We are all familiar with Dobermans. These dogs are slim, strong, with long, cropped ears that give them cat-like features. Can you even have a Doberman with uncropped ears, or is this practice mandatory for the breed?
If you are interested in learning more, you’re in the right place. We’ll briefly discuss the species and talk about the ear cropping practice in Dobermans.
About the Breed
Doberman Pinschers are a breed that originates from 19th century Germany. No one knows what their exact ancestry is. Most believe they have at least some Rottweiler, German Pinscher, and Black and Tan Terrier genes.
People bred them to be guard dogs, which is noticeable from their looks and build. No one wants to mess with a Doberman! These canines grow to be up to 28 inches tall, and they can weigh 80 pounds!
They are strong but slim dogs, with very muscular bodies.
They usually come in black and brown, but they can come in the chocolate shade, as well.
While you can find Doberman with uncropped ears and tail, most breeders crop them while they are very young.
In fact, many people think Dobermans are born with their ears standing straight!
Even though Dobermans are a relatively new breed, they quickly became one of the most popular dogs worldwide. Their specific looks and fierce reputation go far, and they are well known among the dog-loving communities.
As the years go by, Dobermans become slimmer and slimmer, and their temperament tends to change a bit. A century later, they are far from the blood-thirsty dogs that Germans bred them to be.
Still, they remain one of the best guardian dogs out there.
Temperament and Ear Cropping
Dobermans are known as one of the best guardian dogs, and this isn’t for nothing. However, stereotypes say they are vicious and highly aggressive.
While Dobermans are known for being very territorial, the truth is they are loving and affectionate dogs. If you look at a Doberman with uncropped ears, all that viciousness goes away.
Dobermans aren’t aggressive dogs looking for trouble. They are brave and very protective of their owners. If they perceive any danger, they will protect their family at all costs.
Dobermans love their family members. They continuously want to be around their humans, and they are incredibly loyal. As long as their ‘pack members’ are treated kindly, they are affectionate and calm dogs.
They deal well with new people and guests, as long as you’ve socialized them properly from puppyhood. However, as soon as they sense a threat, their guardian nature will awake.
Training and Activity Levels
Dobermans are extremely active dogs that need plenty of exercises daily. They are large and strong, and you need to be prepared to find a way to get rid of their excess energy.
This is why they aren’t for everyone. Not all people can deal with their strength and fast pace.
At the same time, Dobermans need to have a mentally strong pack leader. If you get a Doberman, you’ll need to train and socialize them properly to avoid trouble later.
They are very intelligent and easy to train, but they can become bored quickly. You’ll need to find a way to stimulate their brain and to keep them constantly busy.
If you’re laid-back, this breed is probably not for you. However, if you know how to deal with them, you’ll have a great family dog in your yard.
Are Dobermans Good with Kids?
If you have kids, then having a vicious-looking dog probably isn’t the first thing you’d want near them. And, truthfully, Dobermans aren’t the best choice if you have small children.
While they are not aggressive, they are mighty and energetic. While running or jumping around, they could knock a small child down, hurting them on accident.
Other than that, a well-trained Doberman is an excellent nanny-dog for your kids. They are protective, playful, and affectionate, and can be a good match for an active child.
However, as they can be temperamental, you need to monitor them.
Also, no matter what dog you plan to get, you need to teach your kids to respect their four-legged friend. This includes:
- Not pulling the dog’s tail or ears
- Not touching dog’s nose, eyes, or ‘private parts’
- No shouting or screaming at the dog, as they can get scared
- No touching dog’s toys, and especially food and food bowl
Kids don’t have the same understanding of animal emotions as adults do. For children, most animals are fluffy, fun toys that don’t experience pain or fear.
With a Doberman, this won’t do, as they can unintentionally cause harm. Always teach your kid how to behave around dogs, especially if you have a larger breed.
Are Dobermans a Healthy Breed?
Dobermans usually live around 10 to 13 years. However, they are prone to several health issues. Some of them include:
- Cervical vertebral instability
- Dilated cardiomyopathy
- Von Willebrand’s disease
- Prostatic disease
They are also prone to hip dysplasia and canine compulsive disorder. If you plan on getting a Doberman, get ready to take him to regular vet visits!
Does Doberman with Uncropped Ears Exist?
Today, some surgical alterations are typical for many breeds. Most people wouldn’t even recognize a Doberman with uncropped ears, but they do exist.
In fact, Dobermans are born with a long tail and floppy ears. If we see a Doberman with intact ears, we probably won’t even recognize that it’s the same breed!
