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To crop or not to crop, that is the question.

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  • To crop or not to crop, that is the question.

    Hi everyone!
    I have never had a cropped dane before & now I have the opportunity to. I found a great vet that was recommended to me & my puppy will be 8 weeks next week, which is the age the vet suggests.
    The truth is I'm really scared...
    What if I can't handle seeing him in pain?
    Am I causing him unnecessary pain?
    What if I decide I don't like the look of his ears cropped?
    What if they don't stand?
    I'm also afraid that I'm going to do something or not do something that will result in crop failure.
    I have a small window of opportunity to decide.

    This will be the sixth dane I've owned. I have two right now. All my other danes have been natural earred. Some have looked great with natural ears & some have not. I've always wondered what it would be like to have a cropped dane. But what if I get it done & I don't like it? I have looked at a lot of pictures & said, "oh that's a nice crop!" & then sometimes said, "ew, I can obviously see that his/her ears were cut!"
    Has anyone here gone through this before & either loved the decision they made or had regrets?
    Thanks guys!!
    Tracy ~ wife(to Marshall) & mom to 3 skin kids (Devin, Cameron, Kaiden) & 2 fur kids (Cain & Leda) RIP my sweet Breech 8-12-09 to 9-18-10.

  • #2
    Cropping is a lot of work, time and effort. It is a commitment that may take your tapping up to 18 mo of age. Are you that committed to this for that time length for a pet??? My show Danes are cropped and I love the look. I do have a black pet bitch and she is natural. I just won't put my pets through that. Not to mention the risks of anethesia to lose the puppy during cropping.

    Also, this vet you are using. What kind of crop does he do. I see all these Danes that were cropped by a vet and have these pit bull like crops and look awful. Has he done Danes before and can he show you pics of the finished products? I would be very curious about that. Does the breeder recommend this vet. Is she using this vet for her show quality Danes? Or is she not cropping this litter?

    Please be sure of your commitment to tapping ears up to 18 mo. The risk they won't stand, and possibly losing the puppy during surgery.

    Good luck, let us know what you choose
    Yvonne, Heather & gang @ Rhydtsdanes


    • #3
      I normally wouldn't chime in b/c I'm quite biased towards natural ears. But I just wanted to say, no matter what you decide, make triple, quadruple sure your vet knows what he's doing!!! A good crop does look regal, but I have seen some really bad crops lately and its like fingernails on a chalkboard! Totally ruins the look of the dog. (Not that they're not all loveable, just saying the look is irretreivably shot.)
      Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened.
      - Anatole France


      • #4
        I can tell you, I had the same concerns when I took Harley to get his ears done. Mostly worried about what kind of pain my sweet boy would be in. But at the time I had intentions of showing so I went through it. He was 8 weeks old and I can tell you the second I picked him up, he acted like nothing had happened. He came home running & playing, never whined or cried. I went through 3 months of taping/posting. If it was not for an amazing friend who knew what she was doing, I would have had a nervous breakdown. I had never dealt with cropped ears so taping/posting and cleaning were all new things to me. But I got the hang of it, and by time he was 5 months old, no more tape needed. Unfortunately now, showing is out of the question for him but when the time is right to add a 3rd to the family, I will definately do it again. Just make sure your vet is educated and experienced with danes. Good luck!
        Nemo- 3yr old black male dane
        Harley- 16 month old black male dane
        AND Tessie- 2yr old Fawn Female


        • #5
          Just so everyone knows. The one main reason why I never cropped before is because I never felt confident in a vet before. This vet was recomended to me by a breeder who shows her danes. I would NEVER even consider it if I didn't feel confident in the vet doing it.
          Tracy ~ wife(to Marshall) & mom to 3 skin kids (Devin, Cameron, Kaiden) & 2 fur kids (Cain & Leda) RIP my sweet Breech 8-12-09 to 9-18-10.


          • #6
            If you have faith in the vet and you are willing to make the commitment, then by all means, do it. I originally chose natural ears but ended up with a cropped pup and had zero time to think about it. I jumped in headfirst and learned all I could about taping and I could not be happier with the results. I would crop again in a heartbeat.

            I went to visit the litter after they were cropped by my breeder's vet and literally the day after cropping, they were all running around and playing and pulling on each other's ears. No problems at all.

