Why And When You Should Tape Your German Shepherds Ears
Lets talk about what causes German Shepherd ears to naturally stand up. Every dog has a center part of the ear structure called the Pinna. The Pinna is mostly made up of cartilage which will harden as the dog grows. In some dogs like Boston Terriers and German Shepherds, the pinna is much thicker which allows the ears to stand up naturally. In dogs like the Basset Hound, the pinna is thinner and longer which causes them to have floppy ears.
The German Shepherds pinna usually starts to harden at 6 to 7 months and completes at 9 months. From the time of 5 months, you will see their ears perk up and then go back down several times. Dont be alarmed during this period because this is usually caused by teething.
Taping is most beneficial during the 7 to 8 month time period for German Shepherds, so the recommendation is that at 7 months you can try taping their ears if they have not stood up on their own by then. I would recommend ruling out other causes before deciding to tape their ears.
Taking your dog to the Veterinarian to have a workup, because parasites such as tape or roundworms can cause your puppy to not absorb essential minerals and nutrients which can result in their ears not standing up.
Once you have had them checked by your Veterinarian, you could try adding some calcium supplement to their diet which will help the cartilage to harden. Sometimes this combined with taping will produce the best results.
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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.
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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What Can You Do If Your German Shepherd Puppys Ears Dont Stand Up
When it comes to dogs and their ears, they certainly come in all shapes and sizes from long and drooping to petite and pointed, and for pedigree breeds, the position their ears should take when they are fully grown is usually dictated in the breed standard. For German Shepherds, the breed standard dictates that the dogs ears should be proud and erect in the adult dog but most of us have seen a German shepherd puppy with floppy ears, or even one ear up and one down as they develop!
Some German shepherds will retain drooping ears into adulthood, and whilst having floppy ears isnt generally a problem for the dog itself, it is classed as a fault in the dogs conformation and whilst this is of no importance to many owners, it is wise to know why the dogs ears may not become erect, and if anything can be done about it.
In this article we will look at how, when and why the German shepherds ears begin to stand up, what can cause floppy ears, and how to help to ensure that you puppys ears stand up naturally. Read on to learn more.
What Age Do A German Shepherds Ears Stand Up
There is no exact day, week, or even month. All puppies will develop at different rates. However, you should see perky ears within 5 to 15 weeks in the majority of puppies.
If they dont stand up in that time frame, wait until teething has finished at around 6 months of age sometimes as late as 8 months.
Its not unheard though for the ears to remain floppy forever in a few German Shepherds.
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What Else Can I Do To Make German Shepherd Ears Stand Up
If your dog does not have the right genetics for pointy ears, then there is nothing you can do. However, if they have shown signs that their ears are going to perk up, then there are a few things you can do to protect them from damage.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the authors knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
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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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!
Deciding To Tape Your Puppy’s Ears
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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.
Preventing Damage To Your Puppys Ears
Damage to a puppys ears can prevent the ears from standing on their own, and this type of damage can occur in more ways than you may think.
Pay attention to how your puppy sleeps, especially if he sleeps in a crate. Sometimes puppies will sleep with their ears propped up against the side of the crate that they are in.
Over time, this may damage your puppys ears. If you do notice that this is happening with your puppy, then try waking your puppy up. Make a noise or even reach in the crate to pet him. The idea is to just do something that will grab your puppys attention enough for him to readjust himself.
Another behavior to watch out for may be prevalent if you have another dog in the house especially another puppy. Puppies often get into the habit of nipping and biting at each others ears. While this behavior may seem harmless and just a part of natural play, it can actually be detrimental to your puppys ears developing properly.
This type of play can damage the muscles to support the growth and development of your puppys ears. So if you have more than one dog in the house, or even if you allow your dog to play with others , make sure to keep a close eye on how they are playing together. Your awareness is crucial here, and it is your responsibility to intervene if you witness this type of play happening.
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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.
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:
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.
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How Do You Know If Your Dog’s Ears Will Stand Up
In a perfect world, with ethical breeders who don’t breed for looks but rather for breed preservation and barring ear trauma, your dog’s ears should stand up in good time.
But as a rule of thumb, if your puppy’s ear cartilage has perked up, even a little, this is a good sign that they are developing and the cartilage is getting stronger.
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?
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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.
When To Stop Taping Their Ears
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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The German Shepherd Puppy
German shepherds arent born with erect ears pups of the breed have floppy ears at birth, which will only begin to point when the dog reaches around four to five months old at the earliest, and sometimes a couple of months later.
This is because when puppies are born, their ears arent fully developed and they cant even hear, and as the pups begin to open their eyes for the first time at a couple of weeks old, so too will the dogs ears begin to function and allow them to hear their first sounds.
However, even after this point, the ears will continue to develop for some time, forming the necessary cartilage to allow the ears to mature and in breeds like the German shepherd that have pointed ears, begin to support the ears in standing up.
If your pups ears are still floppy and show no signs of beginning to stand up by the time the dog is around eight months old, it may mean that it isnt going to happen but you may be able to help to support your pup to ensure that it does.