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How Much Does It Cost To Crop Your Doberman’s Ears?

How Much Does It Cost To Crop A Doberman's Ears

At such a young age, a Doberman already undergoes an appearance change…

And it’s a cosmetic procedure called cropping.

As their dog parent, you look forward to this transformation.

However, how much of a cost should you also be anticipating?

Continue reading to discover:

  • If it’s bad to crop a Dobie’s ears.
  • How much it costs to crop a Dobermans’s ears (and tail).
  • 5 styles of cropping and what to expect when you crop a Doberman’s ears (before and after).
  • And many more…

How much does it cost to crop a Doberman’s ears?

It costs $150 (€133, £110) to $600 (€530, £445) to crop a Doberman’s ears. On average, the ideal choice costs $400 (€355, £296). Choosing the cheap option won’t be the best. Paying more will ensure quality. Plus, there are more fees to expect after. Examples are additional services and post-op care.

Is it bad to crop a Doberman’s ears?

Cropping a Doberman’s ears can be bad when you consider what the dog will go through and gain from it. As for the latter, there’s not much benefit of the procedure to a canine. 

Now, many vets call cropping an elective procedure

That means it’s a medical procedure that you can choose to do or not to do.

Moreover, experts also define it as minor cosmetic surgery. 

And as the name suggests, it implies that it only has something to do with the dog’s appearance.

But to be fair for both the affirmative and negative…

Let’s see where they’re both coming from…

Why crop a Doberman’s ears?

Crop A Doberman's Ears To Follow Their Breed's Standards

Most dogs undergo cropping to follow their breed’s standards.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) is the one that sets such requirements.

The Doberman Pinscher’s official standard is:

Their ears must be cropped and always erect.

Moreover, their tails undergo cropping as well. That’s because the standard set for them is that their tail should be docked and carried only slightly.

So, Dobies who are competing will need to adhere to these standards. That’s why they get their ears cropped.

They won’t qualify if their ears are floppy. And that’s a final decision, even before they get to show their skills.

And as for those that don’t compete, this procedure is a total aesthetic choice.

Why are there opposing opinions regarding cropping?

Now, whether cropping is bad or not has been a long controversy.

You see, many experts believe that dogs won’t gain any benefits from the procedure.

And there might be theories that say otherwise. That indeed, doggos have something to gain from ear cropping…

However, those benefits remain a hunch as evidence remains non-existent. 

Some examples of the assumed benefits are:

  • Improving hearing quality.
  • Being less prone to ear infections.
  • Becoming less likely to experience ear injuries.

But as the AVMA says, these gains remain a suggestion due to a lack of credible proof.

Moreover, the AVMA gives us a list of human benefits from this procedure. Those are:

  • Following breed standards.
  • Qualifying for competitions.
  • Making the dog look more intimidating or scary.

The issue for others is that the dog parent only reaps these benefits.

That’s why the AVMA states in their policy that ear cropping:

“(is) not medically indicated nor of benefit to the patient.” 

– American Veterinary Medical Association, 1999 Policy, History of Policy on Ear Cropping

and Tail Docking of Dogs

And up until now, the association opposes the procedure. 

They advocate for its removal from breed standards. They do so with the hope that it might help stop the practice.

Moreover, they’re also thinking about the dogs’ welfare. That’s because there are concerns when cropping a dog’s ears.

Did you know? Australia and some parts of Europe ban ear cropping.

As I said, there are many risks when letting a dog undergo this procedure. Those are:

Concern #1: Surgical risks

Let me refer to the same policy by the AVMA again…

They say that the surgery might fail and lead to:

  • Infection.
  • Blood loss.

Moreover, something can go wrong with the anesthesia.

According to research, some factors predetermine the risks of anesthetic death. 

In the study, they monitored 3546 animals who received general anesthesia. Their findings are:

FactorDeath rate (among subjects)
Healthy animals0.12%
Sick animals (unhealthy status)4.77%

As you’ll see, sickly animals are in more danger. That’s why the vet should do a thorough evaluation of your puppy’s health before proceeding.

Moreover, VCA Hospitals tell us the possible reactions. Which are:

  • Swelling.
  • Cardiac output decrease.
  • Full-blown anaphylactic shock.

So, vets suggest that they must counsel dog parents first. 

The purpose is to let them know of such risks. And that they agree to let their dog push through it.

Concern #2: It’s a painful procedure

Yet another group that opposes this is the Canada Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA).

In their statement, they say that cosmetic procedures such as this are painful. That’s still applicable even with anesthesia.

And for them, making your dog go through such distress will be unnecessary. 

Concern #3: There are post-op complications

Unfortunately, there’s a possibility that the surgery won’t go well.

And even after it, the risk continues to follow your dog.

You see, among many is the possibility of the ears getting infected.

Moreover, the procedure can fail as well.

In some cases, the ears won’t stand after the procedure. Or the ears become distorted in shape.

Those complications can lead to more surgeries, treatments, and pain.

How is ear cropping done?

Ear cropping is done by carefully cutting a portion of a dog’s pinna or outer ear. It’s done in Dobermans between 7 to 12 weeks of age. Moreover, it’s considered minor surgery, but its aftercare can be long and complicated.

The surgery

Administering Anesthesia To Dog Before Surgery

The doctor will start by administering anesthesia to your dog.

Now, such is a necessary and crucial part of the procedure.


That’s because the ears of dogs are full of nerve endings. Those make that body part very sensitive. 

