Doberman Ear Cropping : Docking a Doberman Pinscher’s Ears

By Alberto Roy

Updated on:

Doberman Pinscher is the name of Doberman Dog Breed. It is well-known for its strength, protection abilities, and noble appearance. Doberman Ear Cropping adds value and stunning appearance.

Originally, Doberman Pinschers had their ears cut for protection and practicality. Today the tradition is preferred by the owner.

Louis Dobermann was a German tax collector at the beginning of the 20th century who developed a dog breed to accompany him on his travels. Dobermann needed an intimidating dog that would protect him against thieves and wild animals while on his journeys.

The striking appearance of the dog is due to its smooth features, sloping ears, and docked tail.

Doberman Ear Cropping’s History and Tradition

Ears were first trimmed on large-game hunting dogs in the late 1600s to protect them from predators and fights. Attackers can grab ears and bite other animals.

It is easy to cut or tear the thin ear flap (or leather) and it can be very difficult to heal. Small, fragile ears can be injured by running through bramble and brush.

Although today’s ear croppings leave more of the ear intact that those made 400 years ago than they did, the cropped appearance is a well-known characteristic of many breeds.

Dobarman Pinscher’s Introduction

Adult Doberman Pinschers are 26-28 inches tall at the shoulder, and weighs in at 60-100 pounds. The Doberman Pinscher has a wedge-shaped head, and its ears can or may not have been cropped.

The natural way to make your ears look more open is to let the tail down and leave them uncropped. This breed of dog is described in our Doberman Pinscher Breed Guide.

Doberman ear-cropping is quite common. Ear cropping involves removing a portion from the dog’s ears and creating ears that are erect. This procedure is usually performed on Doberman puppies between 8 and 12 weeks old.

The edges of the ears are then trimmed. After the ears heal, they are taped to a hard surface.

This is to ensure that the ears stay straight. A veterinarian who is experienced in ear cropping should perform the ear cropping. Learn more about ear cropping in dogs at Ear Cropping for Dogs.

The Doberman Pinscher’s Appearance

Doberman ear cropping is the process that makes Doberman ears stand straight. We will be discussing the causes and methods of ear cropping. We will discuss the pros and cons of ear-cropping and how it will affect your Doberman dog.

The Doberman Pinscher, a Doberman Pinscher in the USA, is known for its pointed ears. People are often surprised to discover that Doberman ears are not erect or pointed in their natural state.

Uncropped ears in a Doberman have a similar ear carriage as a Labrador Retriever. This gives the breed a completely different appearance.

The Doberman Pinscher was originally developed as a guard dog. It is widely considered one of the best protection dogs in the world.

Dobermans with their ears not cropped have a completely different appearance. Ear cropping is an important part of the Doberman’s personality and identity. Doberman Pinschers are often identified by their cropped ears.

Many believe it enhances the breed’s distinctive appearance. There are many ear styles. They can be different in length and shape. There are three types of ear cropping: the short, medium, and long. The standard show crop is the longest.

Doberman Ear Cropping Procedure

The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and takes approximately 30 minutes. After being taped for five to six months, the ears should stand up. However, some Dobermans can take up to a year before their ears stand straight.

This is especially true for the longer ear crops. People view the long healing process as cruel and unnecessary.

Proper aftercare is important to avoid infection and ensure the ears remain upright after ear cropping surgery. The owner should not be required to take on such long-term aftercare.

Cropped Ears in Protection Dogs

Dobermans are muscular and fast and have a reputation of being fearless and fierce. Although Dobermans are often perceived to be aggressive, it is usually due to the way they were bred and trained.

Dobermans are more protective than aggressive by nature, so modern breeders are trying to reduce their antagonistic traits. They are loyal, obedient and intelligent dogs that can be trained.

As with other protection dogs, the Doberman Pinscher was shown in the show ring with cropped ears and a docked tailed to reflect its original purpose and function. Some people want to keep this tradition going, while others would prefer to see it end.

Doberman Puppy Ears

You’ll likely find the ears of Doberman puppies in their natural state when you visit them.

Doberman Pinscher puppies’ ears are large and proportionately long, in line with the size of their heads. Their ears are soft, silky and inside they are smooth and pink. This color will change as the dogs age and an inner layer of soft hair will develop.

You may need to crop your puppy before you take him home. Your breeder might recommend that you have it done by your veterinarian.

