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Written by
Ed Frawley

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01/ How To Housebreak A Puppy or Older Dog

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05/ Introducing a New Dog into a Home with Other Dogs

Taping German Shepherds Ears

german shepherdI get a lot of emails about taping German Shepherds puppy ears. The majority of these emails come from people who are jumping the gun and worrying too much. By that I mean their pups are 3 or 4 months old and they are starting to panic because their puppies ears are not standing. I tell these people that they need patience, they need to wait until their pup has finished teething.

I caution these people not to jump the gun and tape the dogs ears too early or in the wrong way. I know people who have screwed their dogs ears up for life by doing this. I have had puppy customers who go ballistic on me and panic. So I issue a word of caution here.

With that said, the other side of the spectrum of taping ears is something that many people do not take seriously until it's too late. When ears are taped at 7 and 8 months there is very little chance of it working. This is an unfortunate fact of life.

taped earGerman Shepherd puppy ears can come up between 8 weeks and 6 months. If they are not up when the dog is through teething (this varies from dog to dog but in general between 16 weeks and 20 weeks of age) I tell my puppy customers to get very interested in their ears. While its not time to panic, it is time to sit up and take notice.

The first thing to do is make sure that your puppy is in good health. This means no intestinal parasites, take a stool sample to your vet to have it analyzed. It's also important to make sure the pup is getting a good quality food. We feed and recommend a raw diet but if you do feed a commercial diet, I strongly recommend researching all the options available and feed the highest quality food you can afford.

Its not uncommon for ears not to be up until 4 1/2 to 5 months of age. In fact a lot of times a pup will have both ears up and all of a sudden they will come back down when the pup starts to teeth. Many owners panic when this happens. But not to worry, I have never seen a pup whose ears did not go back up when this happens.

If a pup does not have his ears up by 5 months I strongly recommend that you get involved with taping your dogs ears.

I have seen ears that did not stand which in my opinion would have stood had they been taped. So this process is not something to take lightly.

I also need to say that many ears will be a little weak right after taping but with time they will strengthen. So when an ear does not stand perfectly after taping don't panic. Just have patience and see what happens. You will really not have an idea exactly what you have until the pup is 12 months old.

When ears do not stand there are ear implants that can be surgically added. I have no experience with this and do not know anything about them. If you are unlucky enough to have a dog whose ears will not stand. I would point you towards a vet that has some experience in this area. I don't think its something that normal small animal vets know how to do (at least not well).

Ripken with his ears taped
Ripken with his ears taped
Owned by Cheryl Graper

floppy ears
A 15 week old puppy with floppy ears.

taped ears


german shepherd

Bandit - 11 Weeks

We also use glue to tape German Shepherd Dogs ears. Here are some photos sent in from a reader that used this method:

floppy ears

Before at 4 1/2 months - in my opinion too young to tape



The material to use to tape German Shepherd Ears

taped ears

The pup with it's ears taped

I prefer taping German Shepherd Dogs ears after the dog has finished teething. This usually means the dog is older than 4 - 6 months - maybe waiting another month would have been a better idea.

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