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Thread: History of the Doberman ( Ear Cropping & Tail Docking)

  1. #1
    Protector of Dobes Senior Dog Member+ Dobified's Avatar
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    History of the Doberman ( Ear Cropping & Tail Docking)

    from here :

    http://bakaridobes.westhost.com/publ...n/PECEars.html







    EARS

    The Dobermans "look" is that of a compact, powerful, medium sized dog that shows an attitude and temperament reflecting great nobility and confidence. His short, tight coat and cropped ears and docked tail add to his clean lines and effectiveness as an elite protection breed. But, the docked tail and the cropped ears on the Doberman are historically VERY FUNCTIONAL in origin and serve important purposes.

    A docked tail was an important characteristic of the Doberman because the tail represents a "body part" that can be easily and readily injured. Injury can happen by accident, such as knocking it against hard surfaces or getting it caught between surfaces (doors, windows, car doors) which can cause bruising, hematomas (pockets of blood), sloughing off of hair and tissue, gangrene and terrible fractures of the vertebra requiring major reparative surgery to treat and even save the tail. The tail also served as a handle that an attacker could grab and injure which could cause the dog to experience pain and trauma and cause him to abandon his job of protecting his owner. So docking was also a functional part of the Dobermans effectiveness as a family protector.

    Cropped ears, likewise, were the logical, functional addition to complete the Dobermans physical equipment to make him the elite family companion and protection dog that he was, even from the beginning. There are two primary reasons that we desire cropped ears, and both have to do with FUNCTION. The first is that a neatly cropped ear is less of a "handle" for an attacker to hang on to. Since the Doberman has been bred to be a personal protector, a cropped ear gives the dog a decided advantage in a confrontation with a perpetrator. The second has to do with sound "localization". An erect earred dog can localize the source of a sound to within a 5 degree cone, whereas a drop earred dog can only localize a sound source to within a 20 degree cone. Since Dobermans do SEARCH AND DETECTION as well as SEARCH AND RESCUE, cropped ears are a decided advantage.

    The DOBERMAN **STANDARD** asks for "ears, normally cropped". This simply implies that they are cropped in a normal manner. Many people choose to leave their Doberman puppy uncropped. These are mostly people who have a Doberman as a pet only and do not exhibit them in competition in the various AKC events. There is no disqualification for uncropped ears, and people can and do show Dobermans that are not cropped, in the US. But, because the overwhelming majority of exhibitors show their Dobermans cropped, perhaps it just looks like there is no choice involved. It is a matter of personal preference as to crop or not crop their puppy and likewise to show a cropped or uncropped Doberman in AKC events.

    If the ears are cropped they must be cut in a shapely manner when the Doberman is a youngster, usually between 7 to 10 weeks.The ear must be long enough to crop, and the puppy should not be too old that the surgery becomes more difficult for the ears to successfully stand.



    The Veterinarian puts the puppy under anesthesia and then proceeds to remove the excess ear on the outside portion of the ear. It is cut in a curving and graceful design and then the edges are stitched. The ears are taped over the head and wrapped with gauze for protection or they are glued with surgical glue to foam or a Styrofoam cup or other material to keep the ears upright and the edges exposed to the air for good healing. The stitches are removed after about 10 days, and the ears must be kept from puckering---which is the edges pulling together and causing the ear to shorten because of the scar tissue in areas along the cut edge. The ears are examined everyday to make sure they are healing well and when all edges are totally healed they are ready to be taped.

    After the edges are fully healed, with NO SMALL OPEN WOUNDS the ears can be rolled and TAPED. Below is a website that will show the usual manner that ears are taped. The technique is demonstrated by Carol Selzle Petruzzo, a very long time, successful breeder and Handler. The site is invaluable for learning how to care for and tape the healed cropped ears.

    http://dobermanpages.com/taping.html


    There are a variety of lengths and shapes of cropped ears. Cropping is very artistic and each cropper has their own style. The show conformation Dobermans are cropped longer and more stylish than most pet crops that an average Veterinarian would do. The longer, more stylish crops are beautiful, but they can take more time taping to get the ears to finally stand. Success with ears standing has a great deal to do with persistence of the person taping and the technique. Problems do arise and it is best to seek the advice of an experienced Breeder or very experienced Veterinarian that has cropped hundreds of ears.
    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

  2. #2
    Protector of Dobes Senior Dog Member+ Dobified's Avatar
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    More on the history of ear cropping the Doberman Pinscher:


    When Herr Louis Dobermann created the Doberman Pinscher, he attempted to breed a dog with a naturally pricked (erect) ear and a naturally bob tail. Ears are cropped on Dobermans for health, cleanliness and looks. Most breeders / veterinarians crop ears when the pup is between 7 and 9 weeks of age, so if you prefer an uncropped ear, express your preference to the breeder early. Dobermans are shown uncropped in England and Australia, but very seldom in Canada and the United States. Cropped ears can add a wonderful look to the Doberman, but if not carefully handled, they may not stand properly .
    Last edited by Dobified; 12-06-2005 at 07:57 AM.
    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

  3. #3
    Kool kat Senior Dog Member+ bernicesmama's Avatar
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    thanks dob! I really wondered why they did this.
    love more, laugh more and live more.

  4. #4
    Full Member Full Dog Member SouthernWoman's Avatar
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    Great information and thank you for posting it. I am honestly a little "iffy" on cropping and docking, but I am glad to know the reasoning behind it for the Doberman. Expanding one's knowledge is always a good thing!
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    ideal ear cropping age for dobermans

    was at a pet store and there was a 6 months old doberman pup with ears cropped. i thought it would be better to have that done when they are about 8 to 10 weeks old. is it still ok if it is done when they are 6 months?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsmith View Post
    was at a pet store and there was a 6 months old doberman pup with ears cropped. i thought it would be better to have that done when they are about 8 to 10 weeks old. is it still ok if it is done when they are 6 months?
    Did he JUST have them done, or was he just still taped up? Dobermans have a long crop that can take many months of "posting" (a process of bracing and taping in order to "train" the ear to stand erect before the cartilage matures), it's not uncommon to see a Dobe pup at that age still in wraps, I personally wouldn't freshly CROP one at that age only because it's not likely to end up standing very well.

  7. #7
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    I've always been curious as to why a breed like the doberman whose ears are frequently cropped wasn't breed to have erect ears to begin with. When Doberman took over and basically got the breed recognized why was he unable to get their ears to stand naturally?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by isisrip View Post
    I've always been curious as to why a breed like the doberman whose ears are frequently cropped wasn't breed to have erect ears to begin with. When Doberman took over and basically got the breed recognized why was he unable to get their ears to stand naturally?
    Because the breeds used to create the Doberman didn't typically have erect ears naturally, and because enormous bat ears are absolutely counter-productive to the original purpose of the breed. Keep in mind that the original working Dobermans' crop was extremely short at the time, not the long show crop you normally see now. Here's a great photographic timeline: http://www.blitzkrieger.com/breedhistory.html

  9. #9
    Beauceron Bliss Senior Dog Member+ rottiegirl's Avatar
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    hmmm, nice link Sins... you can so see the Beauceron in the early Dobie.
    Nothing says "Oops!" like a wall of flame.

  10. #10
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    Really nice article. I was not aware of the sound localiation advantage, although it should be obvious.
    Thanks for submitting the thread

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