A German Shepherd, like any dog, takes time to develop. They grow through different stages such as growing their teeth and coat.
Also, usually during their development, German Shepherds tend to have their ears stand up on their own.
But, sometimes German Shepherds don’t have ears that stand up on their own.
So, is it bad if German Shepherd ears don’t stand up?
Mainly, it depends on your German Shepherd whether they are born this way with ears not standing up or they have an underlying problem causing their ears to not stand up.
So it mainly differs from one dog to another.
Is it bad if German Shepherd Ears Don’t Stand up?
It isn’t bad if your dog’s ears don’t stand up due to genetics; it’s just the way that they are born
In this case, their appearance is only affected. However, if their health is affected by factors such as parasites, malnutrition, trauma and many others, you must take drastic measures to change and treat these causes.
In the German Shepherd breeding, floppy ears or ears that don’t stand up are regarded as a defect; it doesn’t affect your dog’s health though.
When do German Shepherd Ears Stand up?
Your German Shepherd ears will stand up when your puppy finishes teething. This happens mainly when they are about 20 weeks old.
Before this age, your German Shepherd cartilage won’t be strong enough to hold the weight of their ears.
However, when they grow and get the right nutrition, they will develop strong cartilage that will make them able to hold their ears up.
Regardless, when your puppy finishes teething at the age of 5 months, their ears will keep changing from floppy to pointy at different times such as when they hear a voice.
Do German Shepherd puppies ears stand up?
Yes, German Shepherd puppy’s ears do stand up. But it takes about 20 weeks until they stand up.
Your German Shepherd puppy takes this time because the cartilage in their ears haven’t developed yet to be able to allow your dog’s ears to stand up.
However, not all German Shepherds puppies’ ears can stand up because some are born with floppy ears.
It is important to observe and watch your German Shepherd so you know when their ears are going to stand up or if they have an ear defect in which case their ears won’t stand up.
Do German Shepherd ears stand up naturally?
Not all German Shepherd dogs have their ears stand up naturally.
It mainly depends on your German Shepherds genetics.
If it’s biological, then there is nothing else that you can do to change your dog’s genetic makeup.
So, if your German Shepherd is born naturally with ears that stand up, they probably will have their ears stand up for the rest of their lives.
However, if their ears don’t stand up at all, there is nothing that you can do to change it.
But if they are showing signs of their ears standing up from time to time, you could use some methods and tips that will help your dog’s ears to stand up.
German Shepherd puppy ear stages
Newborn to 5 months
During this time, your puppy’s ears will keep going up and down. This happens mainly while your dog is teething starting from 3 months old.
After the teething period, your puppy’s ears will stand up.
5 to 6 months
Teething is complete usually when your puppy is 5 months old. Many puppies have their ears stand up naturally.
However, other German Shepherds may have their ears stand up and down.
6 to 8 months
If you are at that period and your dog’s ears haven’t stood up yet, it’s time to be concerned.
Go to the vet to know what you can do to help your dog’s ears stand up. When your dog is 8 months old, the chance of their ears standing up drops a lot.
What size are a German Shepherd puppy ears?
German Shepherd puppies will definitely have different ear sizes. Some have ears that are low and conform to the shape of their heads.
Others have ears that are taller and may be thinner. German Shepherds with smaller ears usually don’t have ears that stand up.
While German Shepherds with tall ears might need some help if their ears aren’t standing on their own.
What factors cause your German Shepherd’s ears to not stand up?
There are many factors that cause your German Shepherd to have floppy ears.
These factors can either be because this is the way that they born or based on their environment.
If your German Shepherd puppy is teething, then they will most likely have floppy ears because they still haven’t fully developed.
However, this is a phase that ends when your puppy finishes teething.
If your German Shepherd is born this way, then there is nothing that you can do about it.
Some German Shepherd dogs are predisposed to ears that don’t stand up so their ears end up not standing up at all.
