How Much Does Doberman Ear Cropping Cost?

Written by: Staff

Doberman ear cropping is an aesthetic procedure where the thin outer tissue of the dog’s ears are clipped so the thicker membrane can be trained to stand.  Historically, this practice was meant to increase the guard dog’s sound localization and to inhibit an attacker from clutching onto its ears.

Since a Doberman is born with floppy ears and longer tails, the ears will be cropped to achieve a standing ear position.

Recently, ear cropping sparked a controversy when certain groups, especially the animal rights groups, complained about it on the grounds that it is inhumane.  Some countries even ban ear cropping.

Zoé by RBD7000, on Flickr
Zoé” (Public Domain) by RBD7000

How much does Doberman ear cropping cost?

On average, most people pay anywhere from $175 to $500 for the entire procedure of getting their Doberman’s ears cropped.  However, depending on the type of procedure that is done, the costs can easily reach the $1,000 mark.  Longer crops are more expensive than shorter crops.

According to a forum thread at, prices can range from $175 to $505 while Gentle Doberman says the price could be between $400 and $1,500.

A vet on said the costs could range anywhere from $100 to $750 or more, but it will wildly vary on where you live.

Ear cropping via laser procedure may cost $1,000 or more, but it does not cause much pain, bleeding, or swelling.

Doberman ear cropping overview

Prior to surgery, your Doberman will have to undergo pre-operative tests to determine its exact age and general health condition. The preoperative examinations usually include a thorough blood count and pre-surgical chemistry panel.  In some cases, a clotting test may also be performed.

Once it’s confirmed your dog can undergo the procedure, a general anesthesia will be administered to induce unconsciousness, reduce pain and relax its muscles.  This also makes the procedures much easier for the vet to perform.

This ear cropping procedure is performed only when the puppy is around seven to 12 weeks old.  If you wait longer than that, most vets will advise against it and will many times not perform the procedure even if you want it.  The entire procedure will take about 30 minutes.

Most experienced veterinarians refuse to perform the surgery on an older puppy because its ear cartilage has already formed to a flat shape, making it less pliant and less likely to develop erect ears.

The ear cropping procedure may be done traditionally or by laser technology.  The latter is more expensive because it is less invasive.

After the procedure, the dog will be required to wear a cone, and the stitches will be removed about a week later.

What are the extra costs?

As mentioned prior, your dog will need pre-operative work such as a physical exam and bloodwork.  This may or may not be included in your estimate.  Be sure to talk with your vet to know your total costs.

The cost of ear cropping largely depends on your geographical location, the type of surgery you want for your Doberman, recovery time, and the response of your dog to the procedure.  Some Dobermans may develop complications during surgery, and if this were to happen, the dog may need sufficient time to recover, incurring additional fees in the process.

You might also need post-surgery visit(s) to your veterinarian to ensure that your dog fares well after the surgery.

Tips to know:

Since every dog has its distinct ear characteristics and ability to respond, the surgery may not come up to your expectations.  Some dogs may not completely develop erect ears.

Around two-thirds of the ear is removed during the cropping procedure.  The remaining membrane is tightly taped into a vertical position.

Although ear cropping is legal in some countries, only a few veterinarians actually practice the procedure as it is not taught in many veterinary schools.

It is rather advisable that you go to a veterinarian who has ample experience in ear cropping to guarantee proper procedure.

Although there are risks from general anesthesia as well as risks of bleeding, post-operative infection, and wound failure over the cut, these risks are very low and a high percentage of Dobermans do perfectly fine with this procedure.

Cropping the ears may result in scarred or bent ears.

The rate of complication is low, except only when there is a need for additional surgery or loss of one or both ears.

The dog’s hearing is not affected in the procedure.

Some countries ban the procedure, so it’s best to know your local laws before considering the procedure.

How can I save money?

Consider the laser surgery if your vet offers it.  It may sound expensive if you just look at the figures without considering the post-operative care.  However, this procedure seldom needs post-operative maintenance and can therefore actually save you some money.

Choose an experienced veterinarian who can crop well to reduce complications and post-surgery care.  Remember that not all veterinarians are skilled in this practice.

Check your breeder directory and inquire from show breeders for the best ear cropping veterinarians to visit and do your dog’s cropping.

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