GSD Puppy Ears: Will they stand?? – The Owner Obsession

I’ve decided that I and probably a lot of other people obsess or have obsessed about whether their GSD’s puppy’s ears were going to stand or not.  When will that ear go up?  Will it ever go up?  Should I tape it?  Some puppies have their ears go up right away, others are late bloomers.  Lizzie was a late bloomer.  At six months, I started to worry.  Her left ear just would NOT go stand.

The floppy ear

So, I started to panic.  I searched blogs and to see what to do.  So many people said to tape it, and if it wasn’t up by 8 months it was all over.  So I panicked some more, and when she turned seven months, I taped up her ear.  I followed instructions like they said on the website and there it was.  One taped ear.

the taped ear

So for about 5 days, her ear was taped, and I was all proud of myself for getting that done.  This for sure would avert the disaster of a GSD with a floppy ear!  Right? MMMmmmmm…..not quite.  On day six, I was with Lizzie at my friend’s house and she was shaking her head a lot, so I thought I’d better take off the tape and check it out.  To my utter HORROR, not only was the ear not standing, it fell like a wet noodle.  100 times worse than it was.  It was awful.  It made a lab ear look hard.  I literally started crying.  I was so upset that I had destroyed my dog’s ear.  My friend so aptly pointed out that I should have been happy with the ear the way it was and wouldn’t I want it to just go back to it’s previous floppy state?  YES!  I felt HORRIBLE.

The next day, I decided I would just have to live with it, but also started researching if this could be fixed.  And just so you know, yes, it can.  There is apparently a new technology called permastay that pretty simply repairs broken ears. If you’re interested, here it is  I decided that if it was really that awful looking, I could have the damage I had inflicted on my poor pup reversed.  So, let it go.  And really, what does it matter if it is floppy.  I finally decided to accept my lop eared puppy as she was.

perfectly normal, healthy ears

And as soon as I let go of the whole floppy ear GSD obsession, guess what.  Up the darn thing went all on its own, right around 8 months.  Literally one day it looked like a piece of lasagna, the next day…well, there you have it.  That picture was taken the day it decided to stand up.

SO…In conclusion.  Here is my advice to any first time GSD owners, or anyone else who obsesses over the darn ears.  Just leave it alone and nature will run its course.  Give them good nutrition, especially during teething time.  Knuckle bones are great.  That ear may go up and down and just act crazy for a while, but don’t worry about it.  I wouldn’t even tape up the poor ear.  They aren’t dobermans.  The ear isn’t cropped, it’s just genetic.  And if you are one of the people who has the rare puppy where it doesn’t go up, or the ear is injured.  Just go get the permastay and fix it up if you want to.  That is also my advice to myself.  Next time, I will just LEAVE IT ALONE.

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