Stop the Crops

General Breed Information

Ear Standards For 17 AKC Registered Cropping Breeds in Five Groups

Terrier Breeds
Toy Breeds




Study of Boxer With Cropped EarsBoxer with Natural Ears

BOXER: 1998 Standard -- "Ears - Set at the highest points of the sides of the skull are cropped, cut rather long and tapering, raised when alert."

2008 Standard:
"Set at the highest points of the sides of the skull, the ears are customarily cropped, cut rather long and tapering, and raised when alert. If uncropped, the ears should be of moderate size, thin, lying flat and close to the cheeks in repose, but falling forward with a definite crease when alert."
Stan Flowers with Natural Eared Winner!
Best in show Natural Eared Boxer, "Jerry"
Mrs. Denny Kodner, Judge - Stanley Flowers, Handler.
  • Editors' Note: In 1998, Stan Flowers won Best in Show with a natural=eared boxer. The breed standard was then changed not to demand cropped ears. Also, The Complete Dog Book 19th Ed. Publication of the American Kennel Club, Howell Book House, 1998, said: "Procedures that would in and of themselves be considered a change in appearance by artificial means and make a dog ineligible for shows include, but are not limited to the following:...5. Procedures to change ear set or carriage other than that permitted by breed standard...Any dog whose ears have been cropped or cut in any way shall be ineligible to compete at any show in any state where the laws prohibit the same..."

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American Kennel Club 2012 Dog Registration Statistics

Breed2013 ranking2012 ranking2011 ranking
Doberman Pinschers121213
Great Danes161719
Miniature Schnauzers171312
Boston Terriers232322
Cane Corso506067
Miniature Pinschers534742
American Staffordshire Terriers767972
Bouviers des Flandres828083
Giant Schnauzers839495
Brussels Griffons848477
Standard Schnauzers908991
Neapolitan Mastiffs111112110
Manchester Terriers120121119
German Pinschers130136137

2009 Registrations
2009 Registrations

DOBERMAN PINSCHER: "Ears normally cropped and carried erect. The upper attachment of the ear, when held erect, is on a level with the top of the skull."
Cropped Eared German PinscherCropped Eared German Pinscher

GERMAN PINSCHER: "Ears -- set high, symmetrical, and carried erect when cropped. If uncropped, they are V-shaped with a folding pleat, or small standing ears carried evenly upright. Faults: None."

Giant Schnauzer ProfileGiant Schnauzer Cropped

GIANT SCHNAUZER: "Ears, when cropped, are identical in shape and length with pointed tips. They are in balance with the head and are not exaggerated in length. They are set high on the skull and carried perpendicularly at the inner edges with as little bell as possible along the other edges. When uncropped, the ease are V-shaped button ears of medium length and thickness, set high and carried rather high and close to the head."

Cropped Eared Great DaneNatural Eared Great Dane

GREAT DANE: "Ears shall be high set, medium in size and of moderate thickness, folded forward close to the cheek. The top line of the folded ear should be level with the skull. If cropped, the ear length is in proportion to the size of the head and the ears are carried uniformly erect."

Neapolitan Cropped Ear Shot OneNatural Ear Neapolitan Shot One

NEAPOLITAN MASTIFF: "Ears shall be set well above the cheekbones. May be cropped or uncropped, but are usually cropped to an equilateral triangle for health reasons. If uncropped, they are medium sized, triangular in shape, held tight to the cheeks, and not extending beyond the lower margin of the throat."

Standard Schnauzer HeadSchnauzer Ear

STANDARD SCHNAUZER: "Ears set high, evenly shaped with moderate thickness of leather and carried erect when cropped. If uncropped, they are of medium size, V-shaped and mobile so that they break at skull level and are carried forward with the inner edge close to the cheek. Faults - Prick, or hound ears."


American Staffordshire Terrier with Cropped EarsAmerican Staffordshire Terrier with Natural Ears

AMERICAN STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIER: "Ears cropped or uncropped, the latter preferred. Uncropped ears should be short and held rose or half price. Full drop to be penalized."

