Ears cropped? Or natural?

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GoatGirl's picture
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Joined: 2016-10-06

Hi everyone!

I was just curious as to what is better health wise for the Dobie. Do you all recomment cropping the ears or leaving them natural? I honestly would prefer them to stay natural if there isn't any health concerns linked to it.

Also, how much does a good cropping cost? If I don't crop the ears do I have to tape them down? What is the 'natural' ears? Do they half stand I​ am new to the breed and don't own one yet, but I am trying to educate myself well before I get one to ensure everything goes well.

Any help on the subject is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance! Pictures are more than welcome too! :) 

 

 

CRDobe's picture
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Joined: 2014-11-06

Pet Profiles

I've had 2 natural and 2 cropped and never had any ear issues either way. Natural ears can run the gamut from nice and flat against the head to "airplane" ears and everything in between. Every dog is different.

The majority of reputable, ethical breeders (in the US) will send the pup home to you already cropped.

If you buy from a truly reputable breeder, the cropping will be done before your puppy leaves their home. There are a few good breeders that will leave a pet puppy with natural ears, but not many.  A new home should never have to flounder around looking for a cropper - especially as good ones are few and far between. Cropping is not taught in vet school and it truly is an art. 

Cropping can cost upwards of $500 depending on where you live and the quality of the vets doing the cropping.  It is also customary to tape natural ears to get them to lay nice - like CRDobe mentioned, natural ears can assume all kinds of positions!

 

GoatGirl's picture
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Joined: 2016-10-06

Ok, thanks for the info! Is there a specific way that the ears need to be taped down? How old does the puppy have to be before the ears are taped? And how long do they stay taped?

I have found a good reputable breeder who is planning to have puppies around June, however they sell there pups with natural ears so the owner can decide if they want it done or not. Plus it keeps the price at a nicer number if they haven't been cropped yet.

Also, I have heard that their tails can break easily so that is why most breeders dock the tails before the pups even open their eyes. I am going to get my future pup's tail docked, but was just curious as to what benefits this has for the breed?

What makes this breeder reputable? As I said, almost every truly reputable breeder will have the puppies cropped before they go to their homes. I'm just concerned that you will not know what a reputable breeder is due to inexperience.

GoatGirl's picture
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Joined: 2016-10-06

She has sold puppies to people looking for a SD canidate and I have contacted some of her previous puppies' owners and they all love them. No one has had any behavioral or health isuues, but you are correct I am not really certain what makes a breeder reputable. And I don't know where you live, but where I live it is a very rural area and not many people own Dobies around here, so it would be extremely difficult to find a vet that can do a good crop. I have talked with this breeder and she told me the main reason she doesn't crop the puppies is because it is a cosmetic thing and it depends on what the owner wants the dog to look like. She does dock all the tails though

 

If you really want a good breeder, be willing to travel a bit and be prepared to wait. If you don't mind me asking, where do you live? You don't have to give a city - just a general area - ie: I'm in SE Pennsylvania.  If I know the area, I might be able to give you some names to check out.

GoatGirl's picture
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Joined: 2016-10-06

I am in Upshur County West Virginia

Beth D Atlanta's picture
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Joined: 2020-05-18

I've never cropped any of my Dobermans' ears and am so glad. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) opposes ear cropping in dogs. Because the procedure is purely cosmetic, they believe it poses unnecessary risks to the dog.Ear cropping is becoming less common. It is not taught in many veterinary schools. Fewer veterinarians are willing to perform the surgery, and dog owners are becoming more aware of the controversial nature of the surgical procedure. If your Doberman competes, you should know that the AKC says dogs without docked tails or cropped ears are just as likely to win at dog shows.  There is no reason to put the doggie through such pain.  Beware of answers that say "the dog will only experience discomfort."  If we start being more humane the proper "look" will change.

 

You obviously know nothing about showing in the AKC conformation show ring.  I can tell you that there has only been a handful of uncropped AKC Champions in Dobermans, and there has NEVER been an AKC champion Doberman that is undocked.  Our written standard only describes a cropped and docked Doberman - anything else is a major fault in the show ring and must be judged as such. I personally would be ok with changing our standard to describe a natural ear and tail, but don't see it happening any time soon.  As an FYI, standard changes are rare and come from the breed parent club NOT the AKC. 

I do believe in choice, but will tell you that the vast majority of show breeders Choose to crop the entire litter.... their litter, their choice.  If you want a well bred Doberman in the USA, it will most likely already be cropped before it goes home. There are very few Vets who do a good job cropping and leaving owners to try and find someone to do it and then figure out the aftercare and posting is terrible. 

I've had all 3 of my litters cropped (docking and dew claws are done before 5 days of age), and can tell you that if it's done properly by a good vet, it really is not any kind of a big issue.