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When Do German Shepherds Ears Go Up

When Will My German Shepherd’s Ears Stand Up

How to help my GSD puppy’s ears go up.

Sam Shephard is an experienced German Shepherd owner and has learned throughout the years how to optimize the breed’s health and wellness.


Classic German Shepherds have ears that stand up straight. But anyone who has ever adopted this breed knows that their ears are floppy when they are young. Some owners, especially those who want a very classic-looking German Shepherd dog , are eager to see the ears stand up right away and often wonder whether there is anything they can do to help.

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.

Improper And Poor Nutrition

German Shepherds need balanced nutrition during crucial growing stages, including vitamins and minerals that aid in cartilage and muscle development of their ears.

Improper or poor nutrition doesnt provide the right building blocks for growth and can hinder their ear development. You should ensure your dog gets the right nutrition from the start to avoid any issues.

Along with Vitamin D, calcium helps strengthen the cartilage to aid in building a strong foundation for the ears to stand up later.

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Why Does My German Shepherd Shake Their Head

If you notice that your German Shepherd is shaking their head a lot or scratching at their ears, it may be their attempt to relieve some kind of minor itchiness or irritation.

However, if you notice that the head-shaking persists, then you should be concerned, especially as your pup grows.

Any trauma to their ears before they reach four to five months of age can affect the cartilage and cause the ears to remain floppy rather than erect.

Here are some conditions that may cause injury to your dogs ears.

  • Aural Haematoma: this is a blood blister found on the outer skin of the ear and can appear swollen. This condition can cause your dogs ears to droop as they continue swelling. This condition is often the result of trauma due to vigorous ear shaking or a dog fight.
  • Ear Polyps: These are growths that occur inside the dogs ear canal. They are not typically cancerous and may only irritate your dogs ears. However, if they are more serious, they will need to be removed surgically, and this can sometimes include the removal of part or all of the ear canal.
  • Ear Mites: this parasite can irritate your dogs ears and need to be removed. If not, your pup will continue shaking their head and scratching, which can cause further injury and trauma to their ears.
  • Skin Allergies: The head shaking and scratching may also be due to an allergy. For this, you may have to use antibiotics, antihistamines, or put your pup on a low allergy diet to treat their ears.

Why Is My German Shepherd Always Laying Down


German Shepherds, like all other dog breeds, can have lazy days. If theyre laying around all day, its no cause for concern. That being said, you might be a bit worried if they start to lie and hide away from you for more than a day. Dont fret just yet, though. There are plenty of reasons that this could occur.

Lets examine a list of possibilities below:

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German Shepherd Puppy Ear Taping And Gluing

German Shepherd puppy ear taping and gluing are both methods that many breeders and German Shepherd dog owners use to help guide their GSDs ears into the adult upright position.

Yet it would be understandable if you are reading the title to this section and feel dismay or even horror. Tape or glue a puppys ears? How can that possibly be a good thing?

But understand we are not talking about doing anything harmful or invasive.

The techniques you are about to read about will not harm or hurt your German Shepherd puppy at all. They will simply support the ears to grow into the upright position without having to work so hard to get there or stay there.

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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Calcium For German Shepherd Ears

To meet your pups daily calcium needs, you may want to give them chicken necks once a day.

Chicken necks have an excellent bone to meat ratio they are enough to supply your pups calcium needs without needing any additional calcium supplement.

Contrary to popular opinion, you dont need to supplement your puppy with an additional calcium supplement. Excess calcium can potentially cause a permanent skeletal problem.

Calcium also wont help German Shepherd puppies ears to go up because calcium does not affect the ears cartilage.

Gently Place The Foam Roller Inside Your Dogs Ear

How to Tape Up Stubborn German Shepherd Puppy Ears

Take out the plastic clip on the foam roller and gently place the foam roller against the inside skin of your dogs ear.

Dont shove the roller in! They only need to sit inside the ear enough to support cartilage growth.

Make sure you check for any creases or folds in their ears before moving on to the next step.

Repeat in the other ear.