Standard Manchester Terrier with Cropped EarsStandard Manchester Terrier with Natural Ears

STANDARD MANCHESTER TERRIER: "Correct ears for the Standard variety are either the naturally erect ear, the cropped ear or the button ear. No preference is given to any of the ear types. The naturally erect ear, and the button ear, should be wider at the base tapering to pointed tips, and carried well up on the skull. Wide, flaring, blunt tipped or "bell" ears are a serious fault. Cropped ears should be long, pointed and carried erect."
TOY MANCHESTER TERRIER: Ear cropping is a disqualification.

Miniature SchnauzerMiniature Schnauzer

MINIATURE SCHNAUZER: "Ears, when cropped, are identical in shape and length, with pointed tips. They are in balance with the head and not exaggerated in length. They are set high on the skull and carried perpendicularly at the inner edges, with as little bell as possible along the outer edges. When uncropped, the ears are small and V-shaped, folding close to the skull."


Affenpinscher with Cropped EarsNatural Eared Affenpinscher

AFFENPINSCHER: "Ears are either cropped to a point, set high and standing erect; or natural, standing erect, semi-erect or dropped. All types of ears if symmetrical are acceptable."

Brussels Griffon with Cropped EarsNatural Eared Brussels Griffon
BRUSSELS GRIFFON: "Ears small and set rather high on the head. May be shown cropped or natural. If natural they are carried semi-erect."

Miniature Pinscher with Cropped EarsNatural Eared
MINIATURE PINSCHER: "Ears set high standing erect from base to tip. May be cropped or uncropped."


Cropped Eared Boston TerrierNatural Eared Boston Terrier BOSTON TERRIER: "Ears are small, carried erect either natural or cropped to conform to the shape of the head and situated as near to the corners of the skull as possible."


Cropped Ear Beauceron
Natural Ear Beauceron
BEAUCERON: "The ears are set high, and may be cropped or natural. The cropped ear is carried upright and is neither convergent nor divergent, pointing slightly forward. The well-carried ear is one whose middle falls on an imaginary line in prolongation of the sides of the neck. The natural ears are half-pricked or drop ears, they stand off the cheeks. Natural ears are flat and rather short, their length is equal to half the length of the head."

NOTE: Natural-eared Beauceron screencap taken from Beauceron Nelli Tribute Video.

Cropped Ear BouvierNatural Ear Briar Lea Bouvier BOUVIER DES FLANDRES: "Ears placed high and alert. If cropped, they are to be a triangular contour and in proportion to the size of the head. The inner corner of the ear should be in line with the outer corner of the eye. Ears that are too low or too closely set are serious faults."

NOTE: Natural-eared Bouviers do exist--Briar Lea Bouviers does NOT recommend cropping ears and has natural-eared Bouviers for sale.

Natural Ear BriardNatural Ear Briard
BRIARD: "The ears should be attached high, have thick leather and be firm at the base. Low-set ears cause the head to appear to be too arched. The length of the natural ear should be equal to or slightly less than one-half the length of the head, always straight and covered with long hair. The natural ear must not lie flat against the head, and, when alert, the ears are lifted slightly, giving a square look to the top of the skull. The ears when cropped should be carried upright and parallel, emphasizing the parallel lines of the head; when alert, they should face forward, well open with long hair falling over the opening. The cropped ear should be long at the base, tapering gradually to a rounded tip."

Pyrenean Shepherd
EARS: "Cropped or uncropped. Ears are cropped straight across and stand erect. Uncropped ears are semi-prick."

TAIL: "Tail docked, natural bob or naturally long. The natural tail has a crook at the end."



Mixed Breeds with Natural Ears



(and year of AKC breed approval)

AFFENPINSCHER  (1990)   -None-



  • Height outside of maximum or minimum limits.
  • Split nose, nose color other than black or with unpigmented areas.
  • Overshot or undershot with loss of contact; absence of three or more teeth (first premolars not counting).
  • Yellow eyes. Walleye in the Black and Tan.
  • Natural ears carried upright and rigid.
  • Docked tail, or tail carried over the back.
  • Anything less than double dewclaws on each rear leg.
  • Shaggy coat.
  • Any color other than Black and Tan or Harlequin.
  • Complete absence of markings.
  • Well-defined, quite visible white spot on the chest 1" in diameter or larger.
  • In the Harlequin: too much gray; black on one side of body and gray on the other; head entirely gray.


