Doberman Ear Cropping Styles

Doberman ear cropping is the procedure to shape doberman ears and have them stand erect. It is customary to identify the doberman dog with having cropped ears and the crop contributes to the breeds identity and character. A doberman with natural ears takes on a much different appearance and is preferred by some people who object to this cosmetic surgical practice.

Historically, cropping doberman’s ears was done for functional reasons. As a guard dog, having the ears cropped to stand upright allowed for increased sound localization, an important feature for a successful personal protector or watch dog. Nowadays ear cropping is usually performed to comply with show standards or for purely aesthetic reasons.

Cropping is usually done at the age of 7-9 weeks. It is not recommended that the ears be cropped after 9 weeks as the ears cartilage has formed to a flat shape. The procedure should be completed by a vet with experience in ear cropping to ensure a proper, good looking, standing ear. After the surgical procedure, aftercare of the ears and ear taping is essential and will take a few months. A commitment from the owner to proper ear care is vital.

There is some controversy with ear cropping and it is outlawed in some countries. Where it is allowed by law, few veterinarians now offer this procedure and it is not taught in many vet schools. It is important that the vet have experience in ear cropping as this procedure involves more skill or artistry than technical surgical skill. You’ll want to see previous patients as adult dogs to assess how well the ears developed. The shape or length of the ear crop style varies.  Ear cropping styles include: a short (military) crop, a medium crop and the longer, standard show crop.

The surgery is done under anesthesia and takes about thirty minutes. The ears are trimmed and then a rack, post or cup and tape holds the ears in place. The ears will usually stand upright after taping for about 5-6 months. The timing will vary, with some dobermans nearing one year until the ears will stand. This is more common with the longer ear crop. It is the lengthy healing period which is more discomforting to the doberman than the surgery itself. Again proper after-care is essential to prevent infection and allow for a successful standing ear crop.  New owners should be aware that they are responsible for the proper after-care.

For more information on doberman ears check out the ear taping post.

Have you had your doberman pup’s ears cropped? Tell us about your experience. Were you happy with the results? How difficult was the aftercare for you? Would you have the procedure done again on your doberman?

Here you can see the 3 different ear cropping styles, a short doberman crop, a long doberman crop and a doberman with natural ears.


  1. Stephanie said:

    I debated about getting my dobes ears cropped because people feel it’s inhumane and I am a huge animal lover. However, I decided to do it because yes, I like the look. To anyone who is thinking about cropping their dog’s ears, make sure you properly research the vet you choose. Many do not do it and it is very expensive. My puppy had proper after care and was never in pain (we gave him pain pills the first few days to ease any pain or discomfort). Never did he wince, wine or act like he was in pain. AS a matter of fact, he was completely himself after the anesthesia wore off. However, I did have my 2 week old son circumcised and he screamed during the whole procedure and for 2 days every time he peed. If you ask me, that was a worse experience and it too is only for looks.

    July 20, 2015
  2. Michael said:

    I cannot believe the nonsense people spout, trying to justify cropping a dobermans ears. They look ridiculus, Dobermans have narrow heads, (originated from the Greyhound) cropped ears accentuate this feature, they cetainly do not look more aggressive. It’s the teeth that I would worry about, not the artificial looking ears. My advice would be to forget about the plastic surgery, and focus on their health, training and well-being. They truly are wonderful and loyal companions, treat them as such.

    May 29, 2015
  3. David McDaniel said:

    I recently took my 13 week doberman and go her ears cropped. I done a lot of research before making a choice rather to do it or not. My wife and I decided to go ahead with the procedure. We looked at several different doctors and choice “Ears By Doctor Bill”. He came highly recommended by several breeders. People travel several hours from across the state just to have Doctor Bill preform the procedure . He is located in Flat Rock N.C. at Animals R Us. Let me say that i was blown away by Doctor Bill. As we got to the clinic we were greeted by the staff and was told to have a seat and the doctor would be with us shortly. About two minutes later Dr. Bill called us back and check our doberman over thoroughly. He answered all of our questions without hesitation. He even goes and far and giving a direct line to contact him, if after the surgery you have a question. after the surgery our doberman was still a little out of it. She slept most of the way home. (We drove 2 hours to Doctor Bill) When we arrived home she slept most of the day. When she woke up she downed a bowl of food and was a little curious of what was on her head. I will say she had done well with the stocking being on her head. She has pawed at it a few times but then goes right back to playing. after 48 hours we took the stocking off. She done very well with the part. She is shaking her head some but nothing major. She is playing just as hard as before the procedure. She will have sutures out in 10 days. I would recommend doing your research before finding someone you trust. Doctor Bill has an album online to show his work and also work he as fixed from other doctors. I’m excited to see the final outcome.

