Home GSD FAQ When Do German Shepherd Ears Stand Up?

When Do German Shepherd Ears Stand Up?

by David W.
German Shepherd Ears Stand Up

Don’t we just love to see a German Shepherd with its perky ears? It’s what gives them a distinctive appearance. If you have a German Shepherd pup, you’re surely eagerly waiting for it to raise its ears. It commonly occurs anywhere from eight weeks to six months. So, any German Shepherd parent would know that these adorable dogs have floppy ears when they are just puppies.

At What Age German Shepherd Ears Stand Up?

You should see your puppy’s ears sticking up when it has completed teething or when it is around 20 weeks old. Its cartilage isn’t strong enough to carry the weight of its ears. However, stronger cartilage will be developed as you give them the proper nutrients.

You’ll notice the ears pointing up as your pooch’s teething phase ends. It might mostly occur as a response to your call or noise in the surrounding area. If your German Shepherd ears stand up straight within five months after their teething phase, you’re likely to see it happen all its life.

And if your pup still has floppy ears even after reaching eight months, there’s less chance that they would stand naturally. In this case, you can contact the breeder and ask about how your pup’s littermates are doing.

Is It Bad If German Shepherd Ears Don’t Stand Up?

So, you’ve waited five months to see your puppy’s ears perk up, but there’s no sign yet. It can be a result of poor nutrition or slow development. Your German Shepherd needs abundant vitamin D, calcium, and protein. Lacking these nutrients in their diet will result in weak cartilage. Switch to better food or visit the vet for a checkup.

However, most times, floppy ears indicate non-standard genetics, and there’s nothing much you can do to rectify it. If you’re not very picky about your dog’s appearance, there’s no need to worry, even if the ears don’t stand up. They are still incredibly cute, anyway! It is not a physical disorder and won’t cause any problems in the dog.

Here are some common reasons why you might not see your German Shepherd puppies’ ears stand up:

  • Genetics

As mentioned earlier, some German Shepherds have floppy ears for their entire life because of genetics. If you want to ensure that you have a pooch with perky ears, make sure to look for parents with standing ears.

Do all German Shepherd ears stand up? No. Check your German Shepherd’s lineage if you still haven’t adopted a puppy. Even if you have already, you can know whether your pooch will have floppy or perky ears when it grows.

  • Parasites

Parasites can invade your puppy’s body in many ways, including chewing on things it should not. It can compromise their health and adversely affect their growth, including strengthening the cartilage. Regular checkups and fecal exams can help prevent or abate that problem. Your vet can give your dog deworming medicines to see that your growing furry friend is free from parasites.

  • Trauma

The first 20 weeks of your puppy’s life is a crucial time for development. Any traumatic injury to the ears can cause permanent damage and prevent the ears from growing strong enough to stand. It can be caused by a child pulling its ears and rough play among its littermates. Regularly monitor your pup and keep anyone from playing with its ears when they are in its developmental stage.

What Can You Do To Help Your German Shepherd’s Ears Stand Up?

German Shepherd puppy with floppy ears

Your pup’s ear development process is natural. But there are things you can do to help it get strong and healthy ears. These steps will also protect the ears from possible damage.

  1. Get high-quality food for your puppy to boost their development. Cheap foods usually have more fillers that contain negligible nutrients. Adding supplements is also an option, but you’d want to talk to your vet about it first.
  2. Keep the puppy away and safe from other puppies that play (bite) with their ears. It might seem like an adorable behavior at first, but once the cartilage is damaged, you wouldn’t be able to do anything to reverse it.
  3. Educate your children and everyone else at home on how to handle the puppy carefully and gently.
  4. Giving your puppy chew toys will give their head, jaw, and surrounding muscles some exercise. It can lead to better ear development. Make sure to buy durable ones, as German Shepherd pups are stronger than you think!
  5. Clean their ears gently if you notice dirt. Use a cotton ball, and NEVER stick a swab or any other cleaning tool in the canal.
  6. Keep your dog happy! A happy dog is a healthy dog. It will have fewer or no health problems if you keep the dog fit.

Ear Tape

Ear taping is a common practice that helps German Shepherds’ ears stand up. It isn’t painful but can be uncomfortable for your dog, so we recommend keeping it as the last option.

Using the tape too early or during its growing stage can harm its natural development. It’s best if you speak to the vet about it so that you don’t harm your pup.

You can consider taping if your dog’s ears are flopping even after five to six months, but not before that. However, the 7th to 8th month might be a little too late. 

Do German Shepherd Ears Stand Up Naturally? 

Yes. But that may not be true for all, as some German Shepherds are just built differently. Nevertheless, that’s no reason to be disappointed, as these animals are still adorable with their floppy ears. Their looks come second when you experience how good of a companion they can make.

Erect ears are an adult German Shepherd’s distinctive feature. But the young ones carry cute floppy ears that eventually stand up. 

Don’t panic, even if your pooch’s ears aren’t standing naturally at five months. Some take longer. Remember that floppy ears do not affect their health negatively.

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