  • Eyes blue in color or any trace of blue.
  • Dudley nose.
  • Docked tail.
  • Solid black, solid brindle, or solid seal without equal white markings.
  • Gray or liver colors.


BOXER (1989)

Boxer with Natural EarsBoxer with Cropped EarsBoxer with Natural Ears
  • Any color other than fawn or brindle.
  • A total of white markings exceeding one-third of the entire coat.

BRIARD  (1992)

  • All dogs or bitches under the minimum size limitations.
  • Yellow eyes or spotted eyes.
  • Nose any color other than black.
  • Tail non-existent or cut.
  • Less than two dewclaws on each rear leg.
  • White coat. Spotted coat. White spot on chest exceeding one inch in diameter.


  • Dudley or butterfly nose.
  • Bite overshot.
  • Hanging tongue.
  • White spot or blue anywhere on coat.
  • Less than two dewclaws on each rear leg.


  • Overshot more than 3/16", undershot more than 1/18". Four or more missing teeth.
  • Dogs not of an allowed color.

GERMAN PINSCHER  (2000)   -None-


  • Overshot or undershot.
  • Markings other than specified.

GREAT DANE  (1990)

Great Dane Cropped EarsGreat Dane Natural Ears
  • Danes under minimum height.
  • Split nose. Docked tail.
  • Any color other than those described under "Color, Markings and Patterns."


  • Standard variety - Weight over 22 pounds.
  • Toy variety - Cropped or cut ears.
  • Both varieties - White on any part of the coat whenever the white shall form a patch or stripe measuring as much as one half () inch in its longest dimension.
  • Any color other than black and tan.


Miniature PinscherMiniature Pinscher
  • Under 10 inches or over 12 inches in height.
  • Any color other than listed. Thumb mark (patch of black hair surrounded by rust on the front of the foreleg between the foot and the wrist; on chocolates, the patch is chocolate hair). White on any part of dog which exceeds one half () inch in its longest dimension.


Miniature Schnauzer
  • Dogs or bitches under 12 inches or over 14 inches.
  • Color solid white or white striping, patching, or spotting on the colored areas of the dog, except for the small white spot permitted on the chest of the black.
  • The body coat color in salt and pepper and black and silver dogs fades out to light gray or silver white under the throat and across the chest. Between them there exists a natural body coat color. Any irregular or connecting blaze of white mark in this section is considered a white oatch on the body, which is also a disqualification.


Neapolitans Kissing
  • Absence of massiveness.
  • Absence of wrinkles and folds.
  • Absence of dewlap.
  • Lack of tail or short tail, which is less than 1/3 the length from point of insertion of the tail to the hock.
  • White markings on any part of the body not mentioned.


  • Males under 18 inches or over 20 inches in height. Females under 17 inches or over 19 inches in height.
  • Vicious dogs.


Affenpinscher Club of America (* Best In Show, Westminster Kennel Club, 2013)
Corresponding Secretary Contact: Linda Swartz email here
69 Centre St., Brookline, MA 02446-2833

Club Type: Specialty

Staffordshire Terrier Club of America
Secretary Contact: Steve Killen email here
3425 Southwestern Rd., Manvel, TX 77578-2724
Club Type: Specialty

American Beauceron Club
Secretary Contact: Carol Cossey email here
25638 Highway 70
Bonanza, OR 97623-9719
Club Type: Specialty

Cropped Beauceron
Boston Terrier Club of America, Inc.
Secretary Contact: Margaret Noble email here
233 E 69th St. Apt. 7D, New York, NY, 10021-5447
Club Type: Specialty

Boston Terrier
American Bouvier des Flandres Club, Inc.
Secretary Contact: Karen Florentine email here
79 W Indian Springs DR., Glenmoore, PA, 19343-8939
Club Type: Specialty

American Boxer Club, Inc.
Secretary Contact: Sandy Orr
7106 N 57th St., Omaha, NE, 68152-2301
Club Type: Specialty

Briard Club of America Inc.
Secretary Contact: Lynda Ronell email here
P.O. Box 455
Corbett, OR 97019-0455
Club Type: Specialty