    January 12, 2015
  4. Wheelygirl said:

    I’m sorry but this is all so sick. Why on earth do you mutilate your dogs this way? For fashion? Because everyone does it? Stop being sheep for goodness sake!

    A natural Dobe with a long tail & beautiful floppy ears is stunning.

    December 26, 2012
  5. Yankee in Canada said:

    We’ve had dobermans as pets for over 20 years now and most of them already had ears done. We had one male we adopted at 12 wks of age with still natural ears. Because of his age we knew 12 wks was probably too late to crop the ears so we left them natural. We had this dog until old age when a year or so back we finally had to put him down because of health issues. I can tell you, he was truly a character with those long ears! He would stand outside sometimes in the wind and the ears would flip back and reminded us so much of the cartoon Rocky & Bulwinkle with Rocky’s ‘cap’. Unfortuneately from about age nine until he died, we had to clean out his ears sometimes twice daily. This really pained him but his ears would get so dirty inside that it had to be done. Our vet sold us special ear cleaning medicine, etc. which did help but when I think back on it, maybe we should have cropped his ears. We had another male blue dobe before that from about age 6 wks which we took back to the breeder who did the ear cropping at about 8 wks and inspite of infection which did clear up with cleaning and medicine, the dog’s ears came out beautifully. He was a 120 lb dog in his hayday but died at age 8 of enlarged heart which we were unaware of. All the others have had cropped ears, two of which we took care of ourselves with the taping, etc. and they all had good ears and no further problems. So I guess I am on the fence about cropping. Zeus suffered so much from those ‘dirty’ long ears when he got older that I think I would err on the side of cropping. I have not heard anyone else with natural eared dobe that had this problem so maybe it was genetic or something. And with all our dogs the taping only took a few months, not a year however we never had the show-crop done so I can understand that may take longer.

    December 19, 2012
  6. Steph said:

    I have just over a 2 month old pup who just got her ears cropped. I’m probable just being paranoid, but, she keeps on scratching @ her cone, is there any way I can get her to stop scratching?? My vet didn’t give me any pain killers or anything. Did anybody else not give their pup pain killers? Also, the vet said to keep the wrapping on for 4-5 days, but to keep them clean & dry. Is it normal to have some blood on the wrapping? Is it ok to keep it like that for 4-5 days?

    December 12, 2012
  7. Reddobielover said:

    I had my baby boy’s ears done at 12 weeks old. The vet and staff at Eastside Animal Hospital in Indpls.,IN did an outstanding job. The cost of the crop included all tapings until the vet and I were happy. He basically had them taped for ten days after surgery then removed tape and let them rest for a week before taping again. He alternated tape for a week and rest for a week until they were standing the way that they should. My baby’s ears were standing in about a eight weeks. All the staff there seem to love my baby and he adores them. I’ve never seen a dog so happy to pull up at the vets office. Unfortunately, but fortunately, I got laid off about the time he got his ears done so I was home with him alot. I was able to keep scratching to a minimum which I believe resulted in quicker healing time. He is gorgeous and I wouldn’t trade him or Eastside Animal Hospital for the world.

    October 12, 2012
  8. catharine said:

    hi just got my 11 week old dobe cropped its been 1 day and the vet sent me home with a sponge glued between the ears and stitches uncovered to heal faster> l was told to put polysporin on them 3-5 times a day clean with clue tip dipped in alcolhol rubbing or a saline..7 days l can remove stiches, if the sponge comes off 1 ear ,,take netted gauze and vet tape it back to sponge or remove all togther ..but the longer the sponge stays on this is keeping or training ears to stay far so good.. all is a little red but can be expected 1 day after surgery. as for the wrooy of scratchin the stitches out l tried socks on feet hand made ring fabrics full of soft socks..and now l have a plastic cone on head which they didnt recomend because the weight of it pulls ears forward. but lm only worrying about the incision at the moment for the first 7-10 days and infection of course!!…..anyone for suggestions lm all EARS!!! please.. my first time but l want to know all ins and outs thank you

    September 8, 2012
  9. Gretchen said:

    I have rescued 2 young adult dobies and think they are absolutely wonderful. One has cropped ears and the other has the natural ears. My vet (and another vet I used to take them to before he moved) said that the ONLY reason to crop the ears is for show. Both felt that it was unnecessary surgery that puts any animal at risk for infection and even possible death. I can not tell any difference in the hearing of either dog. Actually, the natural ears show more expression (and that dog is more aggressive). I can’t imagine putting a puppy through any unnecessary pain just for appearance. I pray that any “for appearance” surgery be outlawed. Please think about the innocent puppies who have no voice.

