When we get a puppy, among the first things we check are the ears and how they are positioned. Hearing ability is a blessing, and it is as important for a German shepherd as for any other living being. German shepherds are adorable, while they also act as perfect guard dogs containing their strength and physical abilities.
Considering the significance of it, knowing all about German shepherd ears is crucial for all. You surely don’t want to mess up with ears or have a German puppy with damaged ears. So, if you are planning to adopt one, or have already at your home, read this piece of information and get yourself informed all about it.
Everything you need to know about German shepherd ears
Floppy ears or standing straight up, you may have noticed different shapes and figures. While it may seem normal, you need to be sure that there are no hidden problems. After all, attentive ears are necessary for a German shepherd to perform its duty in a perfect manner.
German shepherd ear stages
As the puppy grows older, the shape changes, and the dog owners feel confused about whether it is normal or not and which shape is right, and which is not. Let’s go through the stages and learn how the ears grow with time.
As soon as they are brought to life, the beautiful pup will have floppy ears that will look cute and precious, and with time, you might notice the ears going up and down, which is completely normal. Growing ears have a lot to do with teething stages, so don’t forget to check out all about German shepherd’s teeth here.
5 to 8 months old
The floppy ears will stay as it normally is up to the age of 5 months, and just after that, they will start gearing up slowly towards a pointed signature look. Having said that, puppies might do it before the 5 months of age, or they may take some more time as well.
Usually, the teething also completes during this time, and ears will start perking up if not already by the age of 7 months. If it doesn’t seem to change, it’s time that you take them to a veterinarian or breeder for examination.
On average, the ears stand up completely and take adult form before or by the age of 8 months. Moreover, if you notice the ears growing up and down during the teething process, it’s a good sign, and it assures that the ears will stand up naturally by the time. Typically, you will notice the ears stand when they feel excited, when they bark, or if they hear a sudden sound.
Considering the diet plan, physical exercise, and the environment, the ear development time may differ with each dog even though they belong to the same breed. The puppies need strength and power for cartilages to keep the ears erect, and some puppies do this even after 9 months of age.
Meanwhile, you have to observe the ears, and it will be a matter of concern only when the ears do not move in any way, even once in a while. If you are noticing movement, the ears will eventually stand up on their own.
Reasons why German shepherds’ ears are not standing up
At times it happens that the German shepherd’s ears don’t stand up at all, even after 12 months of age. The possible reason behind this may include the following.
The puppy takes shape from their parents, and even if one partner has genes with ears down, it is possible that the puppy will develop the same, and their ears will never erect for their life. The physical appearance of puppy parents and genetics plays a major role in this regard.
Trauma or physical damage to the ears
Puppies are not born with erect ears; rather, they develop until the age of 5 months or more. During this time, the trauma of any kind or physical damage can halt the development process, and you will be left with droopy ears for their life.
How to protect and help German shepherd ears stand up ?
If there are no natural reasons behind it, you can help your German shepherd to speed up the process or erect ears with time. Moreover, it is necessary that you keep them safe and protected until they are fully grown, or else you will have floppy ears for the rest of their life. So, here is what to do.
Diet and nutrition
As mentioned earlier, puppies need strength and power to help erect ears, and if you are not giving them the required amount of nutrition, they will not be able to gain strength. Do not rely on cheap quality food or do not feed supplements at this stage. Check out here how much to feed German shepherds and choose only the good quality natural food.
Don’t play with ears
No matter how adorable or cute they look, you should not be touching, pulling, or twisting your puppy’s ears at all until they are fully grown. Remember that any rough touch, even if you are playing with them, can result in permanent damage. So, it is better to avoid playing with the puppy’s ears.
When you are asked not to touch the puppy’s ears, it doesn’t mean that you ignore cleaning. The buildup of dirt can cause irritation, and the puppy will start scratching, which can result in physical damage. So, keep a look and gently clean ears with soft-touch cleaning wipes. Make sure you don’t stick in the ears canal too much, or you will hurt them even more.
Offer your puppy a variety of chew toys that will help them exercise their muscles, eventually helping the ears to stand up. It is one of the easiest methods to help your shepherd puppy to gain strength without doing any hard exercise.
Taping can be done in different ways, and you can choose the way you find the easier or comfortable. But, before doing any of that, make sure that you have given enough time for ears to erect on their own, and this is the last step you are doing.
With any process, you choose, keep in mind the health condition of your puppy, and ensure you are not hurting them in any way.
Having attentive ears is not a privilege but a basic necessity to live a healthy and active life. In order to have your German shepherd grow the ears standing straight up, you need to have the right information. If they are finding it difficult to gain strength, you can also help them out if you know how to do it the right way. So, what do your German shepherd ears look like, are they pointed straight up or have any other shape?