You may be able leave your puppy with natural ears if they haven’t been cropped. It is worth looking into this option, as ear-cropping and its aftermath can be difficult.

Doberman Ears Cropped

If their ears are not cropped, the shape of their ears will not change as they grow up. Only surgical intervention can alter their ears’ appearance. There are many options for this type of surgery.

Different Doberman Ear Crops

Three types of ear crop are available for Dobermans. The military or work crop is the easiest and shortest for training the ears to stand straight.

Show crop ears have a long, curving shape. It takes several months for them to stand upright and almost a whole year of care. This shape exposes the inner ear and the ear canal.

The medium crop falls between show and military length. Some dogs may need additional surgery if surgery fails.

Cropping Doberman Ears – Elective Surgery

Ear cropping can be elective surgery. Cosmetic surgery that alters the shape of the ears in dogs. It is a cosmetic procedure with little benefit for the dog.

Ear cropping is a popular practice in this breed, particularly in the US. However, it has become controversial. Ear cropping has been banned in many countries, including the majority of European countries.

The Doberman puppy must be anesthetized during the ear cropping process. The floppy portion of the dog’s ears is then removed. The ear is taped around the edges to ensure that it stands upright.

This procedure can be done on puppies between 6 and 12 weeks old. The cartilage in the ear will harden after 12 weeks, making it unlikely that the ears can ever stand upright.

The posts will remain in the ears of the puppy until they can stand on their own. It could take a few weeks, but it can take as long as a year.

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and the American Veterinary Association are against any surgical alterations that are not beneficial to the dog or for cosmetic reasons.

This surgery is not performed by as many veterinarians in the US as it used to be. Ear cropping is also no longer taught at US colleges of veterinary medicine.

Why do People Crop Doberman Ears?

American Kennel Club, a breed organization, still supports the practice of ear-cropping to preserve traditional breed standards.

Although breed standards can be modified, they have already been changed in countries that banear cropping, this doesn’t make it a strong argument to continue to support this surgical procedure.

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The Doberman Pinscher Club of America states that ear cropping can be done for two reasons. First, a cropped ear gives the canine an advantage in a confrontation with an attacker because there is less to grab onto.

This is not a problem for most pets, even if it were true. They also claim that dogs with properly erect ears can locate sound sources more accurately than dogs with dropped ears. This claim is not supported by scientific evidence.

Doberman Ear Health

It is possible that you have heard that Dobermans with ear infections are more likely if their ears are not properly cropped. However, there is no proof to support this belief. This breed is not particularly susceptible to hearing loss or ear infections.

Ear cropping is a way to make the dog appear more confident. Some people want their Doberman intimidating. One study showed that Dobermans with cropped ears were perceived as more dominant and aggressive.

Doberman Cropped Ears vs. Natural

Doberman ear-cropping is now prohibited in many countries. There are many reasons this practice is no longer popular. Ear cropping is not recommended by veterinarians or other animal specialists.

This must be balanced against the potential dangers. Cropping the ears of a Doberman can be dangerous for his health. This unnecessary practice is not only painful for the dog but also poses a risk of infection and complications from anesthesia.

Von Willebrand’s Disease, a bleeding disorder that affects blood clotting, is a common condition in Dobermans. This condition is caused by a defect of platelet function, which reduces blood’s ability for it to clot.

A common clinical finding is excessive bleeding following surgery. In severe cases, dogs can die from the effects of surgical procedures. Dobermans should not have their ears cut. Surgery can prove to be very dangerous.

It can be a difficult and time-consuming process to provide post-operative care. You could have to care for your dog for many months if you opt for the long-term crop. The long healing process can prove more painful than the actual surgery for dogs.

The dog may also feel unable to communicate with other dogs because their ears have been cut. The dog may end up permanently scarred after the pain and suffering.

Aftercare and Ear Cropping

The procedure takes approximately 30 minutes and is performed under general anesthesia. A veterinarian with experience in Doberman’s ears must perform the surgery. This may require a long journey as not all vets are available to perform the surgery.

The ears are cleaned and sutured. Some vets will immediately tape the ears, while others wait until the wounds heal.

There are many ways to post. To protect the ears, tape is placed over the head. Taping can last up to 6 months, and long-term crops may take up to a year. This long healing process can be very painful for dogs and requires proper aftercare. Regular dressing changes are necessary to keep the wounds from getting infected.