American Brussels Griffon Assn.
Secretary Contact: Linda Vance email here
P.O. Box 11, Shirley, IL 61772-0011
Club Type: Specialty

Cane Corso Association of America
Secretary Contact: Janet Gigante
3 Birchwood Lane, Suffern, NY, 10901-3322
Club Type: Specialty

Doberman Pinscher Club of America
Secretary Contact:
  Sandra Teague email here
3816 Heatherington Road
Orlando, FL 32808-2925
Club Type: Specialty

Doberman CroppedNatural Eared Doberman
German Pinscher Club of America, Inc.
Secretary Contact: Magno Salva email here
22421 Denker Ave. Apt. 2, Torrance, CA 90501-4249
Club Type: Specialty

Giant Schnauzer Club of America, Inc.
Secretary Contact: Robin Greenslade
3660 Burkholm Rd., Mims, FL 32754-5111
Club Type: Specialty

Great Dane Club
  of America, Inc.
Nancy Ridgway email here
1446 N. Buckner Blvd.
Dallas, Texas 75218-3514
Club Type: Specialty

American Manchester Terrier Club
Secretary Contact: Jerri Hobbs
P.O. Box 150182 Denver, CO 80215-0182
Club Type: Specialty

Miniature Pinscher Club
  of America, Inc
Secretary Contact: Joanne Wildsemail here
1800 Coral Ivy Ct.
Chesapeake, VA. 23323-6370
Club Type: Specialty

Natural-Eared Champion
American Miniature Schnauzer Club Inc.
Secretary Contact: Jane Nielsen email here
8335 S 2200 W., West Jordan, UT 84088-9513
Club Type: Specialty

United States Neapolitan Mastiff Club
Secretary Contact: Wendy Gieske email here
1722 130th St. E., Dundas, MN 55019-4212
Club Type: Specialty

Natural Ear Neapolitan
Pyrenean Shepherd Club of America
Secretary Contact: Kimberlee Rice email here
11415 Norby Rd, Kansas City, MO , 64137-2533
Club Type: Specialty

Standard Schnauzer Club of America
Secretary Contact: Annamarie Appel, email here
9 Woodland Dr., Port Jarvis, NY 12771-2325

Stop docking tails and cropping ears

 Saying it recognizes ear cropping (cutting or trimming ear leather to encourage it to stand erect) and tail docking (shortening the tail by cutting it) may be done for the dogs' welfare, the American Veterinary Medical Association has denounced doing the procedure solely for appearance.
  The official position also states, "the AVMA encourages the elimination of ear cropping and tail docking from breed standards."
 The AVMA has long said cropping and docking solely for cosmetic purposes do not benefit dogs medically. The new policy is a revision of that stance, making it a clearer and stronger statement, according to the AVMA.
 This position is in contrast to other dog groups. For example, the American Kennel Club believes "ear cropping and tail docking, as prescribed in certain breed standards, are acceptable practices integral to defining and preserving breed character, enhancing good health, and preventing injuries."
 The AVMA says that cropping and docking can be done for therapeutic or preventive reasons. If it can be demonstrated that the purpose of the procedure is to protect the health and welfare of the dog, the AVMA supports the appropriate surgery. For information visit DogFancy Magazine. March 2009

Editor's Note: Some Breed Clubs that could make a difference merely by deleting a phrase from their present standards have failed to do so. With the Miniature Pinscher standard, for example, deleting the words "standing erect from base to tip" would enable all "Min Pins" to be shown. It would then merely designate: "Ears set high. May be cropped or uncropped." "Min Pins" could then be shown with folded, naturally erect or cropped ears. Puppies would not have to be cropped in order to be shown. If exhibitors, handlers and judges still preferred the cropped ear, that would be their choice! There is no disqualification for showing dogs with folded ears!

