1. When the breed was originally developed as a guard by tax collector Louis Dobermann, there were people who wanted to "re-collect" the tax money paid to Herr Dobermann. His dogs were his defense and that put them in danger. The more "floppy bits" they had to grab onto and hold the dogs; the easier for people wishing to do Dobermann harm.

Today, in the United States, the breed standard calls for the Doberman to remain a cropped and docked breed. However, in present times, this is for cosmetic reasons only as opposed to the original reasoning behind the proceedures. The cropping and docking completes the elegant lines and regal look. Docking of the tails is performed when the puppies are 2-3 days old by a veterinarian. Cropping is done between 8-12 weeks, also by a veterinarian, and is a surgical procedure with a very extensive recovery period that requires constant attention by the puppy owners to ensure that the ears will stand properly. Even with constant attention and a good crop; there is still the possibility that the ears may not stand. In many European countries, it is no longer legal to have your Dobermans cropped or docked; as a result, they are shown with natural ears and tails. In those countries, it is their belief that cropping and docking, unless medically necessary, is a form of cruelty. There are some in the U.S. who feel this way as well.

For many, this is a personal preference and is a decision that is not to be taken lightly. Cropping is an optional cosmetic procedure. However, many breeders will have already had the litters' tails docked before you see them for the first time.

At First Stryk Dobermanns, all of my puppies are docked at 2-3 days old. I prefer to crop at 8 weeks because the healing process for the puppies seems to go much more smoothly and the likelihood that the ears will stand properly is greater. However, if you are an approved home and prefer a natural ear, I am more than happy to oblige with a signed contract stating that the pup will remain natural-eared for its lifetime unless medical necessity dictates otherwise.