Pros and Cons of Cropping your Dobermans Ears

Most of the owners wonder whether they should crop their Doberman’s ear or not? This is one of the most commonly asked questions. And there is no specific answer to this. It has both pros and cons. The United States has fixed some standards for Dobermans, which state that a Doberman should have cropped ears and docked tails. But there is no compulsion to crop the Doberman’s ear, and many owners stated that there is no need to trim their Dobie’s ear, and they decide to leave their dog’s ear in their natural form. But at the same time, some breeders or owners prefer to crop their Dobies’ ears.

Now you must be confused about what to do? To get the answer to this question, you need to understand the pros and cons of cropping your Doberman ears. Read on to know more about this.

What is ear cropping?

Ear cropping is a surgical procedure. Under this procedure, a limited portion of the dog’s ear is trimmed or removed, which helps keep the ear erect. Doberman ear cropping is very common, and the ear cropping procedure is often performed on Dobie puppies around the age of 8 to 12 weeks. Under this process, their ears are trimmed, and the edges of their ears are stitched. Then the ears are tapped to a hard surface for several weeks while they heal. This is mainly done to keep the ears in an upright motion. And the ear-cropping process should be done by an experienced professional vet.

Why was ear cropping performed?

Many owners crop their Dobie’s ear to meet the breed standard of Doberman. A Dobermans whose ears are not cropped look different than a Doberman whose ears are cropped. It is customary to identify a Doberman with cropped ears and docked tails. It gives them a striking appearance. Therefore many people prefer to crop their Dobies’s ears. Apart from the basic look, many people cropped their ears to reduce the risk of ear infections and improve their sound localization. Cropped ears also help the Dobemans to perform better in guard and protection work. However, many people don’t allow this and consider this process cruel and unnecessary.

Ear cropping procedure

The ear cropping of a Doberman should be done under the supervision of a professional. Ear cropping surgery is done using anesthesia, and this process roughly takes 30 to 40mins to complete. After completing the surgery, they tapped the ear with a hard surface which helps to keep the ear upright. In most cases, the ears will stand upright after being tapped for more than six months, but it varies from one Dobie to another. Some Dobies take up to one year before their ear will fully stand erect. Many owners say the healing process is much more complicated than surgery. And the Dobie requires a lot of aftercare to prevent infection. And as Dobie’s parents, if you don’t have enough time to care for your Doberman, you should avoid the ear cropping procedure.


There are a few pros of ear cropping of a Doberman, such as

  • Improve sound localization- It is believed that ear cartilage hanging in front of the ear can restrict the sound from entering the ear canal as efficiently as it would if the dog had erect ears. Having an upright or erected ear increases the hearing ability and boosts the efficiency of locating the sound source.
  • The classic Doberman look- Dobermans are a mad-made breed specially bred to perform protection and guard work. The original Dobermans had cropped ears and docked tails, which helped them excel in guarding. So, many owners crop their Dobie’s ear to meet these standards.
  • Reduce the risk of ear infection- Another reason for ear cropping is it reduces the risk of ear infection. One of the important reasons for an ear infection is excessive moisture, and an ear cropping procedure will open the ear and increase the airflow. This result in a drier ear with a reduced risk of ear infection.
  • It’s the standard breed– According to American Kennel Club, a Doberman should have its ear cropped and erect. These standards only prevail in the USA; other countries have different breed standards. Suppose you want a Doberman as a family dog and don’t have any intention of participating your Dobie in any shows. In that case, you don’t need to worry about reaching these standards.
  • Helps in guard and protection work- A cropped ear not only increases the ability to listen and locate the sound source but also protects your Dobie from any damage to the ear by a person or other canines during a fight. It also does not provide the chance for an intruder or attacker to grab on to and gain control over the dog.
  • Easily identified as Doberman- Dobermans with cropped ears are more likely to be recognized as Dobermans. Others often mistake a floppy ear for a type of hound dog or any other breed.


A few cons of ear cropping of Dobermans are given below.

  • Surgery risk- Every surgery comes with some risks associated with it. Similarly, ear cropping also has a different type of health risk. A long list of potential complications, such as infection, can happen during ear cropping surgeries.
  • Pain & discomfort- This can result in severe pain and discomfort. Though they don’t feel much pain during surgery, they suffer from severe pain, irritation, and discomfort during the healing process.
  • Not medically required- Many people consider this process barbaric and unnecessary, and ear cropping in modern times is also not medically prescribed. A vet rarely prescribes to crop your Dobie‚Äôs ears only if they have severely damaged their ear from a fight, accident, attack, or medical reasons.
  • Limit their expressiveness- Just like any other dog, Dobermans also use their body parts to communicate with others. They use their tails, ears, and body to express, and by cropping the ear, you limit their communication. It can lead to misunderstandings of behavior.
  • Requires a lot of Aftercare- After the surgery, it takes a lot of time to heal, and the ear needs to be in posted position so that the ears will harden naturally with time and the ear will stay in the correct position. It will take a lot of time and care.
  • Make their look more intimidating- Cropping the ear of a Doberman makes them look more intimidating that just the look of the Doberman is enough to scare the intruder. On the one hand, it is very beneficial, but this aggressive look makes them less approachable. So if you are getting a Doberman, keep him as a family dog; this look will not help you much.
  • Attracts more judgment– As discussed above, many people think this process is cruel and barbaric. So, if you have a Dobie with cropped year, then be ready to get comments and judgments from others.

Bottom line

After reading the information mentioned above, you must be aware that ear cropping has pros and cons. It doesn’t have much health benefit, and it is only helpful if you are getting a Dobie for guarding or protection purposes. It completely depends on you whether you should crop their ears or not. It is advisable to analyze all the pros and cons of this procedure and take your decision wisely.


Is ear cropping good for Doberman?

Though the ear cropping helps the Dobermans increase their ability to listen and also helps them in performing their protection and guard duties, it doesn’t have any health benefits. It solely depends on the owner’s choice whether they want to crop it or not.

What are the cons of cropping a dog’s ears?

A few cons of ear cropping are that it increases the risk of ear infection and boosts the chances of your Dobie suffering from severe pain and discomfort.

Are there any benefits to cropping a dog’s ears?

It increases their ability to hear more efficiently, gives them a more intimidating look, and protects them from ear damage and injuries.

Is there any age limit to crop a dog’s ear?

It is recommended to do ear cropping between 7 to 12 weeks of age; however, you can do this until your Dobie reaches 15 weeks. Technically speaking, you can crop your Dobies ear at any age, but most professionals refuse to do so because, after a certain age, it can result in extreme pain, stress, and trauma to your Dobie; hence you should do it when they are young.

Jason Morgan

Jason Morgan

I'm Jason Morgan, founder and author at I just love Dobermans - they're the best dogs in the world! I got my first Doberman, Max, when I was just a pup myself. Max was my loyal friend and protector for over ten years. Since then, I've been working hard to learn everything I can about these amazing dogs. I started DobermanWiki as a place to share all that knowledge with other Doberman enthusiasts like me. My goal is to help every Doberman owner have the best possible relationship with their dog. I'm always happy to chat with other Doberman owners, so feel free to reach out anytime!

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