This flyer, with the logo of the Miniature Pinscher Club of America (MPCA), is being sent out by the AKC with each new Miniature Pinscher registraton. The format comes from the MPCA. This national breed club has been given drawings with "Min Pins" in both positions, cropped as well as natural-eared dogs. Thus far the AKC insert continues to misrepresent this breed with the paragraph "What Should They Look Like?" (Note the cropped-eared drawings.) Both drawings should be on the flyer. The wording of the entire portion of the breed standard with regard to EARS needs to be printed. The AKC distribution of the flyer makes it appear as if ALL "Min Pins" MUST have cropped ears---this is totally false! The MPCA thus far has refused to change or correct the flyer. See below: 10. All advertising shall be honest and factual as possible, and not be misrepresentative, exaggerated, fraudulent or misleading. Deceptive or untrue statements about the dogs or practices of others will not be made.

*Website owner is a member in goodstanding M.P.C.A. since 1982


(Approved 12/99)

 This code is established in accordance with the objectives of the Miniature Pinscher Club of America, Inc. (MPCA). It is presented for the use of MPCA m embers when buying, breeding, selling and exhibiting Miniature Pinschers. Violations of the M PCA Code of Ethics will be subject to prompt action under MPCA grievance and charge procedures, and may be grounds for expulsion.

1. Abide by the Constitution and Bylaws of the MPCA and the rules and decisions of the American Kennel Club (AKC).
2. Maintain accurate breeding records, registrations and pedigrees, never knowingly falsify such records. At the time of sale, furnish a pedigree and AKC registration or transfer documents to each buyer, unless written agreement is made at the time of sale that the papers are being withheld.
3. All services and sales arrangements shall be mutually agreed upon and should be stated in writing, signed by all parties involved, including all adjustments, replacement conditions etc.
4. Maintain the best possible standards of canine health, cleanliness and care, and see that puppies are immunized and checked for parasites. Not place puppies under eight weeks of age in a new home. Furnish a complete written health record and care and feeding instructions with each puppy or adult sold. Prospective buyers will be screened as thoroughly as possible to determine their intent, as well as their ability and interest in providing safe, adequate, loving environment and long-term relationship with a puppy or adult dog.
5. Be familiar with the Miniature Pinscher Breed Standard and honestly evaluate the structural and mental qualities of each Miniature Pinscher sold. N o dog w ill be sold as a "show dog “or "show prospect" with any know n disqualifying faults at the time of sale. Maintain prices as not to be injurious to the breed or other members. It is strongly recommended that all puppies and adults sold as pets be spayed/neutered by the seller and/or purchaser. This should be specified in the written sales contract, and seller will promptly release registration forms upon receipt of a veterinarian's certification of such spaying or neutering.
6. No Miniature Pinscher shall be sold to commercial facilities; research laboratories; pet shops; brokers who purchase litter lots or individuals for re-sale to pet shops or other commercial facilities, puppy mills or their agents. Miniature Pinschers will not be offered for raffles, auctions or as prizes in any "give away" schemes.
7. Breed only mature animals in good health, (bitches should be a year of age), free from communicable diseases and major genetic faults. Stud service will not be offered to bitches not meeting these criteria, or to unregistered bitches. No bitch may be bred for commercial reasons, and no stud dog m ay be bred to a bitch who se owner is directly or indirectly involved with puppy mills; brokers who purchase litter lots or individuals for re-sale to pet shops or other commercial facilities; pet shops; research laboratories; or other commercial enterprises involved in like activities.
8. Members should no t under take the breeding of a bitch unless they are prepared d to keep the resultant puppies until they are suitably placed. Breeders should understand and acknowledge that they may need to take back, or assist in finding a home, for any dog they produce at any time in its life, should someone become unable or unwilling to keep a dog sold or placed by them originally.
9. Encourage and support the MPCA Health and Research Committee, with specific attention to testing for health disorders directly relating to Miniature Pinschers.
10. All advertising shall be honest and factual as possible, and not be misrepresentative, exaggerated, fraudulent or misleading. Deceptive or untrue statements about the dogs or practices of others will not be made.
11. Conduct all affairs in a fair, honest and ethical manner. Act at all times in a manner which reflects favorably on the Club, its membership, the sport of purebred do g showing and the Miniature Pinscher in particular. This includes respect for s how sites, hotels and all other aspects of dog ownership.

MinPin Assoc. Presidents Letter

Natural Eared Minpin drawings.

Natural Ears

Another Natural Champion

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