

Which Crop is Common for Cane Corso?

show and long crop image

It isn’t abnormal to find any of the four above options upon the head of a Cane Corso. But of the four, the show crop provides the desired triangle shape for this particular breed.

Note: For dogs that are for show, clubs out there such as the AKC allow entries for cropped and un-cropped variations of the Cane Corso but specify that the crop must be an equilateral triangle. (crop styles: image source)



Unfortunately, you’re going to have to do some homework when it comes down to Cane Corso ear crop costs. If it’s not too late, the best time to figure this into the equation is before buying a pup.

Cropping pricing is difficult to pin down, ranging between $150.00 to over $800.00. It will be different from Vet to Vet.

When researching, it’s important to ensure that every aspect of proper care is involved in the price (including aftercare). Doing so will avoid any surprise charges and help you to get a more concrete price.

Cane Corso Ear Cropping Healing Time

black cane corso era crop and bandaged

On average, the healing time can last anywhere between 7-14 days. At about this time the pup needs to go back in to have its stitches removed.

Within a few hours after the initial surgery, the anesthetic will completely wear off. The Cane Corso pup will likely be alert and wanting little more than to go home and eat.

The following day the puppy will behave as if nothing ever happened and will desire to proceed through its normal daily routine. Despite its desires, owners will have to give attention to the pup’s ears, limiting any roughhousing as much as possible (particularly with fellow pups or other pets) while keeping an eye on the stitched areas.

Cane Corso Ear Cropping Aftercare

Cane Corso ear cropping aftercare consists of applying topical disinfectant on the stitched areas twice a day. If a rack is used (cone collar for puppies) to keep the pup from kicking or scratching its ears, it needs to be positioned in such a way as to not be irritating the ears.

Cane Corso Ears Cropped vs Un-Cropped

As is previously mentioned, breeders have left the decision in the hands of the new owner of a Cane Corso pup. This weighty decision handed off to owners helps to expand the customer base of breeders, and allows the pups to be sold at an age-appropriate time.

Naturalists and activists have been battling it out for decades now about the Cane Corso ears cropped vs un-cropped, what’s cruel or what isn’t, and what’s right or wrong. We’re going to ignore all of the arguments, and just go with the choices of an individual owner.

Un-Cropped Ears

uncropped cane corso

Those who are against the practice don’t have to support it by purchasing a pup with cropped ears and can allow the dog to keep its extra flaps. The ears will be folded over forward, draping on either side of the dog’s head- much in the way you’d expect from a Labrador Retriever.

The cuteness factor of a pup or even an adult for that matter is preserved with the folded-over ear look. This alone may sway an owner to keep the ears un-cropped.

Also, folks that get a Cane Corso pup may not have any intention to utilize the dog for any of its natural strengths. Perhaps an owner doesn’t want it to guard or perform any other job where it willingly throws itself in between owners or property and any form of danger.

Cropped Ears

cropped cane corso

The cropped ear appearance is generally the norm for this breed. More often than not, when you see a picture of a Cane Corso or see one walking with its owner, its ears will be cropped.

The practical reasoning for cropping the ears of a Cane Corso have been previously touched upon, but other reasons involve the general menacing appearance of the breed with its pointed ears. Some people, whether they want to use the dog as a guard dog or not, love the rough and tumble look of the cropped-eared Cane Corso.

Cane Corso Ear Cropping Near Me

It’s important to be diligent and cautious when looking for someone qualified to do any operative actions on your dog, regardless of simplicity. There are a handful of methods available to find someone qualified to perform the cropping procedure.

The internet will be your most powerful tool to both find someone reputable and reasonably accessible. You’ll likely settle on someone who ticks these boxes when pricing out the procedure- but cost shouldn’t trump reputation and competency in this decision.

With a search, you’ll be able to check out Vets in your area you could contact or otherwise look into. Also, there are sites provided by Cane Corso enthusiasts or clubs that will have a list of Veterinarians that specialize in this type of surgery.

Final Thoughts

cane corso cropped ear

In any good argument there are valid points to both sides, and whether or not you should get your Cane Corso pup’s ears docked is one of these arguments. Fortunately, most people have the luxury of making this decision themselves.

If you’re interested in a Cane Corso pup, you can be armed foreknowing that you’ll have to make this decision, knowing how to proceed after receiving your new four-legged friend.

About the author: Pablo Pascua created dogbreedsfaq.com because of his interest in all the different breeds, and his desire to learn more. His inspiration comes from the many dogs he has owned throughout his life.