The German shepherd is popular for its distinctive large erect ears. However, during birth, the German shepherd’s ears are normally floppy.
Eventually, as the puppies develop and mature, the ears become strong and erect. Furthermore, German shepherd ears should start sticking up when they are done with the teething process.
Worth to note, don’t entirely use the teething phase as a benchmark to gauge when your German shepherd ears become pointy. Since, some puppies in your liter may start their teething process late.
Additionally, there are various factors that can determine whether your puppy will develop erect ears.
Thus, in this article, I will talk more about German shepherd floppy ears and whether it’s an issue that can be collected.
When Will My German shepherd Ears Stand Up?
German shepherd puppy ears can take a duration of 2-8months for the ears to transform from floppy to pointy.
As earlier stated, a puppy’s ears should start perking up after the teething process, which can take several months.
When Should I Be Worried?
You should be worried when your puppy still has floppy ears when it hits the age of 8 months. By this age now, you should be ready to live with a dog with floppy ears.
Not unless you are breeding show dogs, German shepherd’s floppy ears are not that much of a health concern.
What Causes German shepherd Floppy Ears?
German shepherds are bred to have large pointed ears. However, some factors can cause German shepherds to develop floppy ears down from their puppyhood to adulthood.
These are the top reason that can lead to downed ears.
You can do nothing much to have a German shepherd with erect ears when it comes to genetics. However, you can choose to work with ethical breeders to prevent inheritance of this genetic trait (floppy ears). Also, working with an ethical German shepherd breeder is important for breed preservation.
Did you that German shepherd experts classify floppy ears as an undesirable trait in German shepherds? What’s more, GSDs with floppy ears are not classified as pure German shepherds.
Unethical breeders may nurture the genes of floppy ears in a German shepherd. You know most breeders are always in the business of breeding show dogs solely for their looks. For example, dogs with large ears are deemed good for exhibitions.
However, that should not be the case, don’t visit breeders that breed a dog according to a specific trait.
How you can check the proper breed standard of the German shepherd
First, ask to see the parents of the puppies.
- Check whether the parents have neat ears close to the ears, Not ears that are oversized.
- Check whether the parents have oversized heads (not a good trait)
- Look out for those ear cartilages; they should be thick and not wobbly.
Teething of puppies may determine when ears will become erect. Before you panic that your German shepherd has floppy ears, check whether the puppy is done with the teething process.
Worth to note is that this teething process can take between 2 to 6 months to be complete.
Trauma or Any Accident
Please don’t mess up with your German shepherd ears during their development process.
Also, trauma or an accident can lead to floppy German shepherd ears. In case there is a breakage of the cartilages, the ear may never stand up.
Accidents could happen when they are playing with other puppies. Playful puppies may bite or tug other puppy’s ears, causing damage to the ears.
Humans who love playing with puppy ears should be cautious since puppy’s ears are fragile when they are young.
Worth to note, is that any accident can lead to permanent damage of your German shepherd ears.
Poor sleeping habits
Puppies who sleep when they have wedged their heads on the wall are prone to developing floppy ears.
To minimize the risk, you can do crate training on your puppies. By this, the puppies will learn how to sleep comfortably with the available space without them injuring their ears.
The Age of the Puppy
Puppies between the age of 2 -7 months often have flopped ears. So, be patient, don’t mess up with pups ears in between this duration.
You should only consult your vet if the puppy has turned eight months, and the ears are still flapped down.
Ensure your German shepherd has a proper diet. A balanced diet helps develop the ear collagen and the temporalis muscle that help keep the ears erect.
Foods should contain lots of vitamin c and glucosamine as they help to strengthen the ear cartilages.
You can consult your vet for the best wholefoods vital for your puppy.
Has Your Puppy Been Sick?
The whole body health of a puppy can determine whether a puppy will develop erect ears.
Parasites can cause harm to your German shepherd ears. You know these parasites steal all the essential nutrients from your puppy.
The continuous manifestation of these intestinal parasites can cause malnutrition and stunted growth in your puppy.