    June 17, 2012
  10. Sandy said:

    Beautiful Pearl, a 12-wk old fawn Doberman now lives in my home and my heart. No crop yet and 2 vets say questionable at this age and given how soft and floppy her ears are. Breeder says perfect age as cartilage is still developing. Most people who see her thinks she is a Weimeraner. She is wonderful without, but would be so elegant and unquestionably a Doberman with a medium crop. I’ve read every post here and am still so unsure. I’ve never had a dog where I had to decide to crop or not crop. What a difficult decision.

    May 2, 2012
  11. Daniela said:

    We got a beautiful Doberman about 2 months ago. at 12 weeks (5 days ago) we got his ears cropped and it’s been a very difficult few days. I was shocked the first time I saw him and the “rawness” of his ears, and eventhough he was extremely happy to see us, he was deffinitely experiencing pain and extreme itchyness. last night he had huge scabs on his ears and, although it’s been really hard, we’ve been doing our best to put neosporin on his ears which seems to have INCREASED the itchyness, and has gotten very creative at finding ways to scratch his ears and this morning, most of his scabs had come off, and it looks pretty raw again. I feel like a terrible pet owner for putting my puppy through this, I hope he doesn’t resent me for it…I don’t know if I can go through this again if we get another dobe.

    May 1, 2012
  12. mickey said:

    I bred and showed dobies for 15yrs and then just retired out my girls. It has been 2 yrs since our last dobie past away and yes we are now the proud owners of two beautiful showgirls. Yesterday then both went in and had a long crop done. Their biggest grief was that the vets office separated them after their crops. When we got them home they were starving. They are playing and running around like they did prior to the crop and neither is bothering the others ears. When they think about scratching at their own ears we are hovering near by to tell them no. So far all seems to be going well and of course we are willing to tape for 6 mths if need be to get a strong stand out of them. As for us we will always crop our pups.

    April 12, 2012
  13. Liz said:

    Everybody here is going to hate me for this, but I was reading many of these comments and had to say my own thoughts. I am in no way trying to force people to change their mind about ear cropping, I am simply trying to help people to make better informed choices.

    Before even discussing ear cropping with a vet, please find out everything you can about the cropping procedure, the after effects on the health of the dog, and what happens if the surgery goes wrong.

    Please remember some of the downsides of ear cropping. For instance, expression. No matter what some people have commented on here, dogs who have cropped ears show less expression than dogs with floppy ears. Statistically speaking dogs with cropped ears are more likely to be attacked by other dogs, because the dog mistakes the other dogs body language. A dog will often hold its ears high, if it can see something interesting, or if it wants to show aggression towards another dog. If your dog has cropped ears another dog can easily think that your dog is trying to show dominance over it, if the other dog happens to be a very dominant dog it may react aggressively until the ears go down. Since the dogs ears are not able to go down the other dog may react in one of three ways (depending on how it was raised and its temperament) the first is to back off, this is because the dog has accepted your dogs dominance, the second is to completely ignore the signs, some dogs do not understand dog body language and will approach and want to play with any dog whom they happen to come across, and the third is for the dog to attempt to tear your dogs throat out. Tail docking often causes similar results, because a dog which is displaying dominance will hold its tail straight behind them and tail docking can make it look as though this is what the dog is doing.

    So basically you will never be able to socialise your dog with random dogs on the street, because you never know when one of them might turn. Even a dog who has never shown any aggression in its life can still try to injure and even kill a dog who is trying to be dominant over it.

    Also if you decide to go through with the surgery, fully research the vet who will be doing the operation. Ask the vet to show you photos of previous crops that they have done, if you vet refuses try someone else. Too many dogs are put through needles pain everyday because of bad vet choices.

    Unless your dog is a hunter (which dobermans hardly ever are), the amount of sound a floppy eared dog gets through its ears is enough. I say this to a lot of people thinking about having their dogs ears cropped, but the crop will not help your dog be a better guard dog. A dog with decent hearing will be able to hear a person trying to climb over your fence or beak in through the door easily. To test this try sneaking up on a floppy eared dog, the only time I have ever been successful with catching any sort of dog off guard was my cousins bloodhound who happened to be 11 years old and half deaf at the time. The only reason why having a cropped doberman would help to deter a housebreaker is because a cropped doberman looks more menacing that a floppy eared doberman.

    To finnish I would like to to talk about my own experience with ear cropping. Three years ago I adopted a doberman puppy about 6 months old from a local pound. He had been dumped on the streets after a bad ear crop hadn’t set properly. I took little Joey to my vet, he told me that the only way we could save the ears was to try and crop them a second time. Unfortunately when the vet started to the surgery he noticed a horrible smell, he made a small incision in his ear and found the remnants of the previous stitched from his last crop which had never been removed. The stitches had become infected and as his ear had started to heal, it had healed around the stitches obscuring them from view. Essentially Joey’s ear was rotting from the inside out. My vet couldn’t see any way of stopping the infection before it spread, so he decided to amputate. Poor Joey had both his ear amputated, unfortunately during the surgery Joey died while under anaesthesia. I think that it was good that Joey died when he did, because the pain it would have caused him would have been terrible and it would have continued for the rest of his life.

