When a great dane owner purchases their dog from a source other than a professional breeder, they have to consider whether or not to crop the ears of their great dane. Of course, this is because the breeder did not take the liability to do it before the great dane was sold.
While some certified breeders allow their Great Danes ears’ go uncropped, they educate the owners about suitable care of a natural ear. They may sell a great dane puppy with a natural-eared appearance for ethical reasons.
Most breeders choose to crop their puppies unless specifically asked not to by a new owner. The great danes that are cropped are typically done at seven weeks. They are then given time to heal and socialize and are prepared for their homes at approximately ten weeks of age.
Seven weeks is usually a sufficient amount of time to start cropping ears, as this gives some time for neurological and bodily development of your Great Dane. Ears should not be cropped after ten weeks of age. The size and development of your great dane will increase drastically through the eight, ninth, and tenth weeks of their life.
Will cropping hurt your great dane? There’s no reason to glamorize this procedure. Yes, cropping is painful. There are no true benefits other than the “look” of cropped ears. Remember, cropped ears DO NOT make a great dane. A great dane is a ’gentle giant’ with a stunning personality. It’s the temperament of the great dane that makes it such a spectacular breed.
If you’re a new dog owner and you’re not sure that you have a reliable veterinarian available to crop ears — don’t do it. Never make a decision based on the cost of cropping alone. Ask your vet to see actual photographs of cropping they have done in the past. Also ask them to describe the cropping and taping process to you before you make a definite decision. Natural dog ears are just that, natural! That’s the way your Great Dane was intended to look.
Should you decide to crop, aftercare is a very important aspect to your dogs comfort and overall health. It’s important to keep bandages clean and dry in order to prevent infection. Should your dog show any signs of excessive itching or infection, call the veterinarian immediately and describe your Great Dane’s symptoms.