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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I was hoping to get more info and tips about GSD ears. I’ve only done google research and I read they have until 6 months to perk up. That if they don’t by then, I should get them taped. I have an 18 week old GSD. We brought him home at 8 weeks and his ears have never been fully up or lasted staying up no more than a day or a couple mins. They only go up for a couple mins when he’s excited or playing. Then they slowly flop down. The first couple of weeks we have monitored and kept our other dog, who’s 8 months now, so that she wouldn’t bite or tug his ears during play time. We also don’t mess with or touch his ears at all. We have given him things to chew on like bully sticks, bones, etc and he would chew for hours and hours each day. Still no improvement or showing that his ears will perk up anytime soon. He’s the last of his litter mates and theirs were all up between 8-12 weeks. Idk if it’s cos his ears are too big or heavy? Am I not giving him the proper nurtrients? Or am I giving him too much?
The only thing we give him with his dry kibble is salmon oil. Also Tropiclean Fresh Breath Plus Hip & Joint Oral Care.
We’ve visited the vet but they didn’t know anything about GSD ears. They never even heard of taping or done it. They even wanted us to shave his hair around the ears which we know that won’t help. So we’re going to switch vets who’s more knowledgeable. I also didn’t like how they kept pushing it and saying our pup is half lab when I told them I personally know and met both of his parents, both purebred GSDs.
In the meantime, have any of y’all have a GSD puppy who’s ears fully perked up by 6 months who’s also gone through my situation? Just want some hopeful words and to stop my worrying lol. But either way, we will still love our boy, floppy ears or not.
I’ve attached a collage of his ears throughout the weeks and they have time stamps on them up til current. Feel free to share your pup if they’re currently 4 or 5 months with floppy ears!
 

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The only thing your pup needs is more patience on your part. There is no rule about when the ears come up. We have had 2 pups over the years that took over 9 months for both ears to stand.

Ears will go up and down, especially if the dog is teething. If they have been up before, even for a brief time, they should go up again.

Stop worrying about ears, relax and enjoy your pup. He's very cute.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Patience is a virtue. Thanks for your reply! I needed that. I just thought I was the only one since idk people who were in my situation. Plus, this is our first GSD. We learn new things everyday other than what we’ve already known
 

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With his floppy ears I could understand them thinking that. My female GSD/lab mix looks a lot like him, very similar ear set. I don't think shaving his ears would help but I do know that it helps in some dog breeds, not sure on shepherds. Long coats maybe I could see if helping.

That said good luck on his ears coming up! They look pretty floppy to me but I'm not familiar with ears much and their floppy/standing stages. If you read back on older posts of the same issue there are some good excercises people suggest to encourage him to put his ears up.
 

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With his floppy ears I could understand them thinking that. My female GSD/lab mix looks a lot like him, very similar ear set. I don't think shaving his ears would help but I do know that it helps in some dog breeds, not sure on shepherds. Long coats maybe I could see if helping.

That said good luck on his ears coming up! They look pretty floppy to me but I'm not familiar with ears much and their floppy/standing stages. If you read back on older posts of the same issue there are some good excercises people suggest to encourage him to put his ears up.
Shaving long coats ears to make them stand? That is a new one to me. The long fur is behind the ears, not on the ears. The only reason to shave those lovely tufts is so that they don't get tangled. M big boys ears went up and down and floppy. Eventually they came up and stayed up. Chewing might help since pups often have wonky ears while teething.

Good call on changing vets. If they insist that a black GSD pup is part black lab, then yeah, what else do they not know?
 

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It could be the food. But most likely, it's nothing you really need to worry about. My current pup's ears came up within the first week of owning him. 2 of his siblings' ears were up already at around 6 weeks old. My previous dog's ears took a long time. Can't remember without having to look through pictures but sometime around 9 months old(?). (I can't look at pictures of him yet. More than a year later it still hurts.) For the longest time he had 1 ear up and 1 ear down....looked really goofy, but cute. I don't know what the percentage of GSD's ears that never come up are, but my guess is it's quite small. So my point is, there's no set time. They'll come up when they come up. The fact that they've come up from time to time, shows promise. So just hang in there and enjoy your pup the way he is now.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah I was told from a breeder that shaving will not work for him.
And yes, they are pretty floppy and his ear placement looks like it will be awhile or it’ll just stay floppy lmfao.
I think I did read back on some post but the pics I’ve seen are pups with their ears closed together than farther apart.
Anyways, thanks for your comment! I don’t stumble upon many GSDs with floppy ears at a year old but I happened to come across one and they look so cute! It’s just funny how ears can be an obsession but we’ve accepted it as long as it doesn’t give him ear infections
With his floppy ears I could understand them thinking that. My female GSD/lab mix looks a lot like him, very similar ear set. I don't think shaving his ears would help but I do know that it helps in some dog breeds, not sure on shepherds. Long coats maybe I could see if helping.