Many breeders aim to breed German Shepherds with large ears because they think that their offspring will have ears that stand up.
However, this is far from the truth as your German Shepherd puppies are born with head muscles that aren’t fully formed so their ears are too heavy for their muscles.
Thus, they end up with floppy ears that will never stand up.
Therefore, breeding your dog to enhance a specific trait isn’t a good practice because you don’t focus on other aspects such as their health and intelligence.
This results in your German Shepherd having health problems and other problems.
For these specific reasons, it is very important that before you get a German Shepherd puppy that you meet a good breeder and the parents of your puppy to know more about them before getting one.
If your dog while growing up experiences trauma, they are most likely to have damage in their ears or have ears that don’t stand up.
While your puppy is growing up, they are still developing so their ears are really fragile.
Is it normal if my German Shepherd puppy’s ears were up but one or both ears went down again?
Yes, it depends on your puppy’s age too. it is very normal for this to happen as your German Shepherd puppy is still teething.
While they are teething, at exactly 6 to 14 weeks, their ears will begin to stand up and down.
They may be hearing a voice or noise that causes them to let their ears stand up.
It’s a natural reaction to things in their environment.
Taping your German Shepherd’s ears
What is taping?
Taping is a technique where you take your dog’s ears tapping or molding them in a certain position so that the cartilage hardens in that exact position.
In many cases, the end result is good where your German Shepherd’s ears are standing up. However, it must be done appropriately so your dog doesn’t have injuries.
Is it safe to tape your German Shepherd’s ears?
Yes, it is safe to tape your German Shepherd’s ears depending on how you do it.
If you don’t have any experience you shouldn’t tape your German Shepherd’s ears as it will cause your dog injury if it isn’t done properly.‘
Personally, I wouldn’t tape my dog’s ears as it can be uncomfortable for your dog at times.
However, if you feel really think that your dog’s ear appearance needs to change, there is a safe and appropriate way that you can use to tape your dog’s ears.
You can ask your vet about how to appropriately tape your German Shepherd’s ears.
When should you tape your dog’s ears?
It is best to tape your dog’s ears when they are 7 to 8 months old. So, why exactly that time?
It’s because all dogs have the pinna, an ear structure that is located at the center in the ear which that can be manipulated to change your dog’s ear position.
Made from cartilage, the pinna hardens while your dog is growing. Mainly, it hardens when your dog is 6 to 7 months and is complete when your dog is 9 months old.
When it hardens, you won’t be able to change your dog’s ear position so that they stand up. This is the reason that it is important to do so while the cartilage in the pinna is still flexible.
Two ways to tape your dog’s ears properly
In the first method, you will need the following supplies:
- Dog ear support forms
- Skin bond adhesive
- Adhesive remover
First, you will need to apply skin bond adhesive on your dog’s ears without getting inside your dog’s ear canal.
Second, wait until the skin bond adhesive isn’t very dry and still sticky.
Third, place the ear forms into the base so they can easily stick on the skin bond adhesive.
Don’t ever go into the ear canal and let there be no wrinkles or folds in the ear.
The second method involves the use of the following supplies:
- Hair foam rollers
- popsicle stick
- Medical tape or masking tape
First, you have to remove the plastic from the hair foam roller.
Second, put on tape around the hair foam roller.
You got to be sure that the hair foam roller is properly placed and doesn’t affect your dog’s ear canal.
You have to move in a circular motion from top to bottom.
Third, place a popsicle stick behind the two ears so the ears don’t move and stick upward.
Use additional tape so that you can secure the ears easily.
Keep your dog’s ears taped for 10 to 14 days as this will help keep their ears sticking up.
Using an adhesive remover work to remove the tape from your dog’s ears.
Here is a video of another taping method for German Shepherd ears:
What are the ways that damage a German Shepherd’s ears?
Your German Shepherd’s ears may easily become damaged through the following.