Poor hygiene of the ears can cause permanent flopping of German shepherd ears. You know, excess dirt may hamper the growth of ear cartilages.
Why Are My German shepherd Puppy Ears Going Up And Down?
As puppies develop, you may note the ears time by time come up and down. Should you be bothered? No, you should not be disturbed.
German shepherd ears may rise for some time and then flap down as their neck and jaw muscles grow. In most instances, this behavior happens when the puppies are undergoing the teething process.
Most sources say that flipping up and down of ears is because of the low levels of calcium in the ear cartilages.
However, that’s not true; cartilages are not bones; hence calcium is not a factor that promotes the development of upright ears.
My German shepherd Has One Ear up and the Other Down.
Don’t panic when you note your dog has one floppy ear. The reason could be that the cartilages and the floppy ear’s pinna are not yet strong to hold on the ear’s weight.
Don’t worry, it is normal; in several months, both ears will become erect.
This behavior of the ears going up and down is a positive sign that your dog is in the right path of developing permanent erect ears.
What Should You Do to Make the German shepherd Floppy Ears Stand Up
If the floppy ears are a bother to your here, you can rectify this bad trait before it goes out of hand.
Consequently, your German shepherd floppy ears should only concern you if they cause health problems to your dog.
However, what you ought to learn is that whichever plan you decide to use may work differently from one dog to another.
Give Your Dog Chew Toys
Toys have very many benefits when it comes to the health of your German shepherd.
Chews toys can help your German shepherd ears perk up. The reason being these toys strengthen the temporalis muscles that help keep the ears erect and jaws strong.
Besides that, Strong toys will help relieve the pain and itchiness of puppies gums. Toys also help keep the puppies busy and engaged.
Perhaps a lack of nutritious foods has been causing floppy ears on your German shepherd. That said, most commercial foods lack the essential nutrients necessary for your puppy.
You should ditch cheap commercial foods that offer no help to the development of your German shepherd ears.
I believe that whole natural food is the best for your growing puppy.
That said, consult your vet to help you choose the best healthy diet that can help raise those floppy ears.
A German shepherd puppy’s diet with floppy ears should contain.
Glucosamine is one of the essentials that help keep the cartilages of the ears strong and healthy. Nevertheless, you can get the dog’s glucosamine supplements in your local pet shop.
However, as a German shepherd owner, I always prefer natural glucosamine sources to help perk those ears.
Some of the whole foods that contain glucosamine are as follows,
- Chicken feet
- Chicken necks
- Duck feet
- Duck necks
What’s more, glucosamine is mainly used by us humans for repairing worn out joint cartilages.
Worth to note, I prefer using natural sources of glucosamine rather than the commercial ones, to supplement any dietary deficiency.
Besides being a good immune booster, vitamin c supplements will help bring on upright ears to a German shepherd floppy ears.
The best sources of vitamin c for your puppies are
Yogurt and Cottage Cheese
Dog’s experts propose using these dairy products in a German shepherd with floppy ears.
Experts believe natural yoghurt keeps the cartilages strong and healthy. However, I am always contrary to this belief.
The reason being, cottage cheese and yoghurt have artificial sugars that can have side effects on your dog. For example, excess sugar may cause obesity and low immunity on your dog.
What’s more, artificial sugar can cause stomach discomfort on your lovely furry friend.
Only give your puppies such dairy products at least twice a month. However, it is not mandatory.
There has always been a controversy whether you should give a German shepherd with floppy ears calcium.
Calcium supplements have no health benefits on your German shepherd flop ears. Some people think that cartilages are bones; hence, they tend to give their puppies calcium, which is wrong.
What you ought to note is that calcium will cause more permanent skeletal problems.
Keep Hands off Your Pet (Don’t Be Touchy Touchy)
Even if the puppy’s ears look cute, don’t touch them. When young, German shepherd ears are soft, and any rough handling can damage their ears permanently.
Also, avoid people who like pulling and folding the puppy’s ears as they will affect the cartilages’ growth.
I have also seen vets advise owners to massage the base of their puppy’s ears. Some people believe massaging the ears’ base promotes blood circulation all-round the ear, thus promoting upright ears.
