How To Tape Doberman Ears

Are you confused about ear taping and posting?

Many people have questions about taping ears or Doberman ear posting. For new dog owners, this can be a frustrating part of getting the Doberman ear crop.  But it’s important if you want your Doberman to have the iconic Doberman look.  

My previous post on Doberman ears generated a lot of emotional comments. And one concern is that sometimes the ears won’t stand up on their own. It may be a case that the owner just needs to keep re-posting for longer, weeks or months are needed, especially for the longer show crop. Don’t be surprised if it takes over 9 months.  When in doubt, just keep re-posting the ears. The DPCA (or Doberman Pinscher Club of America) has an article with photos to help guide you on taping puppies’ ears.

Taping Doberman Ears Videos

Here are three videos to help you see what’s involved in taping Doberman ears, and so that you can learn to do it yourself with confidence.  Or your vet may have a new and more effective method that you can follow.

After watching these videos you might decide that ear maintenance is just too much work and decide on leaving the ear naturally floppy. Remember ears need to be re-posted every couple days, or when they get dirty, wet, or start falling out. Yes, it’s time-consuming and takes a lot of patience.  It’s ok to decide against an ear crop if you aren’t committed to the after-care.  You should know what you’re getting yourself into. 

There are many different materials you can use for Doberman ear posting. But the process of posting the ears is pretty much the same. You may see videos using different materials, foam backer rods, tampons, straws, popsicle sticks, or other objects. 

Please remember it is your responsibility to prevent infection and make sure your puppy is recovering from the surgery. 

If you have any tips on taping Doberman ears please share it for others in the comments below.

What ear posting material have you found the easiest to use?


38 thoughts on “How To Tape Doberman Ears”

  1. I have had 3 Doberman and never cropped their ears and never had any ear infections. My newest puppy already had his ears cropped but I saw his face and looked into his eyes and couldn’t resist him and took him anyways. Taping and retaping his ears is a pain in the butt and he hates it and the tape irritates his ears. But his breeder already cropped his ears so I don’t have a choice but to keep on taping. I just prefer the sweet innocent look of the natural ears. Everyone thinks dobermans are terrible evil dogs because of Hollywood so I like the innocent look because they are love hounds!!

  2. Good video. My dobie-leia-is on week 2 of posting. My vet tried to talk me out of the procedure but she never disagreed with it. You are the owner and it’s your dog she said. She did an excellent job with all the proper precautions taken. This battle on whether it’s right or wrong could go on forever. At least now the dogs can get the proper Anesthesia/care. This isn’t something new that just now started going on. If the dog is going to a good home with a loving family then chill out. Sorry haters

  3. Ear cropping is a tradition and like most traditions it has reasons for it in the background. The question is what was the reason and does it apply to you and your dog. The tradition is limited to working dogs for issues that dogs other than working dogs rarely encounter. That alone should tell you why working dogs tend to either have erect ears naturally, or have cropping in the breed standard. All breeds are man made. There are no wild canines with floppy ears and there is a reason for that. The vets that claim there is no medical benefit to ear cropping omit a massive caveat. The two main ear infections dogs get are bacterial and yeast. Neither can thrive in fresh air. Frequent extended outdoors time particularly in wooded or damp areas is a major ear infection risk and cropping reduces that. There is also less of a snag or grab risk. If you have a suburban porch dog, there probably is no reason. If you camp and hunt a lot, you are setting yourself up for one ear infection after the next leaving the ears floppy. I’ve had dogs both ways. I’ve know lots of other people that have had dogs both ways. There is a hygiene difference. Yes you can compensate with regular ear cleaning, but that only goes so far, and is hard to keep up.

  4. I find that if you start taping the puppy’s ears a week or two before the surgery then the taping after doesn’t bother them as much and stitches aren’t as likely to be rubbed out. I’ve had 6 dobes and had all of their ears cropped. When they came home from the vet they were already so used to having their ears taped that they never even slowed down.

