When Do German Shepherd Ears Stand Up?

When Do German Shepherd Ears Stand Up?
Photo by Igor Ferreira from Pexels

Wondering when your puppy’s floppy ears are going to prick up? This tends to happen between 8 weeks and six months of age. Here is everything you need to know about your German Shepherd’s ears standing up and if there is anything you can do about it:

How Long Do German Shepherd Ears Stay Floppy?

As stated, there is a gap for when your German Shepherd’s ears stay floppy. In reality, though, your dog’s ears will probably stand up when they are 20 weeks old.

German Shepherd owners are given the above interval because this process isn’t straightforward. Not only is each puppy different, but a German Shepherd’s ears aren’t going to prick up all at once. It happens in stages and you may find them fluctuating between floppy and standing up.

Most owners notice their German Shepherd’s ears beginning to stand up permanently as they reach the end of their teething period. The reason for this is simple:

German Shepherd ears are made up of cartilage. As a puppy, this cartilage isn’t very strong, causing the ear to droop. When the dog grows and develops, the cartilage in the ear strengthens. Eventually, the cartilage in your GSD’s ears will be strong enough to stay in a standing-up position.

Is It Bad If German Shepherd Ears Don’t Stand Up?

Erect and pointed ears are considered a breed standard by kennel clubs such as the AKC. This is the main reason that owners are concerned about their German Shepherd’s ears.

Does it matter if you don’t show your dog or enter them in competitions?

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For the most part, folded over German Shepherd’s ears are nothing to be worried about. They can, on occasion, indicate a health condition or a lack of nutrition. If your puppy’s ears aren’t erect by the time they are five months old, it is a good idea to take them to the vet.

Your vet will be able to run various tests to determine if your dog is suffering from parasites, developmental issues, or deficiencies. If any of these exist, treating the problem may allow your German Shepherd’s ears to stand up.

It isn’t uncommon for some dogs’ ears to not stand up. It is simply a matter of genetics – if your dog comes from a long line of German Shepherds with pricked-up ears, he or she will follow suit as well. In case their lineage is more mixed, the results may be unexpected.

As long as your vet is certain that there is nothing wrong with them, this isn’t something to be concerned with.

How Do I Know If My German Shepherd’s Ears Will Stand Up?

There have been instances where a German Shepherd’s ears stood up when they turned ten months old. This means that you need to wait until your dog is an adult before knowing for sure whether or not their ears will be erect.

If your dog’s ears show signs of picking up when they are younger, only to go down again, their ears can be erect as an adult. This isn’t a guarantee and only time will tell what position your pup’s ears will be in.

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Should You Tape Your German Shepherd’s Ears?

Some owners attempt to tape their dog’s ears to get them to stand up. They do this with some form of a splint and medical tape. Is this something you should attempt?

This practice is falling out of favor for a few different reasons. First, there is no guarantee that this method works. Remember, ear position is genetic. If your pup isn’t genetically predisposed to erect ears, very little will change this.

A lot of people find the process to be cruel as well. While it’s supposed to be pain-free, your puppy will feel uncomfortable with the splint and tape and scratch it off shortly after it is put there. It can take a long time for your dog to get used to this.

Last, but not least, many owners find the practice to be unnecessary. Unless your dog is a show dog, their appearance shouldn’t matter. Even if they are, there is no proof that this method will correct their ear position.

Can You Increase the Chance of Your German Shepherd’s Ears Standing Up?

Your dog’s ear position is determined by its genes, so it isn’t much you can do to influence the outcome. There are a few things that you could try to correct it however

How to Choose a High-Quality Puppy Food?

A balanced diet can go a long way in ensuring that your pup has the building blocks for healthy ear cartilage. From the moment your dog is weaned, they should be eating high-quality dog food.

This type of food uses high-quality sources for all key ingredients such as protein, carbs, and fat. These foods also offer balanced nutrition, ensuring that your puppy has all the nutrients they require to grow and develop properly.

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Your vet should be able to recommend good dog food. You can also read the ingredients on the label and do some research into whether or not these are good for your dog. Regular check-ups can ensure that your dog is in good health.

Why Should You Avoid Fondling Ears?

It is best to not fondle your dog’s ears too much when they are a puppy, no matter how tempting it is. If there are other dogs around, make sure they aren’t biting, tugging, or pulling on your pup’s ears either. This may compromise the cartilage structure of the ear.

How Can You Clean the Ears Carefully?

Be gentle when cleaning your German Shepherd’s ears. Avoid pulling on them or being too vigorous with your cleaning. If you are concerned about your methods, you may want to take your puppy in for professional grooming.

It can take several months for your German Shepherd’s ears to stand up and in some cases, this may not happen. As long as your pup is healthy and happy, this is not something to be concerned about.

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