However, I don’t know whether it’s correct since I have never tried it. I always believe that people should keep off their hands from a puppy’s ears.
Also, don’t let the puppies pull each other’s ears as they can damage the ear cartilages, thus causing floppy ears.
Deworm Your Pet
As earlier discussed, intestinal parasites can cause your German shepherd to have floppy ears.
Always check your puppy’s poop to see whether there are traces of heartworm and roundworms in their fecal matter.
It would help if you did fecal float before deworming your young furry friend.
Clean Your Dog’s Ears
Many people overlook this aspect of grooming on their dogs. Removing dirt and excess wax can help your German shepherd floppy ears perk up.
Not unless you are an expert, don’t clean the ears on your own seek a certified groomer to do it for you.
Stimulate The Ears
Stimulating your puppy’s ears either by using clickers or whistling can help perk those ears.
Interesting it is, Right?
For example, you can make funny noises, use clickers, or even call the puppies by their name.
When such sounds are made severally, the puppies flex their ears up, consequently strengthening the cartilages and the ear muscles.
I can compare this behavior to someone who wants to add some muscles by going to the gym daily. Thus, flexing the temporalis and using this muscle severally will help perk up the ears completely. However, don’t be in a rush; it will take time.
Dog Ears Support Form
You can consider using ear support form if still persistent on having a German shepherd flopped ears erect.
Dogs’ support forms are readily available on Amazon, and your vet can help you choose the best fit for your dog.
The good thing is that most of the support forms are easy to remove and cause no irritation.
These support forms will help those soft ears to stand up on their own. They also help the ear cartilages stay up and straight.
How To Fit In Dogs Support Forms
First, clean up the dog’s ear with a wet cotton ball.
Next, apply adhesive on the skin while avoiding the ear canal and apply the adhesive on the support form.
Lastly, ensure there are no wrinkles on the ear and carefully place the support from inside the ear. Key: Ensure there are no folds on both sides of the ears.
Worth to note, this practice has a lower percentage of success if your puppy is more than five months old.
Taping can help German shepherd floppy ears stay up. However, don’t be in a rush to tape your dog as this practice can permanently damage their ears. Tapping should happen when the puppies are between 5 to 7 months.
However, taping is not a guarantee that your German shepherd ears will perk up. In fact taping has more chances of failure rather than success.
How To Tape Your German Shepherd Ears
First, you need 3M micropore tapes (available in your local pharmacy), Popsicle sticks, a tampon applicator, or a hair roller.
Then ensure the ear is clean and in a vertical position. After that, wrap the ear around the hair roller or the tampon applicator.
Additionally, use the micropore tape to tape the ear from base to bottom to form a tight roll.
Next, attach a Popsicle stick from one end of the ear to another horizontally to anchor both ears.
Also, the puppy may try tearing the taping on its ears as it is far from comfortable. Thus be ready to repeat this taping process.
What’s more, you can remove the taping every week to see whether the ears will stand up independently.
Repeat the taping process severally till the ears stand on their own. However, don’t do the taping process after the puppies are eight months, as the ears are unlikely to stand up.
Should I Tape My German Shepherd Floppy Ears?
In case you insist on having a German shepherd with pointy ears, you should consider using the taping method.
Although cheap and less painful, taping is unlikely to correct this genetic disorder.
Surgery can also help those wobbly ears stand up. However, consider discussing your vet on whether it is safe to perform surgery on your dog.
Inserting surgical implants on your German shepherd ears can also be risky. Additionally, it is expensive and can be painful for your dog.
I as a German shepherd owner wouldn’t prefer performing surgery on your German shepherd floppy ears.
As earlier discussed, German shepherd ears can take 2-8 months before they perk up. Furthermore, various factors can deter the standing up of ears. These factors include teething, nutrition, and intestinal parasites.
Worth to note, keep off your hands from your puppy’s ears as it can cause damage of the cartilages.
That said, German shepherds are awesome family pets that should be loved unconditionally, whether they have pointy or floppy ears.