What Are The Pros And Cons Of Cropping Doberman Ears?

Lots of purebred dogs have certain looks that have been achieved through careful breeding and procedures. For example, part of the Doberman’s look is these tall pointy ears that give them a tough and strong appearance. However, the ears are not natural Doberman traits but rather the result of surgery.

There are several different reasons that people claim they crop their dog’s ears. For instance, some people claim it allows dogs to hear better and prevents ear infections. However, it is usually done to achieve a certain look, not for health or medical reasons.

In the rest of this article, we will take a closer look at why people crop Dobermans’ ears and all the other information you might need to decide whether or not you want to get your dog’s ears cropped.

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Do All Dobermans Have Pointy Ears?

When Doberman puppies are first born, they have floppy ears that fall over rather than pointy ears, and they will always stay flopped over without some kind of artificial intervention. However, the majority of Dobermans do end up having their ears cropped when they are very young. So while you may occasionally come across an adult Doberman without pointy ears, it is very rare.

What’s The Purpose Of Cropped Ears?

There are a lot of proposed reasons for ear cropping. For instance, a lot of people used to believe that cropping a dog’s ears allows them to hear better, which is important if you use your dog for hunting or work. However, the truth of the matter is that cropping Doberman’s ears is mainly to achieve a certain look.

Many people believe cropped ears cause a Doberman to look more proper, tough, and intimidating.

Are There Any Benefits To Cropping A Dog’s Ears?

There is some evidence that suggests that dogs with big, heavy ears that flop down can be especially prone to getting ear infections, and there are some studies that suggest that dogs with cropped ears are less likely to get said ear infections. However, there is not enough evidence to guarantee that getting your dog’s ears cropped will lead to fewer ear infections.

Can Doberman Ears Stand Up Without Cropping?

Like Westhighland White Terriers, some dog breeds are born with floppy ears that naturally stand up as they grow older. However, this is not the case for Dobermans. Therefore, Dobermans need some outside intervention in order to get their ears to stand up. This is cropping most of the time, but it can also be through tapping or posting, but it is not usually very successful.

Is Cropping Doberman Ears Cruel?

Many people find unnecessary cosmetic surgeries on dogs, such as ear cropping, to be incredibly cruel because it can cause unnecessary pain and stress. In fact, many countries completely ban ear cropping. However, other people argue that it is perfectly fine as long as the surgery is done under anesthesia and when the puppy is long.

Do Vets Recommend Ear Cropping?

Of course, not all vets have the same opinion about almost any subject, including ear cropping. However, looking towards statements made by major veterinarian associations can help you determine the overall consensus. For example, one of these groups, the American Veterinary Medical Association or the AVMA, is opposed to both ear cropping and tail docking.

What Is The Age Limit To Crop A Dog’s Ears?

Generally, it is recommended that if you are going to get your dog’s ears cropped, you do so between 7 and 12 weeks. The latest that most vets recommend is 15 weeks. While technically speaking, any dog’s ears can be successfully cropped at any age; most vets refuse to do it after a certain day because it can lead to too much trauma, stress, and pain.

The best age to crop a dog’s ears is generally somewhere around 12 weeks. However, it does vary some based on breeds. Typically, when the puppy weighs between 15 and 20 pounds is the best time. Dobermans typically get their ears cut early, between 7 and 9 weeks old, because they have more cartilage that can harden and make the surgery more difficult.

While it is technically possible to crop a dog’s ears after six months, it is not recommended by any breeders or vets to do so that late. Often, you will not get the shape you are looking for, and it can cause unnecessary pain and trauma to your dog. If you decide that you want to get an ear cropping procedure done after six months, you will have a hard time finding a trustworthy vet.

How Long Does Ear Cropping Surgery Take?

The actual ear cropping procedure does not take all that long. At most vets, it only takes between 45 to 75 minutes to complete the surgery from start to end, including preparation and anesthesia. So the risks are usually relatively low. Your vet may want to keep your dog under observation for a few hours, but you will likely take him home the same day.

Is Bleeding Normal After Ear Cropping?


For the first week after your dog’s cropping surgery, you are going to need to change your dog’s bandages regularly because the bleeding occurs frequently. However, if there is any excessive bleeding, you may want to call your dog’s vet or take him in to get checked out. After the first week, there should not be much bleeding at all, and it should be scabbed over.

How Long Does It Take For Dog Ear Cropping To Heal?

After the surgery is completed, the proper care needs to be done, or else the surgery might not take. The ears have to be posted and taped for 4 to 8 weeks after the surgery is completed. They also need to be wrapped in bandages that are regularly changed to keep cuts from getting infected during the healing process. After 1 to 2 months, everything should be completely healed and set.

Can Dogs Die From Ear Cropping?

For the most part, ear cropping procedures are relatively simple and not life-threatening. Lots of dogs get their ears cropped, and almost every single one survives. However, some dogs do have reactions to anesthesia that can be life-threatening due to swelling and/or anaphylactic shock. Additionally, if your dog gets an infection, it can be extremely dangerous.

Can I Crop My Dogs Ears Myself?

You should never crop your dog’s ears at home. Dog ear cropping can be extremely painful, especially if not done under proper anesthesia that you likely do not have a home. It also takes proper tools and knowledge to complete any kind of surgery safely and successfully, even if it seems relatively simple.

How Do You Clean Doberman Ears After Cropping?

Your vet will give you specific instructions on how to care for your dog’s ears after a cropping procedure. You will usually not start cleaning your dog’s ears until a few days have passed. Once it is time to clean your dog ears, you will place one to two drops of hydrogen peroxide or some other solution provided by your vet and gently rub it around.

Overall in the United States, ear cropping is legal. However, nine states have specific regulations for the procedures. For example, in Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, and Pennsylvania, it is illegal unless done by a licensed vet when the dog is under anesthetic. If you are unsure about the laws in your area, you can ask your vet.

Can You Tape A Dogs Ears Without Cropping?

It is technically possible to tape or post a dog’s ears without cropping. Over time and with a lot of patience, you may be able to get the ears to stand up without cropping. However, this method is very rarely successful.

How Do You Tape Doberman Ears Naturally?

If you do decide to try to tape your dog’s ears up to avoid cropping, you can try using medical tape to do so. You will want to make sure that you keep your dog’s fur trimmed and groomed, especially around his ears. You will also need to make sure you are consistent with the taping for at least eight months.

Every day, you will want to use the tape to secure the ears standing until they learn to stand up independently.

How Do You Post Doberman Ears With Tampons?

Some people use tampons to post their dog’s ears as it is a relatively simple at-home posting method. You will take the tampon and place it gently inside of your Doberman’s ear. You will then use tape to secure the ear in the position that you want. However, be careful not to tape the ear too tightly, or it could cut out circulation.

Is It Cruel To Tape A Dog’s Ears?

While your dog might find taping annoying, it does not cause any extra pain to your dog if it is done properly. Therefore, taping is a completely safe method if you are trying to train your dog’s ears to stand or lay a certain way.

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