Do Some German Shepherds Have Floppy Ears
German shepherds are born with floppy ears. Puppies have not yet developed their cartilage, and so, their ears are still not matured enough to hold up their ears weight. The German shepherd floppy ears are also referred to as a result trait of the domestication of dogs since their wild counterparts have straight ears.
How Do I Know If My German Shepherds Ears Will Stand Up
There have been instances where a German Shepherds ears stood up when they turned ten months old. This means that you need to wait until your dog is an adult before knowing for sure whether or not their ears will be erect.
If your dogs ears show signs of picking up when they are younger, only to go down again, their ears can be erect as an adult. This isnt a guarantee and only time will tell what position your pups ears will be in.
Brief History Of German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is a medium to large-sized dog breed that originated in Germany in 1899. While originally developed to work as herding dogs, German Shepherds have evolved and become all-purpose working dogs.
Thanks to their intelligence, agility, strength, and loyalty, this breed is preferred by police and military and also used for all types of work including search-and-rescue and as service dogs.
While original German Shepherds were primarily bred as working dogs, the modern German Shepherds are subjected by scrutiny. In the U.S breeders put an accent on looks and started breeding German Shepherds with an extremely sloping back that resulted in poor gait in back legs.
Luckily, some U.S breeders have begun to value the breeds working abilities and traditional appearance and started to breed German Shepherds with a straight back.
Read Also: Who Would Win In A Fight German Shepherd Or Pitbull
What Are Some Reasons For Permanently Floppy Ears
Some German Shepherds come from lines that carry genes that lead to floppier ears.
Unfortunately, when genetics is 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.
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.
Read Also: Why Do German Shepherds Shed So Much Hair
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.
What To Do When Your Gsd Puts His Ears Back
When your German Shepherd puts his ears back, he is either submissive, nervous, or just being friendly. Again, look for other signs, but youll soon get to know your own dogs body language. Pay more attention to him and reward him with the affection and treats he deserves.
This ear position isnt a cause for concern. The only exception is if your German Shepherd displays this behavior around most strangers and you adopted him to guard your property! If thats the case, you might need to bring him a sibling who is less of a social butterfly.
Recommended Reading: How To Draw A German Shepherd Sitting
When Do German Shepherd Puppy Ears Stand Up
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, it’s just a matter of time, and those floppy ears will finally become erect. However, in the meantime, it’s important to avoid handling those ears in the wrong way.
An alert German shepherd with erect ears.
Why Do German Shepherds Put Their Ears Back
Unlike pricked-up ears, this is a more subtle movement and is more noticeable when youre looking directly at the dogs ears. If you are attentive to details, you might have seen your dog put his ears back semi-regularly, especially in your presence. Theres a valid reason for this behavior.
German Shepherds put their ears back as a sign of submission or nervousness. However, this ear position isnt a guarantee of these emotions as your dog can also bring his ears back when feeling social and happy. You should look at the head position and tail for more clues.
If your dog is displaying submissiveness, his ears will go back, and he will also lower his head. In some instances, the dog puts his tails between his legs, which results in the related figure of speech. If other indicators are absent, but your dogs ears are still pulled back, you can assume he is just in a social mood.
Below is another photo of Willow, taken moments after the first one. Notice how her ear positions have now changed from the erect position above, and she has put them back. She is feeling social and happy and is enjoying looking out of the window. I guess the interesting dog in question has passed by!
This is a breath of fresh air if youre outside and around other dogs! The last thing you want is for your dog to be too nervous about socializing.
Also Check: What Colors Do German Shepherds Come In
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.
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.
Read Also: Belgian Malinois German Shepherd Mix Puppies
The Ears Of Our Clients At A Glance
When you purchase a puppy from us, we walk you step by step thru the process of raising a healthy German shepherd puppy. Following the SV guidelines for the German shepherd is our standard that we live by to include size, training, breeding, etc. Once you get a dog or puppy from Haus Amberg Shepherds, we are there on your journey from start to end and are always available for any of your questions and concerns that you may have. We have years of experience with the GSD and understand what works and does not work for the German shepherd. Every dog breed is difference and what works for one breed may not work for another. Our clients understand this idea, and look to us for our expert advice with great results, whether its diet recommendation, training advice or grooming tips.
How To Fix A German Shepherds Floppy Ears
If you notice early enough that your german shepherd has floppy ears, then you can often work to get them to stand up straight.
Here are some of the ways you can fix a german shepherd with floppy ears.
