It’s no secret that there are two camps when it comes to what to do with your Great Dane’s ears. The preferences do cause some division among Dane lovers, however, it seems that the strict pull to one side or the other is lessening in intensity. Be that as it may, some remain hard and fast and have dug in for the duration.
One camp is all about cropping……
…..the other camp prefers to leave the ears as they are naturally given to the individual dog.
Back in the day, a Dane’s ears were cropped to protect them from injury. “Injury from what?,” you may ask. Danes were originally bred to hunt wild boar. You can imagine how vulnerable a Dane’s ears might be at the ferociousness of the sharp teeth and tusks of those, not so portly, swine. By removing the rear tissue of the ears, and the process of support and taping, a solution was found to protect the Dane from harmful injuries that many times led to infection and loss of much of the ear tissue anyway. At that time, ear cropping served a purpose in the health of the dogs. Many of the old-school show people are pretty strictly minded about ear cropping….and well….it is a nice look if done correctly. However, the AKC (American Kennel Club) has been accepting natural eared Danes into the show ring for many years now.
On the other hand, there are many who believe that the pain and discomfort a young Dane will go through in the surgery and ear taping process (which can last from 6 months to a year)…….
………is entirely unnecessary in today’s times. Some will take it as far as to say that it is a form of abuse….I do not agree with that statement, but I do feel that it is quite unnecessary….but on some Danes (not all) I really like the look. That being said, I am a natural eared Dane owner. I actually love the soft, warm feel of a Danes natural ears. They are a bit thicker and heavier than say a Labrador, a Pointer, and even these amazing ears……..
I keep my Danes natural eared. I don’t see a reason to put them through the pain and discomfort of ear cropping, and I really like the softer look of a Dane with natural ears. There is a huge amount of expression in those top of the head appendenges. Incredibly, there are a lot of people out there who think that a Dane is born with pointy ears, I really am amazed how many times I get asked about Penni ‘s ears and why they hang instead of stand. It will take years for the impressions of “stand-up ears = Great Dane” to fade; all or most of the iconic Danes (Scooby comes to mind) have pointy ears.
So the battle between cropped and natural rages on, although there seems to be a meeting of the minds, in some respect. Different countries have banned ear cropping in not only Danes, but other breeds born with floppy ears (i.e Doberman Pinschers), that traditionally crop.
Where do you stand????
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