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How To Get A German Shepherd’s Ears Up

Why Do German Shepherds Prick Their Ears

How to make German Shepherd ears Stand Up?

Since German Shepherd Dogs ears arent generally floppy , you can barely notice the movement whenever their ears stand up. Still, it is essential to know why German Shepherds prick their ears.

German Shepherds prick their ears whenever they are alert, interested, excited, or curious about what theyre hearing. Since sudden alertness is sometimes followed by aggression in canines, German Shepherds ears also prick up when theyre about to attack if they feel threatened.

To know whether your dog is alert or aggressive, you should watch out for other signs, such as growling, showing the teeth, sniffing, and considering his current environment. Your GSD may simply prick his ears forward and tilt his head if you make a peculiar sound.

Below is my German Shepherd showing her ears in the pricked position. You can see how alert and interested she is. She is focusing intently on something in the street, probably another dog passing by!

When a German Shepherd pricks up his ears and looks around or sniffs, you can conclude that he is alert. You should tighten your grip over his leash . This way, you can make sure he doesnt become aggressive towards another dog or person unprompted. If the dog is growling or showing his teeth while his ears are pricked up, you should assume hes in an aggressive state.

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To Tape Or Not To Tape

It is important to understand that you should never tape your GSD puppys ears too soon in an effort to make them stand up. Should you decide that you want to give this a try, you should wait until your puppys adult teeth have started to come in.

This is generally within a time frame of 3-5 months. However, we recommend waiting until your puppy has finished teething. This usually occurs at around the age of 6 months. This is not set in stone, so it is important to consult with your veterinarian to confirm that your GSD puppys teething stage has been completed.

Taping a German Shepherd puppys ears up too soon may actually damage them to the point that they will never stand up on their own.

As a puppy, your GSDs ears may seem to a mind of their own sometimes they will be standing straight up, while other times they remain flopped over. This is because, during the teething phase, calcium cycles back and forth between a GSD puppys ears to his teeth which causes this oscillation.

How Do I Get My German Shepherd`s Ears To Stay Down

Your dog can be trained to keep their ears downward. All you have to do is follow a few quick guidelines and you can make your canine`s ears stand down in a jiffy.

Then wait for a couple of weeks and your little fella`s ears should stay down permanently.

  • Cut a strip of tape that should have the length of your dog`s ear from one of the ear`s middle to the other one`s middle. In this tape`s center, cut a notch in a trapezoid shape and then fold this notch down.
  • Spread this tape between your pal`s ears, attaching each and every of the tape`s ends to the inside of the pooch`s ears near the ear`s base. Try to avoid getting hair caught under this tape to avoid hurting your little friend. !
  • Cut a different piece of this tape which should be around 2 long, and then roll the tape with its sticky section out. Place the piece of tape inside the canine`s ear close to the tip on each and every side.
  • Fold down the sticky side of the tape so that the rolled piece of tape will latch onto that particular brace you just made with first piece of tape. Squeeze it smoothly to secure it in the right place. At this point, your canine`s ears should be taped down in the right position.
  • With a bit of patience, in around 2 or 3 weeks, the tape should do the job. Then, just remove the tape using Detachol or other adhesive remover.

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How To Make My German Shepherds Ears Stand Up

To recap, herere the safest and the most natural steps to help your German Shepherds ears stand up.

  • Step 1: Make sure your German Shepherd puppy gets the right diet that they need.
  • Step 2: Check with your vet regularly to ensure your puppy is in good health condition.
  • Step 3: Spend some time with your puppy and look for any triggers that make their ears to go up. Their ears may respond when you call their name or when they hear certain sounds. Use that triggers to stimulate their ears.
  • Step 4: Whenever they respond to the triggers, praise them, and give them their favorite treats to encourage them to hold their ears up naturally.

Do those four steps above until after they have finished teething. Be patient when they are teething; its completely normal for their ears to go up and down during this period.

What Are Some Reasons For Permanently Floppy Ears

When Will My German Shepherd

Some German Shepherds come from lines that carry genes that lead to floppier ears. When genetics are the cause, there is little that owners can do aside from being more conscientious about ear health, which is a more significant concern in floppy-eared dogs.

Many dogs from show lines, in particular, have larger ears that require more cartilage while the dog is growing to help support a more upright position. In many cases, these dogs will not have ears that stay upright.

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Common German Shepherd Ear Problems

German shepherds do not require high levels of grooming standards. Occasional shedding and general dog grooming routines will just do it for your furry canine.;Since GSDs have upright erect ears, ear problems are not that common in them as in breeds with floppy ears. The perky ears facilitate air flow and circulation within the ear, keeping them dry most of the time.