    A combination of abuse, neglect and ear cropping killed poor little Joey. I love dobermans, I now own 8 month old Logan who is an uncropped and undocked doberman. I am sure that many doberman owners who decide to go through with the cropping process are really good people and want the best for their dog, but whenever I see any sort of dog who has cropped ears I think of Joey and about how his death could have been prevented if his owner had not decided to crop.

    I would just like to enforce the fact that I am not trying to make people who have cropped dobermans feel bad or insult them in any way, all I am trying to do is express my own opinion. Just because my opinion is different to most people commenting on this site, does not mean that any of you have the right to bully me. I have told you my opinion, I have tried to include as much information as possible and advice about cropping, but remember I am biased because of my experiences, but really anyone who happens to own a cropped doberman is probably biased as well. In fact anyone in the world who owns a doberman is biased in their opinion.

    So if you have a doberman puppy and you are wondering whether or not you should crop, read all the information you can find, see everyones side of the argument and come to your own conclusion by yourself.

    Sorry for the long post, I tend to rant a bit.


    April 1, 2012
  14. Hunter said:

    Hey all,

    I had my doberman’s ears cropped (short, military) at the vet when he was 11 weeks of age. Around the same time I had MY ears pinned back – by a reputable surgeon and not a vet, of course. It was something I had been planning to do for awhile, so overlapping the surgeries was more of a coincedence.

    Both of our surgeries were quick and, for the most part, painless. At times I would wake up in the evening with a bit of pain, but a quick painkiller would end it. On that note, pay attention to your dobie’s expressions. If it looks like he/she is in pain, don’t hesitate to use the cream that the vet gives you right away!

    After our surgeries, my dobie and I would sit on the couch while loopy on our meds and watch movies. Being a “tough guy” breed, he never showed any signs of significant pain. Both of our ears were patched up, so we looked after each other in a sense. We bonded, and he’s been (at times a little too much) the definition of a velcro dog.

    I wholeheartilly agree with one of the posts above about cropping being an opportunity to “vet train” your dog. I’ve had my dobie for eight years now, and all the vets I’ve been to can’t help but compliment his behavior when being examined. He has never had an ear infection and uses his ears as a queue to alert me if something isn’t right or if he wants my attention.

    On that note, both of our ears were sensitive for about two years after the operation. Once the tape is off, your dogs ears will STILL be sensitive to touch. Of course, a good scratch behind the ears is heaven for the dog! Now it has been seven years after our surgeries, and neither of us have any pain from our ears. Plus we look damn good.

    March 5, 2012
  15. Eric said:

    My wife and I have a 10 week old Doberman, we got her ears cropped two days ago. The doctor is one of two in Hawaii who crop them. We constantly debate how long to keep them posted. I am in the Marines and with me being gone 8-9 months out of any given year for training and deployments I am not going to see my puppy as much as my wife. I want them posted as long as possible to ensure we have the best looking dog possible. She on the other hand read some where online that 6 weeks is long enough.
    Side note, I forgot who is against cropping the ears ^^up there^^ but look at it as circumsized penises. My dick looks alot better thanks the the decision of my parents when i was a baby =D Our dog will know she is the best looking dog on the block with ears cropped

    February 29, 2012
  16. Arlan said:

    In September of 2010 we picked up our 8 wk old doby from the breeder that does not sell her puppies uncropped. We got her the day after cropping, because she was show quality, she had a show crop, that we specificly did not want, so after driving 2000 miles what could we do? We drove back 2000k mad, she was taped to cups between her ears, we took of and replaced the cups on and off for about three months , with really little success, for the left ear.115$ dollars later, the rubber over metal halo was our salvation. Anyone even considering croping should have one. I am full blooded German, our dog is full blooded Russian.
    You get what you pay for, our 4,000$ dog, compared to 115$ was worth everything we wanted. The halo is my estimated best & simply the only way to go.
    She has the most elegant regal looking show crop you could want. She is drop dead gorgeous. If doby lovers can afford plastic surgeries for themselves, they can have a loving loyal beautiful majestic dog. Uncroped dobys in my opinion belong in the hound group.
    I still prefere the military crop

    February 27, 2012
  17. Rudy Deblanc said:

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    December 11, 2011
  18. Jena said:

    Just to share my experience on ear-cropping… I had my dobe’s ears cropped 1 mo. ago at the age of 3 1/2 mo.s.(26.1 lbs.). My vet has been cropping for 35 yrs. and suggested this age because her ears were just beginning to “prick-up” on their own. She stayed at the vet for 24 hrs. after surgery and was discharged with 14 Amoxi 200 mg. tabs.(antibiotic), and 6 Rimadyl 25 mg. tabs (for pain). Her head was fitted with a padded/wire head rack completely immobilizing the exposed stitched ears in a “stand” position and an elizabethan collar (to prevent her from scratching them) that she wore until the stitches were removed 7 days later. After removing the head gear and stitches, nothing else was done as her ears (medium crop) stood perfectly and still do! The only “pain” Freida seemed to exhibit during this brief period of time was the pain of not being able to see out of the sides of the E-collar! Maybe we were just lucky to have had such an excellent veterinarian for the job!