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Why Do German Shepherds Tilt Their Heads

A German Shepherd`s mouth can at times block their view when it comes to certain angles. Since a canine of this breed has a large mouth, they`ll often tilt their head to be able to get a better angle of what they are trying to see.

You`ll notice they`ll most of the time be interested in you as their owner, so that is why you might sometimes see them tilt their head while they look at you.

Proper Diet And Nutrition

If your German Shepherd puppys ears are not standing upright, then the main culprit for this could be cheap, commercial food. Always feed your dog, high-quality food. Often, dog owners recommend giving puppy supplements like calcium to help their ears grow upright and perky. However, this may not be a great idea because too much calcium can affect your puppys bones and joints resulting in permanent skeletal issues.

So, the best thing to do is follow a natural diet consisting of high-quality foods such as chicken feet, yogurt and cottage cheese. All these foods can help to make your German Shepherd puppys ears pointy and perky. Both yogurt and cottage cheese are rich in calcium and chicken feet are rich in glucosamine. These help to strengthen the cartilage.

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Has Your German Shepherd Been Sick Before

Was there a time when your German Shepherd puppy got sick? Perhaps an ear infection, allergies, or other serious health condition that might have affected its growth.

As you know, when puppies get sick, they often lose their appetite. They wont be able to comply with the ideal diet and nutrition. If this happens, health issues may arise thus could affect the proper development of the ears and the body as well.

When To Stop Taping Their Ears

When Do German Shepherd Puppies Ears Go Up

At 9 months old your German Shepherds ear should stand on their own, without the ear taping or other measures.

If your German Shepherd puppy is 9 months old and their ears still flop over, please see your vet for further assistance.

This could mean your dogs ear might permanently stay flopping and fold over and isnt anything to worry about.

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German Shepherd Ear Stages

As a new owner of a German Shepherd dog, you may wonder if your puppy is developing typically. If you read books or manuals and your puppy doesnt quite fit the descriptions, dont panic. If you also see that your dogs ears remain wobbly after some stage, be patient. You should let the ears develop on their own and after some time, if you dont see any difference, know that you can help in the process.

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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.

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When Do Puppys Ears Start To Stand Up

If your puppys ears stand up when he gets excited, they probably will stand permanently by the time he is 6 months old. Another way to tell if your pups ears are likely to stand is by observing where they are set on the head. The cartilage at the base of a standing ear will begin to start feeling firm by 4 to 6 weeks old.

Instructional Video On How To Apply Moleskin Padding To A German Shepherds Ear

11 weeks old german shepherd dog (GSD) – ears starting to stand up

Applying Glue Tee-Pee Style

This works by applying Tear Mender glue to the outer edge of both ears and pressing them together. Here is a video showing how to do this properly.

Soft ears are a bad genetic trait in German shepherds. If the ears dont correct themselves and taping or gluing is required it would be best for that dog not to be bred. It should be our goal to produce the most healthiest and intelligent German Shepherds we can. Although soft ears do not take away from how intelligent the breed is, nor does it take away our love we may have for our K-9 companion. It is not according to the breed standards. And no matter what anyone else tells you it can create some health risk for the German shepherd dog. For example: if your German shepherd has one ear that stands and one ear that doesnt. Try cleaning the inside of both ears with ear cleaning solution and a cotton ball. You will quickly notice that the ear that is erect is much cleaner than the one that is soft. This can cause ear infections, hearing loss, and much worse if the German shepherd ears are not frequently cleaned.

All of these steps can aid the German shepherd Puppy in helping its ears stand erect but should only be done under the advice of a trained professional.

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German Shepherd Puppy Ears Can Stand Up Between 8 Weeks To 6 Months

If they are not present when the dog is through the tooth German Shepherd Dog owners will get very excited and eager on their ears. While this is not a time to be afraid, it is time to sit down and take notice.

The first thing to do is to make sure your puppy is healthy. This means there are no intestinal parasites, and analyze a stool sample for your vet. It is also important to make sure the puppy is getting good quality food.

We do recommend and recommend raw food but if you eat commercial food, I strongly recommend researching all the available options and offering the highest quality food you can afford.