This does not in any way mean that they are immune from ears problems. They still develop these problems due to the exposure to environmental elements.

What Do German Shepherds Ear Positions Mean

Seeing the changing positions of your German Shepherds ears could have prompted you to ask yourself questions like, is my dog trying to communicate anything? What does it mean when a German Shepherds ears are down? or Is my dog okay?

Just like how body language can tell you what is going through a persons mind, the position of your German Shepherds ears can tell you what is going through your poochs mind. Here are some GSD ear positions and what they mean.

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How Old Is My German Shepherd Puppy

Anything can happen in the first 6 to 7 months from when a GSD puppy is born.

So, be patient in this time.

Sometimes your German Shepherds ears stand;up a few weeks after they are born, and never go back down.;

Sometimes they go up and down a few times;for the first 6 or 7 months.;

Dont mess with the ears too early, especially in the first 4-5 months.

You might wait until 5 or 6 months in and then seek a vets advice again if they are both down, or one up, one down.

Is Taping Dog Ears Safe

When Will My German Shepherd’s Ears Stand Up

When done right, taping is a painless and safe method that can help your dogs ears to stand up. The idea behind taping is to help the cartilage to form properly and become strong enough to hold the weight of a dogs ears.

While painless, taping can cause discomfort and irritate your dog, so you should consider if its really worth it. Bear in mind that nothing is stronger than genetics and that taping might not work for your pooch.

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Other Methods In Making Your Dogs Ear Stand Up

Although many German Shepherd owners use taping to correct their dogs ears, there are many less invasive, but highly effective methods that you should try first. Lets take a look:

Chew Toys

Chewing on safe puppy chew toys is the easiest way you can help your dogs ears to stand up. Not only will chewing help with teething, but it will also help your dog to exercise his jaw, head, and neck muscles, thus making them strong enough to hold the weight of his ears.


Many owners believe that supplementing their German Shepherds diet with calcium will help their ears to stand up. However, your dogs ears are made from cartilage, not bone, and calcium doesnt have any effect on the development of the cartilage.

If you want to supplement your pups diet, its much safer to supplement it with Glucosamine which lubricates the joints and supports healthy cartilage. As always, you should first talk with your vet to see if your German Shepherd puppy can benefit from using supplements.


Feeding your puppy with high-quality dog food is essential for his overall well-being and proper development. Make sure that you are feeding your pup with the highest quality food you can afford, and steer clear from brands that use fillers such as wheat, corn, or soy.

Check For Parasites

So, do routine fecal tests and keep up with deworming treatments to keep intestinal parasites at bay. Furthermore, get your dog tested for heartworms and talk with your vet about a preventative care plan.

Remove And Inspect Their Ears Weekly

Pick a day of the week to remove and inspect your dogs ears. Take off the wrapping and foam rollers and see if your dogs ears stand on their own naturally.

Also, look for any soreness from improper taping and if you see any issues dont keep applying the tape.

If your GSDs ears flop over then rewrap them the same way to offer more support for a bit longer. If they stand on their own then youre good to go and you can discontinue the ear taping.

Dont forget to check and change the tape weekly so you can see the health of your pups ears.

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How To Deal With Your German Shepherds Floppy Ears

Whats the bottom line?

If its been over eight months and your German shepherds ears still arent standing upright at all, then this is an indication that there might be some kind of problem.

At this point, you can start taking steps to fix their ears if you want.

However, unless your German shepherds floppy ears are being caused by some sort of serious medical issue, you dont have an obligation to try and fix them.

Floppy ears on their own dont cause your German shepherd to suffer at all, nor do they cause any sort of hearing issues.

If you just want your German shepherds ears to stand up for aesthetic reasons, there are a few things you can do to help this happen.

Is It Bad If A German Shepherd`s Ears Dont Stand Up

My shepard has never been able to get his ears all the way ...

When it comes to some canines, the entire process might take longer. Each and every German Shepherd pup, even if we are talking about pups from the very same litter, will evolve in a different manner. Some canines out there might take up to 7 months.

If a German Shepherd`s ears don`t go up until they are 8 or 9 months of age, they`ll probably remain down. This is because this is when the ears of most dogs of this breed take permanent shape.

Note: About 75% of the German Shepherd canines have their ears going up in the first 3 to 10 months!

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Does It Matter If Your German Shepherds Ears Never Stand Up Naturally

Not at all!

Its not unhealthy for them to have one ear flopped over and even adds to their fun personality.

