Should You Leave A Doberman’s Ears Uncropped

Deciding to leave your Doberman’s ears uncropped is a personal choice you should not take lightly. Not only does it impact the dog’s looks, but it also affects their health and behavior in various ways.

People have cropped their dog’s ears for centuries, which is now a significant part of breed standards. However, leaving them uncropped can give your pup a more natural look while maintaining its nobility and strength.

Should You Leave A Doberman's Ears Uncropped

Cropped vs. Uncropped Doberman

Uncropped ears can provide better hearing ability, less risk of infection or tearing from vigorous activities, and may even help prevent dogs from being aggressive towards other animals or humans due to lack of fear recognition. 

With all this in mind, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether you should leave your Doberman’s ears uncropped.

Cropping is Part of the Doberman Breed Standard

The number one reason you’d want to crop a Doberman’s ears is that it is part of the Doberman breed standard. Here’s the exact verbiage:

Ears normally cropped and carried erect. The upper attachment of the ear, when held erect, is on a level with the top of the skull.


Having cropped ears can help create a memorable silhouette of a distinguished-looking dog and may meet show standards better than if left uncropped.

Some may argue that cropping also helps save the breed from becoming too “generic,” as the traditional look is one of the defining characteristics of this breed.

In the United States, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) discourages all ear cropping procedures for cosmetic purposes and actively lobbies for removing it and docked tails from breed standards.

Why People Leave Their Doberman’s Ears Uncropped

On the other hand, leaving a Doberman’s ears uncropped can be beneficial in many ways. Since dogs rely heavily on hearing to detect danger, leaving ears uncropped can provide a better ability to hear even the faintest sounds. 

Full ear function can be beneficial if your dog is ever in dangerous situations and needs to respond quickly. Additionally, leaving ears uncropped reduces the risk of infection from excessive moisture and vigorous activities and decreases the chance of tearing when playing or running around.

Some people also argue that cropped ears can make a dog appear more aggressive, as they cannot show facial expressions like happiness or fear. This lack of emotional recognition can sometimes lead to dogs or other animals being unnecessarily aggressive towards a Doberman, as they cannot read social cues correctly. Natural ears allow your dog to express their feelings freely and may help prevent aggressive behavior.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Dangers of cropping a Doberman

Does Cropping Ears Hurt a Doberman’s Hearing?

While there is no definitive answer as to whether leaving a Doberman’s ears uncropped will hurt or improve their hearing ability, it has been suggested that the long floppy ears can be a hindrance when trying to hear distant sounds.  

Contrary to popular belief, cropping does not necessarily make them any more sensitive to sound, as the structure of an uncropped ear and a cropped one are still the same.

When is The Doberman Ear Cropping Procedure Done?

The ear cropping procedure is done when Doberman puppies reach 6-12 weeks old. The ears are usually cropped within the first two months of life, and the healing process can take anywhere from 8-12 weeks to complete. During this time, keeping the area clean and free of bacteria is essential to ensure proper healing.

What are the Health Complications Associated With Ear Cropping a Doberman?

The procedure consists of using anesthesia to numb the area, followed by trimming and stitching. Ear trimming requires several follow-up visits for aftercare and bandage changes.

Various health complications can arise from cropping a Doberman’s ears. In extreme cases, these include bleeding, ear infections, nerve damage, improper healing, and even hearing loss. Additionally, the risk of anesthesia-related complications should not be overlooked, as this is often necessary during the process.

When is Ear Cropping Good For a Dog?

In the event that your Doberman has ear or tail cancer, cropping off the affected area can save its life.


Surgically altered ears stand upright and change the profile of the dog. Ear cropping is an elective cosmetic surgery with quite a few drawbacks. While it is a part of the breed standard, not all veterinarians will perform an ear cropping surgical procedure.

The decision to leave your Doberman’s ears uncropped is personal and should be made while considering the pros and cons. Weighing them can help you make an informed decision about which is best for your pup.