American Bulldog cropped ears

In this blog post we are going to talk about the American bulldog’s cropped ear. We will talk a little about the conchectomy and reasons for its performance and finally we will present the physical characteristics of this breed.

American bulldog cropped ears

The act of cutting off the ears of dogs is known as conchectomy, in some countries, conchectomy is considered a crime. However, even with the restriction, there are still those who do it with the American Bulldog dogs.

In general, some tutors and kennel breeders do the American Bulldog dog’s ear cropping in order to change its appearance to suit established breed standards and for the dog to have the appearance of a brave one. 

However, some breeders of numerous American Bulldogs report carrying out the conchectomy to avoid injuries generated by fights and games between the dogs.

Who are American Bulldogs?

American Bulldogs, originally from England, were working dogs that due to their strength, courage and familiarity with the herds led them to be used to herd livestock and guard their owners’ property.

What does the American Bulldog look like?

The American Bulldog is a medium-sized dog with a longer than wide body and muscular limbs. It has a deep, broad chest with well sprung ribs. Large head and powerful jaws, wide muzzle, medium-sized eyes.

The American Bulldog has small ears set high on the skull, V-shaped, drooping or semi pointed. What makes some breeders want to carry out the conchectomy to make the ears stand up more, leaving the animal with more aggressive characteristics.

The coat should be curly and soft. The animal can be found in different colors like solid white, white with all shades of brindle (white, red, yellow, blue, brown, black or gray), red and white, brown and white, beige and white, deer and white. , black and white, brown and white, mahogany and white, cream and white.

How is a conchectomy performed?

Conchectomy is based on cutting the dog’s ears. Usually performed when the dogs are still puppies. This cosmetic surgery has a certain popularity in some breeds such as:

  • Pitbull;
  • Cane Corso;
  • Doberman;
  • Boxer;
  • American Bully;
  • Great Dane.

As it is a surgery, it must be performed by a qualified professional, in countries where this surgery is still allowed. But conchectomy should be avoided in dogs for purely esthetic reasons and should only be performed if the animal has any pathology such as tumors or necrosis caused by wounds. And the surgery must be taken by a veterinarian after a complete clinical examination of the animal.

Due to the ban in some countries, the breeders themselves end up cutting the animals’ ears, using inappropriate techniques and materials and without proper cleaning and asepsis. They often end up leading to infections in dogs that can worsen the animal’s health and even lead to death.

Risks of performing a conchectomy

Conchectomy is usually not performed by an experienced practitioner. Thus, several risks can worsen the health of dogs. Many will have crooked ears, or even need more surgeries to correct operative errors, and many animals are not anesthetized or receive pain medication after surgery.

The main risks for performing a conchectomy are:

  • Excessive bleeding;
  • Inflammation and infections;
  • Cutting errors resulting in malformation of the ears;
  • Deaths in the most severe cases.

Excessive bleeding

Excessive bleeding can occur due to lack of knowledge of the anatomy of the dog’s ear and lack of technique to perform the surgical procedure. In addition, knowledge of the animal’s health status is essential to identify diseases that affect clotting.

Inflammation and infections

Usually these procedures are not performed in places with adequate sterilization, thus helping the contamination of the surgical wound. Usually in the postoperative period, the wound is not cleaned and medication is not applied, which can further aggravate the case.

Cutting errors resulting in malformation of the ears

Failure to use correct technique can damage dogs’ ears. That way it doesn’t leave them anatomically in a beautiful conformation. Thus, more surgical procedures are needed to correct the errors in the dog’s ears.

Deaths in the most severe cases

Cases where animals are not treated with adequate medication and pain control can result in widespread problems causing the animal to die in surgery or after it. That’s why conchectomy needs all care in pre, trans and post surgery. And this whole process can only be performed by a qualified veterinarian. 

Is there any benefit of performing a conchectomy in dogs?

The practice of conchectomy does not have many benefits. The ears are essential for protecting the ear canal, longer ears can keep the heat and humidity that can lead to otitis. However, cutting them is not indicated, but it is more effective to take the necessary care to avoid infections, such as cleaning the area regularly and not letting the ears get wet after bathing.


Cropping the ears of American bulldog dogs is a widespread practice by some breeders, its goals are basically esthetic and do not bring benefits to the animals. It was possible to see with this blog post that conchectomy is a crime in some countries and therefore should not be performed. Finally, we saw some characteristics of American Bulldog breeds.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): American bulldog cropped ears

Is the American Bulldog aggressive? 

Yes, it can be considered an aggressive dog with strangers. But, in fact, this behavior is just a way to protect the one he loves from possible threats. It is a very affectionate breed with its family.


How big is the American Bulldog breed?

The size of the dogs is measured by the height of the withers, for American Bulldog males the minimum is 23 cm, not exceeding 32 cm. And females with at least 20 cm, should not exceed 28 cm.

Is the American Bulldog a good family pet?

Yes, they can be excellent family dogs used as guard dogs. Their courage and energy make them very playful. And its aggressiveness to defend its owners makes it a loyal dog and an excellent guard dog.


CBKC – Brazilian Canine Cynophilic Confederation, 2019 Official Breed Standard: American Bulldog. Available in: Accessed 15th Jan 2022.

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