That said good luck on his ears coming up! They look pretty floppy to me but I'm not familiar with ears much and their floppy/standing stages. If you read back on older posts of the same issue there are some good excercises people suggest to encourage him to put his ears up.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My pup eats TOTW. He’s been doing great with it. One of his littermates eats Diamond Naturals and I know both brands are similar. But my pup and his litter mate brother actually had their ears similar in placement from 10-12 weeks, his brother ended up having it perk up and never went back down. Our pup just stayed flopped down lol. Since then, our pup never had his ears up. Like I mentioned in my post, they only stay up for like a minute or two and flop down. Then they just stay down throughout the day.
Yeah I’m sure it’s not common for GSDs to not have their ears up pass 6 months old, but from what people are telling me from their experience and what I’ve researched so far, you’re pretty right about it not having a set time!
Hopefully in 2-3 months I can put an update on here ?
It could be the food. But most likely, it's nothing you really need to worry about. My current pup's ears came up within the first week of owning him. 2 of his siblings' ears were up already at around 6 weeks old. My previous dog's ears took a long time. Can't remember without having to look through pictures but sometime around 9 months old(?). (I can't look at pictures of him yet. More than a year later it still hurts.) For the longest time he had 1 ear up and 1 ear down....looked really goofy, but cute. I don't know what the percentage of GSD's ears that never come up are, but my guess is it's quite small. So my point is, there's no set time. They'll come up when they come up. The fact that they've come up from time to time, shows promise. So just hang in there and enjoy your pup the way he is now.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
We definitely give lots of chews throughout the day for our pup. So we’re sure it’s strengthening something lmfao.

And yes, for our vet to firmly tell us that our pup is a mix when clearly they haven’t met his parents and we did, and for them to not even know what taping is, why even bother keeping them as a vet. Sadly I still haven’t found a knowledgeable vet. The town we stay in is so sad and depressing. But we’ll be moving soon so wish us luck!

With his floppy ears I could understand them thinking that. My female GSD/lab mix looks a lot like him, very similar ear set. I don't think shaving his ears would help but I do know that it helps in some dog breeds, not sure on shepherds. Long coats maybe I could see if helping.

That said good luck on his ears coming up! They look pretty floppy to me but I'm not familiar with ears much and their floppy/standing stages. If you read back on older posts of the same issue there are some good excercises people suggest to encourage him to put his ears up.
Shaving long coats ears to make them stand? That is a new one to me. The long fur is behind the ears, not on the ears. The only reason to shave those lovely tufts is so that they don't get tangled. M big boys ears went up and down and floppy. Eventually they came up and stayed up. Chewing might help since pups often have wonky ears while teething.

Good call on changing vets. If they insist that a black GSD pup is part black lab, then yeah, what else do they not know?
 

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The pup has soft ears and the ear set and current state of floppiness looks like the ears are going to need some help. You can add a little calcium to your pup's diet, but not too much. Some prefer a liquid calcium supplement. If you decide to help with support, I have found the best route to go is to use pre-slit tubular polyethylene pipe insulation that you can get at Lowes. You would only need one tube and they are very inexpensive. You will also need some liquid adhesive like what is used for ostomy bags. It is a little pricey, but one bottle should be enough. Clean the inside of the ears well with alcohol or witch hazel and trim any hair from the inside of the ears that you can. Cut the insulation in a triangular shape that is the right size for the ears. Because it is tubular, the piece you cut out will almost look like a teepee that has been cut in the center from top to bottom. This makes for a nice rounded shape that approximates a GSDs ears when they are up. Apply a lot of glue on the back of the insulation and put them in place until you get a proper fit and the glue has dried. I would try a dry run without the glue to see if you cut the insulation to a correct size and shape. The insulation is very light but sturdy, so it is ideal. Your pup will want to scratch the inserts out with his back paws, and eventually will and you will have to repeat the procedure. You can use an Elizabethan collar while the glue is drying. They could come up on their own, but if you wait too long with the type of ears your pup has, the odds of getting them up go down a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So my pup is 5 months now. Still has soft ears. He’s just gotten bigger and still looks the same as the photos I posted. Our vet last month had him on glucosamine. So he’s been on that. I still give him chews daily to help him. Still no luck or any signs of his ears perking up. I’ve been told his ears are huge. Most of his adult teeth came in already. Still waiting for his puppy canines to fall out and have the adult canines come through. So I’m guessing in a couple weeks, should I start taping or glueing his ears?
What method is better?
I also saw one method using molepad and others using moleskin. which is more effective if I go that route?
I know some of you will say to love his floppy ears but id like to give it a shot and try to help him have his ears erect up before giving up. So thanks to anyone who comments!
 

