in loving memory of Dan and Barbara Jessup
Ear Cropping, Tail Docking and Dewclaws
Some dog breeds have their tails docked (shortened) and ears cropped (made smaller and to stand upright). This practice goes back thousands of years and their are a variety of reasons why it is done.
Radical "animal rights" groups are working to get both procedures banned. They have been successful in some countries in Europe, including Germany, where traditionally docked breeds like Boxers, Rottweilers and Dobermans now all sport long, silly, curly tails. It ruins their look to be honest.
Traditionally breeds which were bred and used for protection either against wild animals or other humans would have their tail docked and ears cropped for practical reasons. Fora human "bad guy", a dog with no tail or long, hanging ears is FAR more difficult to grab and disable. In fights with wild animals long ears are easily ripped, resulting in serious loss of blood.
Today, guardian dogs are still best served by having their tails and ears clipped. For those who raise Dobermans for the show ring - not work - the current fad is to cut the ears as long as possible, resulting in what they think is an "elegant" look. I think it looks silly, and those long ears are terribly difficult to get to stand correctly, requiring the puppy to have to endure long months (sometimes even a full year!) with its ears in "racks". As well, the ears are almost as easy to be grabbed by a "bad guy" as uncut ears.
I prefer a more traditional "utility" cut. See picture to right. These ears are shorter making the entire processes less painful for the dog, and MUCH quicker to get to stand, cutting down significantly on the time the pup must endure being "racked".
IMPORTANT PLEASE READ THIS!
My pups will be cropped and docked when placed in new homes. Tails are docked at one day of age, so the tail will be healed and present no issue for new owners.
Pups will have ears cropped by a veterinarian about a week before they are placed. New owners will be shown how to care for the ears, and be given information on ear care. Ear wrapping is part of owning a Doberman pup. Those not willing to put in the work to make the pup's ears stand should pick another breed that does not require cropping.
Doberman without tail docked or ears cropped.
Pup's ears will be cut in the authentic fashion pictured.
Dew Claws: dew claws are a dog's "thumb". Some breeders remove them a few days after birth, but many do not. I used to remove dew claws, but I have noticed that my dogs use the dew claws for holding things like bones or sticks. Some people will say that the dog will damage the claw if it is left, but I have never had a serious injury to a dew claw.
It IS important to remember to include them when you are clipping nails. Because of their location the dog cannot wear them down and they will grow and grow. In some cases of dogs which are neglected, the nail actually grows THROUGH the dog's leg!
Badly overgrown dew claw.
Pup with ridiculously long ears in my opinion. Looks like a mule!
Here are some links on after cropping ear care: