Great Danes are giant breed dogs that are known for their massive size, muscular build, affectionate personality, as well as cropped ears that are part of their distinctive features.
The Great Dane is among the dog breeds that have their ears cropped. Some of the dog breeds with cropped ears include the Doberman Pinscher, American Pitbull, Cane Corso, Boxers, American Bulldog, Boston Terrier, and the Schnauzer.
A Great Dane with cropped ears has an intimidating as well as an appealing appearance.
So, what are the different Great Dane ear cropping styles?
Read on to learn more on Great Dane ear cropping, the different Great Dane ear cropping styles, the cost, and whether you should crop your Great Dane’s ears.
Great Dane Ear Cropping: What Is Ear Cropping In Great Danes?
Great Dane Ear cropping is the surgical partial removal of a Great Dane’s external ear flap and the remaining part of the ears trained to stand upright by taping. The Great Dane ear cropping age is between 7 – 10 weeks old when a Great Dane puppy’s ear cartilage is still malleable and flexible for cropping.
The cropped ears give a Great Dane a wolf-like appearance with a pointed, alert, and attentive look.
Great Dane Puppy Ears
Great Dane puppy ears are medium-sized with moderate thickness and folded forward close to the cheek. The puppies are not born with upright ears.
The ear flap, known as the pinna, is made up of cartilage and covered by skin and fur.
The ear shape is known as V-shaped which is an ear whose pinna is v-shaped, flat, and folds forward into a triangular shape than has soft corners.
Beyond the ear flap, there is the middle and inner ear that are part of the auditory system.
Great Dane Ears
As a puppy grows, the ear shape is maintained and as an adult, the Great Dane’s ears look similar but slightly larger.
Natural Great ears are medium-sized, having a moderate thickness, and folded forward close to the cheek.
Cropping Great Dane Ears
Great Dane Ear cropping is the surgical partial removal of a Great Dane’s ear flap and the remaining part of the ears trained to stand upright by taping.
The surgery is only performed on puppies and not adult Great Danes.
The procedure is optional and is performed by a qualified licensed veterinarian when a Great Dane puppy is between 7 to 10 weeks old with underdeveloped ear cartilage.
At this age, a Great Dane puppy’s ear cartilage is still malleable and flexible for cropping.
Therefore a Great Dane with cropped ears had their ears cropped at a young age to have pointed erect ears. Great Dane puppy ears can only stand upright after surgery.
Older or adult dogs cannot be cropped because the procedure would be too painful and also their ear cartilage would have hardened and it would be difficult to train to stand upright.
Great Dane Ear Cropping Process
During the ear cropping procedure, a puppy is put down with anesthesia and the veterinarian cuts away the unwanted ear tissue and then closes up the incision with sutures.
The surgery generally lasts for 30 – 45 minutes.
Healing takes up to 2 months whereby the ears have to be kept upright so that they do not flop again.
The ears are kept upright with a metal rack or special paper and afterward, when the stitches are removed, they are kept upright with strapping tape and splints.
Medication is provided for pain and also for the prevention of infection.
Ear Crop Styles
The ear crop style is the shape and length that a dog’s ears are cut during the ear cropping surgery, which becomes the final form of the ear when it heals and stands upright.
There are different dog ear cropping styles for dog breeds that have their ears cropped. Generally, there are four ear crop styles: the working crop, the show crop, the medium crop, and the battle crop.
Depending on the look and shape that is targeted, there are best Pitbull ear cropping styles, Doberman ear cropping styles as well as styles suited for other dog breeds with cropped ears.
Great Dane Cropped Ears: 3 Of The Best Great Dane Ear Cropping Styles
There are three different Great Dane ear crop styles. The ear crop styles are different in shape and length, which give a Great Dane an alert and stern look.
The best Great Dane ear cropping styles are:
The show crop style, also known as Eagles wing style, is the most performed ear cropping style on Great Danes that participate in competitions.
Most of the Great Dane’s ear length is preserved during cropping, therefore, maintaining the length of the ear.
Because of this, the style gives the longest cropped ear form for a Great Dane and looks like a long curved silhouette.
The healing of the ears from this style takes a long time and also presents more danger of no guarantee that the ears will stay erect.
The working crop cropping style, also known as the pet or military crop, is also a popular ear cropping style of the Great Dane.
The ears are sized to a short wide base with a triangular shape which gives the dog an alert and attentive look. The style advantage is that it heals quickly.
The medium crop is an ear cropping style that is a combination of show crop and working crop styles.
This means the ear is not trimmed too little or too much, the difference being the length that is in between the show crop and the working crop. The style, however, takes longer to heal.
Why Crop A Great Dane’s Ears?
In the past, ear cropping was mainly performed on working dogs that were bred for hunting, herding, or those used for dog fight competition.
The reason behind this was to reduce the risk of ear infections, hematomas, and also the chances of getting injured when the dogs had to fight back during their assigned activities.
It was believed that floppy ears encouraged moisture to accumulate in the ear canals which promoted bacterial or fungal infections.
By cropping the ears, the ear canal was left open and airy with less likelihood of accumulation of moisture and occurrence of ear infections.
However, studies have shown there is only a slight difference in risk of infection between a dog with cropped ears compared to non-cropped dogs. Prevention of infection is mainly through proper grooming and hygiene of a dog’s ears and not so much attributed to cropping of the ears.
Ear cropping has also been shown to be a painful experience for dogs and this has been argued to not be worth it by putting a dog through this procedure.
Apart from this, ear cropping was also done for enhancing a dog’s appearance by giving them an alert and attentive appearance. This was beneficial especially for dogs that participated in dog shows.
Is It Cruel to Crop A Great Dane’s Ears?
There are differing opinions towards cropping of dogs’ ears and also whether it is cruel to crop a Great Dane’s ears.
The American Kennel Club terms ear cropping as an acceptable practice, however, some opposing opinions exist from some dog breed organizations and kennel clubs that term ear cropping as cruel.
The opposing groups term ear cropping as cruel based on the fact that it is not necessary to put a dog through the pain of having the procedure and also that there is little significant health benefit for dogs with cropped ears vs uncropped dogs.
The American Veterinary Medical Association opposes both tail docking and ear cropping of dogs, especially for cosmetic purposes, and discourages the practices based on this same reasoning.
Ear cropping is not illegal in the United States, however in many countries, especially in Europe, the practice is illegal and has been banned.
Should You Crop A Great Dane's Ears?
The choice to crop a Great Dane’s ears is an optional decision made by their owners. Veterinary science has shown that there is no physical or medical advantage of ear cropping a dog or Great Dane and doing so is deemed unnecessary.
The main reasons today that an owner would decide to crop their Great Dane’s ears is for enhancement of their dog’s appearance and also preparation for them to participate in dog show competitions.
The practice is slowly declining but is still popular in dog shows although it is not a requirement for participation based on breed standards.
Great Dane Ear Cropping Price: How Much Does It Cost to Crop A Great Danes Ears?
The Great Dane ear cropping price ranges between $150 to $800 which varies greatly depending on the veterinarian that performs the procedure.
This cost includes the cost of the procedure, medication, that is, antibiotics and pain medication as well as follow-up visits.
Recommended reading: All Black Great Dane cropped ears: Should you crop your Great Dane’s ears?
Great Dane Ear Cropping Aftercare
During the first few days from the hospital, a Great Dane will be in pain and discomfort where they will also feel like scratching their ears.
You may need to buy them an Elizabeth collar or E-collar to cover the upper side of their head to prevent them from scratching themselves or hitting their ears on surfaces.
This will prevent them from inflicting more pain on themselves as well as allow the wounds to heal well without being touched. The veterinarian will prescribe medication involving antibiotics and pain medication for your Great Dane.
Great Dane ear cropping aftercare involves constant monitoring from home and ensuring the wrapping tape on the ears stays in place for 21 days after surgery to allow for proper healing.
In addition to this, Great Dane ear cropping aftercare involves:
Following the vet’s instructions
Follow your veterinarian’s post-operative care instructions to ensure proper healing of your Great Dane’s ears.
This includes care for the ears, provision of medication, and going to scheduled appointments such as appointments for stitch removal.
Also, if you happen to notice that the ears become unwrapped, contact your vet to wrap them again.
Keeping the ears clean
Cleaning of the ears is done after 6-8 weeks when the ears are ready to be exposed for cleaning.
Properly clean your Great Dane’s ears 2-3 times daily with hydrogen peroxide. Always keep the wrapping tape dry and clean.
Removing scabs when present
Scabs prevent the ears from being erect therefore remove them when they start to form.
This is done by wrapping the ears with a warm towel that has been soaked in warm water and using it to wipe down the scabs.
Looking out for infections
Be alert for any unusual signs and symptoms that may indicate the presence of an infection in the ears.
Inspect the ears for any signs of swelling or presence of discharge and if present, immediately take your Great Dane to the vet for a checkup and treatment.
Feeding your Great Dane proper nutrition
A well-balanced nutritious diet suitable for Great Danes should be provided to help strengthen their immune system and also to enable them to heal well and faster.
Conclusion: Great Dane Cropped Ears
Great Dane ear cropping is optional and is decided by their owners to have their dog’s ears cropped.
You can decide to have a Great Dane with clipped ears or one with naturally folded ears.
As noted, it is not necessary to have your Great Dane’s ears cropped but if you decide to have them cropped either for cosmetic purposes or to participate in dog shows, ensure that a qualified licensed veterinarian performs the procedure to ensure the safety of your dog.
I hope this article has helped you know the best Great Dane ear cropping styles, whether the procedure is cruel, whether you should crop your Great Dane’s ears, the cost, and the aftercare.
If you liked this article you may also like to learn more from the below resources on Great Danes.