The ears should not be 4 1/2 to 5 months old. Often times a puppy has two ears and suddenly they come back when the puppy starts teething.

Most employers are afraid when this happens. Not to worry, I have never seen a puppy that didnt go back to the ears when this happened.

Should You Tape Up Your German Shepherds Ears Good Or Bad

Time to address the elephant in the room. A big topic for discussion for all breeds that have pointy, erect ears, is whether or not we should tape them in an upright position, to help them stand up. As people have had success with this in the past, its caught onbut there is room for concern here. And thats because we dont really know if we are taping their ears up in the correct position. The bones and cartilages are so small and weak throughout their puppy months that its entirely possible we tape them out of proper alignment. This would then cause the ears to grow incorrectly which may lead to permanent cartilage or bone damage.To stay on the safe side, taping ears is not recommended as a solution to fix floppy puppy ears. Its important to remember that in some cases, it can be up to 6 months before the ears stand up.

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Is Taping German Shepherd Ears A Common Practice

Many breeders recommend taping, and this is a fairly common practice, especially in show dog circles.

But taping is a less common practice with family or working German Shepherds for two reasons:

  • Dogs that are bred to be family pets or working dogs are less likely to come from show lines, which means they are less likely to be purebred dog.
  • Owners of dogs that are not going to be shown in competitions are sometimes less concerned about their puppies being standard in appearance and may be perfectly happy with a floppy-eared adult German Shepherd.
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    Is There Something Wrong With My Dogs Ears

    When Do German Shepherd Puppies Ears Go Up

    At this time your puppy should eat high-quality food that is abundant in all essential nutrients that are necessary for proper development. But if this is already the case, you should schedule an appointment with your vet for a full check-up.

    More often, German Shepherds inherit floppy ears from their parents, and there isnt much you can do about it. Of course, you can try taping your pups ears and hope it will work, but it would be much easier to accept your dog the way he is.

    In the end, floppy ears are an aesthetic problem and wont prevent your pooch from being the most amazing pet you have ever had.

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    What If My Puppy Has Floppy Ears Longer Than 5 Months Old

    Its totally fine if your GSDs ears dont stand up around this time!

    In fact, some puppys ears flop over for up to 8 or 9 months. A German Shepherd puppy with floppy ears at 9 months isnt anything to alarm yourself over.


    Stay calm and take lots of pictures!

    Youre going to make yourself smile later when you look at their adorable floppy ears!

    Especially if one ear is up and the other is down. Those ears not standing is considered cute and adorable by most owners.

    Even in the same litter the pups ears may stand at different times from one another. And, some puppys ears dont naturally stand at all.

    According to research, about 1 in 5 German Shepherds will have floppy ears throughout their life.

    German Shepherd Puppy Ears Up At 8 Weeks

    8 weeks is too early to decide but If a puppy doesnt have ears stand up for 5 months, I strongly recommend that you get involved in tapping your dogs ears.

    Use thin white surgical tape . 3M micropore tape, 2 wide . I prefer using womens hair rollers I prefer foam hair rollers sold at K-Mart. Take plastic and use foam. Do not use tape or equivalent tapes !!)

    Wrap the ear around the foam and tape them into the roll. In the vertical position.Take a popsicle stick and attach it to the top of both ears in the horizontal position.

    Puppy is going to tear the tape or stick the ears too many times. The key is to continue to re-tape the ears. Sooner or later the puppy will forget and ignore the tape.

    Once a week, remove the tape and see if the ears stand by itself. Continue re-taping until the ears are standing.

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    What Is Your Puppys Diet

    Your puppys diet greatly affects your puppys growth and development. If you know youre feeding him properly, your puppy will likely to have a stronger and better health. As you know, the cartilage of a puppy is not as strong as it seems. The ears might be too big and heavy for the cartilage. Hence, the ears might go up and down.

    Proper nutrition helps your German Shepherd acquire better health and thus, a stronger cartilage. So, it depends on the diet youre providing, what kind of food, and how much you feed your German Shepherd puppy. It will not only develop large erect ears, but also an excellent well-being all throughout his life.


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