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The size of an adult Doberman Pinscher is anywhere between 25 and 28 inches from the shoulder. This dog will also weigh anywhere between 60 and 100 pounds. The head of the Doberman will have the shape of a wedge and his ears might or might not be cropped. If you leave the ears uncropped then they will hang naturally and the tail is generally docked.
It’s not uncommon for Doberman owners to crop the ears of their dogs. Ear cropping was invented with the purpose of making the dog’s ears stand erect and is basically a surgical procedure that involves removing a part of the dog’s ear. Most people will perform this procedure on their dogs while they are still puppies, between the age of 8 and 12 weeks. After the ears are properly trimmed, their edges will have to be stitched. to ensure proper healing, the edges will also have to be taped to a hard surface and kept like this for a few weeks. Doing this procedure properly will guarantee that the ears of the dog will stay upright. The ear cropping procedure isn’t something that can be taken as a DIY project and should only be done by an experienced veterinarian.
If you refuse to crop the ears of your Doberman, you should know that he will develop a very different look. Ear cropping is basically a part of the Doberman’s breed identity and history. It isn’t unusual for people to identify these dogs by their erect, cropped ears. It is one of the things that make this breed have this amazing appearance, say a lot of owners. There isn’t a single ear crop style, and cropped ears can differ both in length and style. When it comes to length, ear cropping can have either a standard show crop, which is the longer crop, a medium crop, or a short crop.
The actual ear cropping procedure
The surgery for ear cropping shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes and is done under anesthesia. Although most Dobermans will need about 5 to 6 months for the ears to finally stand upright, some would need more than one year before the ears are fully erect. It will usually take longer for longer ear crop styles. Keep in mind that although the surgery will be uncomfortable, the healing process will be even worse, which is why most people consider this an unnecessary and cruel procedure. To make sure that the ears will stand upright and that the dog doesn’t have to deal with unwanted infections, aftercare is vital following the ear cropping surgery. If you don’t think you are ready to deal with everything involved in the aftercare of the dog, then you should avoid the ear cropping surgery altogether.
Should you go for the surgery or not?
In the past, the reason behind the procedure was much more than simply aesthetics. The Doberman was raised as a guard dog. The Dobermans used the increased hearing capabilities provided by ears that stand upright in their efforts to defend their home. This was one of the best features of a great watchdog. Nowadays guard dogs are less and less needed, which makes ear cropping for Dobermans a personal preference of the owner or a way to comply to show standards.
This makes ear cropping a type of elective surgery. It’s your choice as an owner. It also comes with no known health benefits at all. The ear cropping procedure has long been just a way for the Doberman to reach a certain look. Many countries have outlawed ear cropping along with other aesthetic surgeries. It is slowly becoming a very controversial topic in the US as well, although at this point it is not regulated or banned here. Although there are states that have opened the discussion of banning ear cropping, this is yet to happen.
Tifferent organizations also have different opinions on this. For example, The AVMA (the American Veterinary Medical Association) clearly opposes ear cropping, while The AKC (the American Kennel Club) says that this is still an integral part of preserving the character of the breed, for some breeds at least.
Ear cropping is slowly getting phased out and is a less and less common practice. This is not something that veterinarians will learn in school anymore. As dog owners start to understand the controversial nature of the surgery, fewer veterinarians are also willing to give it a try. Keep in mind that if you still want your dog to win prizes in a show, the AKC will most probably deduct points for ears that are not cropped or tails that aren’t docked.