Having a german shepherd as a pet is a whole experience in itself. Seeing it growing up from a puppy to an adult dog is a whole process. The sign of good german shepherds is bright eyes, a strong profile, and perky ears. Normally, German shepherd puppies have droopy and floppy ears. As they grow, their ears will stand up and start to rise. If you are trying to find out at what age do german shepherd ear stand up, you have landed at the right place:
HOW DO EARS STAND UP?
German shepherd’s ears are made up of cartilage. The ear flap is controlled by muscles that make their movement normal and make them rise. These cartilages get stronger with age and with proper diet.
If the owners give their puppies proper nutrition along with other things, cartilages become stronger. This cartilage should be strong enough to carry the weight of ears. Many puppy owners worry about German shepherd’s ears. You do not need to panic as every German shepherd’s ears are unpredictable. You should give them time to develop.
WHEN DO GERMAN SHEPHERD’S EARS RISE?
All German Shepherds are born with their ears down. Normally their ears stand up at the age of 4-5 months. In some cases, the ears stand up at 4 weeks of age. If after 6 months, their ears do not rise, then you should get them checked by the doctor. The most common reason for drooped ears is the lack of calcium in a dog’s body.
There is an actual term for the condition if the dog’s ears have not risen at all called ‘soft ears’. Many owners perceive ‘soft ears’ as a flaw. This trait is passed on from generation to generation.
Owners must understand every dog takes varied time to let its ears stand. So there is nothing to worry about as German Shepherd ear stages involve different steps like1 up, 1 down, 1 this way, and 1 that way.
EAR STAGES OF GERMAN SHEPHERDS
The stages mentioned below are not set in stone stages. As puppies have ears that are unpredictable, different puppies have different body shapes and growth rates. If your puppy does not fit into any of these categories, do not worry at all and be patient. You should give ample time to your puppy’s ears to develop and mature.
Different German shepherd ear stages are as follows:
Newborn to 5 months:
Whenever a puppy starts teething, its ears drop. It is very normal as after teething their ears again stand up. At 5 months of age, teething is completed.
After teething that usually finishes at 6 months of age, the ears begin to stand again But if they do not rise again, then by the age of 6th months, they will surely rise and stand again.
By the end of the 8th month, your dog’s ear should be perked up and alert. If not, then you should be concerned, because, by the 6th month, ears should be perked up. By the end of the 8th month, if they have not stood up, then you should schedule a visit to the vet. In most cases, after 8 months, the puppy’s ears will remain drooped and will not stand up.
REASONS WHY EARS ARE NOT STANDING
Following are some of the reasons that will tell us why German Shepherd’s ears are not rising:
The first 5 months of a German Shepherd’s life are crucial for the growth and rising of its ears. Any kind of trauma or any incident can cause permanent damage to the growth of their ears. This trauma can spawn droopy ears.
The ideal way to promote normal growth of ears is not to tug or yank at their ears. You should not let your child play with their ears. This will ensure the correct development of the German Shepherd’s ears.
You can’t forbid your dog to stick its nose in the dirt. They sometimes eat the things that they should not. This healthy eating habit can cause parasitic infection in your puppy. These parasites drain all the energy and nutrition from your puppy’s body that is needed for the development of their bodies.
Lack of nutrition hinders the normal development of puppies including their ears. You should regularly get your dog checked up by a vet to ensure there is no parasitic infection in their bodies.
Your puppy is now more than 10 months old and still the ears are droopy, then unfortunately it has some genetic defect. Droopy ears are commonly due to genes that are passed on from their parents. Sometimes breeders try to breed oversized German Shepherds. This breeding can result in large and heavy ears. These heavy ears are difficult to raise and perk up.
The most common reason for floppy and bowed ears is ‘Teething’. Droopy ears during teething are very common and owners should not be worried at all. After teething is completed, ears perk up.
HOW TO MAKE A GERMAN SHEPHERD’S EARS STAND?
Mentioned below are some tips that largely help to make your puppy’s ears stand. Let’s peep into some of these:
If you want your puppy’s ears to grow naturally, then you should give them toys to chew on. This chewing largely makes their neck and head muscles strong because of extensive chewing exercise. These muscles are significant in perking up those ears. So, you should allow more and more chewing on toys.
This chewing on toys also greatly relieves pain and irritation during teething. For perky ears, your dog’s Temporalis muscles should be completely and strongly developed.
These Temporalis muscles are not the only muscles involved in perking up the ears, but play a crucial part in developing the cartilage of the ear. Chewing on various toys substantially makes Temporalis muscles strong that in turn makes ears rise.
Diet and Nutrition:
Improper and poor diet affects humans as well as animals. The same is the case with German Shepherds. A proper and high-quality diet is very crucial for the conventional growth of German Shepherd puppies. Cheap commercial food hinders their growth. Some people think that calcium deficiency in dogs affects the perking up ears.
Glucosamine is a natural substance that should be added to your dog’s diet. This Glucosamine assists the development of ears as well as the body’s cartilages. Another healthy benefit of Glucosamine is that it lubricates the joints and makes joints healthy. There are several ways to naturally add Glucosamine to your dog’s diet. Some of these are:
- Chicken feet
- Chicken necks
- Duck feet
- Duck necks
- Green-lipped mussels
- Homemade broth
Taping should be the last option for owners if their dog’s ears are not standing. One thing that owners should keep in mind is that they should not tape the ears early. They should give ample time for the complete development and perk up of ears. But if after 10 months, your dog’s ears have not risen, then you should tape them after consulting a vet. Many owners have taped the ears of their German Shepherds with great success.
There are 2 ways to tape the ears and these are as follows:
1st method is a two-person task as you might need help to do so. Start by brushing the skin adhesive on the outer side of the ear form. Let the 1st coat dry for 10 minutes. This 1st coat will provide a good base for the second application of adhesive. Before applying any adhesive, you should cover the ear holes with a cotton ball.
Apply the second coat and wait for 20 seconds. Now stow this ear form into the ear and make sure it’s down enough to the base of the ear. All the wrinkles or folds should be removed from the ears and the ears should be standing. Ears will stand after a week, but if not, you should repeat the whole process.
For this method, you will need a woman tampon applicator or foam roller. Place this tampon or form roller on the ear and wrap the thinnest tape around it. Wrap the tape from tip to base.
After wrapping the tape, take a popsicle stick and tape them on top of the ears. For taping, do not use duct tape or any other DIY tapes. Check your puppy’s ears after a week. If you rise, you are successful. But if not, give ears a rest for one day and then repeat the same process.
Surgical Implant: The last solution for your puppy’s dropped ears is surgical implants. A qualified vet doctor should perform this procedure under the effect of anesthesia. After
surgery, pain killers will be needed. Before any surgical implantation process, you should wait for your dog to grow fully and properly.
This sums up that you should not worry about your dog’s floppy ears. They will take time but will rise eventually. But if your dog has some unfortunate genetic defect, you should not worry as these perky ears are only aesthetically essential. It is not at all related to any disability of your dog’s body growth.