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Thanks! I will try this method in a couple weeks once all of his adult teeth come in. Just getting a bunch of miss signals telling me to wait for all his adult teeth to come in or telling me if I start too early, it will most likely just ruin his ears.
The pup has soft ears and the ear set and current state of floppiness looks like the ears are going to need some help. You can add a little calcium to your pup's diet, but not too much. Some prefer a liquid calcium supplement. If you decide to help with support, I have found the best route to go is to use pre-slit tubular polyethylene pipe insulation that you can get at Lowes. You would only need one tube and they are very inexpensive. You will also need some liquid adhesive like what is used for ostomy bags. It is a little pricey, but one bottle should be enough. Clean the inside of the ears well with alcohol or witch hazel and trim any hair from the inside of the ears that you can. Cut the insulation in a triangular shape that is the right size for the ears. Because it is tubular, the piece you cut out will almost look like a teepee that has been cut in the center from top to bottom. This makes for a nice rounded shape that approximates a GSDs ears when they are up. Apply a lot of glue on the back of the insulation and put them in place until you get a proper fit and the glue has dried. I would try a dry run without the glue to see if you cut the insulation to a correct size and shape. The insulation is very light but sturdy, so it is ideal. Your pup will want to scratch the inserts out with his back paws, and eventually will and you will have to repeat the procedure. You can use an Elizabethan collar while the glue is drying. They could come up on their own, but if you wait too long with the type of ears your pup has, the odds of getting them up go down a lot.
 

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I tried the insulation method, it didn’t work well. I did clean his ears with alcohol before doing it. I put a generous amount of glue both on the foam and my pup’s ears, held it in position longer than a minute. Foam just won’t stick to his ears. I made him wear a cone collar to prevent him from scratching his ears, it just made him want to shake his head. I’ve tried luring him to have him play with his toys to get his mind off his ears but he wouldn’t budge. The foam ended up coming out even when I applied more glue and held it in place. Again, my pup constantly shook his head and I couldn’t get him to focus on his toys or treats.
I ended up using breathe right nose strips. It seems to be working as he only shook his head maybe once or twice. It was easier for him to focus on treats and his toys. Doesn’t seem to be bugging him at all. I guess I will continue with this method and will update this post if it helped our situation with soft ears.
The method I suggested is a lot less traumatic to the ears. I would do it now rather than wait.
 

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I know skin bond is really good stuff for use for puppy ears. You can always go to a nearby gsd breeder or a vet with experience in getting ears up to make sure you are doing things right.
 

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Hello! So I have a 7 month of gsd. Both of his ears are floppy. Sometimes they stand but eventually fall. I was told by his breeder when he was almost 6 months that I should probably tape his ears up if I want them to stand. I definitely do. He is a very healthy pup, plenty of nutrients & calcium. I struggled with wanting to “tube” his ears up. Just seemed like a lot of work and I was worried of damaging his ears. I found a lot of talk about good outcomes using “breathe strips.” I use a safe skin glue binder, Osto skin bond, to keep them to the ear for longer periods. They seem to work great. His ears stay straight up. But here’s the thing. It’s been a month now and his ears still flop once the strips fall out. I’ve been glueing them back in once they fall out (or he scratches them out) and I’m totally on board with being patient and keeping up with this process but I want to make sure I’m doing it correctly. He does sleep in a kennel at night. Wondering if that could be part of the issue. Should I put something on his ears at night to protect them from him squishing his ears against the kennel? Also, should I be letting his ears rest for a couple days in between the taped strips? Please help.
 

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I see the ear tipping on one. I would go to your breeder and have them show you how to do it. I would imagine if ears having more challenges such as being heavier - sitting in a vari kennel and getting his heavy ears smooshed may damage cartilage. I heard of a young pup damage ears going in and out if doggy door. Also just another suggesting and may have been mentioned already giving Knoxx gelatin for cartilage supplement. I’m not sure how much to give and you can find more information in the search forum on it but it may help along with the breeder helping you with ears.
 
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