  5. Tiffany thank you you just said everything I was thinking. IV raised and been breeding this breed for 7 years.its a matter of opinion in what you want for your animals not cruel by any means its not like they sit on a table.and they chop off there ear and send them home its a surgery they feel nothing even after coming home if ur animal is cared for the way it should’ve there’s no pain there either.absolutely know different that removing the skin from a penis there surely not born without it and
    just last week my adult son said to me after watching a debate how pissed he’d be if I’d have never had that done for come on how can anyone judge if in the same since they done the same

  6. I would not have gotten a doberman if cropping was banned. My doberman gets way more attention than she would have, had her ears been left natural. Growing up, my parents had my teeth pulled and put braces on me. After that, I was made to wear a retainer. This is totally unnecessary. Yes it was very painful everytime I left my orthodontist with frequent tightening etc. However, I am always thankful that they didn’t give me the choice. I love my gorgeous teeth and bite! Ask your kids and they will be happy that you took it upon yourself to give them more confidence and a much nicer appearance. Yes, I circumcised both my boys. They have never mentioned remembering that pain and have not had any problems at 23 and 17years of age.
    Dan, when people have negative things to say to you and your children about your tatoos I’m sure you get a little defensive. You probably look a little more intimidating than if you were left natural.
    My doberman is one gorgeous girl and she stops people in their tracks, she loves the attention that her looks and behavior bring her. She is awesome and never leaves our side. We love her cropped ears and all.

  7. Cropped ears are beautiful and it is what gives the Doberman its iconic look. I would never willfully hurt an animal..any animal. I don’t eat meat, we re-home mice, and I won’t even kill insects but I don’t see a problem with cropping my dogs ears. To those people that don’t approve because it is cruel maybe they should focus their attention on the inhumane way farm animals are kept. The eggs you are eating probably came from a chicken that hasnt seen the light of day and lives 24/7 in a cage he can’t turn around in. If I decide to take my dog for cropping at a skilled vet and love him enough to spend the next 4-6 months taping them it is my business. Believe me I know where you are coming from. In fact I didn’t crop my 2nd Doberman because I thought it was cruel and unnecessary but I regretted it . He had terrible yeast infections and one day a neighbors dog bit his ear and ripped it into 2 pieces. Canines in the wild have upright ears for a variety of reasons, none the which are aesthetic.

  8. Weird how everyone argues about cropping the ears but docking the tail is hardly an issue haha just an oberservation. My puppy seems perfectly happy with her ears cropped…:-)

  9. I realize that the orginal post is very old (a year) but just had to add my feelings. I respect the feelings of the people who don’t want their dogs ears cropped. No one will force this on your pet. For those of us who want it please just let us be. All your ranting and raving isn’t going to change our feelings. Just like PETA isn’t changing me into a vegan. I do compare this to a boy child’s circumcision. As I also see that as a right of the parent to so choose. I think dobes look so regal with cropped ears and I prefer a dog with upright ears even if it isn’t a dobe. I haven’t had a dog in 19 years that wasn’t a rescue and never have put a dog through anything unnecessary, my new puppy came with his ears cropped and I looked for a breeder who bred for health, disposition and show. I couldn’t be happier about my choice and wish unasked opinions about cropping or having a dog that isn’t a rescue would cease. I didn’t ask for the advice and would certainly appreciate it if people would just keep their opinions to themselves. I don’t comment to them on their personal choices. Long comment I realize but I have cut off a few friendships lately because of this very subject. One is always allowed their ideas to be voiced but please just stop shoving your views down my throat!

    • Starla, it is very sad that you have lost friendships over this issue. We shouldn’t focus on our differences but on our common love of the breed, whether it has natural ears or not.

  10. There was a trait in the very first Dobe’s where they were born with a bobbed tail an eventually it was bred out all together, they found that the bobbed tail was very functional for the safety of the dogs so they began docking them to prevent injury, yes it was during WW, during that time if sum1 was to encounter the docked Dobe they would know that it was a working dog!! As far as cropped ear, yes, it is a pain in the A!! I was sceptical about it at 1st but the pup I chose was already done. I can un-tape an re-tape as he snores away. Now that I’ve wittnessed this 1st hand I see that it causes him no xtra discomfort. On the other hand I have a 3yr old who is not cropped an we r fighting infections at least 3xs a year. If an ear infection goes unnoticed or untreated it can cause permanent brain damage! I now know that a little pup can handle a simple ear crop with tapings that last about 4 months. I pretty sure my big boy would do as much as give an ear if it meant he’s never have to suffer ear infections again!! YES!! I’m am speaking for him and he knows best!! Lol

  11. Hello,

    I wanted to say thanks for posting this useful information! I just bought my first doberman (Zeus) about 2 weeks ago and took the plunge on cropping his ears. I must say, the day of the surgery, about 2 hours after, he was in no pain and running around like a crazy dog happy as ever! This site has eased my concerns about this whole process. To have an actual video to help me tape them is an awesome idea! Thanks so much! Please ignore the debates on the tree huggers who admire the sun as a source of vitamins. You’re doing a great job to the people who actually care for their choice of breed.

