The large, erect ears of German shepherds are one of their most visibly noticeable features. Between 8 weeks and 6 months, your shepherd puppy’s ears will go up. It is usually an up and down situation until it’s done teething. Do not fret if, after 3 to 4 months, your dog’s ears have still not gone up. This is normal.
However, you will need to have it checked if, after 5 months, the ears have still not gone up. It may be that you are not feeding it the right ingredients or that it’s having an infection in the ear.
According to the American Kennel Club, the ears should be “Moderately pointed, in proportion to the skull, open toward the front, and carried erect when at attention, the ideal carriage being one in which the centre lines of the ears, viewed from the front, are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground.”
Now, once the issue has nothing to do with any health risks, here are some tips you can follow to tape your dog’s ears to help them stand:
What You Will Need
- Get a Kendall Curity Porous Tape
- A Square gauze, 4”x 4”
- Large drinking straws
Here’s How You Begin
- Tape the straws to each piece of gauze to keep the straws in place. Roll the gauze around the straw, leaving a ½ strip of soft gauze padding at the end of each straw to ensure that the end of the straw does not harm the inside of your dog’s ears.
- Back-roll the gauze so that the sticky tape is on the outside of the straw. This ensures that it sticks inside the dog’s ear. Do this with both straws. It is recommended that you use large straws to allow air to get into the ear canal once you tape it. Smaller straws will prevent proper air circulation and can cause infections.
- Next, tear off the tape strips to be used to tape the straws to the ears. Make them into two sizes, two the width of the tape and two narrower strips. Tear off another strip and brace the ears with it. You may want to stick them to the table, so they come in handy during the procedure.
Taping The Ears
- Now that your supplies are ready, insert the soft end of the straw into the inside of the ear flap. Do this while holding the ear to the sticky tape on the straw. Starting on the back of the ear (side with hair), tape the ear to the straw so that the ear is in an erect position.
- Repeat the taping at the base of the ear, starting at the front of the ear. Cover the entire ear with more tapes, so that depending on the size of your shepherd’s ears, it may be easier to have extra strips available. While doing this, gently assure your puppy that you are going to hurt it.
- With the ear wholly taped, hold your fingers above the top of the ear, (this is to prevent accidentally cutting your pup’s ear) and using the scissors, cut the access straw and tape it off so that it’s not much longer than the ear.
- Once you are done trimming, tape the second ear the same way you did the first.
Bracing The Ears
- After taping and trimming both ears, brace the ears with a narrow strip of tape. Employing a crisscross method, wrap one thin piece of tape around the base of both ears to stabilize the ears should your dog shake its head after the procedure.
- Your dog’s ears should be standing in the erect position you want to see them in. Brace them, so they move in tandem when your dog moves or shakes its head. Make sure the tape is light on the ears, so your dog doesn’t feel uncomfortable.
How Long Should You Leave The Tape On?
You should leave the tape on for about 2 weeks, remove them for proper air passage and then re-tape them. Leave the tape until you are certain your dog’s ears can stand upright.
After 7 to 8 months, if your pup’s ears are still not standing upright, it is likely they will never stand on their own. Thus, you should end the process and leave them be.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are some frequently asked questions about taping our shepherds ears;
Does Taping German Shepherd Ears Work?
When ears are taped at 7 and 8 months, there is very little chance of it working. This is an unfortunate fact of life. German Shepherd puppy ears can come up between 8 weeks and 6 months.
At What Age Should You Tape A German Shepherd’s Ears?
It is recommended to wait until after your German shepherd puppy’s adult teeth have started to come in (around 3 to 5 months) to tape up his ears. You may even want to wait until after he has finished teething (around 7 months) before taping up his ears.
How Long Do You Leave A Dog’s Ears Taped?
Leave the tape on the ears for two weeks. You’ll then remove and let the ears air out for a few days before re-taping. Your dog will wear the tape until their ears can stand up.
Do German Shepherds Ears Naturally Stand Up?
Around 75% of the dogs have their ears standing up in the first three to ten months. The results also show that nearly one in five German Shepherds will never have their ears stand up straight.
What Do Taping A Dog’s Ears Do?
The procedure sometimes involves bracing and taping the remainder of the ears to train them to point upright. Almost exclusively performed on dogs, it is an old practice that was once done for perceived health, practical or cosmetic reasons.
Most German shepherd owners love their large, erect ears and will always want to see them standing upright. If your dog’s ears are not standing, it could mean an infection or nothing really, as it is normal for them not to stand.
You can follow the process in this article to get them to stand, but if it still doesn’t work after 7 to 8 months, you should not bother your pup’s ears again. Leave them be and enjoy your shepherd friend the way it is.
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