[QUOTE=Kansadobe;342245]Neither the AKC nor the DPCA have taken any official position on natural or cropped ears. There is ambiguous language in the standard. It says that ears should be "normally cropped and carried erect". Some people assure us the the now deceased people that wrote that phrase intended for it to mean "ears cropped in a normal manner and carried erect", not that ears are, "usually cropped and carried erect, but might not be". You know how quoting the dead goes, they can't disagree with you. LOL. [QUOTE]
Here's a quote from the DPCA Illustrated Standard. Since this material had to be approved by the board of directors, I think that's a pretty good official position:
"Ears are normally cropped and carried erect. “Normally cropped” means cropped in a normal manner. Normally cropped does not mean “usually cropped.” Cropped ears will always be carried erect on a fully mature Doberman. The upper attachment of the ear to the head should be level with the top of the backskull when the dog is alert. The shape of cropped ears can vary because veterinarians exert their own vision on the final shape.
From his inception, the Doberman has been cropped. It is an essential breed characteristic. Cropped ears impart an appearance of alertness, determination, and watchfulness, and they aid in multi-directional hearing. In our standard, we do not describe an uncropped ear because this is a cropped breed. Dobermans with uncropped ears deviate from the standard twice — first by not having cropped ears, as required by the standard, and second by not having an erect ear carriage. "
This is an excerpt from an article written by Peggy Adamson for the Doberman Quarterly. So straight from the horse's mouth.....
TO CROP OR NOT TO CROP
On The Subject of Ears
DQ - Winter 1992
There are two matters pertaining to Doberman ears which need
the first one, I speak from the standpoints of the STandard Review
responsible for the wording. "Ears normally cropped," in our
the best of my knowledge, not until recently have these words ever
questioned since the Standard was approved more than twenty years
Rhys Carpenter, the chairperson of that committee, felt that the
"well-trimmed" in the Standard would be made more descriptive of
American cuts, especially in the west, were getting longer and
well as narrower with all the resultant problems of getting them to
This is the reason "normally" (adverb for the noun "norm"
The idea has been advanced that "normally" can also mean "usually".
that is true, it is not the case in this instance. A word is
according to the context in which it is found. In our Standard, each
the dog is listed followed by words describing what it should look
Thus, to anyone reading the entire Standard, it is quite clear
cropped" refers to the appearance of the ears, not whether or not it
Additionally, there is no ideal uncropped ear described in the standard, nor is there any verbiage stating an uncropped ear should be accepted without penalty. To me, that counts just as much (if not more) as the "normally cropped and carried erect" phrase.
I think each judge will make their own decision about how heavily to penalize an uncropped ear. Some will attach a lot of weight to it as a deviation, others not so much.
Since virtually all show breeders routinely crop their puppies prior to placement, you rarely see a good quality uncropped dog in the ring. MOST of the uncropped dogs I've seen being shown had far bigger problems than their ears..although more than likely the owners were singing the blues about judges dumping their dogs for being uncropped, instead of being able to admit their dog was of poor quality and wouldn't/shouldn't have won anything regardless of whether they were cropped or not.
Last edited by Murreydobe; 01-30-2009 at 07:06 PM.