    November 16, 2011
  19. Janelle said:

    To Ginger and Jaki and all of those who voice their “negivity” on cropping ears… the doberman and other “crop-ear” breeds have been having them cropped for decades… and they are none the worse for wear for having this done. I have personal experience and can say none of my dogs nor dogs of owners I know have experienced any “undue” pain (of course it is up to the owner to make sure the ears are well protected and kept clean from injury within the first week of surgery!) In fact “spaying” and “ear infections” (in the natural ear of the dobes I have known) have presented more pain then the cropping! When you think of the doberman you picture a majestic animal with ears pricked up… and I can bet you if someone had two dobermans to give away, 1 with natural ears and 1 with ears already cropped and you had to choose between the two… you would choose the cropped-eared one… just saying!

    November 12, 2011
  20. Ginger said:

    I wish those who have their innocent puppies cropped would crop their own ears and see how it feels. The young puppy has no choice but to suffer. I rescued my dobie whose tail had been docked, but not her ears. She a wonderful dog, and despite having natural ears, she is a wonderful watch dog and protective companion. I say leave animals in their natural state! Your vanity should not be a priority.

    November 6, 2011
  21. Janelle said:

    30 yrs. ago I worked for a vet who cropped all the breeds ears that are normally cropped. We would do the crop on the doberman just when the dogs ears were starting to “perk-up” naturally (right around 3 1/2 – 4 mo.s of age). Immediately after the operation we would superglue soft foam rubber shaped to fit just inside of the dogs ear running up the length, leaving the stitches exposed to heal. When the stitches were removed (within 10 days), the foam rubber was changed and replaced but not glued this time but wrapped instead with “coaches” tape. I don’t ever recall a puppy having to be taped longer then 2 weeks and the ears always stood fine( my own 2 at that time also)! I have another dobe puppy now who is being cropped in 2 weeks at the age of 14 weeks. This younger vet uses the “cup” method., I will see how that goes first but if need be I will have my foam rubber ready!

    October 28, 2011
  22. Kate said:

    I have a three almost four month old pup. His ears were done by a vet in KS when he was 9 weeks old. Its really hard to find a vet who is willing to show you how to post come that time. Lets just say the vet we found was little to no help. He said since he didnt crop neo that he was weery about posting him. It has been almost eight weeks and his ears are completely erect. we found that if you put a sock on his head with holes where the ears are when you are posting it helps with scratching. Just make sure to cut to toe part off.

    October 13, 2011
  23. toni said:

    18 weeks and 3 months is not to old to have the ears cropped! you can do up to 4 months and some vets dont wanna do them till 6 months so dont worry about it. it is better to do it sooner but not necessary! do research dont just listen to people on a blog!

    October 7, 2011
  24. john said:

    Hi guys! My doberman is 3months old and still ears are not cropped! Is this too old? Or shall I crop?

    September 5, 2011
    • doberman girl
      Jaki said:

      yes, too old now, enjoy your natural ear dobe :)

      September 5, 2011
  25. rayc said:

    I hope this doesn’t encourage an emotional outburst. I only offer my experience as a Dobe owner.

    I live in Perth WA. We are now enjoying our 3rd and 4th dobermanns. They are absolutely beautiful – The most well socialised dogs you can imagine.

    In Australia ears are not allowed to be cropped so I guess we have learnt to love big floppy ears (which is why I think puppies are so attractive).

    Recently tail docking was also banned. Consequently we were not sure how we would find our latest pair, as admittedly the typical Dobermann body looks really sleek.

    However when they have tails you realise how much more they can communicate.

    For instance when I come down stairs each morning it is accompanied by a rhythmic thumping as their tails beat against the sides of their (indoor) kennels.

    Even with floppy ears and long tails they are still top of the pile!

    September 1, 2011
  26. valordobes said:

    shut up you idiots about not liking ear crops. For crap sake dont get on this blog which is about cropping if you dont like it. Stay the heck away so that the people who have questions and want to be educated can get their questions answered.

    Oh, and you people who are complaining about cropping. You get your hair cut? Acrylic nails put on? Pedicure? Manicure, Hair waxing? Tanning bed? All methods of electively choosing to alter the REAL you. Go figure . We arent embarassed about the way are dobes look. We just choose to have them look like they are supposed to when they were originally bred. Stupid people never stop coming out of the woodwork. Man

    August 31, 2011
  27. Zach said:

    I have a doberman that I was given at 18 weeks old. His ears have not been cropped. Is it too late to crop his ears at this point?

