I am currently working with two different Doberman Pinschers. One owner has chosen to crop their Doberman’s ears, and one owner has chosen not to. It is interesting to see the drastically different look in the two dogs. Generally, when most people think of a Doberman, they think of the dog with cropped ears and a short cropped tail. Left natural, a Doberman’s ears are more flat and flipped forward, like a Labrador Retriever. Proponents of the crop ear Dobies mark many reasons for having the procedure done including: less risk of ear infection, being able to better pin point sound, and having the dog recognizable as a Doberman. Many people train Doberman Pinschers to be guard dogs and crop the ears and tail so that would-be attackers have nothing to grab onto. Ear cropping is usually done between 7 and 9 weeks of age. The ear training process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the dog and style of ear crop.
There are three different types of ear crops:
1) The military crop. This is the smallest crop, with a short length and wide base.
2) The medium crop. Slightly longer length and smaller base.
3) The show crop. The longest length, with the smallest base.
Below are pictures of Duke, a 4-month-old Doberman currently in the ear crop process, and 8-month-old Boomer, who did not have his ears cropped.
I personally do not believe in the practice of ear cropping and tail docking. I believe it to be unnecessary and it can cause psychiatric damage to your dog. However if this is something you are considering, please be sure to fully discuss the process with your vet and breeder.