All German Shepherds have floppy ears when they’re born. This is because dogs don’t have a lot of cartilage in their ears when they’re born. A German Shephard usually has pointed ears because it takes after its ancestor, the wolf.
However, the cartilage first needs to grow. This occurs during a puppy’s teething period. As the teeth start to protrude from the gums, the excess calcium forms cartilage in the ear. As a result, the puppy is able to hold the weight of their ears up easier.
It’s possible to find adult German Shepherds with floppy ears, too. Sometimes it’s behavioral. A dog may cock an ear as a way to better investigate a sound. It may also be a behavioral reaction to express fear or anxiety.
Some German Shepherds become injured. If their ear is damaged, then it may no longer have the strength to hold the ear up and in place.
A normal, healthy, German Shephard, however, should have pointed ears.
Table of Contents
- Do All German Shepherds Ears Stand Up?
- Is It Bad If German Shepherd Ears Don’t Stand Up?
- Why Do Some German Shepherds Ears Not Stand Up?
- When Should I Tape My German Shepherds Ears?
- Will A German Shepherd Lab Mix Ears Stand Up
- Why Does My Dog Have One Ear Up And One Ear Down?
- How Do You Get A Puppy’s Ears To Stand Up?
- How Do You Tell If A Puppy’s Ears Will Stand Up?
Do All German Shepherds Ears Stand Up?
Pointed ears are genetically encoded in a German Shepherd. They had this gene passed down from their ancestor. Wolves have pointed ears that are also floppy when they’re puppies. Just like German Shepherds, their ears start to become pointed as they grow older.
Pointed ears are likely inherited because it allows dogs to better hear their prey and each other. It also keeps their ears protected from water and infections that can occur when water is trapped in the ear.
The only German Shepherds that don’t have pointed ears are those who had a genetic mutation, those who were injured, and those who have another breed mixed into their ancestry. It’s possible that your dog may inherit a recessive gene or a damaged gene that inhibits the growth of cartilage in their ears.
As a result, your dog may never have pointed ears.
Some may need to help their dogs reach that pointed state because they’ve been injured. Certain procedures and treatments can be performed to help keep your dog’s pointed.
Finally, there’s a chance that your German Shepherd may not be a fully blooded German Shepherd. Perhaps there was some Poodle or Lab parent somewhere in its ancestry. If that’s the case, then the gene for floppy ears resides within your pet. There’s always a chance that it may be expressed when your dog is born.
Is It Bad If German Shepherd Ears Don’t Stand Up?
If your dog is otherwise healthy, then it’s perfectly fine if your German Shepherd’s ears don’t stand up. It’s just the role of genetics. It may indicate that your German Shepherd isn’t as purebred as was originally thought.
However, it may indicate a nourishment problem in your puppy. Most puppies can start to have their ears stand up anywhere from a month to seven months. Some may take even longer than that. If your puppy seems to be taking a long time and there isn’t any progress, then nutrition may be to blame.
They may not be receiving enough Vitamin C or calcium. You should speak with your vet about ordering dog food that supports the needs of your German Shepherd. Once they receive the right nutrition, you may notice that their ears perk up.
It may also be a sign that the ears are being abused. If you have other puppies around, then supervise them when they play. Puppies love to wrestle and play around. They’re also delicate at that stage. If another puppy bites the ear or rips it, then their ear may never recover to the point where it can fully stand up.
The same goes for small children. Younger children have a hard time understanding that they need to be gentle with puppies. They may play too hard and damage the puppy’s ear.
To ensure their ears are able to stand up safely, you should monitor playtime between puppies and young children.
The only consequence of having floppy ears for a German Shepherd is that they may suffer from ear infections more often. You can prevent this by gently drying their ears with a soft towel after bathing them. You don’t want to place the towel, or anything else, down their ear canal.
Why Do Some German Shepherds Ears Not Stand Up?
Some German Shepherds don’t have pointed ears because of their genetics. They may have a floppy-eared dog somewhere in their ancestry. It may also be due to another genetic malfunction that kept their ear from being able to build up cartilage.
Finally, it may be due to injury or malnourishment.
When Should I Tape My German Shepherds Ears?
You shouldn’t tape your German Shepherd’s ears because taping rarely works when the problem is a genetic one. However, if you want to try taping your German Shepherd’s ears, then you shouldn’t do it any earlier than a year after they’re born.
You need to give your puppy plenty of time to grow and build the cartilage in their ears naturally. Taping prematurely may damage their ears.
Will A German Shepherd Lab Mix Ears Stand Up
According to Canine Weekly, it’s possible that your German Shepherd and Labrador mix may have pointed ears. It depends on what gene the puppy inherits. You have a 50/50 chance if the parents were a German Shephard and Labrador. If you have a second or third-generation puppy that comes from two mixed parents, then the chance may be lower or higher depending on their own genetics.
If your dog does inherit the gene for pointed ears, then they may favor their German Shepherd side.
Why Does My Dog Have One Ear Up And One Ear Down?
This may indicate that the cartilage is growing faster in one ear than the other. It’s normal. It may also behavioral. The dog may cock one ear instead of both to better hear a noise.
How Do You Get A Puppy’s Ears To Stand Up?
You can attempt to tape your German Shepherd’s ears in order to get them to stand up. However, this rarely works. There’s not much you can do if your dog’s genetics codes for floppy ears over pointed ears.
How Do You Tell If A Puppy’s Ears Will Stand Up?
The best way to tell if a puppy’s ears will stand up is to examine its parents. If both parents have pointed ears, then there’s a good chance that their ears will stand up, too. However, you should also inquire about the longer ancestral history of the puppy. If you discover that a floppy-eared dog is in that line, then there’s always a chance that your puppy may also inherit floppy ears.