The Ear Cropping Process

The Owner's Responsibility

Posting cropped ears.Ear cropping is a three step process. In the first step, the veterinarian after carefully studying the Doberman’s head and ears, will cut away the thin membranous part of each ear from the base, around the outside, and up to the eventual tip. He will then stitch and dress the seam.

The procedure takes less than 30 minutes and is done under anesthesia. Some veterinarians believe in posting and taping the ears up immediately while others prefer to let them hang until the wounds heal. If your veterinarian sends your puppy home without wrappings, keep the stitches clean and dry. Also, treat them daily with Aloe Vera gel or with a treatment provided by or suggested by your vet. Neosporin, Bactine, or Cortisone cream can all be helpful. Often the puppy is sent home with a few mild chewable pain pills to deal with any soreness from the procedure.

The second step continues after 7 to 10 days, once the seams have healed, with the stitches being removed by the veterinarian. Directly following is the third step of posting and wrapping (taping) the ears. It is important that the Doberman puppy's owner learn this process. It would become expensive to bring the puppy to the vet every time a re-posting is needed and consistent removal and re-posting is essential for producing a strong standing crop.

The posting is done in such a variety of ways. Here: Posting Tutorial you will find an ear training lesson for my favorite method using foam pipe insulation. Recently, there has been some clever posting aides introduced, some of which claim to not require tape. I have not experimented with them so I can’t say anything about their effectiveness.

The first posting is usually done by the veterinarian in a tight strong way and should stay, despite the puppy’s efforts, for five days. Take advantage of this time to teach the puppy not to fear the posting and wrapping process. Throughout the day, have the puppy allow you to examine the wrapping. Approach any handling of his ears calmly and confidently as this will transfer onto the puppy. Also, if the puppy does become hurt or frightened, you must resist the temptation to coddle him, this will only reinforce any fears he may have.

After five days, or if the wrapping gets wet or begins to emit an unhealthy odor, the wrapping should be removed. Thoroughly clean the ears using an ear cleaning solution, peroxide, or a solution suggested by your vet. Treating the seam with Aloe Vera or a provided treatment from your vet is also beneficial. Re-wrap as soon as the ears are dry, never allowing the ears to lay folded down.

Continue the process until the ears stand; re-wrapping every five days, never longer than seven day, or whenever the wrapping becomes loose, wet, or smelly.