According to S250, prevention of ear infections will not be considered therapeutic.
The process of ear cropping, as well as tail docking and the removal of dew claws, originated as a means of preventing injury to working dogs. Hundreds of years ago, dog owners removed these parts from the puppies’ ears and tails so that, as the puppy grew, they would not become snagged or torn while the dog was hunting or working. Dewclaws (the rudimentary 5th toes on the inside of a dog’s ankle) were commonly removed for the same reasons. Dogs raised for the purpose of fighting had their ears and tails removed so that the loose appendages from making convenient grips for their opponents teeth.
During the early days of this practice, the ears were cropped very short and often in a very clumsy and haphazard fashion. With the development of anesthesia, however, cropping techniques could become more artistic and sophisticated, flattering the dogs while the puppy slept. More time could be taken with the process, developing certain lines and shapes that accented the dog?s features.
In these modern times, the practice of altering ears and tails is continued merely for tradition?s sake, rather than for any real degree of need. Considered much like a form of canine cosmetic surgery, these operations are elective and considered, by many, to be cruelly unnecessary. Some breeders will argue that the cropped ears are necessary, in order to prevent ear infection, and that it benefit?s the dog?s health. Also, if you plan to show your dog, some breed standards (such as Doberman Pinschers, Min Pins, Boxers, and Great Danes) prefer the animals to have cropped ears.