Doberman Ear Clean

Doberman ears should be gently cleaned with baby oil and a piece of paper every other day. To avoid any damage, your veterinarian will show you how to clean your dog’s ears.

You can also check for any signs of infection, mites or excessive wax buildup. Consult your veterinarian if your dog starts to scratch at their ears, shake their heads, or if the area around their ears is turning red.

Doberman Ear Cropping : Pros and Cons

Doberman Pinschers’ ears aren’t naturally pointed and straight, but instead wide and floppy. Some people believe that ear cropping is part of the breed’s identity.

Some will argue that cropped ears help the dog hear better, or lower the risk of developing ear infections.

The only reason to crop Doberman’s ears is to conform to show standards or to aesthetic reasons. Your puppy does not need to undergo this procedure if you do not plan to show your dog in competition.

Even though ear cropping may not be prohibited in your area, there are fewer veterinarians who will perform this procedure. This is a costly procedure that can cause the dog great pain.

Post-operative care can take many months and is the responsibility of the owner. Even then, there is no guarantee that surgery will succeed. Dobermans look stunning with natural ears, and we are sure you will agree. We’d love to hear your opinions on Doberman ear-cropping in the comments section.

Sound Detection

Cropped ears are more like a normal canine ear. Floppy ears are an aberration of nature. Research on foxes has shown that dropping the ear is a side effect of domestication.

Some fanciers of cropped breeds believe that dogs with erect ears are more able to hear than dogs with floppy ears. This is not due to a wider ear opening but because they have a greater ability detect and locate sounds.

Hygiene and Health

Long-dropped ears can lead to ear infection. This is because the thick ear leather traps moisture. Doberman ears don’t have a lot of length or weight so infections are not as common.

However, doberman ears tend to be shorter and more clean than those with a longer ear. A cropped ear is less likely than an uncropped ear to develop a hemoma, which is a bloody pocket on the ear leather that can lead to infection.

This usually requires surgery. Some cases, particularly in dogs suffering from allergies, can result in the tips of the ears splitting and bleeding. These injuries can be very difficult to heal as every shake of the head can open the split tips again. Cropping is an option in extreme cases.

The Cropping Process

When a puppy is between 7-16 weeks old, a veterinarian will perform ear cropping. General anesthesia is used to perform the surgery. The puppies are allowed to go home in the afternoon or next morning.

After trimming the ears and stitching the edges, most vets will tape the ears to a cup or foam block to keep them straight while they heal. To train the ears to stand straight, tape must be applied to the ears after the stitches have been removed.

Taping can last several weeks or up to one year depending on the case. The owner’s commitment to properly tape the ears is key to their success in standing the ears.


The AKC Doberman breed standard requires a cropped ear. However, an uncropped one is not a deviation from that standard and should not be considered a disqualification. Cropping is an individual decision if you don’t plan to show your dog in conformation.

Find a skilled and experienced veterinarian if you are considering cropping. While most puppies don’t feel any lingering pain after an ear crop is done, a poor vet or a badly performed crop can cause severe problems.

Ask your breeder or local breeder for recommendations. Usually, only one or two veterinarians do most of the crop work in a given state.

To Crop Or Not to Crop?

The procedure was initially performed for functional reasons. The Doberman was a guarddog. The Doberman’s ears were designed to be upright so that they could hear better. This was a vital feature for watchdogs.

Dobermans today ear cropping is done either to conform with show standards or for personal preference.

Dogs can elect to have their ears trimmed. It is an option. It is not a health benefit, and it is up to the dog owner to decide. To achieve a particular appearance, Doberman dogs have been known to ear crop.

Some countries have outlawed ear cropping. This routine procedure is not prohibited or regulated in the United States. However, it is becoming more controversial. Although some states have considered legislation to ban ear-cropping, they haven’t yet.

American Kennel Club (AKC), however, believes that ear-cropping is essential to defining and preserving breed characteristics in certain breeds.

However, the American Veterinary Medical Association(AVMA) strongly opposes ear-cropping in dogs. They believe the procedure poses no risk because it is cosmetic.

Ear cropping is less popular. It is not taught at many veterinary schools. The surgery is not performed by many veterinarians, and more dog owners are aware of its controversial nature. The AKC states that Dobermans with a trimmed tail or cropped ears will win as much at dog shows. 

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