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Why Do German Shepherds Ears Stand Up

German Shepherd Puppy Ear Posting

How to make German Shepherd ears Stand Up?

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.

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.

German Shepherd Puppy Ear Gluing

Another option you can try is puppy ear gluing. This is actually not nearly as awful as it sounds and is far easier to do than the ear taping method.

Another perk of puppy ear gluing over taping is that you are not going to cut off any air circulation to the inner ear canal when you use the glue method instead.

To glue your puppys ears in the upright position, all you need is some type of skin bond or tear mending glue.

The key is to pick some kind of fabric glue .

What you need to do for this method is to add a dab of glue to the outside of the inner ear flap about two-thirds of the way down from the ear tip .

Then press the two ear flaps together for 30 seconds to allow the glue to set.

You definitely dont need to use much glue!

Wherever possible, if you have multiple dogs in your household, try to keep your German Shepherd puppy from playing rough games with the other dogs as this will cause the ears to separate.

The glue will wear off on its own after a while and you can observe if the ears are able to remain upright and erect when this occurs.

If you need to, keep reapplying the glue until the ears are strong and stable to remain in the correct position without glue.

It may take a few weeks or longer for this to occur. Do not worry if the ears are not in a perfect position. As long as they stay upright, the inner muscles and tissues will naturally self-correct over time.

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Prevent And Treat Parasites

Parasites can hinder your dogs overall health, and this can lead to the weakening of both muscle tone and cartilage strength in your dogs ears. It is best to keep an eye on your dog and to regularly check for parasites.

Keep on top of your German Shepherds flea treatment as a means of prevention. If your dog has a parasite or you suspect he does, take him to the vet for a check-up.

Why Do German Shepherds Move Their Ears

When Will My German Shepherd

Before we get into specific German Shepherd ear positions that indicate different emotions, we have to address why dogs move their ears. Unlike human ears, dogs ears are controlled by voluntary muscles. In other words, their ear movements arent involuntary reactions but instinctual attempts at communication. So, why do German Shepherds move their ears?

German Shepherds move their ears to different positions mainly to indicate interest, submissiveness, or hostility. Several subtle movements indicate more complex emotions, and sometimes various emotions overlap in terms of their corresponding ear position.

You should look at your dogs ear position alongside other body language and behavior cues in the context of his environment when deciding why he is behaving a certain way. If you go by ear positions alone, you might reach the wrong conclusion as each position has at least two explanations.

In the sections below, we will look at the general possibilities for each position your dog puts his ears. You will also learn a few other metrics to determine which one of the possibilities is the actual reason behind the dogs ear movement.

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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.
  • pixabay

    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.

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    But Perhaps The Biggest Factor Is Environment And Upbringing

    Like always with a dog, you have to be prepared beforehand, or you will have to play catch up later!

    • A German Shepherd Dogs ears can be easily damaged from fighting, playing and pulling! The damage can be from other puppies and dogs and young children, usually by accident. Never let anyone even other dogs to fold, bend, pull, fondle, or play with your German Shepherds ears. There is some research that suggests that massaging the base of the ears and not the ears themselves can help as this can increase blood flow to the cartilage.
  • Taping. Like we mentioned before, taping too early, without advice, or without proper experience, will hurt more than it helps. This is particularly common in first time or inexperienced owners who are impatient or panic. You will not want to do more damage than good!
  • If your German Shepherd puppy is effected for a period of time from a sickness that means it cant absorb the nutrients from its food, it may affect how the body and ears develop. Regular vet checks can help prevent this.
  • Why You Should Never Touch Your German Shepherds Ears

    Why German Shepherd Ears Down?

    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.

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    Is There Something Wrong With My Dog’s Ears

    If five months have passed and their ears have still not perked up, it could be an indication that they are either not developing properly or that they are not getting proper nutrition. Your dog should have a diet that is abundant in protein, calcium, and vitamin D. If they are not getting enough of these nutrients from their puppy food, it might be time to switch to a higher-quality food. If you are really worried, you should take them to the veterinarian for a checkup.

    However, most cases of floppy ears are an indication of non-standard genetics rather than lack of nutrition. Owners might want to rectify this problem with taping, but it rarely works because you cannot correct your dogs biological makeup.

    If you are not too picky with your puppy’s appearance, then there is no reason to worry if their ears have not perked up by five months of age.

    German Shepherd Has One Ear Down

    There are times that some german shepherd puppies while growing will have one ear up and one ear down. This can be completely normal and should not cause concern for panic. A lot of owners tend to worry if their puppys ears will ever stand up.

    As German Shepherd puppies grow the pinna will harden which will cause the ears to become erect. The process can take some time and will go up and down depending on several different factors during the growing stage.

    However, if you believe there is something wrong with your German Shepherds ear then you should definitely go see your veterinarian for further evaluation.

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

    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.

    When Do German Shepherd Ears Go Up

    Why German Shepherd Ears Down?

    German Shepherd puppies are born with floppy ears, but most will have standing up ears by 15 weeks. However, there will be some whose ears wont stand up until they have finished teething.

    But why is teething a critical point?

    Its all to do with calcium. When the puppy is growing, he is using lots of calcium for teeth development the teething phase. This means that a lot of calcium is being directed towards the teeth, and not to the ears.

    This means that your German Shepherds ears can be floppy one week, stood up the next, and even not at the same time! Until the calcium is evenly shared around the body, you can expect some possibly weird ear behavior.

    And this lack of calcium in the ears is why you might hear some German Shepherd owners saying they will give their puppy yoghurt due to the high calcium content.

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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.

    Provide Them With The Proper Chew Toys

    Chewing helps to strengthen the muscles that surround the ears.

    Its natural for your puppy to chew things and you should offer them the appropriate chew toys early on to prevent bad behaviors from developing.

    Choose the proper chew toy for a German Shepherd that is durable and the right size for your dogs age and chewing habits.

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    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:

    Chew Toys

    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.

    What Do My German Shepherds Ears Look Like

    When Will My German Shepherd’s Ears Stand Up?!

    The larger and wider the ears, generally the stronger the ear cartilage has to be to support them when erect.

    Smaller and thinner ears may have a better chance of standing up, but this depends.

    So, consider the structure and makeup of your GSDs ears, and consider how it might contribute to ear position.

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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.

    How Can You Clean The Ears Carefully

    Be gentle when cleaning your German Shepherds ears. Avoid pulling on them or being too vigorous with your cleaning. If you are concerned about your methods, you may want to take your puppy in for professional grooming.

    It can take several months for your German Shepherds ears to stand up and in some cases, this may not happen. As long as your pup is healthy and happy, this is not something to be concerned about.

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    When Will My German Shepherds Ears Stand Up

    German Shepherds have a distinctive look that includes alert, erect ears. As puppies, however, German Shepherds ears are floppy and take time to stand up. Many owners are eager to see their pups ears stand up to get an idea of how their pup will look as an adult.

    So, when will a German Shepherds ears stand up? For most pups, the ear cartilage begins to harden around week 20, or when the pup is finished teething. At that point, it can take up to 20 weeks for the ears to stand up fully. This can vary by the individual, however.

    How To Make My German Shepherds Ears Stand Up

    When Will My German Shepherd

    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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