  12. I read that, originally, Dobermanns’ ears were cropped so that they could hear better; that is how this practice started. Floppy ears prohibited excellent hearing.

    I have my first dobie, whose ears are taped now. I’m considering getting a second pup and am indecisive about cropping its ears. I didn’t like the looks of the stitches, etc. and the experience of my pup having to wear the Elizabethan collar.

    I don’t remember why the tails were initially docked. My pups’ tail was docked when I got him. I’ll have to research that again to decide if I would prefer it done.

    As far as the dew claws, I’ve read that it is less annoying (nail catching fabrics, etc. and growing into the skin) for the dog to have it clipped.

    I feel that whatever is better for the animal’s well-being is the best practice!

    • Tail docking was also done for health reasons. Tails that are long can get damaged/hurt especially among breeds that need to run or work out in the fields. I’m sure vets can attest to tail medical emergencies in their practice, but like ear cropping this procedure is also controversial nowadays.

  13. Hi, my pup has uncropped ears and they want to stand naturally. She was born with a smaller ear that is pointed. When she is on alert the ears stand up almost fully and do a little criss-cross sometimes.
    How often is this seen, to have naturally upright ears? Her dam is similar in ear stature.
    If posted uncropped, would they be able to stay upright
    Ever since getting her (at 3 months)I have fed her MSM, the same I do with myself and my horses for cartilage support, and turmeric powder to ward away cancer cells forming.

  14. @Lakota

    Surgery is a significant process for any living being to undergo, especially at such a young age. I would never circumsize my child or crop my dog’s ears. I don’t see how comparing it to an ear augmentation is not a fair comparison. An ear for an ear. I wouldn’t need my child’s ears smaller to love him or her, and I certainly would not need my dog’s ears to stand up either.

    I have one dog with pointy ears and one dog with floppy ears. If you ever dared asked me about cropping my floppy puppy’s ears, you’d best get out of my apartment before I show you how comfortable you feel with a pair of cuticle scissors next to your lobes.

    And no, I would not pierce my child’s ears without their permission either. I had mine done at 10 years old when I asked for it. I would never augment my child if they didn’t need it and a dog is not any different. The fact that cosmetic surgery for dogs exists is appauling on its own.

  15. Ya know what? I’ve had a pair of Dobies consectutively since 1979. All have had cropped ears. Some ear jobs have never stood up, others are regally beautiful. I don’t know if I’d crop again, takes a lot of diligence.
    Rymidal(sp)gets the pup through it very well. We used to give our pup a small amount of cognac in the first few days after cropping and they were excellent after that.
    But having lived in a tropical environment for many years, and with a Rhodesian Ridgeback and a rescue lab (as well as a rescue Dobie)that had constant yeast infections in the ears because they were flapped down, I really enjoyed the non-constant attention to ear infections from the cropped Dobies.
    By the way, Monistat in the ears works wonders for the ear yeast infections (vet approved). But it’s pretty messy, and for days!
    But for taping the ears, a tampon inserted in the ear and then taped is the way to go! Works wonders! And it’s sterile as well.
    I have found that a lot of research is essential for which vet crops ears! In Hawaii, there was one vet who did ears that my current boy’s never stood up, my deceased fawn had one ear standing. The vet was great at Pit Bulls though, enough said.
    The best ear job ever is on my current girl, but the vet retired and Dancer was the last surgery she did. My girl looks perfect at 8 years now. Completely exquisite. A complete beauty.
    I am a big fan of cropped ears and docked tails as it it what makes a Doberman Pinscher.
    The reason for this deed was started in WWI when the Germans sent the dogs to the front troops with messages around their necks. The enemy would grab the dog by the tail and ears to break their backs to intercept the messages.
    So the Germans started ear cropping and tail docking so you cannot grab the dog. It worked.
    I think continuing this procedure accentuates the history of the breed. It’s part of who they are.

  16. Circumcision is wrong to inflict on a baby, hands down, no debate. “Cleanliness” is a ridiculous excuse for genital mutilation of any kind.

