I, like most people, grew up seeing all Dobes with cropped and standing ears. This was the image I saw when
I thought of a Doberman. AS I grew up, I began seeing some with floppy ears, and a few with long tails. They never impressed
me as much as the cropped/docked dogs, and although I admired the breed as a whole, I knew that when I got a Dobe later in
life, it would have to be cropped and docked.
Ear cropping, when done by a talented and skilled vet, is an easy, low-risk surgery with few possible complications
and little stress on the puppy. Puppies typically want to eat first, and then play right after surgery. Although the ears
are itchy and a bit sore while they heal, and the taping/posting can be irritating until the ears are standing, it is a much
less invasive procedure than spaying or neutering. There are few blood vessels in the ears of a small puppy (7-16 weeks, depending
on the vet), and they heal very quickly, usually within 10-14 days. The ears are posted for anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months,
in order to allow the cartiledge to build up and become strong.
There is some controversy over whether ear cropping is an unnessecary procedure and should be banned. Our
position on the matter is, ear cropping is not only a tradition that is part of the breed itself, but it has many benefits
besides the obvious improved appearance. Erect-eared dogs are less prone to ear infections, hematomas, and trauma caused by
the hanging ears being grabbed, bitten, or torn. Cropping does not take away a dog's natural expression, but rather, adds
to it. Try to think of one wild canine, wolf, fox, coyote, any wild canine, that has floppy ears. Erect ears are natures design
for the canine world. Long floppy ears are man-made. Cropping returns them to their natural state, and returns to them their
expression, as a cropped dog can choose to lay his ears down, back, relax them at half-mast, or prick them straight up. Their
hearing is improved, as well as their ability to pinpoint sound to a more precise degree.
Ears can be cropped in 3 main styles. There is the short, wide military crop, the medium length pet crop,
or the long and narrow show crop. Generally, the longer the ear, the longer they need to be posted.
I do not belive a Doberman looks like a Doberman, when it is left uncropped and undocked.
Here is an example of an "all-natural" Dobe:
Please email me for help locating a ear-crop vet near you!
Click HERE for step-by-step instructions on posting ears, either by taping the conventional way, or using a euro-style rack.