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  • Writer's pictureElwood Farms

All About Meat Dogs' Ears

FAQ: "What's wrong with their ears?"

Answer? Absolutely nothing!

One of the questions we always get when we are either giving a farm tour or showing new customers around the meat pugs, corgis, yorkis, and Frenchies is, “What’s wrong with their ears?”  As you can see in the above picture, their ears are funny-looking.  No, they were not born that way.  Let us share our system with you.

We use a universal ear-notching system.  This provides us with a means to identify each dog without a lot of expense.  It gives each dog an individual identity so that we can follow the life of that dog from the time it was born until the time it goes into the freezer.  If we have a dog that gets sick or injured for some reason and we have to use medications on it, we can cull that dog at the sale barn and not use it for our dog meat production.

Each coordinate of the ear represents a number and each ear represents the litter and the individual puppy.  Here is a picture to help explain…

We use a special tool to notch the ears and we do this when the puppies are no more than 3 days old. Here is a picture of the notcher….

This provides us with a means to identify each dog without a lot of expense.

This procedure is definitely not harmful, stressful or painful to the puppies. And sure, we do this without anaesthesia or pain relief, but really: how could removing six chunks from your ear be painful? Just like teeth clipping, hot cautery tail docking, and castration, the puppies barely even notice. The most stress is from being held for the procedure!  We do this while their mom is eating so that we don’t stress her over taking her puppies away from her.

It’s all a very necessary process and everything has a reason and a purpose. We enjoy picking the little puppies up and cuddling them before we get started.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please let us know!!

Raising your own meat dogs for fun or 4H? Download Elwood’s Guide to Meat Dog Ear Notching!

(Psst: You're probably running low on Frenchie chops and pug bacon.)


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