Why You Should Never Touch Your German Shepherds Ears
You can accidentally damage the ears cartilage and make your puppy has partially or floppy ears if you touch their ears.
Therefore, you, your kids or other puppies should never ever rub or touch their ears during the teething period as any significant trauma that the ears get during this period can cause permanent damage and droopy ears.
How Do I Get My German Shepherds Ears To Stand Up
Also, try to wait until your puppy is at least 6 months old since sometimes it just takes a while for a German shepherdâs ears to stand upright on their own.
To tape your puppyâs ears, attach a large foam hair roller to the inside of them with surgical tape, making sure youâre not blocking the ear canal.
When Will My Pups Ears Perk Up And Stay Up
After your puppy has finished teething their ears will perk up and stay up for good.
But as I mentioned, using teething as a yardstick is not ideal because puppy development does vary slightly.
So by all means, keep your puppys teething in mind, but dont start panicking too soon.
Speaking of panicking
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Health Concerns Associated With Floppy Ears On A German Shepherd
When a dogs ears lay flat, less air can circulate through their ears, and more moisture can build up. This can lead to a couple of issues, including:
- Need for more frequent cleaning: It is always essential to clean your dogs ears, whether they are pointy or not, but if your dog has floppy ears, they will need to have their ears cleaned more often than dogs with pointy ears.
- Higher risk of ear infections: Even with frequent cleanings, floppy-eared dogs are prone to ear infections due to the heat and moisture trapped by their ears lying down.
- High risk of ear injuries: Having floppy ears also leaves your dogs ears more vulnerable to potential harm. Their ears are more likely to get caught in something or to get bitten and torn when playing or fighting.
- High risk of hearing damage: If an ear infection or injury is severe enough, your dog could experience hearing damage and even total hearing loss.
Floppy dog ears may be cute, but they do require extra care and attentiveness than pointy dog ears.
Ideally, your German Shepherds ears will naturally become pointy as they get older, but there are some things you can do to encourage this process.
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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.
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German Shepherd Puppy Ear Posting
The goal with German Shepherd puppy ear posting, or taping, is to help guide your puppys ears into the correct upright adult position without being invasive or uncomfortable.
You want to give your pup enough time to try to do this naturally. But you also want to intervene before the cartilage in the ears starts to harden , leaving the ear flaps in the wrong position.
You will need the following supplies:
- Some type of surgical tape .
- Foam roller inserts or foam pipe insulation cut to size.
- Two plain popsicle sticks or unsharpened pencils.
Here is what you want to do :
- Insert one popsicle stick into the center of each piece of foam.
- Insert the popsicle stick/foam into the ear.
- Wrap the surgical tape around the outside of the ear to hold the insert in place.
Be prepared for your puppy to find a way to paw off this strange contraption several times before they finally get used to it and forget about it. You want to leave this in place for a week and then remove it to check the ear position.
You may notice the ears start to stand a little straighter week by week. But if you see them flop over again, you need to re-tape them until they are strong enough to stand up on their own.
Age Of Gsd Ears Standing Up
The owners of German Shepherd know that the ears of a German Shepherd are floppy when it is young. People buying a young German Shepherd often get worried about the ears being floppy and not standing straight.
It takes a German Shepherds ears to stand up after 20 weeks. It is because that a German Shepherd being a puppy is very weak and their cartilage is not strong enough to take the burden of their big ears. At the age of 5 months, the cartilage starts getting stronger after a proper diet.
This is the time when the ears of a German Shepherd puppy start turning into pointy from floppy. Whenever they respond to a noise or a strangers voice, their ears rise but quickly fall back to floppy. If the ears of a German Shepherd start standing up during the first five months, then they will be perfectly standing for the rest of their life.
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Why Do German Shepherds Prick Their Ears
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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Use Breathe Right Strips
McCann dog training trainers advocate a more comfortable and even less invasive method of bracing the dogs ear.
They suggest cleaning the inside of the pinna and carefully sticking a Breathe Right strip lengthways across the ears fold. They report having success with this simpler method. However, it is unlikely to work with dogs that have heavy or very floppy ears.
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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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How To Tape A Floppy
Taping your German Shepherds floppy ears is easy to try and only take a few items.
- Foam rollers
- Self-adhering waterproof dog wrap
- Clean popsicle sticks
Dont use regular tapes that you have around your house or they will tear and rip your dogs tender skin. Its best to use self-adhering dog wrap thats waterproof so you wont injure your puppy.
Next, follow these steps to prop your puppys floppy ears upright.
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Want Your German Shepherd To Have Upright Ears The Facts
Everything you need to know about why, and how to help, your German Shepherd Dog have upright ears.
The German Shepherd Dog was first bred just over 100 years ago, and in that time it has become one of the most stunning, distinctive and recognizable breeds. And perhaps the most noticeable feature of a German Shepherd is the ears. An adult German Shepherds ears are immediately obvious as they are upright and pointy, making them look alert and regal!
But German Shepherds are not born with upright ears. Like all puppies, German Shepherd are born with tiny ears flopping on the sides. As the puppies grow older, their ears should naturally go up, but in some cases, they dont and there are different reasons why a German Shepherd Dogs ears wont go up.
For many owners it is a big issue if the ears dont go up, after all they should, it is part of the breed standard, and breeding and showing is not recommended if they dont.
If you have, or are thinking of, getting a German Shepherd Dog, and you are concerned about their ears, then read on!
