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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I am going to show my ignorance here and ask you guys, how come ear cropping seems to differ so much in length etc. Is there not a single standard to which all must aspire?? Do you crop to suit the use the dog has? Show? Working? Pet? They all look so different. As your dogs are pups surely the vet cannot predict how he/she will look as an adult with a crop. Do you decide what crop your dog gets or the vet?
Hope you guys can shed a little light on this subject for me, because it is making my head hurt trying to work it out and the internet doesnt seem to be able to give me a definitive answer.
 

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An experienced and reputable vet that does cropping will usually ask for your length preference and will cut the ear in a particular style particular to that vet. Since this process is done by hand, there is no way to guarantee the exact same results with every dog, even when using the same vet. Most experienced cropping vets know how to gauge the size of your dog's head to have the ears match in proportion to when the dog grows.

There is a great risk you take in choosing a cropping vet, as some are way better at it than others. This is why most reputable breeders take care of this for you before you bring the puppy home.

To the direct, the current trend in North American crops is the longer show-crop with little bell and sometimes a small hook at the tip of the ear.
 

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joie de vivre
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I didn't decide what crop my dogs have.

Tali's first owner requested a shorter crop than what the breeder typically has done, so you can make a request with some breeders and they may choose to oblige or not.

Fiona was a nice pup and she received a long show crop in case the breeder decided she would be shown. Otherwise, typically, my girls' breeder has pet pups cropped with a nice medium crop.

If you go to a good breeder, then the cropping is ultimately up to them and the cropping vet they choose. If you buy from a BYB or puppy mill, often times you have no cropping support and if you want it done, it's up to you to find the cropping vet and choose a style. If cropping is left up to you and you don't really do your research it's likely you'll end up with a crappy crop no matter what length it is.

A GOOD cropping vet has a pretty damn good idea of what a crop will look like on a pup as an adult. They understand the shape and growth of the ears, they understand the various head types and how a crop style is complimentary to which head shape. That's why it's so important to go to a good, reputable, Doberman cropping vet. They understand what looks good on this breed and how to do it.
 

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I had zero issues finding a good cropping vet. I am not very fond of somebody telling me how I want my steak cooked, when I'm the one buying it. Not that that's the case, but more often than not when people refer to the breeder handling the cropping duties, it is listed as breeder choice.

It really is not a big deal at all. I took a recommendation from a member here on this site...I emailed that vets office, got a price quote and set up an appointment. Took a 5 hour road trip, dropped my boy off, spoke to the vet, showed him a picture of the style I liked and then we went to dave and busters for the eat and play combo. All in all it was a nice little road trip.
 

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brw said:
If you go to a good breeder, then the cropping is ultimately up to them and the cropping vet they choose. If you buy from a BYB or puppy mill, often times you have no cropping support and if you want it done, it's up to you to find the cropping vet and choose a style. If cropping is left up to you and you don't really do your research it's likely you'll end up with a crappy crop no matter what length it is.

A GOOD cropping vet has a pretty damn good idea of what a crop will look like on a pup as an adult. They understand the shape and growth of the ears, they understand the various head types and how a crop style is complimentary to which head shape. That's why it's so important to go to a good, reputable, Doberman cropping vet. They understand what looks good on this breed and how to do it.
This!

Not all crops are the same, definitely. My boy has a medium/long crop and I love it. His breeder flies in the cropper for each litter and she does the crop based on the puppies' ears and head shape. While all his siblings have a very similar crop no two are the same in shape or in length so in that case it's dog-dependent. While my boy's breeder did ask my opinion I'm pretty sure that, ultimately, whatever I had said wouldn't have swayed her much. I didn't care though. I loved everything about her as a breeder and I LOVED the crop jobs on her dogs so I was more than fine with her handling the crop on Dreizehn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Would a dog entering the show ring with say a Military Crop be penalised for not having a show crop. How much does the crop style play a part in the judging? Would a show crop be a hindrance to a working dog? Is there a crop more suited to say males than females? I ask this because surely a males head would carry a military crop better than a female simply because a males head is more angular or masculine than a females.
Is there a set length for say show, medium and military? Does the vet actually crop the length or just shape the ear so that it appears shorter.


Here in Spain we do not seem to have very good cropping vets, perhaps that is why in my region it has been banned along with the docking of tails. However, my boy came from just over the border so his tail was done but his ears at 6 weeks were to be left for the new owner to do. I never intended for my boy to have his tail docked as I knew it would cause me no end of problems trying to explain I didnt do it to him, but rather it was done by the breeder etc. Unfortunately I didnt get a say, or rather my say was ignored.
Which actually seems to be the norm here, I was looking for a Boxer puppy for my son and specifically requested that the breeder we chose (after much research) not dock and crop due to the restrictions here in my part of Spain and the fact that it is becoming very hard to show a cropped/docked dog in most of Europe. To which his reply was a resounding NO! simply because he doesnt like the look of a Boxer au natural. Now this is even though I told him my son wanted to show his girl, still he refused whilst at the same time demanded top money for a show quality dog.
 

