Doberman Ears Cropped Vs Uncropped: Which is Better? (2024)

Most Dobermans have their ears bolted upright high up their heads. It is a breed standard the world has gotten used to.

The thought of a Dobie with hanging ears just sounds weird. Yet, naturally, this breed’s ear shape is droopy and broad–similar to that of the Labrador retriever.

Dobermans must undergo ear cropping to achieve erectness.

In case you didn’t know, this is an invasive surgery where a vet puts the dog under a sedative and chops off a huge part of the pinna.

A week after the procedure, a solid surface is stuck to the ears to train them to be upright.

The dog walks around with the vertical tape until the purpose has been achieved.

So, should crop your Dobermans ears or leave them uncropped?

Let’s Talk Aesthetics

Doberman Ears Cropped Vs Uncropped: Which is Better? (1)

Let’s be honest here: people who are proponents of ear chopping do it exclusively for cosmetic reasons.

Granted, Dobermans had their ears trimmed in the past for protection purposes.

People back then believed that a canine with less tissue on the ear was more secure.

The attacker wouldn’t grab the ear during an assault. This was especially the case for dogs who took part in dog fighting events.

Then there was the belief that ear cropping improved the hygiene of the ear to a large extent.

In today’s world, trimming is done primarily for aesthetics. The Dobbie is a powerful, compact dog that exudes the disposition and attitude of self-assurance and great nobility.

Adorning a docked tail, vertical ears, and a neat tight coat make a great contribution to his elite and safeguarding character.

Since the trimming practice has been around for centuries, the look is very important for the breed’s history.

The chopped straight ears are paramount to complete his look and make him an effective protection and companion pet.

Damaged Reputation

The Dobie has had his ear clipped for so long that the world can’t have it any other way.

If you have one with natural ears, you must have the hardest of times explaining why he looks the way he does.

In fact, some people will not even identify that he is a Doberman just because he bears broad floppy ears. Many will ask if the dog is a mix of some sort.

Frankly, a Dobie with flabby ears suffers a damaged reputation. He’s thought of to be less of a protector.

When lined with his counterparts with erect ears, he appears to belong elsewhere.

The attitude of a fierce, compact, and active pup doesn’t display as much. That’s a whole lot to deal with.

Is It Really Beneficial To Have The Ears Chopped?

To date, some pet owners think that they are doing their Doberman a favor by trimming his ears.

The good old excuse of reduced ear infections is still at large today.

The theory is that when you cut off a big area of the pinna, the interior of the ear is exposed. This means the ear enjoys a better flow of air.

It also attracts less dust, dirt, and moisture. Ultimately, the likelihood of infections takes a nosedive.

On the other hand, uncropped ears can easily heat up, become moist, and smelly—the perfect breeding ground for a host of parasites and bacteria.

While this may be true to some extent, it has been discovered that Dobermans are not at risk of ear infections.

So, cropping may help your pup to a certain extent but not in a grand manner.

There’s also the theory that an erect ear can localize sound better than a droopy one.

The latter can localize sources to as much as a 5-degree cone while the former can only do a 20-degree cone.

If your dog performs search and rescue jobs, sound localization can be a big deal.

What Are Some Of The Cons Of Ear Cropping?

Doberman Ears Cropped Vs Uncropped: Which is Better? (2)

While trimming looks good and has a few benefits, it also comes with a number of cons.

The first one is the morality issue. Frankly, cropping is not an accepted practice. It is actually forbidden in England, Australia, and a number of European nations.

America doesn’t have qualms with the practice but there are many activist bodies that strongly oppose it.

According to them, the procedure is simply unnecessary. There’s absolutely no need to subject the dog to pain and torture just so that he can “look good”.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is one such body that wants the process of ear cropping and tail docking completely prohibited in America.

They argue that the invasive procedure puts the dog at certain risks and for no reason at all.

Speaking of risks, ear cropping does come with a lot of them. Sure, some canines don’t suffer life-threatening consequences of the procedure.

However, if it goes sideways, things can go south, real fast.

For one, some dogs develop a negative reaction to anesthesia. They can suffer kidney and liver failure.

Even if they manage to survive the sedative, they might develop post-op infections that can become deadly.

Complications from the surgery can also more problems for the pooch in the future.

Then there’s the psychological damage the surgical procedure inflicts on a dog.

Doberman Ears Cropped Vs Uncropped: Final Verdict

So, which one is better?

Well, both look good to different people.

A majority prefers erect ears simply because it is a widely accepted breed standard.

However, a Dobie with flabby ears looks just as cute and charming.

Ask yourself:

  • Are you willing to take your pup through an intense procedure just to make him look like his peers?
  • Which style actually looks best according to you?
  • Are you after the health benefits the surgery may have on your dog?
  • Can you deal with the opposition from the different bodies and individuals if you do go ahead and crop?
  • What about the risk factors associated with ear cropping?

Take some time and assess what’s right for your dog using the information provided here and elsewhere.

Related Posts:

How to Crop Dog Ears at Home

How Much Does It Cost to Crop a Doberman’s Ears?

When to Stop Posting Doberman Ears

Dog Ear Hair Removal: Guide for First-Time Dog Owners

15 Best Dog Hats with Ear Holes

8 Dog Bowls for Dogs with Long Ears

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Doberman Ears Cropped Vs Uncropped: Which is Better? (3)

Sable McNeil is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.

