For every pet owner, there must have been a point when they wondered what the truth is behind German shepherd floppy ears. Sure, it’s cute, but is there a meaning behind it? Will it affect a German shepherd’s behavior?
Such questions often pop up in our minds the first time we see German shepherd floppy ears. So today, we’re going to talk about everything you need to know about German shepherd floppy ears and what to do when you start seeing them.
Why are German Shepherd Ears Down?
German shepherds are born with floppy ears. Puppies have not yet developed their cartilage, and so, their ears are still not matured enough to hold up their ear’s weight. After all, they have relatively big ears.
Since puppies are yet to develop strong ear cartilage, floppy ears are often seen in the first year of a German shepherd. This is natural and studies say that teething contributes to the floppy ears.
As the teeth break through the gums, calcium is also extracted, which results in softer ear cartilage. Despite the complexity, some owners refer to teething as the puppy funny ear stage.
Either way, you’ll start seeing progress with their ears during the 6th to 14th week, when the calcium is gradually produced which makes the cartilage strong enough to hold the ears’ weight.
The German shepherd floppy ears are also referred to as a result trait of the domestication of dogs since their wild counterparts have straight ears.
When Do German Shepherds Ears Stand and Stay Up?
The answer to this question may vary. But if we’re going to generalize, the time it takes for a German shepherd to finish teething is 20 weeks or 5 months.
In addition to this gradual change, you may also notice a difference in their behavior right after the teething stage. For example, their floppy ears may suddenly stand up when hearing a book fall into the floor.
Other Causes of German Shepherd Floppy Ears
The aforementioned cause can easily be handled, but there are some cases where GSD floppy ears remain after the teething stage.
Such cases are caused by many triggers, and some of them are unpreventable. There are, however, those that you can avoid by taking proper precautions. Here’s a look at such causes of the German shepherd floppy ears.
I think we can all agree that larger ears are more attractive or adorable. The breeders also know this and thus, they breed German shepherds with floppy ears.
However, it is our recommendation to get dogs that are in line with the breed’s standard, meaning those with a normal size of ears.
It may not be a German shepherd with the trendy floppy ears, but at least their traits are natural. To do this, I suggest looking at the parents first if they have large ears. Their offsprings are likely to inherit their appearance.
While the appearance can’t be prevented, since it’s genetics, what you can prevent is spending money on a puppy with potentially many German shepherd ear problems.
Throughout your German shepherd’s childhood, there will be a point where they are prone to trauma.
While trauma may only be simple accidents, some will cause your dog to not perk up for the rest of their lives. For example, they may get in an accident where their ears get squeezed, cut, or injured in any way.
If that happens, it may become a habit of theirs to protect their ears by not making them perk up. So make sure they are protected in this stage of their growth.
An ear infection is progressive and is perhaps one of the most troublesome German shepherd ear problems. It can lead to serious issues and can even be life-threatening.
More importantly, it’s painful and because of this, your German shepherd may not open their ears in fear of more pain. Either way, you can always prevent this through proper hygiene.
Everything we’ve tackled just shows how unpredictable and serious a German shepherd’s floppy ears can be. So how can you fix or at least handle this issue?
How Can You Handle German Shepherd Floppy Ears?
There are many ways to make sure your dog’s floppy ears won’t be a burden to you and your German shepherd.
So let’s take a look at the most efficient ways to complete your goal of handling floppy ears:
A clicker is a device used to communicate with German shepherds during training. It is used to make a *click* sound which may mean that the German shepherd is doing a great job.
You can use this whenever your German shepherd’s ears stand up, showing that they should keep it like that. After the click sound, make sure you give your dog a treat.
By doing this process a couple of times, your German shepherd will get used to it and make it as a habit to always perk up their ears.
German shepherd ear taping is where you wrap your dog’s ears around with some kind of foam and tape it like a roll.
You should then attach a stick or something hard in their ears so it may be horizontally straight. Lastly, retape their ears so it won’t be easy to remove them.
However, remember to remove the tape once in a while, preferably once a week. This is so that they can keep their ears perked up on their own. The tape is only going to make their ears used to the feeling.
You can also make use of German shepherd ear forms for convenience and easier use. Either way, both help with making floppy ears perk up.
A German shepherd with floppy ears is an adorable sight, but it doesn’t change the fact that the cause is often unknown.
Some may view the appearance as cute or picture-worthy, but if you’re one of those owners who can’t rest easy when it comes to their German shepherds, then this article must’ve helped you a lot.