What Does It Mean When A German Shepherds Ears Are Down
If your German Shepherds ears are hanging down, it can signify several things. It could be that theyre simply tired and the ears will perk up in a little while once theyve rested and relaxed. Fear or anxiety can also cause the ears to hang.Nonetheless, if you notice this to be an ongoing problem, then it could mean that there is something medically wrong with them and they need to see a vet.
When Will My Pup’s 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 puppy’s teething in mind, but don’t start panicking too soon.
Speaking of panicking
When Do German Shepherd Ears Stand Up
After your puppy has stopped teething around 20 weeks, his ears will start to show signs of growth. But why this long?
The German Shepherds cartilage can be too weak to support the large ears and weight. However, they will grow stronger cartilage as they get proper nutrition, and this usually takes around 20 weeks.
As they get about the teething stage and begin to become independent, their ears will start to change from floppy to pointy. It is possible to see them get up in response to noises, but they will quickly sink back down.
If during the first five month of the teething stage the ears are straightened, its more likely that they will remain straight and pointed in their lifetime.
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Why Is Vitamin C Important For Dogs
There are a number of benefits that your GSD puppy can get from vitamin C:
- Vitamin C is an immune booster. It improves white blood cell function and activity, increases the blood levels of interferon , and antibodies.
- Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine that helps your pup becomes more resilient against allergies.
- Lastly, vitamin C promotes the development of a healthy joint. It reduces the likelihood of your dog developing joint problems like arthritis, hip dysplasia, and spinal disorders.
It may seem that there is no direct correlation between vitamin C and the development of your German Shepherd puppys ears, but it is essential to keep them in good health.
And if you recall from our previous discussion above, one of the most common reasons as to why your German Shepherd pups ears do not stand up is that they are getting sick.
Vitamin C is water-soluble this means it is hard to overdose on. Any excessive amount of vitamin C is flushed through urine.
However, if you add an extra vitamin C supplement to your GSD pups diet while they are able to produce enough amount of vitamin C on their own to meet their nutritional requirements, you can overdose your pup.
The easiest sign to watch if they are getting too much vitamin C is if they get constant diarrhea or constipation.
Vitamin D For German Shepherd Ears
Unlike vitamin C, vitamin D is a different story. Your pup can produce some of their own vitamin D by basking in the sun, but thats not enough to meet their nutritional requirements.
To help meet their vitamin D requirements, you need to add vitamin D to their foods. Most commercial dog foods nowadays add vitamin D to their formula to ensure that dogs get the required amount of vitamin D that they need.
If you resort to feeding your pup with 100% natural diet foods, you need to add vitamin D to your pups diet since vitamin D deficiency is quite common in German Shepherds that eat home-prepared foods.
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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.
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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Ways To Fix Floppy German Shepherd Puppies Ears
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I receive a lot of questions from worried GSC readers and from the clients I work with about floppy German Shepherd puppies ears.
Since it’s such an important topic, I decided to address this issue in a post to answer all the questions. And give tips on how to solve this problem all in one place.
One of the most distinctive features of the German Shepherd Dog is their signature pointy ears. It’s part of what gives them their regal looks and is a symbol of the alertness they are famous for.
Of course, the German Shepherd isn’t born with upright ears. When they’re born, their ears are floppy and over time, as they grow, their ears develop.
And eventually, the cartilage perks up giving them their signature pointy structure.
So it’s only natural for German Shepherd owners like you to want the best for your German Shepherd’s ears.
Are Surgical Ear Implants Safe For A German Shepherds Ears
Ear implants to get your German Shepherds ears to stand up are a last resort that you should avoid.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a German Shepherd that has floppy ears and putting them at risk to have any unnecessary surgery to get their ears to stand up can cause them pain.
Speak to your vet about the side effects and pain associated with ear implants.
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.
At What Age Do German Shepherd Puppies Ears Stand Up
Your puppy’s ears can stand up anywhere from 8 weeks to 8 months. And generally, they should be standing up by the time your puppy has finished teething.
One of my males was not even through teething and his ear cartilage was upright and ready to position correctly. His two littermates on the other hand still had floppy ears by the time his ears were upright.
Using teething as a benchmark is not accurate because of the wide variations in development, even between littermates.
So I prefer to play it safe and say 8 months of age is the cut off before you should start intervening.
