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My 5 month old GSD puppy, Salem, has been wearing a dog head cone (I call it the cone of shame...LOL) for the past two and half weeks. She broke her back leg, had surgery, and has to wear the cone so she doesn't take the cast off. But now I am noticing when she isn't wearing the cone (when we play at night) that her ears are starting to go together at the top like a Dobbermain Pincher. Her ears have been up since 12 weeks....I just don't want the silly dog cone "of shame" to make her ears look weird the rest of her life.

Has anyone heard of an extended wearing of the cone shaping the ears weird ?
 

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I have no idea if wearing a cone for an extended period of time at her age will have any effect on her ear development, but I don't see how it could. I will say that some dogs go through a "conehead" phase and some don't - Sneaker was one of those whose ears came to a point at the top of her head when she was young (and we actually called her conehead!), and her ear set was totally normal once her head grew into those ears. None of my other GSDs (4 total) ever had ears that did that - they did all sorts of other things though! Dena & Keefer had much smaller ears as puppies, more proportional to the size of their heads at the time, so it all kind of grew together at a similar rate.
 

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Wearing a cone can damage the ears if worn by a puppy. As the ears are at least still up, even if a little tilted, I doubt that they are damaged. The ones I've seen have been forced down by the cone and stay that way. I'm thinking they are just taking their normal route to an upright position.
 

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The ones I've seen have been forced down by the cone and stay that way.
Agreed - if the cone were forcing the ears DOWN that could be a concern. Sounds like in this case the cone is forcing the ears UP.
 

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There is another type of cone out there, it's more like an inner tube kind of thing that goes around the dog's neck. I also remember reading on this forum about a guy who improvised with a towel with success. He had pictures too, if anyone can help me find that thread...
 

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My breeder rescued a 9 year old with it's ears down, and it had to wear a cone for quite an extended period of time (I can't remember why), and it's ears actually came up and stayed up - which was completely unexpected. It had something to do with how the cone was supporting the base of the ear and the amount of time that that the dog was wearing the collar...so they obviously can affect the ears and I would imagine they can also do some damage. I would keep an eye on things, and maybe try a different type of collar.
 

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I had a puppy that wore a cone for about 4 months and it actually helped his ears come up. He was critically ill and prior to the illness/injury, he always had one the flopped. He was 10 mo old at the time. But, the cone actually seemed support them and when the cone came off, the ears were perfect!
 
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