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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I was hoping someone might be able to offer some advice because maybe you've been through it with your dog.

Leisel is 6 months and 13 days now and her ears are rarely up. She is almost 60 pounds, comes from very large parents (dad was 110 lbs). When she almost 12 weeks, her ears stood up perfectly for about 2 weeks! Then came teething, but that's been over for about a month now.

So...when I walk her, or she is very alert (playing catch, with other dogs), her ears are up. But the other 90% of the time, they are down. I've tried the Tear Mender glue, and that seems to work for about a day after they come apart...then they are right back down. I no longer do the glue because it has removed the hair on that part of her ear and it won't stick anymore.

I've contacted the breeder who says she has never had a dog where they don't come up and to give it more time. But I'm getting nervous that I may be missing the window of opportunity to fix this, if need be. Can anyone offer any input? I'll try to attach a few pics of when her ears are up as well as what they look like the other 90% of the time.

Thanks so much!

Tracy
 

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We are going through the same thing with our Sieben. She is 4 months, and her right ear has fallen. Both ears were up........ right ear was up.......... both ears flopped....... now, left ear is up and right ear is 90 degrees. I'm not any help, I know, but folks on this forum are great encouragers.
 

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At 6 months, you may want to tape them.

Here are a couple of things you can do to strengthen puppy’s ears:


1. Ear Exercise: Whistle or make a sound that will “perk up” the dogs ears. Do this about 30 times per day.
2. Give them large raw bones: There are 150 muscles in the jaw that when exercised strengthen the ears due to the gnawing, tugging and chewing the bone. Introduce at short intervals as the rich marrow material or bone fragments could cause diarrhea.
3. Feed skinless chicken necks as part of their meal. It has naturally occurring calcium.
4. Gently pinch the base of the ears together and massage the base without bending the upper ear.
5. Unflavored Gelatin powder: Sprinkle on 2 Tablespoons per feeding. This is found by the “Jello” in the grocery store. It is made from animal collagen. The brand name is Knox Unflavored Gelatin or Great Lakes Unflavored Gelatin.

Moms:)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the suggestions. I do give her the large rawhides and she chews on those all day. I will look into the other ideas.

Could her size (60 lbs at 6 mos) have anything to do with why they are floppy?
 

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Thank you for the suggestions. I do give her the large rawhides and she chews on those all day. I will look into the other ideas.

Could her size (60 lbs at 6 mos) have anything to do with why they are floppy?
Rawhides are very dangerous!:eek: Can cause bowel obstruction! Never leave dog unattended if you give him this.

Hard to say why ears are floppy. If ear leather is thin could be another possibility.

Moms:)
 

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We had to have emergency surgery on a Rotty and a pit because of the rawhide chews. Put a kink in their intestines. Don't know if GSD's have the same problem. Just FYI.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh crap. I didn't know that. I got the extra large ones so she just chews them. I've always supervised her with them...guess I will get something else for her.

Her ear leather is thinner it seems. Can I do anything to strengthen that, or will that happen on its own in time?
 

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Have her chew bully sticks or beef trachea instead - none of the same risks.

My dog was born May 5th so she is coming up on 6 months. Her ears just came up this week - they have been up and down throughout the last 3 months but the last few days they came up again.

They do say that the ears, if they were ever up, will return to an up position - but I don't really know this from experience.

Good luck-
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I was wondering what kind of dog food you recommend and if there is any food that may help her ears. She is currently on the Nature Balance Puppy Food.

I tried taping this weekend and she HATES it. Tried again after it came off and she won't even let me near her ears. I went back to gluing with Tear Mender, the next morning they were apart.

I am BEYOND FRUSTRATED. I feel like I've tried absolutely everything (adding yogurt, moleskin inserts (she hates those too and scratches them out), gluing, taping, adding glucosamine, chew toys, making noises, literally EVERYTHING).

Maybe changing food? She is a little over 6 1/2 months and has been done teething for about a month now. Thanks so much if anyone can offer help.
 

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I would go back to the breeder and insist that she/he show you EXACTLY how to tape and what materials to use.

Also, the suggestions that you have added to your dogs diet takes time. Unfortunately, nothing is an immediate fix.