Why Does This Process Delay
In many cases, the process of ears standing up straight delays for a while. The process is different for different dogs. Even the puppies of the same litter can have different times for the ears to stand up.
Some puppies take seven months to stand up their ears straight. The ears of a German Shepherd take a permanent shape till the 8th and 9th months. If the ears of a puppy do not stand up till the 9th month, then they wont stand up ever.
75% of the German Shepherds make their ears stand up during the first 3 to 10 months. Out of every 5 German Shepherds, one dog never gets its ears to stand up which makes it almost 18% of the total German Shepherds. This percentage is quite high and shocking.
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Stimulate Him With Toys
This is one of the best ways to guarantee an optimal state of health and the ears natural development. This is helpful because it can keep you upbeat and incentivize you to perk up your ears while chewing on your favorite toys. This alternative is extremely effective for puppies older than five months of age.
Using Calcium To Make The Ears Stand Up
Ive already touched on the next method which all relates to getting higher levels of calcium unto your German Shepherds diet. This can include additional foods such as:
- Cottage cheese
The high calcium content in these foods is said to help a German Shepherds ears to stand up given that their natural calcium is being used in the development of their teeth.
But does it work?
I cannot find any research to suggest that calcium helps to fix floppy ears, and it appears to be more of an anecdotal solution used by owners.
I would certainly exercise a degree of caution, as milky foods can be too rich for young puppies leading to upset stomachs. Bottom line is I would not give my puppy lots of cheese and milk they may be lactose intolerant.
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German Shepherd Ear Growth Stages
All German Shepherds ears are naturally pointed, unless the dog is not a purebred, or unless your pooch has some issues that are affecting the position of the ears. However, your pups ears will go through several stages before they stand up straight.
Between birth and about 7 weeks, your pups ears will be flopped forwards. Between 7 to 10 weeks, the ears will then advance into a side flop.
As your pup continues growing, the earswill start rising and will resemble those of the flying nun. This happens when your pup is about 10 to 14 weeks old.
From there, your pups ears will continue straightening gradually until they get to the upright position. This can take just a few weeks, or a couple of months.
Sometimes, the position of your German Shepherds ears will change from time to time. Does this have any significant meaning?
German shepherd puppy ears stand up usually as the puppy develops and matures. Sure, those floppy ears look cute in a puppy, but owners of this breed are often looking forward to seeing their pups bloom into majestic representatives of the breed. Erect ears are one of the most cherished features in this breed which is known for making a vigilant watch dog with its alert, attentive look. If your German shepherd puppy has floppy ears, fortunately, in most cases, itâs just a matter of time, and those floppy ears will finally become erect. However, in the meantime, itâs important to avoid handling those ears in the wrong way.
What To Do When Your Gsd Pricks Up His Ears
When your GSD pricks up his ears, you should prioritize this ear position above all others because it can mean your dog may be about to become aggressive towards another person or dog he feels threatened by, especially if he displays other body language referred to above.
Use a Leash
If you take your German Shepherd for a walk and notice his ears perk up even momentarily, you should put him on a leash. You most likely already have him on a leash as per dog walking best practices. If thats the case, make sure youre holding it tightly, and he cant feel free to chase or succumb to his prey drive.
Pause and Disrupt
Your GSD might act as an alarm and alert you to something he finds threatening. In some cases, this can be to protect you and your property. But in other instances, it can simply be a false alarm. You can interrupt your dog by engaging him whenever he pricks up his ears.
I wouldnt advise using treats to hack your dogs alertness, as that only incentivizes him to give false alarms. Simply changing the direction of your walk or bringing up a new activity can interrupt your canines focus sufficiently.
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How To Get A German Shepherd’s Ears To Stand Up
- Do not despair!
- Give your GSD quality food Cheap commercial food is definitely a no-no. High-quality dog foods with no corn or wheat are ideal.
. . .
- Like everything in life, getting a German Shepherds ears to go up is not always simple. If everything is done right, from breeding, to care, to diet, and there is no unnecessary interference, then those ears should go up.
What Are Some Reasons For Permanently Floppy Ears
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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Floppy Eared German Shepherd 3 Easy Fixes
A floppy eared German Shepherd dog is an adorable sight to see. With one ear upright and the other down cuteness abounds!
But you might worry about when will your German Shepherds floppy ears stand up?
How can you fix those floppy ears?
Its natural and Ill tell you exactly how to help fix a German Shepherd with floppy ears.
Encourage Your Puppy To Use His Ear Muscles
As previously mentioned, your GSD puppys ears may seem to take on a mind of their own one minute they are pointing straight up at attention, and in the next moment they are once again flopped over.
As long as your puppys ears have the ability to stand up on their own, you will be able to encourage more of the same. Take advantage of your puppys natural curiosity by making noises that will encourage your puppys ears to stand at attention. Try things like whistling, clapping your hands, squeezing a squeaky toy you get the idea. Anything to grab your puppys attention.
The more that you are able to make your puppys ears stand on their own, the more you are encouraging the strengthening of his ear muscles. Just like any muscle on your body, the more its used, the stronger it will get.
Another thing that you can do to help your GSD puppys ears to stand on their own is to regularly provide him with bones or chew toys. As your puppy chews on these things, the chewing motion works to strengthen the muscles at the base of the ear. This, in turn, will work to give the ears a stable muscle foundation upon which to stand straight up on their own.
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