And, most of the time, this isnt a problem. You should take your dog to the vet to have them complete a thorough vet exam if youre worried. This gives you some reassurance there arent any underlying issues.

Generally, there is no need for concern and your GSD is still totally healthy.

Does My Gsd Have An Ear Defect

However, along the line somewhere it is possible for a floppy ear gene to be introduced to the lineage DNA.;

In the GSD line of breeding this is seen as a defect , and may lead to the puppy having soft ears i.e. they wont stand up.

Consider that your puppy may have an ear defect or a recessive gene that contributes to their floppy ears.

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Keeping Your Puppy In Good Health

The overall health of your German Shepherd puppy will play in important role in the strength and development of his ears. One simple step that you can take is to make sure that your puppys vaccinations are up-to-date. Also, make sure that your puppy has been de-wormed on schedule.

Overlooking these simple things can not only lead to delayed or improper ear development in your puppy, but they can lead to more serious and irreversible, or even fatal health problems down the road.

In addition to making sure that your puppy is caught up on his vaccinations and de-worming, it is also important to make sure that your puppy is eating a well-balanced and high quality food. Never feed your puppy a generic dog food, or a blend that is intended for adult dogs. It is vital to your puppys overall health that he is being fed a mix that is specifically formulated for puppies.

Royal Canin produces a mix that is crafted specifically for GSD puppies, but you can opt for any number of other reputable brands. Just make sure that it is a large breed, puppy specific mix.

Do German Shepherds Sleep With Their Ears Up

When Will My German Shepherd’s Ears Stand Up?!

This depends on your dog. Some German Shepherds will have their ears up even when sleeping, while others will be lowered slightly. Therefore, theres no reason to worry if you notice your dogs ears are not upright while your dog sleeps.

Given what different ear positions communicate, is there any disadvantage if your German Shepherds ears do not stand up?

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German Shepherd With Floppy Ears

Have you got a german shepherd with floppy ears? If so, all of your questions are going to be answered in this article!

Some of the topics that will be covered include when a german shepherds ears should stand up, reasons preventing them from standing up, how to fix ears that dont stand up and most importantly, whether it matters or not.

So keep reading to find out!

How Do I Get My German Shepherds Ears To Stand Up

Best answers

Also, try to wait until your puppy is at least 6 months old since sometimes it just takes a while for a German shepherd’s ears to stand upright on their own.

To tape your puppy’s ears, attach a large foam hair roller to the inside of them with surgical tape, making sure you’re not blocking the ear canal.

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The Perffeto Ear Stage

At this point, your German Shepherd puppy has gone through all the ear stages.

Their head and facial muscles are strong and their ear cartilage is upright, and in the correct position.

Although they still look too big for their head, this will correct as they grow into their ears.

This stage can start anywhere from 20 weeks and last until full correct positioning at 8 months.

This stage can happen anywhere from 5 months all the way up to 8 months.

Why Some German Shepherds Have Floppy Ears

Radar Ears

The number one reason is genetic. Some puppies have floppy ears due to their genes. In this case, theres not much you can do about it.

The second reason is breeding fallacy. Many people adopting German Shepherds expect their dogs to have large ears. Because of this, a lot of breeders, especially breeders of the American Showline type, try to breed German Shepherds with larger ears.

The result of this attempt is enhanced German Shepherds with ears that are too heavy and too big to hold the cartilage up, which makes their ears flop.

Those two points above show us the importance of getting our puppies from good reputable breeders. Ask a lot of questions to the breeder and meet the puppys parents before adopting them.

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Do All German Shepherds Ears Stand Up

If youve seen them up, theyll stay up. Most breeders and veterinarians will tell you that floppy ears are common while your German Shepherd is teething, which usually ends between 16 and 20 weeks. By then, the cartilage in the ear has become hard and strong enough for the ear to stand permanently.

German Shepherd Ears Implants

When everything else has failed, there are two last solutions that you can consider: getting surgical implants or having your German Shepherds ear cropped.

Bear in mind that those two procedures are quite painful and take a long recovery time. There is no guarantee that your German Shepherds ears can go up even after they undergo the process.

So you need to consider whether its worth it or not putting your dog into such unfair situations, not to mention the trauma that can last for a lifetime.

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Do German Shepherds Have Cropped Ears

A common misconception that many people have is that German Shepherds have cropped ears that account for their erect posture. It often surprises some people to learn that the AKC standard calls for naturally erect, not cropped ears.

According to the German Shepherd Club of America, the breeds appearance is best designed to exemplify its work as a flock guardian.


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