There has been a lot of controversy surrounding dog ear cropping and tail docking – some countries have even banned the process.
Fendi has both her ears cropped and tail docked. I have received lots of questions & opinions on this, especially when her ears were in the process of being taped. My breeder, like all their puppies, had Fendi’s ears cropped and tail docked as a very young puppy before we had selected her. That being said, I still believe we would have had made the decision to crop and dock. I did not always feel this way, but after going through the process, it really has not seemed to have any negative effects.
When Fendi came into my home, her ears and tail were already healed and did not seem to bother her in any way. The only thing we had to worry about doing was taping her ears as one ear was floppy. I cannot tell you how many videos we watched online on do-it-yourself taping. It seemed like a relatively easy process and we thought we were up for it.
Unfortunately, taping was much harder in real life than in the videos, especially for a novice like me. Fendi was so patient and allowing, she let us experiment time and time again. I decided to call it quits and bring her to a vet recommended by us to a fellow Dobe owner.
Our attempt at ear taping.
I began taking her to Emerald Hill Animal Hospital. It was a bit of a drive, but the staff and vet are amazing and as an added bonus, the vet has been raising Dobermans for +20 years. With their team, taping never took more than 10 minutes and only cost $25 each time.
As mentioned, the tape never seemed to bother Fendi. She would itch at it once and a while (very infrequently) and did not even seem to notice it was there. The only thing we hated about the taping process was taking it off. We would take off the tape each Saturday night to allow the ears to breathe before getting re-done on Mondays. My vet recommended using WB40 (an aerosol) to easily peel the tape off. While the WB40 worked wonders and helped get the tape off quickly and painlessly, I still found it gross and sad spraying that gunk on her ears. I was very careful to not get it anywhere near her eyes, nose, and general face area, but still … I would give her a shower with two shampoos directly after. She never complained and stayed very still for the whole process, but I could tell she didn’t love it.
Thankfully, I only had to go through 3 weeks of taping for the ears to stay up. All in all, I am very pleased with her ears and get a ton of compliments. She seems happy with her ears up and has a full range of motion with them. If I had the puppy from birth, I am not sure how I would feel about the whole process and if she had expressed discomfort, I would not have continued.