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To the direct, the current trend in North American crops is the longer show-crop with little bell and sometimes a small hook at the tip of the ear.
You know, every time I saw a crop with that little hook on the end in pictures on here, I wondered why the vet would do such a lousy job of cutting the top of the ear to a point, and why everyone else would comment on how nice the crop was. I just don't get why anyone would want a crop that looks like the vet forgot to finish. It's like they cut as far up as the scissor blades go, and then call it a day. Then again, if I had to have a cropped dog, I'd want a short, pointy crop with some bell, so I obviously don't know anything. :lol2:
 

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I didnt even know cropping & docking were legal in Spain, I just assumed they'd be banned.

You could import from the UK? I know a few boxer people if you'd like me to put some names your way :)
 

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joie de vivre
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Would a dog entering the show ring with say a Military Crop be penalised for not having a show crop. How much does the crop style play a part in the judging? Would a show crop be a hindrance to a working dog? Is there a crop more suited to say males than females? I ask this because surely a males head would carry a military crop better than a female simply because a males head is more angular or masculine than a females.
Is there a set length for say show, medium and military? Does the vet actually crop the length or just shape the ear so that it appears shorter.
In the US, as far as I know, the dog won't be faulted for having a military crop. However, having said that I will also add that it had better be a breathtakingly STUNNING Doberman to compete in the AKC ring with a military crop and actually win. The super short crops simply do not look good on the Doberman head generally speaking. Dobes have an elongated head and, IMO, a short, blunt crop takes away from the attractive planes of the Doberman head.

There is not a set length for show, medium, or military crops that I know of. It depends on the size of the Dobe's head and the natural length of the ear. It would be impossible to say a show crop is anything over 4.5" long because some Dobes may not have enough ear to even crop at 4.5" (or whatever arbitrary length the ear will grow to be as an adult). What length is a medium crop on a large male Dobe head might work out to be a show crop length on a small bitch's head.

Crops are not uniform in length, shape, bell, etc. If they were there'd be some sort of cropping template and virtually all crops would be created equal. That's not the case and this is why you see some crops that are gorgeous and some crops that are "OMG WTF did you do to your dog?"

Some crops remove length, some crops leave full length and just reshape the back of the ear but both of these things also effect how the bell of the ear must be cut to give it a clean line and proper support. The front of the ear (closest to the eye) shouldn't be cropped. That's the line to cut toward and the fold in the front of the ear offers some support in standing as well. Some crops leave a lot of bell to support a thicker crop and some crops remove a lot of bell because less is required to support a finer crop, which I prefer because you get cleaner lines.

As for military crop on males vs females, I actually think the military crop usually looks absolutely HORRID on males because they're big dogs with typically bulkier heads than the females. Tiny ears just look stupid on big, masculine dogs, IMO. (For the record I think tiny ears on Dobes, male or female, look stupid but I find it particularly awful to see a nice, big male Dobe with botched up little bitty ears.)

Just my 2-cents. I'm no expert on cropped ears. These are just things I've learned and thought about the last few years.
 
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The quality of the crop should not make any difference in the show ring, but in reality it certainly has an indirect affect. There are only a handful of real ear cropping artists across the US. There are a few more that do a decent job, but not great on a consistent basis. Then there is the majority that think because they are a veterinarian and legally licensed to perform the procedure that they are capable. Most probably don't even know how untalented they are. They cut a plain looking ear that isn't too long because they all claim that "pet buyers don't have the stamina to tape ears for any length of time" and they don't clean them up at the base because they either don't know how or are too lazy. So you end up with a black and tan pointy eared dog that loosely resembles a Doberman. If the ears eventually stand, they think they are an ear cropper.

From a show standpoint, an outstanding looking ear crop can make a mediocre head look good and a bad head look better. A poor crop can make a really good head look mediocre or worse.

As for length, a nice average show crop should extend to the inside corner of the eye when bent over at the base of the ear.
 

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As far as I know, longer cropped ears for the show. My breeder asked me the preference whether the show type (long) or medium/long as a household pet. We chose the medium/long. If we chosed the long type, she would be traveled to Tokyo where the famous vet for the doberman is.

When a dog trainer who is a judge as well saw Elza, he pointed out the ear angle should be this way and half an inch shorter than accepted length. Whatever is ok. I didn't intend to take her to the show ring, I belileve her ears were successful.
 

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As for length, a nice average show crop should extend to the inside corner of the eye when bent over at the base of the ear.
Interesting...I hadn't heard that before. Now tell me who just flopped their dog's ear over to check because I sure did! :)
 

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Lol thats exactly what Ive been saying.....took a picture to my Dobes cropping Vet and said "Don't leave this flare on the end of the ear" I want a straight cut
 
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