Before I got Elka, I didn't really think much about how Doberman ears got that way. When I learned that it was a surgery at around 7-12 weeks, I wasn't too bothered by it, clearly. I wasn't even too phased by the notion of posting the ears (which is what you call it when you have them taped like that), though I should have given that more thought, I think. Imagine a 16 week puppy whose had the post pop out of place, whining as you fix her up again. It was a process, and we got off easy! Elka was cropped in July, and by the end of August, we were no longer taping her ears. Some people have to tape them for a year or more!
I don't actually have very many pictures of Elka in her "space helmet". I have something of a blessed amnesia about that age of her puppyhood, filled with constant potty trips outside and teaching her "No scratch", as pertained to her head.
Typically, when a cropped puppy comes home, their ears are either left to flop (the edges stitched), or glued to a cup on their head, making them look like a herd of adorable long faced Shriners. When the stitches come out is when the posting and taping bonanza begins.
WhYou can look at this thread on Doberman Talk; I think this was my first encounter reading the forum! We didn't do it exactly as the thread reads, but I guess we did all right. No infections, and they stood! Fast!
Basically, you take a post of some form, be it backer rods cut to size, tampons with cardboard applicators, popsicle sticks, etc. You wrap it with tape, and then "back wrap" it so that there's a sticky side out layer of tape. You settle one end into the ear and gently stretch up on the ear so that the lengths match up (this prevents "pockets" and weird creasing and such). Then you wrap with athletic or cloth tape. Depending on what stage you've reached, you put a "bridge" across the top of the head as well, to keep things secure. Ideally, the ears will point gently towards 10 and 2 on a clock face, to acclimate the muscles to holding them upright, gaining control, etc.
Elka's crop, though I would have preferred a bit more artistry to it, a little bit between a "medium" crop and a "pet" crop (we asked for medium, by the by). The Dobermans that we saw at Westminster had longer "show" crops. These crops can take a good deal more posting than we had to deal with, depending on the strength of the dog's cartilage. A good photo example of a Military/Pet crop, a Medium Crop, and a Show Crop can be seen here at DobermanClub.org.
If I occasion to tape ears again (really, I do feel that this is in my future at some point), I'm going to give the following method a whirl. It's organized, uses minimal tape, and seems to be everything you want from a method. The kennel that owns that YouTube account seems to be in Brazil, so it's in Portugese, not English, but even watching with the sound off, you get the idea.
It is worth noting that an earmark (get it?) of a reputable breeder is to have the puppies cropped and take care of the immediate aftercare (antibiotics, painkillers) before sending the puppy home. Sometimes, puppies aren't sent home until after the stitches are removed, but everybody does things differently. I mention this briefly in Picking a Breeder, but don't detail why. Reasons vary, of course, but should a dog be returned to a breeder (and again, a reputable breeder will tend to have a contract that states a dog returns to him or her, should the original home no longer work out), a cropped dog is easier to find a new home for. Cropped dogs are easier to put championships on, currently, though with the amount of countries banning cropping and docking, we may see a dramatic shift there. This of course isn't to say that there are no natural eared American champions; I'm sure there are. It just isn't the current status quo.
So, taping Doberman ears can be a daunting prospect, but it isn't impossible. Important things to remember are to keep an eye (and nose) on them to make sure that there is no sign of infection. Also, the tape does not need to be tight! Adequately wrapped, yes, but too tight, and you run the risk of cutting off the circulation and damaging the ear, which would cause a lot of pain and discomfort for your puppy.