    However…I do have my dogs’ ears done, and my Dobie is docked. People who say that a cropped dog cannot express him- or herself obviously haven’t been around cropped dogs! Their ears are extremely expressive, even in a shorter working crop. Nubbins are just as expressive as a full tail as well. I haven’t ever seen dogs get in an argument with each other because one or both had docked tails. Nubbins can be carried high, tucked low, wiggling, slow wagging, and so on. As for leaving them as nature made them…Nature made canids with prick ears. It’s man who selectively bred dogs with flop ears because of the “cuter,” more puppy-like expression. Same reason dogs don’t often have yellow eyes…It freaked our ancestors out, so they didn’t breed for that. If you want “natural,” don’t remove your dogs’ endocrine glands, don’t have them dewclawed, and so on…

    By the way, I -am- a hippie…Anyway, rant aside…Thank you so much for the videos. The backer rod is great stuff- lightweight and cushy. What a lovely pup- so calm! I have to admit, I’m envious of how quickly you get those ears taped up!

  17. hi,
    i have got one year old doberman, she had cropped ears, and steel dont want stand up. what can be problem, what can i do whit that? if you have got any instruction or video, how i can make her nice ears.
    thank you for your answer.

  18. First of all, thank you for this wonderful,informative site:)
    I’ve had Dobes for over 35 yrs. Just brought home my newest
    family member a few days ago. Got my baby Doberboy from a terrific, reputable, experienced breeder (not always easy to find) and she had his litters ears cropped at 8 wks by a very
    experienced Vet that she flies in. My last girl passed at 13 yrs so it had been awhile. I am just amazed by the amount of controversy! People have been down right rude and hurtful to us.
    My daughter was so excited about our new baby boy as we took him
    into a pet store to fit him for a new collar. Her excitment turned to tears as nosey people that actually worked there, outwardly flung terrible comments at us.
    I was so glad to come across this site and read some of the
    responses here. I only wish I had read this before! At least now I am prepared with some great come backs…thanks everybody!

  19. Hi,

    I can understand why cropped ears are better. This is not an operation that cut whole ear; it only makes ear upright. But docked tail is very short to use it like a real tail for a dog. Maybe it has advantages rather than with a long and strong tail, I can not know this issue like a vet.
    I want to ask you that why there is no doberman that ears are cropped but tail is not docked like Danuas…

  20. What I always ask people that are against cropping is would you have your son (or have you had your son) circumcised? That normally stops the debate pretty fast. Circumcision is done for cosmetic as well as health (cleanliness) reasons, just like with dogs ears. The aftercare for children is more painful, hell they don’t even get general anesthesia for the procedure. Cropping ears does help in cleanliness for dogs as the ears aren’t trapping bacteria to cause infections (same argument for Circumcision). My dogs have not even had pain after the procedure. It heals up in 7 days (the time limit for the pain meds too) and then the wrapping is just to support everything until the body takes over building up the cartilage in the ear. So basically if you are against it, fine, don’t do it. I only do pups that I feel will be good for the ring (since it is a requirement in the states). Pets stay down unless the new owner decides they want to have the ears done themselves. So the next time someone wants to argue with you regarding ears being done, ask them about their stance on Circumcision. 9 times out of 10 it stops the argument pretty fast.

  21. @ Dan – I understand where you are coming from because I am very soft hearted and hate the thought of having it done, but I have Doberman’s and I have always and will always have their ears cropped. The single and entire point of this breed is protection, that is what they were designed for. Doberman’s that do not have their ears cropped are not a fierce looking dog, but an adorable looking hound.

    Now, as far as elective procedures….people have cosmetic procedures done all the time. As a nurse who works in Family Med and Aesthetics I know exactly what I’m saying. Anesthesia is used when pups ears are cropped or they are “fixed”, my Doberman’s have NEVER cried after their ears were cropped or posted. Pups are treated way better than humans. Let’s compare…when baby boys are circumsized the only thing that is used is a local block(yes that means they are injected around the penis, how’s that make you feel?) and they scream and cry through out the procedure and then during the healing process they will cry when they urinate because of the acidic level in the urine. People have “fillers” injected into their faces, have breast augmentations, face and body lifts, get their ears gauged, tounges pierced, abdominoplasty, etc. There are other countries that literally mutilate little girls genitals with dirty knives to make them undesirable. Maybe you should put your disgust towards something that is really inhumane, like child mutilation and REAL animal torture.