    August 30, 2011
    • doberman girl
      Jaki said:

      yes too late, enjoy your natural ear dobe :)

      August 30, 2011
  28. joe said:

    i just got my dobie ears cropped and the vet told me that he wanted to let the ears heal for 10 days befor he tapes them up i just wanted to know if it would be fine like that without any problem for the pup ears to stand up . plz send a comm bck to me on this subject thank you

    August 28, 2011
  29. mark said:

    hi.. can you tell me if there is a certain type of resin that you can use to stand up the ears ,with out having to tape them up..

    August 27, 2011
  30. Laura said:

    I am considering getting a doberman puppy – and I won’t need it for show so I don’t think I will have the ears cropped – however my only concern with that is how leaving the ears uncropped will effect the dog’s hearing. If it’s a substantial difference I might consider the cropping – as I need the dog for protection as well as a family member, and being able to hear well is important! Thanks

    August 26, 2011
    • doberman girl
      Jaki said:

      Laura, my dobes are natural ears and believe me they have no problem hearing, they let me know when strangers are around the house :)

      August 26, 2011
  31. john said:

    Hey! I’m john,i’ve a doberman which is 75 days old.My friends are telling not to crop the ears but, i’m want to crop.can i crop at this age? Will it stand erect? Or to leave naturally? Plz help me…. I’m confused! :-S

    August 24, 2011
  32. Bill said:

    Yes, it is normal that a dobe pup is the sweetest pup you will ever have, and has a personality that cannot be ignored. Don’t try to fix it! 😉

    August 23, 2011
  33. Dee said:

    Hi guys,

    I am a first time time doberman owner and am already in love with them after only owning my 3 month old puppy for a few days.

    I don’t know much about ear cropping, but I think hers were done badly. She’s 3 months and her ears are cropped very short. But they don’t stand up straight, they kinda bend inward toward eachother.

    I’m not sure how they’re supposed to look by this age. Maybe this is normal and as they grow they’ll straighten out?

    I looked into taping on some websites, but from what I can tell, hers have been cut in the wrong shape to allow taping to help correct them.

    I really need some advice on how they should look and what I’m supposed to do

    I knew there was something wrong with them when I bought her, but she has a personality that could not be ignored, she is the sweetest puppy I’ve ever had.

    If someone could just tell me if this is normal, and if not, is it fixable at 3 months and what do i do?!

    Thank you so much in advance for any help you can give me.

    August 22, 2011
    • doberman girl
      Jaki said:

      Dee, you might want to try posting a photo of the ears on one of the doberman forum websites for advice. Usually lots of breeders on there.

      August 22, 2011
  34. zacciah said:

    well wow i never knew it was such a heated debate about cropping i must say i would never have gone and had it done i thaught it was a silly thing to do but after much research i was undecided about it i have had dobi pups without ear cropping and my new pup i got at 12 weeks old she was 1 week into posting already when i got her so i had no choice in the matter i cant say for post surgury but i can say with the posting she seems to not care the least she has no problems never scratches or shows any discomfort i may have just gotten lucky to get such a sweet pup but our posting taping sessions only help us bond and she is learning that i dont want to hurt her only help her she seems to trust me as i am able to retape and post her ears by my self with no problems i think if she really did not like it she would put up a struggle her ears were really long and could have posed problems if left alone and i should say i now am glad her ears are cropped i agree with the fact that the doberman is not a natural dog in nature so to say about the ears there is nothing natural about them either way they are so lovely bolth ways i love the doberman think its the finest dog breed in the world and to all the haters grow up and quit telling people how to do things i wouldnt tell you how to treat your family probly the same type of people with kids on some kind of pills like aderall or whatever peace love your dog keep it healthy and safe its all that matters

    August 20, 2011
  35. Bill said:

    I got my pups ears done at 10 weeks at the breeders urging, she said they will stand easier when they are trained earlier. However, if the cartiledge doesn’t harden until after they are twelve weeks, does it really help to get it done earlier? The younger a pup is, the greater the risk it will die under anesthesia. Also the vet has a better idea of the shape of the head and can match the cut to the head better. I know the rage is to have the longest cut possible, but I feel the cut should match the structure of the dog to be asthetically pleasing. This longer is better trend is as misguided as the bigger is better philosophy. Show cuts on most Dobes look out of proportion. I am not trying to tell people how to have their dogs ears cut, I just think they should have them cut to the dog, not the trend. Also compare laser cut ears to scalpel cut ears and see the difference in scarring, a good vet with a scalpel leaves no scars. To those worrying whether it is too late to crop their dogs ears, I once had a rescue put whose ears were done at 6 months. It took some work, but the ears stood wonderfully.

