German Shepherd puppy - your opinion on ears standing up

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Chirpy, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I wasn't sure where to post this, hope this is the right section. This doesn't have to do with chickens but you are all so informed on so many things I wanted to ask your opinions on this.

    We have a new German Shepherd mix puppy. He is about 12 weeks old and his ears are trying to stand up - kinda. We also have a six month old Shepherd puppy who's ears both went up by themselves. I don't really care if his ears stand up although I love the look of Shepherds with stand up ears.

    I have heard that people will use certain methods to 'help' their puppy's ears stand up ... taping them, glueing them...??

    Having looked at several breeder sites they all make sure their puppy ears stand up.

    I'm questioning this practice and wondering what you all think about this.

    Should we 'help' our puppy's ears stand up? If so which method is the best to use. Anyone have personal experience with this?

    Or should we just let nature take its course and whatever happens is fine.
  2. ChickenFanaticAB

    ChickenFanaticAB Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    if your puppy is a mix, he ears may not stand up naturally. As far as I know, most don't do things to their shepherds as their ears are supposed to stand up naturally (unlike boxers, dobermans, etc...) Although, if your puppy's ears are starting to go up on their own, I would just give it time and you will probably find that they will go up. I think I read one time the ears may not go up due to a lack of calcium in the diet (don't quote me on that.....cos i'm not absolutely postive...) but just make sure you feed him some large breed puppy dog food, and the ears will do what they are meant to do...i also love the look of the stand up ears, but I don't think it's really necessary to do anything unnatural to help them along at this point. What i read seemed to imply that taping/gluing wasn't necessary until 4 1/2 to 5 months old..if they still aren't up.
  3. lauralou

    lauralou Songster

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    I had a German Shepherd mix puppy and she had the craziest ears for a while. Sometimes one would stand up, sometimes they were at weird angles, or most of the ear would stand up, but the tip would flop over...Very silly. But they finally stood up and she looked very much like a German Shepherd.
  4. jeaucamom

    jeaucamom Songster

    Oct 1, 2007
    Ophir, CA
    We have a Sheltie named Luke and we faced to opposite problem. The breed standard for him was for his ears to flop over and his stand up. You would not believe the people who accosted us, literally, and harrassed us because I chose not to glue or sticky his ears down to train them. It didn't matter to me and I knew we weren't going to breed him, so why stick glue in his ears. I think he is as cute as can be no matter his ears up or down.

  5. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    I LOVE LUKE!!!!! [​IMG]
    Now i want a sheltie. Luke looks perfect. That would be a good answer to the people that comment on his ears too.....just say "he looks perfect to me"
  6. Hotwings

    Hotwings Songster

    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    If your dog is a mix his ears may not stand up. Just love your puppy for who he is. I wouldn't do anything. To many dogs have suffered when man wants to tinker around to what is called fashion. Many boxer people have chose not to crop a dogs ears anymore and I hear in the UKC (united kennel club) you can actually show a boxer without cropped ears. I once ws given a puppy that at first looked just like a purebred lab only find out is was a mix with shepherd when her ears stood up like a shepherd when she got older.
  7. beckt

    beckt Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    jeaucamom, Luke is so pretty. I used to raise Shelties years ago and had one that I did show. Yes I am guilty of working with her ears, getting them to tip. It was not hard on her and it does work. She was my hubbys pride and joy for 11 years. My breeder stock I did not do that with. Some pups ears would tip & others did not.
  8. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    Even a good shepherd puppies ears will be up and down like a yoyo for weeks. I would just give it time. Either the cartilage will develop or it will not.
  9. Happyhenz

    Happyhenz Songster

    Aug 15, 2007
    Canberra Australia
    pup will have both ears up and all of a sudden they will come back down when the pup starts to teethe. Many owners panic when this happens. But not to worry, I have never seen a pup whose ears did not go back up when this happens.

    If a pup does not have his ears up by 5 months I strongly recommend that you get involved with taping your dogs ears.

    Use the thin white surgical tape (the kind that's paper thin and tears easily). The 3M Micropore tape, 2" wide works well (found at the drug store). I like to use women's hair rollers (some people use tampons holder.) I prefer the foam hair rollers that are sold in K-Mart. Take the plastic out of them and just use the foam. (DONT USE DUCT TAPE OR SIMILAR TAPES!!)

    Wrap the ear around the foam and tape them into a tight roll. In a vertical position.

    Take a popsicle stick and attach it to the top part of both ears. In a horizontal position.

    The pup is going to tear the tape or stick off the ears several times. The key is to continue to re-tape the ears. Sooner or later the pup will forget the tape and ignore it.

    About once a week, take the tape off and see if the ears will stand on their own. Continue to re-tape until the ears stand.

    If the ears are not up by 7 or 8 months they are not going to come up.
    I have seen ears that did not stand which in my opinion would have stood had they been taped. So this process is not something to take lightly.

    I also need to say that many ears will be a little weak right after taping but with time they will strengthen. So when an ear does not stand perfectly after taping don't panic. Just have pateince and see what happens. You will really not have an idea exactly what you have until the pup is 12 months old.
  10. nccatnip

    nccatnip Songster

    Aug 5, 2007
    Piedmont area NC
    Puppy breeds with upright ear sets almost always go wonky at teething time. Wait a month then you will have a better idea if they will stand erect or not. Alot will depend on the breed mix on if they will ever stand.
    edited to add: Happyhenz is right on the procedure, only wish to add for success, the ears should not be left unset for longer than 1/2 hour (which requires constant monitoring if puppy decide to take the tape off) and if you decide to tape, it can take months for it to work.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007

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