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To Crop or Not to Crop - That is the Question!

It's your decision, but since you often ask us, here is our opinion.

Yes, we WILL crop by reservation, but we are opting to leave as many of our dogs ears "natural" as we can because we are not fond of the practice of cropping and we encourage those who are on the fence about whether to crop or not, to "go natural." However, we will crop for those purchasers who feel the need (or simply the desire) and we think it is important if you want a top notch special to win in the breed ring, though a championship is not difficult to obtain with natural ears. That choice is up to you, but many people ask us our opinion and simply, we prefer not to subject the puppies to the pain and risk of death by not waking up from surgery if there is no great need or strong opinion to the contrary.

You may have heard a rumor that natural ears get more ear infections than cropped ears. This has definitely NOT been our experience and we believe it to be a myth created in defense of cropping. In fact I have inquired of other breeders who have had many dogs of both cropped and natural ears as we have and all of us have had ears with less problems when left natural! We have had dogs with cropped ears with ear infections but the natural earred dogs have not had infections. (Excluding during the taping and posting stages of both groups during early puppyhood.) Another thing to consider is that some dogs are very disturbed by the wind blowing in their ears when the ears are cropped and that seems unpleasant and unnecessary.

Cropped pups are usually available by special reservation and tails are always docked. There is an additional cropping and care fee of $200 for cropped ears. Cropped pups stay an additional two to six weeks. Natural earred pups can leave at eight weeks of age.

Both natural and cropped pups need taping for what could be many weeks after they leave us. We offer that instruction to you either by directing you to webpages or if you are local, by helping you to learn here at Magna.

Since there are many dogs both cropped and those left natural on our website, we welcome you to meander for awhile and spend some time here visiting and clicking on the little pictures in the film strips to enlarge them or to visit the owners page and the Magna dogs page. Remember that your dog will hopefully live many years and you will be looking at those ears from now until then so good care is important for the few months your dog needs it. Natural ears are easier to care for than cropped, so think carefully.

TIP: Remember that when you buy your pup you may need help posting or taping ears. If not your breeder, then make a plan for success in advance because the outcome is permanent. Veterinarians or breeders in your area are a possibility though many vets are far less skilled than breeders. Plan to pay $10 to $30 per visit unless your breeder has a good friend who lives in your area to support you and will not charge you. There are some websites online with good instruction, but frankly, it can be a little overwhelming to do in the beginning without hands-on instruction and that is one of the services a breeder provides. Check out the local all breed clubs for Doberman, Great Dane, and Boxer breeders who may help you for free or a small fee and they are the experts as many breeders spend a lot more time with the ears at home than the vets. This is probably your best bet if your breeder is not close enough to help you.

We are using a new material for posting ears because it is very gentle on the ears,
inexpensive and very effective!

Materials Needed

  • Sheet of Foam
    Thin sheet of foam that you buy in craft stores and kids cut these into shapes. I bought mine at Wal-Mart.

  • Porous Medical Tape
    I use Curity but many people use Zonas brand or the sports tape at the pharmacy which is fine.

  • Skin Bond Glue
    Skin Bond can be found at some pharmacy's. They may need to order it so call before driving around. Your best bet is hospital pharmacies or medical supply stores as this is the glue used for ostomy patients.

  • Popsicle Stick
    Use this to make a brace to set the ears apart so that they do not come together and touch or cross over the head.

1. Making Posts
Cut the sheet to the length of the ear and a little longer. Roll that piece until it is the right thickness to fit in the ear. Now roll tape around it. That's it. Your post is made unless you need to pop out the bases. For this you roll strips of the foam sheet over the point where you want the bulge to be so that it pops the bases out. Tape over the bulge.

2. Glue-ing
Now that your posts are made take the Skin Bond and glue around the base of the ear and a strip up the inside of the ear from the bottom all the way to the top. Also glue the post. You can either put glue all around it or a strip up the front and one up the back so it sticks to the ear (which is already glued) and the tape too. This well ensure the post stay up right.

3. Inserting Post & Taping
Holding the post slightly outward away from the glue on the ear, place the post deeply into the ear and then press to the glue and hold while you wrap the base of the ear quickly. Have four inch strips of tape ready to grab at this point so you can whisk it right around the ear.

Trim from both ends.

4. Bracing

Posts pop out bottom/fix


  • We want the ears straight up so we post them slightly outward as that will train the ears best.
  • Ears best posted with cleanly clippered ears.

Show examples of finished ears right and wrong


Obviously, this page is under construction, so please check back for enhancements.

Materials Needed

  • Skin Bond Glue
    Skin Bond can be found at some pharmacy's. They may need to order it so call before driving around. Your best bet is hospital pharmacies or medical supply stores as this is the glue used for ostomy patients.

  • Tape
    I use black duct tape but medical tape will work too.






  • Before using glue put hand cream on and that will help to keep glue from adhering to your skin so badly and then use the cream or oil to remove the glue if necessary.
  • Taping of ears is best on clippered ears.
Thank you to Maryanne of Ingebar's Giant Schnauzers for sharing this new foam sheet product idea for cropped ears. This is so easy, inexpensive, and the dogs are so much more comfortable while not compromising the process at all. Thank you Marianne!
Thank you also to Chris Lietzau for the instruction on taping natural ears. It is so simple and quick to do and ears- either cropped or natural without good care are hideous for a lifetime! Thank you so much!
Important Note:   If you email us and there is no response, we did not receive your email! This is an on-going problem we have been trying to resolve for quite some time now but it seems that we have not yet gotten to the bottom of it. If this is the case, please call us on the phone. We apologize for the inconvenience.