    August 16, 2011
  36. harley said:

    I had my dobie’s ears done this past friday and by monday her ears were standing perfectly she still has her stiches in and she hasnt had them taped or anything. her ears have been standing on their own for a couple of days now. maybe some dogs ears are just better then others??

    August 10, 2011
  37. scoojo said:

    I got my pup’s ears cropped at 10 th week and removed stitches after 10 days.Before removing the stitches I had taped both ears together and made them stand erect for 3 or 4 days.When the vet removed the stitches the ears were already standing erect!
    Its been MORE THAN 2 WEEKS now since the stitches were removed and I have not taped the ears yet but the ears are still erect.Does this mean that I don’t need to tape them at all? Or will they just drop after a few more days as the pup grows?

    The ears are perfectly erect and the pup is able to move them in all directions.By the way its a medium long crop not a short crop.
    Has anyone had this experience?

    August 5, 2011
  38. cyndi see said:

    I have had dobermans on and off for years….By far my most favorite breed of dog. Remember it is TRAINING the ear to stay up. Keep them taped, used gauze around ear..then the tape..never tape right onto the ear…NEVER! If you are checking ears for standing up at a week or two…give it up..IT TAKES A Month or two or three for some! Every dog will be different. But at one time, I bought a female at five months old. They couldnt show her cause one ear kept falling forward. So they thought. I simply cut a template out of foam..stuck it in the ear..and taped it to her for a week or two at the most. That was the end of that. ITS training the ear to stay up everyone. It takes more than the Vet cutting them. Keep bandages on as long as possible…not letting them wet or smell…Don’t give up!

    July 23, 2011
  39. bridget said:

    First of all, if you’re so against ear cropping, why are you on this website? Second, its okay if you’re against it, but you shouldn’t tell people not to get their puppy’s ears cropped if they want it done. Ear cropping is something that the owner of the dog should be allowed to decide on for their own dogs, but you shouldn’t tell people whats right and wrong. It’s a personal decision, so keep it to yourself.
    I love dobermans and i think they look better with their ears cropped but if you don’t like it, don’t do it. Mind your own business and let the people who want it done do it.

    July 14, 2011
  40. Amanda said:

    I have a 12 week old Doberman, and had her ears cropped exactly a week ago. I got the shop crop- which is gorgeous in my opinion. I have taken work off for a few weeks to be able to focus and make sure her ears are perfect. The first week is always the worst since the stitches are still intact. My vet had me keep the tape on after surgery for a week, and had them untaped today to air out. I will go back in the morning to get them re-taped. They are healing nicely, and she has been strong and great.
    To help with the scratching, I taped socks on her back paws or you can buy little booties (without the rubber on the bottom) at a pet store. They say not to get a cone because it will break the standing of the ear by putting to much pressure on it. I know the show crop will take longer to stand up, but I have done a ton of research and have a friend who has been walking me through it. Luckily, I have choesen a very experienced and awesome Vet that I can trust. You can’t just take them to your local Vet and expect them to truly know what they are doing.
    Anyways, Valere is doing wonderfully, and has been an easy pup to work with. I was sad to see her the day after her surgery, but the first day and the first week is the worst, and now they are both over.

    :):) I love my Doberman.

    July 13, 2011
  41. marquayven said:

    hi i have a min pin she got her ears done 6 days ago i went with the long cut.the process of them heeling is doin better then what i thought.her ears are beautiful so i recommend that you get them done because everybody knows dobies,great danes,min pins,and brussel griffons look very wierd and not full blooded without the ears cropped marquayven jones

    July 2, 2011
  42. aronienounk said:

    just examined the thread! great job.

    June 11, 2011
  43. Lesley said:


    I have a 4 month old dobbie and have been faithfully taping his ears since he had them done at approx 8 weeks. I have tried two different methods (posts made with popsicle sticks / Styrofoam cup in the middle of the head with the ears taped to it), but both have left him with infected ears where I have to leave them un-taped until they heal (2-3 days). I am worried that they will never stand as right now they are just flopping on top of his head.

    I am using an Elastoplast tape that is breathable, but he tends to scratch at them a lot.

    My other dobbie had no problems with her ears. A bit of infection at the start, but that went away quickly and they stood perfectly and still do.

    I am thinking with this last bout of infection in his ears that I will have to leave them down for a few days…

    Will this just be a vicious circle, and they will never stand? Anyone else run into this problem?

