Doberman Ear Cropping: Is It Necessary? Find Out!

Doberman Ear Cropping

Last Updated on October 12, 2023 by Fumipets

Doberman Ear Cropping: Is It Necessary? Find Out!


Doberman ear cropping is a contentious surgical procedure in which a portion of a Doberman Pinscher’s ears is removed to make them stand erect. Historically believed to serve medical and aesthetic purposes, ear cropping has become a subject of ethical debate. Here are the key points about Doberman ear cropping:

  1. Historical Context: Ear cropping in Dobermans dates back to Europe, where it was perceived to prevent ear infections and enhance the dogs’ alertness and appearance.

  2. Procedure: The surgical procedure involves general anesthesia, shaping the ear cartilage, and suturing to create a desired ear shape. The dog may require an Elizabethan collar post-surgery to prevent injury.

  3. Controversy: Ear cropping has become a subject of controversy and ethical debate in the modern era. Many countries and regions have introduced bans or restrictions due to concerns about animal welfare.

  4. Cosmetic vs. Medical: While ear cropping was once seen as a preventive measure against ear infections, it is now primarily practiced for cosmetic purposes, aimed at adhering to breed standards.

  5. Alternatives: An increasing number of Doberman enthusiasts and veterinarians opt for leaving the dogs’ ears natural, eliminating the need for ear cropping. Natural ears are accepted in various dog shows and offer a more ethical choice.

Doberman Ear Cropping

While Doberman Pinschers are renowned for having erect ears, these dogs really have floppy ears by nature. Unlike some other dog breeds, their ears also don’t normally stand up with time.

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Many people find the alteration visually pleasant, although it may be more about conforming to the ideal of what the breed should look like. Owners of purebred Dobermans attempt to emulate the distinctive ear style by surgically changing their dog’s ears via a practice called “ear cropping.”

We compiled the information so you may determine for yourself if Doberman ear cropping is necessary.

What Is Ear Cropping?

A medical operation called ear cropping involves cutting off a portion of the dog’s ears, often when they are 8 to 12 weeks old. Your dog’s ears are taped to a hard surface while they heal after the first treatment, which takes around 30 minutes while under anesthetic. This trains your puppy to stand up straight.


The accepted criteria for dog breeds today often boil down to dated notions. Similar to other breeds, Dobermans also had their ears cut in the 1600s for practical reasons.

Ear clipping was a means to make these ordinarily floppy-eared softies more intimidating as this breed has long been employed for defense.

The usage of Dobermans as hunting dogs and security in this case also had safety considerations. Floppy ears are simpler for dogs to grip onto trees as they go by or even for attackers to hold onto. Cropping them was a means to avoid injuries to the ears that are difficult to heal because of their thin, leathery nature.

Why Crop Your Doberman’s Ears?

To conform to the American Kennel Club-recognized breed standard, the majority of owners of purebred Dobermans maintain the breed’s classic upright ear look. There are a number of other reasons for owners to choose to clip their Dobermans’ ears.


While there isn’t much evidence, clipped ears more closely resemble those of wild dogs, and other breeds’ lovely floppy character is said to be a product of domestication.

Many dog owners also think that their pets’ trimmed ears help them better localize noises. Being able to hear better is advantageous since Dobermans are mostly utilized for security reasons.

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Every dog, regardless of breed, may get ear infections if their ears are not properly cleaned. Dogs with floppy ears are more likely to get ear infections because dirt tends to get trapped there.

Due to their floppy ears by nature, dobermans are prone to ear infections. Owners cut their ears to prevent dirt from becoming stuck in the ear canal in order to eliminate the danger.

Yet the health benefits don’t simply apply to your dog’s ear canal. Owners of dogs with floppy ears are well aware of how quickly the delicate earflap may be injured, particularly if your dog is allergic or shakes a lot. Even a split in their ear that resembles a papercut might take a long time to recover after an injury.


Sometimes the decision to clip a Doberman’s ears is as simple as the owner just not liking the way drooping earflaps look. While some owners like the adorable floppy look, others think it should be avoided. It either doesn’t appear threatening enough to serve as a guard dog or it doesn’t look how people think Dobermans should look like.

Maybe the main factor driving ear cropping’s popularity is aesthetics.

The Downside to Doberman Ear Cropping

Yet with all the benefits of ear clipping, there are just as many disadvantages. Although ear clipping was always thought to be required, more and more dog owners and vets are now debating whether it’s a necessary operation.


While the first procedure is straightforward and your dog may go home later that day or the next morning, the healing process takes significantly longer.

It might take anything from five months to a year to recover and teach the ears to stand erect. Your dog isn’t the only one that has to endure having their ears taped and bandaged for that long. The extensive aftercare procedure depends on you as their guardian. You can’t miss a few days just because you’re too exhausted or bored to change the bandages in order to prevent infection and acquire that specific look of your dog’s clipped ears.

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Unproven Benefits

More than anything, a lot of dog owners think the justifications for ear clipping are unjustified. Dogs of all breeds and ear kinds may have ear infections, thus there is no genuine evidence to support the claim that Dobermans with trimmed ears hear better than those with floppy ears.

No matter whether they stand erect or not, cleaning their ears is a part of our duty as dog owners.

Ear Cropping Might Not Work

There is a potential that your Doberman’s ears won’t stand up even after all the surgery and tape. This may result from neglecting your dog’s post-operative care as well as a few other physical factors, including:

Pinna cartilage is too thin to properly support the ear.

The chosen crop is too long for the ear size.

The ears are set too low.

Scar tissue is too prominent.

The sadness of learning that the operation failed may not be worth all the trouble of going through the surgery and afterward.


Basically, whether you want your ears cropped depends on your particular preferences as the owner. Despite the lack of any conclusive medical advantages, many dog owners, particularly those of purebred Dobermans, prefer the changed breed looks to the softer, more natural look.

Questions and Answers (Q&A)



What is the historical rationale for ear cropping in Dobermans?

Historically, ear cropping was believed to prevent ear infections and improve the dogs’ alertness and appearance.


What does the procedure of Doberman ear cropping involve?

The procedure includes general anesthesia, shaping the ear cartilage, and suturing to create the desired ear shape.


Why is ear cropping in Dobermans a controversial issue today?

Ear cropping is contentious due to ethical concerns, with opponents arguing it is unnecessary and painful, while proponents believe it upholds breed standards.


Are there alternatives to ear cropping for Dobermans?

Many Doberman owners and veterinarians now opt for natural ears, which are accepted in dog shows and avoid the ethical dilemmas associated with ear cropping.


Has the practice of ear cropping changed over time?

While it was once practiced for medical reasons, it has evolved into a predominantly cosmetic procedure, with many regions enacting bans or restrictions on it.




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