Personally, I would switch to Fromm's which is a higher quality food than Natural Balance, especially since they sold out to DelMonte!:eek:

Fromm's store locator: Find a store that carries Fromm

Moms:)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Geez, I didn't know that about Nature Balance! :( Ok, I will find somewhere that sells Fromm. Do you think I should stick to puppy food or switch to adult? I have 2 other adult mix breed dogs.

Thanks for your suggestions. I called the breeder about 3 weeks ago and she insists that none of her animals have ever had ears that don't come up. I just hesitate waiting until she's a year because I don't want to miss the window to correct them now.
 

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You could stay with the Puppy for a few more months or switch over to one of the All Life Stages. Different breeders recommend different things.

Just INSIST now! :D

Moms:)
 

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Why so important?

I tried taping this weekend and she HATES it. .....she won't even let me near her ears. .....gluing with Tear Mender, ....
I am BEYOND FRUSTRATED. I feel like I've tried absolutely everything (adding yogurt, moleskin inserts (she hates those too and scratches them out),
I don't get why you'd do this to your dog - if you wanted a show dog, you would have gone to a reputable breeder to get those characteristics. Since you didn't, why not just leave the ears alone instead of driving you both nuts?
 

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I really don't have any experience with this so take my comments with a grain of salt, but from your description your dog is irritated by every attempt you have made to get her ears to stand up. Is there a possibility that all of these efforts are making the situation worse? I mean she is probably trying to get all of these tapings and bracings off of her ears and maybe she is damaging her ears in the process? As I said I don't know much about this but I am just throwing that out there as a possibility. Perhaps others will tell me I am an idiot, and I am fine with that, but I just wanted to share what I was thinking.
 

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LJ is purebred...I think (we rescued him from a shelter.) However, his ears stand up halfway and then just kind of flop over, due to his ear skin being so thin. His ears will come up when he is excited or very alert but I never really pushed the topic. I knew when I got LJ that I wasn't looking for a show dog, he was just my dog, my companion and my best friend. Point is, if you love your pup it should not matter if his ears come up or not. But then again take my opinion with a grain of salt, I don't believe in intervention unless it is medically needed. Good Luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Bleus---- That's unfortunate that you don't understand. I did in fact get her from a reputable breeder, and being that I paid 2000 dollars for her, I do think that her ears should stand up. I never said I was looking for a showdog; I was looking for a purebred with the pointy ears at that price, not a GSD with lab ears. It does not take away any of the love that I have for her, but for personal reasons that I wanted a purebred GSD, I don't think it is unreasonable to expect that one of the most defining characteristics about the breed (pointed ears) should be that way by this age, hence my post about possible options to get that result.

From what I've read on these posts as well as on my own, there is even specific health reasons for the pet that the ears be upright, to avoid infections, etc.

Finally, given the fact that there is an ENTIRE thread dedicated to this very subject, your comments seems pretty harsh. Hopefully you direct that sentiment at the hundreds of other posters looking for the same feedback as me.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I really don't have any experience with this so take my comments with a grain of salt, but from your description your dog is irritated by every attempt you have made to get her ears to stand up. Is there a possibility that all of these efforts are making the situation worse? I mean she is probably trying to get all of these tapings and bracings off of her ears and maybe she is damaging her ears in the process? As I said I don't know much about this but I am just throwing that out there as a possibility. Perhaps others will tell me I am an idiot, and I am fine with that, but I just wanted to share what I was thinking.
Thanks for your reply. I am pretty much giving up hope that they will ever come up. I love her no matter what--- just a bit irritated that this even became an issue. Like I said to the other poster, I feel that for the money I paid for her that the ears should have come up. The breeder said none of her animals have ever had weak ears. My whole point of posting here was to possibly have more experienced owners give ideas of things to try before she is over a year and when the window of opportunity to correct them would likely be gone.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
LJ is purebred...I think (we rescued him from a shelter.) However, his ears stand up halfway and then just kind of flop over, due to his ear skin being so thin. His ears will come up when he is excited or very alert but I never really pushed the topic. I knew when I got LJ that I wasn't looking for a show dog, he was just my dog, my companion and my best friend. Point is, if you love your pup it should not matter if his ears come up or not. But then again take my opinion with a grain of salt, I don't believe in intervention unless it is medically needed. Good Luck :)
This sounds like Leisel. She is about 6.5 months old though...so hoping that they will come up on their own. She is my best buddy and I love her regardless...just was hoping for feedback on other things to try before she was a year old.
 
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