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Is It Bad to Touch a German Shepherd Puppy’s Ears?
There is no evidence that touching a German Shepherd puppy’s ears is bad. It is important to be gentle with their ears as you don’t want to damage them.
The saying to not touch a German Shepherd puppy’s ears comes from how floppy their ears are. When they get older, they stand.
People fear that messing with the ears of a German Shepherd puppy will cause them to be floppy.
German Shepherds have injuries to their ears that make it difficult for them to stand up on their own.
The ears of a German Shepherd can be damaged by too much playing.
There is no evidence that touching your puppy’s ears will hurt them or prevent them from standing up.
It is not possible for German Shepherds to keep their ears from being touched.
It is unlikely that playing with your puppy’s ears will cause long-term damage.
Why Do German Shepherd Puppies Have Floppy Ears?
When a German Shepherd is a puppy, they don’t have the muscle development of an adult dog.
German Shepherd puppies don’t have the strength in their ears to stand on their own.
The German Shepherd is able to keep their ears up with the help of the muscle in their ears.
The German Shepherd develops both the muscle and the cartilage as they get older.
At around 5 months old, German Shepherds’ ears start to stand up.
Some German Shepherds don’t have their ears up until they are 9 months old.
German Shepherds have floppy ears for their entire lives.
German Shepherds have floppy ears. It is certainly not uncommon. Unless the floppy ears come from neglect, floppy ears don’t affect a German Shepherd.
Can German Shepherd’s Ears Be Trained to Stand Up?
There are a number of ways to train your dog to stand.
Some owners might prefer the traditional standing look if they had floppy ears.
Ear tapping is the most common way to train your German Shepherd.
This method is done by placing foam rollers or foam molds into your German Shepherd’s ears to keep their shape and then tapping the ears together using a self-adhering waterproof dog tape.
Place the foam rollers or foam molds in their ears so that they can stand on their own.
Don’t put the foam too far into the ear.
The skin of the ear should not be folded or wrinkled.
Attach the ear to the foam insert.
Put popsicle sticks on the top of the ears and tape them together.
This structure will encourage your dog to stand up straight.
Every week, check your German Shepherd’s ears.
You don’t have to go through another round if your German Shepherd’s ears stand up on their own.
If they flop over, you should do another week of ear tapping.
Give your German Shepherd tape breaks.
Ear tapping can be done if you consult a vet.
If it is a good idea for your puppy, they can show you how to do it and what products will work the best.
If ear tapping isn’t working for your German Shepherd, they can give you the next step.
When ear tapping is improper, it can cause more damage to their ears.
If your German Shepherd continues to have floppy ears, there is nothing wrong with it.
There isn’t an underlying condition that is involved with floppy ears.
Clean Your German Shepherd’s Ears
German Shepherds need their ears cleaned regularly in order to keep dirt and other materials out of their ears.
German Shepherds with dirty ears are upset by the sensations that come with them.
They will scratch at their ears in order to get rid of the feeling.
This can cause damage to the ear.
Keep your German Shepherd’s ears clean so that they don’t develop any infections.
Your German Shepherd can get an ear infection from dirty ears and it can make them want to paw and scratch.
Keeping your German Shepherd’s ears clean will make sure that they don’t have pests in their ears.
Fleas, ticks, and other gross creatures can cause a lot of itching, pain, and even death if they get into your dog’s ears.
It is important to keep your German Shepherd’s ears clean no matter if it is a puppy or an adult.
Keeping their ears clean will protect them.
Ear cleaning solutions can be incorporated into bath time or any time you have your dog. The ears look dirty.
It is recommended that you examine and clean your German Shepherd’s ears at least twice a month.
German Shepherd Puppy Ear Stages
The stages are not set in stone. Dog ears can be unpredictable.
If your puppy’s ears are doing funky, wobbly things that don’t fit into any of the puppy ear stages, don’t worry.
The key is to be patient and give those ears time to develop on their own.
The German Shepherd puppy ear stages are typical.
A newborn to 5 months.
German Shepherd puppy ears go up and down during teething, which begins around 3 months old. After teething is over, the ears should perk up.
If you’re interested in learning more about the timing of teething and what to look for, check out this article on German Shepherd puppy teething.
When I visited my German Shepherd at 7 weeks old, her ears were floppy and precious. When I brought her home at 8 weeks, she still had her ups and downs, but by 10 weeks, her ears were permanent.
I was lucky that the ears stood up very early, but that doesn’t mean this is the norm. It is normal for puppy ears to not stand up until months later.
5 to 6 months.
The time it takes for your pup to have teeth is around five months. Your German Shepherd may be standing at attention by this time. It is a common time for those ears to start perking up if they are not standing strong yet.
6 to 8 months.
If your dog’s ears haven’t stood up, now is the time to be concerned. Your pup’s ears should be good by now.
At the 6 month mark, it is time to talk to your vet and/or breeder to get advice on what steps you can take to help those ears do their thing. When you hit 8 months, your dog’s ears are less likely to stand up. The key is to catch it in time.