            With any procedure, there is risk involved but if you have confidence in the vet then I say go for it.
            Katie & Scarlett


            • #7
              If the vet was recommended by a breeder that shows then I say go for it! Is that breeder close enough to you to help you with the first couple of tapings? That would be even better! Most breeders would be willing to help you out - is your breeder able to help you out?


              • #8
                Since you asked for opinions...I would not. It is a surgery which puts the pup at risk and recovery is painful, regardless of whether or not pup is playing it hurts. I have seen dogs with horrible injuries acting "fine" so I dont buy that it doesnt hurt because they arent vocal about it or seem to ignore it. From the info I have found, most seem to bounce back no worse for the wear, which is pretty common in young of most species. However, some dont. For me, its no worth the risk.

                Again, this is my opinion. I do not think ill of those who do crop (just wish they wouldnt) and I know they love their pups just the same.


                • #9
                  In general life I'm either nervous about something because I really excited, or really scared. It sounds like your scared to crop. It's not worth the stress, go with your gut feeling.
                  What Tucker's up to now:


                  • #10
                    Cropping is a matter of personal preference. You'll get 1000 opinions. Half for and half against. I chose not to crop either of my Danes, partly because of the surgery involved, and mostly because of the extensive after-care. The look of cropped ears didn't have a strong enough appeal for me. I knew DW and I would not have the time, skills or breeder/vet support to crop successfully. If you prefer the look, you don't have any issues with the procedure or the vet doing it, and you are willing to put in the effort of the after-care, then go for it.

                    I'd just hate to see the crop done and end up with a dog whose ears fell because the owner couldn't handle the work.

                    Oh, and did I mention, I hate the crop/no crop war?
                    -- Mike

                    Owned by
                    Sydney 11 Jan 2005 - 20 July 2011
                    Sawyer (avatar) 07 Apr 2005 - 23 Sept 2009


                    • #11
                      You guys are great & I am thankful for your honesty. I think TuckersMomma hit the nail on the head with "go with your gut feeling" which for me is "I like to look at beautifully cropped danes but for a dear, sweet pet, I can't justify unnecessary surgery with all the risks involved."
                      Even though, I did find a reputable vet & a breeder very close by that would help me through the process, I probably will not proceed. Maybe sometime in the future I will have the ability to own my first show dane & then maybe I'll crop or maybe I'll go natural anyway.
                      You can keep giving me your stories. I still have a few days to decide but right now my gut says probably not.
                      Tracy ~ wife(to Marshall) & mom to 3 skin kids (Devin, Cameron, Kaiden) & 2 fur kids (Cain & Leda) RIP my sweet Breech 8-12-09 to 9-18-10.


                      • #12
                        I think if your gut feeling is that you will probably not do it, then don't. Like someone said, you really need to be committed to the aftercare. I hate to see a failed crop because the owners just got lazy and tired of taping.



                        • #13
                          The bottom line for me is that it's cosmetic surgery. I'm not willing to undergo cosmetic surgery, how can I subject my dog (who cares NOTHING for his physical appearance, only his ability to feel good and run fast) to it? If I have to give my dog cosmetic surgery before I'm satisfied with his appearance, then I should get a different breed. JMO

                          I applaud you for seeking opinions/reasons and making your own INFORMED decision! Do what you want, just have a reason other than "I felt like it," that's what I say.
                          Misty, Leonidas (Dane), and Valor (Pomeranian Mix)
                          Current 52 Photo Project:


                          • #14
                            i had the oppty to be in the same room when a litter was being cropped. i expected to hear crying, etc., etc. only one dog wimpered one time. then all of them were playing like nothing had happened. i was v. pleasantly surprised.

                            the ear taping process i really can't speak on since i was very spoiled by my nearby breeder did every taping and it was a short timeframe before ears were standing.

                            i wanted a natural eared for the same reasons as noted in other posts, but glad i went with one cropped (which all were since it was the breeder preference). i've never regretted
                            Sasha's Mom


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Leonidas&Fam View Post
                              If I have to give my dog cosmetic surgery before I'm satisfied with his appearance, then I should get a different breed.
                              I strongly disagree, as looks are what attracts us to something first. Then only after we are attracted to the animal or person, do we learn of all of their other values and virtues.

                              Luckily here in the states I have the choice. I will continue to crop until that choice is taken from me. If and when that happens, I will have to step back and see if this is still the breed for me.
                              Logan, Member GDCA and Past President GDCMF
                              Int'l CH & AM GCH Legacys Killer Instinct, TT, CHIC (Kaos)