Doberman Ears Cropped Vs Uncropped: Which is Better? (2024)


Doberman Ears Cropped Vs Uncropped: Which is Better? ›

Dobermans are Dobermans, whether their ears are natural or cropped. There is no “better” or “worse”. In very many countries of the world, cropping, and docking (cutting of the tail) are now illegal, as they are not medically necessary, and considered “cosmetic”.

Are Dobermans ears cropped better than normal? ›

Conclusion. Overall, ear cropping is a matter of personal preference for you as the owner. While there are no proven medical benefits for the procedure, many dog owners — especially of pedigree Dobermans — prefer the altered appearances of the breed to the softer, more natural look.

What happens if you don't crop Dobermans ears? ›

Posting a Doberman's ears without cropping them is rarely done and is often not successful. A Doberman's natural ears are large and heavy which makes it difficult to train them to stand if left uncropped.

What do vets say about ear cropping? ›

The AVMA opposes ear cropping and tail docking of dogs when done solely for cosmetic purposes. The AVMA encourages the elimination of ear cropping and tail docking from breed standards.

What do Dobermans look like without cropped ears? ›

The natural ears of a Doberman look very much like the ears of a Labrador Retriever. They are triangular, medium sized, and usually fall forward like a Lab's ears. Some natural-eared Dobes have ears that stand up, more or less.

Does ear cropping have any benefits? ›

Animal Benefits—It has been suggested that dogs with cropped ears are less likely to suffer from infections of the ear canal. Although the development of some serious infections has been linked to the presence of a heavy hanging ear8, there is no evidence that cropping prevents or successfully treats these infections.

Why were Dobermans ears originally cropped? ›

Originally the dobie was bred to be a guard dog and a fighting dog, the short cropped ears and tail were so that opponents couldn't use the ear and tail as a 'grab point' while fighting the dog.

Is Doberman ear cropping cruel? ›

RSPCA dog welfare expert, Dr Samantha Gaines, says: Ear cropping is painful and completely unnecessary. Despite what some breeders will claim, cropping a dog's ears does not benefit them in any way. It can be detrimental to their health, behaviour and welfare in the short-term and in the long-term.

Why is a show crop not recommended? ›

The procedure itself is painful, as it cuts through cartilage, and it can take weeks to heal, with pain every time the bandages are changed. There's also a risk of the puppy catching an infection during the process. Some people claim there are health benefits to ear cropping, but these are simply not true.

What is the point of cropping dog ears? ›

While cropping used to serve a purpose for some breeds, like guard dogs to “enhance” their hearing or make them hard to grab by the ears, within the past 100 years it has evolved into an optional cosmetic surgery. Some proponents of ear cropping say that it prevents ear infections.

Is dog ear cropping abuse? ›

Veterinary science states there is no medical or physical advantage to the animal from the procedure, leading to concerns of animal cruelty over performing unnecessary surgery on animals. In modern times, cropping is banned in many nations, but is still legal in a limited number of countries.

What are the cons of cropping dogs ears? ›

Risks: Pain and Discomfort: Ear-cropping is a surgical procedure that can cause pain and discomfort for the dog. Recovery can be painful, and post-surgery care is necessary to manage pain effectively.

What age do vets stop cropping dogs ears? ›

In general, however, with few exceptions, no puppy will ever be cropped at our office after 5 months of age. In general, Dobermans and Great Danes are cropped between 8 and 10 weeks of age. Boxers are cropped between 10 and 12 weeks. American Bullies, Pit bulls, and AmStaffs are done around 3 months of age.

Why do they cut Doberman tails? ›

Cropping is done within the first few months of a puppy's life. As for why, the most common arguments are that working dogs can often get their tails caught in rough brush that may lead to severe injuries, while cropping is supposed to reduce ear infections.

What make a Doberman ears stand up? ›

Natural Genetics: Doberman Pinschers can have naturally floppy ears or erect ears. Some Dobermans naturally have ears that stand up, while others may have ears that flop over. This is influenced by genetics, and it's a trait that can be passed down from generation to generation.

How do you know when to stop posting Doberman ears? ›

They are done when they stand fully straight up all the way from base to tip, not bending in or out, and stay that way for weeks at a time. The key is to keep posting! It never hurts to post a little longer. You'll know when they're done and can always check with me.

Does cropping a Dobermans ears prevent ear infections? ›

Ear cropping does not improve a dog's hearing or prevent ear infections. Many of the breeds that have their ears cropped, such as Dobermans and American bulldogs, are not those we would consider at an increased risk of infection. Changing the conformation of a dog's ears impacts its ability to communicate.

Does ear cropping prevent ear infections? ›

Current veterinary opinion appears to be that ear conformation affects ventilation and may be a factor contributing to the incidence and severity of otitis externa. However, most dogs with hanging ears will not suffer from infections,17 and ear conformation is not considered to be a primary cause.

Why do people crop Doberman tails? ›

Cropping is done within the first few months of a puppy's life. As for why, the most common arguments are that working dogs can often get their tails caught in rough brush that may lead to severe injuries, while cropping is supposed to reduce ear infections.

Do Doberman ears stand up naturally? ›

The appearance of Doberman Pinscher ears can vary due to two main factors: natural genetics and a practice known as ear cropping. Natural Genetics: Doberman Pinschers can have naturally floppy ears or erect ears. Some Dobermans naturally have ears that stand up, while others may have ears that flop over.

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