Q: Question about the Briard's/Beauceron's ears?
This may be really stupid, but why are they sometimes cropped? What is the purpose? (note: I support cropping i'm just unsure as to why for these breeds).
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Answers and Views:
Answer by Show Breeders Sell B
In many countries (including the U.S.) the Briard's ears are typically cropped so that they stand erect. When a puppy is 4 to 7 weeks of age, the breeder has the ear cropped into a round shape (unlike the pointed crop of most other cropped breeds) and the ears are glued together on top of the puppy's head. They heal quickly and appear to suffer no permanent trauma from the operation. In the U.K., Australia, and the Scandanavian countries, cropping is illegal and ears are left natural. Sometimes fanciers in other countries choose to leave the ear natural as well. The natural ear is like an Old English Sheepdog's ear in that it is not supposed to lie flat to the head but should be mobile and show some expression when the dog is alert.
It seems to be one of the better-kept secrets of dogdom and a lot of otherwise knowledgeable dog people seem unaware of this fact. But yes, the ear you typically see on American dogs is the cropped ear.
Answer by Nicole
OK, so in order to properly understand cropping and docking, it's important to know the history and purpose of the breed(s) in question.
Briards and Beaucerons are, in most countries, in the herding group, BUT they are/were not traditional herders like border collies, nor were they drovers like OES. They were boundary herders. That means that their job was to keep the sheep within the boundaries and more importantly, to keep thieves, wolves and other predators out.
So, the ear was cropped for a multiple reasons and not of them were for aesthetics. (at least not back in the day)
1) A dog with an erect ear can hear better than a dog with a drop/covered ear.
2) As previously stated, erect ears are much easier to keep clean and less prone to infection.
3) Erect ears do indeed look more intimidating to thieves and predators.
4) An erect ear is much less likely to get bitten and injured should the boundary dog get into an altercation with a predator.
Answer by Dasy in reply to Gene
My Rottie has a docked tail. After much research on the dog it has long been the practice to do this to keep the tail from getting caught in things since they are a working dog and are traditionally supposed to pull things and work on a farm. Having no tail kept burs and such from causing any setbacks. My dog is very social and loves other children and dogs…tail or no tail.
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Answer by jamz
Ear cropping while it is for cosmetic reasons mostly can also serve to keep ear infections down, especially with the very floppy eared breeds like the Briard.
I actually had one Briard bitch who’s ears were kept natural. She consistently got ear infections despite our efforts to keep her ears clean and dry especially during bathing or water sports. Never had that issue with our cropped dogs. Ear infections are never fun for anyone little own a poor dog.
As to the cause of aggression? Don’t breed irresponsibly. If you know a dog has a history of aggression.. don’t pass that on and for goodness sakes… socialize, socialize, socialize that puppy!! Can’t say enough about proper and consistent socialization!
Read all the answers in the comments. What do you think?