    Those of us who own Doberman’s(and any other dog’s) love them with all our hearts, they are family! Our Dobie’s love us and protect us and will give their lives to save ours.

    Personally, I’m irritated by your lack knowledge and decision to voice your thoughts on something you don’t understand.

    • Thankyou Kimberly for this perspective. I really think sometimes people just need to be educated on this topic to have less contempt for it.

  22. I have had 4 dobies ears done. Not a one seemed overly stressed by the event. If it had been as painful as above posters represented it to be, my pups would have never let me handle and bandage their ears. They were so un-stressed by it that they lay in my lap licking my hands and playing with me while I retaped!! I can tell you that caring for the ear piercing my niece got when she was 6 was much more painful than my dobies ears! I have also worked with rescue and they are certainly easier to rehome with ears cropped. Not a critical reason to do it, but wouldn’t you want your dog to have the best chance for a home if it ever got lost or given up?? Also totally agree with Beck on the ear hygiene issues….we lived in a hot humid climate and my mixed breed with floppy ears had issues all the time while my dobie with cropped ears never did. Would always crop the ears if given a chance!!

  23. There are many dogs in rescue with uncropped ears. Ethical breeders crop puppies ears to ensure they have a forever home and are valued if something happens unexpected to their family. Cropping also prevents infections of the ear, especially a problem when the ear flaps over and if you live in the south where the weather is warmer. An ear crop is not all cosmetic and also is better for a breed that is meant to guard to not have floppy ears for a crook to grab hold of. The military crop for health reasons and working ability stated above. If done by a license vet and at a early age the dog suffers little discomfort.

    It is the breed standard of the DPCA and in the US what is best for the puppy. A choice of course, but few breeders will allow their pups to leave without it.

  24. I’d have to agree with Dan on this. While the procedure is done safely with a vet there can be no doubt that it does cause some pain, and discomfort, and I see no reason to subject my Dobe (Princess) to it. It serves no practical purpose other than being cosmetic. Which is why the practice is banned in Europe. I understand people desire for cosmetics,I have many tatoos but that was my choice, I’d never force meaningless discomfort on my any member of my family including my four legged ones.

  25. i think its pretty silly, to go to the extreme by saying would you cut ur “Children” ears like that and ignore there cry? True it may be a cosmetic surgery..but people give there children ears piercing all the time.. are u going to use the same reasoning that because there crying when they get it, that makes it cruel? Some cultures(spanish) pierce there daughters ears when there babies..ur way of thinking is completely irrational.

    Cropping it done under full anesthesia and done by a vet, why such the emotional passage on animal cruelty?
    suffering animals? really? you can tell just by the video, that the dog is healthy and has a beautiful say ur not an extremist? think again…reallll hard.

    • Thankyou Miquel for your comment, people sometimes also make the comparison between circumcision and ear cropping. The debate continues…

  26. Hi Dan
    I appreciate your concern over this practice, and it always generates a lot of debate. As a dobe lover, I would never willing cause undue suffering to a puppy and feel strongly that cropping should only be done by an experienced vet and of course under proper anesthesia and with diligent after-care by the owner. I do respect your opinion and feel it does have some validity.

  27. Initially when I saw this site, I thought ‘great, a site about dobermans’ (or as I saw to my girls, ‘My Doberwomen’)
    It only took a second to notice the ear cropping/tapping video that is on the front page.
    I will avoid the temptation to start flaming. I outgrew that years ago.
    I do however have to express my disgust that you support this ridiculous practice. There should be no doubt about the pain that this causes the dog. This strictly cosmetic procedure is so disgusting and offensive to those who believe in even the most base level of animal advocacy.
    Please stop this madness. Just because it is a breed standard does not mean that it is not cruel and senseless. The attitude of ‘well, everyone else is doing it, so it must be alright’ only perpetuates this kind of thing.
    Think about it! Listen to your dogs cries and think about what purpose this serves. Or better yet, consider cutting off your childs ears when they are young. Consider ignoring their screams and pleas for you to stop. Imagine the agony they would feel if you constantly aggravated the healing tissue, just so it would look really neat when it finally healed.
    You do not need to promote this kind of thing. Please stop.

    I am not an activist, or a hippy, or even a fan of organic food for that matter, lol. I am simply a pet owner who feels terrible when I see an animal suffer.


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