These are the most common situations that cause your German Shepherd’s ears to become damaged.
Biting and playing
Other dogs can bite and play with your dog ears that they accidentally cause damage to their ears.
Even though they are just playing and biting each other as dogs normally do, they can accidentally hurt each other.
Rubbing your puppy’s ears
People especially children will rub and play with your dog’s ears.
During this time, the cartilage in your dog ears is still developing so they don’t need to be rubbed because damage can happen to this area.
The best way to prevent this is by stopping people or children from rubbing on your dog’s ears.
Laying their head against a wall or interior
When a puppy at a very young age lays their head against a wall or interior, they risk a chance of damaging their ears.
This mainly happens because their ears are still developing.
What are other ways to help a German Shepherd’s ears to stand up?
1.) Chew toys
This has to be your first step when you want to naturally support your dog’s ears.
When your German Shepherd bites and chews on chew toys, their natural instinct would be that their ears will stand up.
Chew toys do serve many other functions such as relieving pain and irritation when teething.
Other uses include strengthening your dog’s jaw, head, and neck muscles making them more likely to have ears that stand up.
Using clicker training, you can teach your dog to let their ears stand up easily.
All you have to do is simply click whenever they are following the command and give them a treat.
Just observe them for a time to know the triggers that let their ears stand up such as when you are making them food or someone is entering your house.
When you identify the trigger, you can use the clicker to click at the time that they had their ears stand up and give them a treat.
Repeat these steps throughout the day so your dog’s ears muscles are always used until they stand up on their own.
Your German Shepherd needs the right diet so that their skin and muscles would grow easily.
Feed your dog a high-quality diet and stay away from commercial food that will harm your dog.
Give your dog high-quality foods that are full of vitamins and are good for their health.
You can also give them vitamins after you consult with your vet.
Parasites can actually affect the development of your puppy’s ears and body.
They do so by absorbing your dog’s nutrients causing them malnutrition. This doesn’t help muscles to develop.
Some of these parasites include tapeworms and roundworms; they are often found in your dog’s elimination.
If you suspect that your dog has parasites, go to the vet immediately.
If you have a new puppy, you have to make sure that your puppy is dewormed because mothers can infect puppies and so do other littermates.
5.) Keep trauma away
If there are children or people who are folding, rubbing, and playing with your dog ears. This causes your dog to have ears that don’t stand up so it’s best to leave their ears alone.
Also, keep other puppies from roughhousing with your dog at a very young age. The reason is that trauma can happen when puppies pull and bite other puppies.
Before you give your dog supplements, consult your vet about the most suitable ones for them.
One of the most used supplements is Glucosamine. Glucosamine is a natural substance that maintains healthy cartilage.
It also helps create joint lubricants for healthy joints.
Another benefit is that it helps treat arthritis in older dogs while also working well for your puppy.
Tips for taking care of your German Shepherd’s ears
1.) Clean your dog’s ears regularly
Cleaning your German Shepherd’s ears regularly will prevent ear wax as well as ear infections from developing.
To clean your dog’s ears perfectly, use an ear wash formula that you get after you consult your vet.
You have to also have all the supplies needed for cleaning their ears especially as cotton balls to wipe out debris and wax inside your dog’s ears.
2.) Treat allergies
Your dog may have allergies that cause them to have an ear infection.
When left untreated, allergies can cause loss of hearing for your dog.
So, if your dog has an allergy, get them treated right away.
3.) Detect ear infections
You must pay attention to your dog if they have an ear infection.
To do so, observe your dog if they show signs of having an ear infection such as having inflamed or red ears that have a really bad smell.
If you find out that your dog has an ear infection, take them immediately to the vet.
The question of whether your German Shepherd ears should be standing up or not is debatable.
It depends on many different factors that affect either only their appearance or their health.
It differs from one German Shepherd to another.
Share your experience. Does your German Shepherd have floppy ears or ears that stand up?