The practice of Great Dane ear cropping began back in the time when Great Danes were primarily used for hunting European Wild Boar. Boar were ferocious beasts and hunting them a very dangerous endeavour. Many dogs would suffer severe ear injuries by being bitten, cut or torn by sharp teeth and tusks. It appears that centuries ago someone had an idea that short pointy ears would be less prone to injury and from this point forward, the ear cropping became common. Great Dane ear cropping remains today as an option for a new puppy yet serves no purpose and is purely a cosmetic surgery.
As you can see in this image of a beautiful Great Dane puppy, cropped ears maintain natural ear tissue at the front of the ear. Rear ear tissue is actually what's removed and the length of the ear, from bell to tip, is up to you. Of course the shorter the crop, the less time and effort required with post surgery ear taping and maintenance.
Great Dane Ear Cropping Ethics
Many countries have banned ear cropping, tail docking and similar procedures yet you may have purchased a new Great Dane puppy whose ears are already cropped. Perhaps you're considering this procedure for a puppy with unaltered ears? In any case and while many may argue the ethics, the decision to crop a dog's ears is one of personal preference.
Will provide basic information about the procedure and post procedure but there's more! We've published additional articles on both Dog Ear Taping with pipe foam & the Tampon Method of ear taping that will really walk you through the process of each. You can also link to those articles from our Great Dane Care page once you've finished reading here:)
Please remember, if you decide to crop your puppy YOU ARE MAKING A COMMITMENT TO CARE FOR AND TAPE YOUR DOG'S EARS FOR SIX MONTHS TO OVER A YEAR.
Warning: Many Great Danes can be found in rescues with botched ears. This is primarily due to their past owners failure with required taping, cleaning, and general care of the ears after surgery.
Pictured is a Great Dane with natural unaltered ears. No wonder some Danes earn the nickname "Dumbo", isn't he cute?
Basic Surgery Info
The average price for a Great Dane ear cropping is about $500 dollars yet cost can vary greatly if performed by a Veterinarian, breeder and your geographic location. We've learned of the procedure costing as little as a $100-dollar up charge when performed by a breeder prior to purchasing their puppy! Not sure how comfortable I'd feel opting for this option so understand, I'm just paying forward the info. Be careful here and don't make such a critical on the health and well being of your puppy based on a few hundred bucks!
A young Danes ears are typically cropped between 7 and 10-weeks of age, if your Great Dane is older than 12 weeks, it's almost too late. Finding a Vet to perform the crop at this age will be very difficult! During the process general anesthesia is used to sedate the pup allowing the surgeon to remove over 1/2 of the dog's ear. The ears are either taped-up with medical dressing, or held in place with foam and glue after the surgery. In about 8 to 10-days, the stitches are removed. The Vet will now tape your dog's ears rigidly, in an upright position.
You will now be responsible to clean, tape, and re-tape your Dane's ears for about 6 months on average. If you can't commit to caring for your Dane's ears, we recommend to leave them natural. Improper care and taping could ruin a magnificent Dane leaving it with floppy, bent, twisted and disfigured ears.
Ear Taping & Post Procedure Care
Your Vet or breeder will do the first taping right after the stitches come out. It's a good idea to have the next couple tapings performed by them also as this will assure that the Great Dane ear cropping is healing properly without infection or complication. Perfect, now that your pup's ears are healing you can maintain the crop and tape the dog's ears yourself, they will soon be standing proudly.
There are a many different taping methods used for Great Dane ear cropping including the tampon/post method, and dog ear taping with pipe foam. Both articles include how-to information and diagrams & are available back at our Great Dane care main page.
Wishing you the best on your decision to crop.. or not. And, quick recovery with zero complications resulting in a beautifully standing set of pointy ears :)