The Tape Method
One of the most common ways to fix a german shepherd with floppy ears is the tape method. Its been used by hundreds of german shepherd owners in the past with great results, and its relatively easy to do!
Here are the steps you need to take for the tape method to be effective.
Find Foam Rollers, Tape, And Popsicle Sticks
The first thing youre going to need to do is to find foam hair rollers, tape, and a popsicle stick. These are the only three tools youll need. If you cant get your hand on foam rollers you can normally get them off .
And remember, when youre using tape, you dont want to use tape thats too sticky, otherwise it will hurt your german shepherd when you want to remove it. Heres a great tape to use.
Place The Foam Rollers Inside Your German Shepherds Ears
Now the next step is to place the foam rollers inside your german shepherd ears. When theyre in his ears wrap his ears around them and then tape them in place.
Just make sure there arent any creases or crinkles in their ears. When theyre straight and looking good, you can tape them.
Place The Popsicles At The Top Of The Foam Rollers
Remove Once A Week
When To Stop
If you get to the 9-month mark and your german shepherds ears still havent stood up on their own then its time to stop.
Read Also: German Shepherd Losing Weight
Taping Your Puppy’s Ears
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.
Recommended Reading: How Much Do German Shepherds Weigh Full Grown
Why Do German Shepherd Puppies Go Ears Up Then Down
It’s common for a pup’s ears to perk up and then droop again within a few weeks. So, don’t let this alarm you. This is a sign that the cartilage and muscles are developing normally.
And this can happen several times during teething when the adult teeth are pushing through.
Although as I mentioned above, some puppies will not experience droopy ears during teething.
In my experience, if the ears perk up once and then droop again, they will come back up. So in this case just relax and wait for your pup to finish teething.
Some uneducated sources say this has to do with their bodies using calcium for bone and teeth development.
This is incorrect information because, in fact, their ears are cartilage and not bone, so calcium is not a factor in upright ears in fact, calcium supplementation can cause serious health issues.
In reality, this up and down see-saw of your puppy’s ears has to do with the development of the Temporalis Muscle, which I’ll get into a little further down, so keep reading.
Are There Foods Or Supplements That Will Help My German Shepherd Puppy
Its a well-known fact that calcium helps contribute to healthy cartilage growth. However, supplements intended for human usage arent practical for dogs and might even cause health difficulties.
Even supplemental calcium formulated for dogs might not be suitable for your puppy if unnecessary. In addition, excess calcium tends to settle in a dogs joints, which can cause further problems.
Some supplements and foods can help strengthen and rebuild cartilage. Glucosamine and chondroitin have this effect.
These supplements will also not harm your puppys future health.
Should you choose to give your dog these nutrients as a part of their food instead of a supplement, chicken feet can easily fit the bill.
Dogs produce Vitamin C naturally, making supplementing optional. However, there are some benefits to extra Vitamin C worth considering:
- A natural type of histamine that protects your dog against allergies
- An immune system booster providing antibodies, increased anti-viral and anti-cancer protection, and increased white blood cells
- Contributes to healthy joint development
Before you supplement Vitamin C, its a good idea to make sure your dog requires extra to avoid overdosing them. Signs of a Vitamin C overdose can include either constipation or diarrhea.
Vitamin D is a nutrient where additional supplementing is beneficial because dogs bodies do not create it naturally.
Even if your dog spends a lot of time outside, they might not necessarily get the extra amount they need.
You May Like: Who Would Win In A Fight German Shepherd Or Pitbull
Why Has My Puppy’s Ears Suddenly Started Drooping
Puppy ears change as they grow. In many cases, ears standing up perfectly before three months will start to droop again when the puppy is teething. This is because nutrients being sent to the ears are now being diverted to the growing teeth.
Usually, after the teething process is done, the ears will stand right up again at around six months.
On the way to fully erect ears, the puppy may go through many very natural stages. What starts with tiny floppy ears in a German Shepherd might evolve into ears that flop to the side.
This may turn into “flying nun” ears, where one ear is down and one looks like it wants to fly away. Flying nun ears are usually followed by the comb-over stage, where they may be flopping over the top of the head. All of this is a normal part of the process of getting perfectly erect ears.
If you are concerned about a puppy having one ear up and one ear down, have your vet check for any trauma or inflammation in that ear, which may cause it to droop. If there is nothing physically wrong with it, check your puppy’s sleeping patterns.
They may always be lying on one side and squashing one ear. You can encourage them to lie on the other side to balance things out.