    June 4, 2011
  44. crystal said:

    the breeder has been very helpful…actually…thank you…

    June 2, 2011
  45. crystal said:

    me and my boyfriend just purchased bro and sis dobies about 4 weeks ago…we got their ears done on friday..they were 11 weeks old….they are wearing the wire halo…one has done well and not scratched too much to point of pullin stitches out…the male on the other hand was a heavy scratcher…it is day five tomorrow and he has almost scractched one out completely…we have been doctoring and putting antibiotic puff powder daily on both pups..we also use wonder dust on the male.. most of the stuff with male happened in first 2 days..he has calmed down quite a bite and we are using chew toys and raw hides for distractions..we have not allowed both dogs to play with each other and have kept them seperate to avoid one hurting the other…the look to be healing well…HOW OFTEN SHOULD WE DOCTOR AND RETAPE? WE HAD TO TAPE MOST OF EAR TO HALO WE LEFT BOTTOM WHERE EAR CANAL IS OPEN….HAD TO DO THIS TO ALLOW THE EARS TO HEAL BECAUSE OF THE SCRATCHING…SHOULD WE PUT ANYTHING EXTRA ON THE EARS FOR HEALING…STITCHES ARE SUPPOSED TO COME OUT NEXT MONDAY…BUT AT THE RATE HE IS GOING…HE MAY HAVE HIS PULLED OUT BY THEN ON ONE EAR….IS THIS A PROBLEM??

    June 1, 2011
    • doberman girl
      Jaki said:

      Crystal the vet that performed the crops should be giving you aftercare advice so I would contact the doctor for assistance with your guys.
      Also try contacting the breeder? A good breeder will want to ensure their pups are doing well and will offer advice on cropping aftercare.

      June 1, 2011
  46. John said:

    I had my Doberman’s ears cropped at 3 months because my vet said to wait that long
    When I picked him up his ears had a medium cut, stitches no tape and a little bit of oozing blood. The vet said if they started dripping blood to bring him back. Said to lightly clean them twice a day and smear neosporin ointment along the cut edge. Not to tape them, just massage them to an erect position several times a day. I don’t believe it was more than week before they stood erect occasionally the tip of one would bend down. After a month never had to worry about it. I like the cropped look for a couple reasons 1. Know doubt that’s a Doberman. 2. Because it’s a Doberman no one just gets out of their car around my grandchildren without letting an adult know first. Living in a rural area calling 911 gives you about 10 minutes before any emergency service arrives. Everyone has respect for those ears just like a warning flag. And as every Doberman owner knows 99 times out of a 100 that Doberman just wants to play. The worst part was every time the blood oozed to the point it would run a fraction of an inch. My Doberman would flick his ear and sling a few drops of blood on who ever was sitting next to him. That lasted only for the first day. He never scratched at them. After getting snake bit, I took him to a emergency hospital, the first thing the vet commented about after treating him was how good his ears looked and that the vet that did really knew what he was doing. People will never agree about cropping a Doberman’s ears. If you don’t like it don’t have it done. If You like it make damn sure you take care of it until it’s healed.

    May 27, 2011
  47. naomi said:

    Thank you for the advise. How about of the nights when she is in her crate?

    May 25, 2011
    • doberman girl
      Jaki said:

      again distraction with treats or favorite toys. If you don’t have a kong yet, go buy one and stuff it with peanut butter.

      May 26, 2011
  48. naomi said:

    Hello I just got mu 12 week old Doberman puppy’s ears groped andand she is trying to take the bandage off. What do I do?

    May 25, 2011
    • doberman girl
      Jaki said:

      distract her, give her yummy chew toy toys and make sure she gets lots of exercise so she’ll want to settle down and sleep.

      May 25, 2011
  49. aaron said:

    I’ve grown up with huskies and dobermans and have always preffered the cropped look. With that said I’ve had both cropped and uncropped dobes. In my experience my dobermans have always done better with cropping than with spaying/neutering as far as pain goes (each dog is different though). The dogs have always had more of an issue with the taping and adjusting to something being in/on their ear. The doberman I have now that’s going through taping though could care less, he didn’t slow down or let the procedure effect him one bit. He still keeps up with my 1 year old dobe (natural ears) and my husky and couldn’t be happier. As how long the taping will last its going to vary by dog and with some they’ll never stand. My current puppies ears were standing fairly well after the first week and most of the dogs from his line stand within 1 to 2 months, with other dogs it has taken 6 months or more.

    As long as the owner is responsible and cares for the ears properly the dog isn’t going to have many issues if any durring the cropping/tapping process. Also my cropped dobies do get ear infections less frequently. Still its a personal choice and everyone is entitled to theirs.

    May 4, 2011
  50. Elizabeth said:

    We got our dobbie from a pound and his ears were already cropped medium style. When he is in chill mode they will half flop down, but when he is elert they were up. I loved this because I can better tell when I should be more aware. We are looking to get another dobbie and I wonder if this is normal or if it was the way the cropper cut his ears or if it how his previous owners let his ears heal?

    May 2, 2011

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