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German Shepherd Floppy Ears: 8 Essential Inquiries That Must Be Outlined
Would you agree that there is lots of mis-information regarding German Shepherds and their ears out there?
There`s no point in mentioning how many times people would come and ask Why does your German Shepherd have floppy ears? or Why are your German Shepherd`s ears down?
This is certainly something that most likely also happened to you or else you wouldn`t be here, right?
Some things need to be cleared first before going any forward: you don`t have to trim your GSD ears to make them stand up!
Something to Remember!
With that being mentioned, here`s what else is mandatory to keep in mind:
Is Taping A Dogs Ears Cruel
The American Veterinary Medical Association states that ear-cropping and tail-docking are not medically indicated nor of benefit to the patient. These procedures cause pain and distress and, as with all surgical procedures, are accompanied by inherent risks of anesthesia, blood loss, and infection.
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Do German Shepherd Ears Stand Up Straight
All German Shepherds are born with floppy ears and your puppys ears will go through several weird stages before they become pointy and stand up straight.
You should expect your German Shepherds puppy ears to stand up and remain erect when he is finished teething. In most cases, the teething process lasts until the dog reaches five months of age, but it can last longer for some pups .
During this period, you will probably notice that your Shepherds ears are going through some funny changes. Its quite common for the ears to be up one day, just to drop down again the next.
If this happens, theres no need to be alarmed! In fact, this is a sign that your pups muscles and cartilage are developing properly.
Keep in mind that all puppies are individuals and develop differently. Thus, there is a big chance that your Shepherd puppys ears need seven months to stand up straight.
Generally, if your pups ears have gone up at some point and then dropped down again, they will stand up again and stay that way into adulthood. However, if the dogs ears dont go up by the time he is eight or nine months old, chances are that they never will.
Percentage of Ears Standing Up
According to owners, nearly one in five German Shepherd dogs have floppy ears . However, this doesnt mean that your GSDs ears wont stand up once hes finished teething.
Lets take a look at percentages of German Shepherd ears standing up by age:
Caring For Your Puppys Ears Before Taping
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Why Do German Shepherds Cry So Much
German Shepherds cry because they feel uncomfortable about a certain situation, whether it be pain, separation anxiety, or hunger. When they feel uncomfortable, their natural reaction can be to cry. They can also cry when they find or discover something they think is important and needs your attention.
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But taping is a less common practice with family or working German Shepherds for two reasons:
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?
What Do German Shepherd Ear Positions Mean
Ears up and down this is how your puppy offers their greetings to other pets and people. It may be accompanied by face-licking and tail-wagging.
Floppy and relaxed ears this means that your dog is completely relaxed and not stressed.
Forward-tilted ears your dog is trying to tell you that they are alert and confident, which is mostly associated with an attitude of being self-assured.
Backward-tilted ears your dog might be feeling fear or anxiety, especially when training them to show submission.
Constantly tilting ears in different directions your dog could be trying to figure out where the noise comes from.
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Other Things To Make Your German Shepherds Ears Stand Up
Physical Damage Or Accidents
Puppies are active and mischievous and can get into plenty of trouble. This includes physical damage or accidents that have the cartilage or muscles in their ears.
If this happens their ears may suffer long-term damage and not stand up naturally on their own.
How to Keep Their Ears Safe
You should only touch their ears in soft pets to protect their growing bodies from damage or harm.
In order to keep their ears safe dont:
- or twist their ears
Even if youre only playing!
Its possible that rough play between littermates or other dog friends could cause damage or tear the ears. So watch out for a rough play that might lead to ear damage.
And, if your pup has been in an accident that hurt their ears, take them immediately to the vets.
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Will My German Shepherd`s Ears Stand Straight Up Again
GSD ear taping represents something that lots of dog owners don`t really take seriously until it`s rather late.
Your dog`s ears might come back up again by themselves around 4 to 6 months of age. If this doesn`t happen, puppy owners are advised to begin taking this issue seriously.
Ear posting isn`t a pleasant issue! Reputable breeders don`t really re-breed a canine if there are soft eared puppies produced. More like this!
Posting ears represents an ear-ache for the actual dog, a head-ache for future owners as well as a general pain for the breeder.
If a dog breeder raises a GSD with floppy ears, the future owner might very well start telling everyone when they got the dog. This can simply turn into bad reputation for the breeder!
All things considered, there`ll always be some pups that might require a bit extra help when it comes to their ears.