Even though many prefer Dobermans with cropped ears, the ear and tail cutting procedure is basically an amputation.
More and more people are choosing to keep their dogs the way they were born. Still, we’ll go over this cruel practice and explain how the ear cropping practice is done – and why.
Why Do Breeders Cut Doberman’s Ears?
Dobermans are born with their ears uncropped. Ear cropping was initially done so dogs could hear better.
People believed that if a dog’s ears were cropped, they could hear more clearly. While there are studies that prove that ear cropping can slightly improve hearing, this isn’t conclusive.
How Does the Ear Cropping Surgery Look?
Ear cropping is a straightforward surgical procedure. A vet will remove a portion of a dog’s ear, which will result in ears that stand upright.
With Dobermans, this procedure is usually done when they are just 8 to 12 weeks old. Once their ears are trimmed, the vet will stitch the edges and tape the ears to a hard surface.
They will stay like that for several weeks until the wound is entirely healed. This is done so the ears will stand erect.
The entire procedure is done under total anesthesia. It isn’t long, and most vets will complete it in less than half an hour.
Believe it or not, it may take up to a year before cropped ears will stand entirely straight. Usually, though, the ears will be taped for ‘just’ 5 to 6 months.
After the procedure is done, the owner has to take good care of his dog’s ears. The healing process is very uncomfortable, and your dog will likely be in pain for a while.
This is another reason why many people see the ear cropping process as animal cruelty. Infections can occur, and good hygiene is a must. Otherwise, the ears won’t look good, and they might require additional surgery.
Should You Cut Your Doberman’s Ears?
Ear cropping isn’t mandatory for Dobermans. Owners and breeders can decide on whether they want to have this procedure done.
Ear cropping doesn’t have any health benefits, and it doesn’t truly have a purpose. The only reason why breeders do it is because of the aesthetics.
In fact, this procedure is illegal in many countries. Even if it isn’t outlawed in your country, it’s becoming more and more controversial in time.
The American Kennel Club, for example, considers ear cropping essential for the breed’s integrity.
However, the American Veterinary Medical Association is against cosmetic surgical procedures. They believe surgeries such as ear cropping are an unnecessary health hazard.
One thing is certain, and that is that ear cropping is slowly losing in popularity. Many veterinary schools don’t teach it, and not all vets will agree on performing it.
A lot of organizations are informing the general public about the truth behind the ear cropping procedure.
Today, you no longer need to crop your Doberman’s ears for them to participate in dog shows. In fact, the American Kennel Club says that a Doberman with uncropped ears has an equal chance of winning.
Doberman Natural Ears Vs. Cropped
There are some good and bad sides both to having your Doberman’s ears cropped or not. Here are some pros of both sides.
Pros of having a Doberman with uncropped ears and tail:
- You’re avoiding numerous health risks that come with cosmetic surgery.
- Numerous studies show that dogs who have had their tails docked don’t have good social skills. This is because dogs use their tails to communicate with other canines.
- Dobermans with their natural ears can help the breed get rid of their bad reputation. People perceive dogs with uncropped ears as more friendly, affectionate, and loveable.
- You aren’t inflicting any unnecessary pain on your dog.
- Your dog will be better at communicating with other canines, and he’ll likely be more friendly.
- There really isn’t any health benefit that comes from ear cropping.
Pros of having a Doberman with cropped ears and tail:
- Ear cropping most likely does improve a dog’s hearing a little bit.
- Some larger dogs can hurt their tail if they hit it on something while wagging. This can cause several health issues that could be prevented if a dog had its tail cut beforehand.
- American Kennel Club prefers dogs with cropped ears.
- If you want to have your Doberman as a guardian dog, ear cropping can make him look more dangerous.
- Most people prefer the look of a Doberman with cropped ears.
While Dobermans are born with long, floppy ears, breeders usually crop them when they are puppies. This practice was started because ear cropping improved the dog’s hearing.
As Dobermans were bred as guardian dogs, they had to hear everything that happens around them.
However, many people oppose ear cropping. Owning a Doberman with uncropped ears is becoming more and more common.
While most breeders still shorten the ears of their Doberman puppies, people are slowly opposing this practice. They claim ear cropping is cruel and unnecessary.
The choice of cropping the ears of your dog is up to you and the breeder. There is nothing that requires you to crop the ears of a Doberman pup.
Even the American Kennel Club is dropping this practice, while it still prefers Dobermans with their ears cropped. There are both reasons for and against ear cropping.