Interesting fact: That’s also why dogs love receiving ear rubs from you.

Now going back…

Giving the dog anesthesia will induce unconsciousness. Moreover, it’ll keep their muscles relaxed. 

After that, their ears will be clipped, cleaned, and measured.

Then, the doctor will mark on the parts that they’ll cut.

When all of those are done, it’s time to start the surgery…

The doctor will begin by making an incision. They’ll start from the base of the ear up to the tip.

The aim is to get rid of the outer half of the ear. 

And the procedure should end with the ears in a triangular shape.

When both ears are done with that, it’s time to stitch. And with that, concludes the surgery.

But the journey isn’t over yet…

That’s because there’s still a complicated aftercare process.

Styles of cropping

Style #1: Military Crop

This is also called the battle crop.

Moreover, it’s the easiest style to attain.

It gives the ears a rounded triangle look. Plus, it’s the shortest type of cut as there’s still much base left to the ears.

Among all of the styles, this one is the most practical. It doesn’t strip much of the ear, yet it follows the standard look.

Style #2: Short crop

Short Crop

This is a style that isn’t popular among Dobies.

The short crop is more preferred in American Bullies and Pitbulls.

Now, by its name, this style only trims a small part of the ears. And it’s just a little longer than the military crop.

Despite that, it’s enough to make your Dobie look alert and intimidating.

Style #3: Medium crop

This style gives more of that aesthetic look. And it’s longer than the first 2 that I mentioned.

Moreover, vets confidently say that:

This crop gives off better results than the show crop. 

That’s because the ears stand more upright in this style.

Style #4: Show crop

This is described as the ultimate look…

That’s because this crop’s the best one to choose if your dog’s gonna compete.

Moreover, it’s also referred to as the Eagle’s wings

It’s from the look that the style gives. Its curve and long shape give the appearance of wings.

Lastly, show-cropped ears demand longer posting. It can take 1 to 3 months to train their ears to stand.

But, some cases need more time than that. Then, others don’t even stand upright at all…

With that, your dog will undergo additional surgery.

Style #5: Long crop

This style is the longest of ’em all, as the name suggests.

In this one, your Dobie keeps most of their ear. Despite that, they’ll still serve the looks expected from them.

What to expect when you crop a Doberman’s ears


So, your Dobie pup still has their floppy ears. Like these 6-week olds:

But, that’s going to change as they’ll now begin the cropping process of their ears.


The vet will need to assess your puppy first. 

So, get ready for the questions about their history. Take notes of your dog’s:

  • Vaccination history.
  • Deworming history.

Moreover, this is where you’ll choose the style crop for your dog.

And the vet can help with your choice. That’s because they’ll evaluate the following:

  • Head shape.
  • Ear structure.
  • Size of the head.

Most importantly, this is the stage where the vet should check your dog’s health.

That’s why your fur baby will undergo some mandatory tests. Such as:

  • Fecal exam.
  • Complete blood count (CBC).

Your pooch must do these tests within 30 days before the procedure.

Moreover, the reason behind this is:

The vet will need to know if your pup’s experiencing any illnesses. That’s important because such can contribute to possible complications in the surgery.

And as for those possibilities, the vet will describe it to you. This is what I was talking about earlier…

They’re going to need you to confirm that despite the risks, you’re willing to push through.


This is when there are only a few hours before the surgery.

First of all, your dog must be fasting. They shouldn’t eat at all before getting their ears cropped. 

Moreover, the vet will show you a picture of the crop you chose. This is required to confirm that it’s indeed what you want one last time.

As for your dog, the vet will check their heart first. They’ll do so using an EKG machine.

If their heart is healthy, then they’ll move to give your pooch an anesthetic exam.

Once clear on that, they’ll finally administer the anesthesia.

And with that, starts the surgery….


There will be stitches in your dog’s ears when they come out of the operating room.

Now, let’s look at this further using a timeframe…

24 to 72 hours

Your dog’s gonna go home with bandaged ears. Moreover, they must be wearing an Elizabethan collar (e-collar).

Now, Fido must wear the bandage for a minimum of 24 hours.

If it comes off before that, you must have it replaced immediately.

Moreover, you’re going to deal with a post-op pooch. And such would be a challenge…

You must make sure that they take their meds and trick them into drinking water.

Reading tip: 11 Essential Tips To Get A Dog To Drink Water After Surgery

2 weeks

The bandage will be off, but the e-collar must stay on for another 2 weeks.

Or up until the sutures are removed.

The vet will evaluate if the ears are healed when this is done. If they are, then it’s time to post the ears.

Now, vets recommend that a professional will do the first posting. If your dog’s vet volunteers, let them.

Moreover, the doctors will suggest necessary follow-up checkups and medications if needed.

Continue reading: When Should You Stop Posting Your Doberman’s Ears?

People also ask:

How much does it cost to crop a Doberman’s ears and tail?

It costs a total of $250 (€220, £185) to $750 (€655, £555) to crop a Doberman’s ears and tail. 

The ideal cropping surgery should cost $400 (€355, £296). 

However, you can find a range of services starting from $150 (€133, £110) to $600 (€530, £445). But, both the cheapest and most expensive options can be a concern.

As for their tail, cropping or docking is a cheap procedure. It’s a minor surgery called caudectomy that can cost up to $20 (€18, £15).

But, all in all, you might spend $100 (€88, £75) to $200 (€177, £150). That’s because there might be additional fees.