German Shepherds are very popular with dog lovers these days. They can be faithful companions even when they are at home, as they get along well with young children. At the same time, they have often appeared as watch dogs. Some also actively conduct representatives of this breed of dog at exhibitions, which is why it is especially important for such people to observe the ears of a young pup.
In this article we answer a very common question “When does a German Shepherd’s ears stand up?” and explain the possible causes that prevent their ears from standing up.
Development of the German Shepherd’s Ear
Like all other dog breeds, the German Shepherd’s ears are not fully developed from birth. At an early age, they are quite soft cartilage that is very firm to the puppy’s head.
After a while, their ears begin to grow with them and get bigger and bigger. We cannot miss the moment when the ear is formed, because after reaching a certain stage of development the cartilage is transformed into an elastic plate that can no longer be changed.
When Does a German Shepherd’s Ears Stand Up?
Many note that from a young age a German Shepherd puppy will have an ear that is much larger than a head. This is due to the activity of absolutely all parts of the pup’s auricle. From around two to four months old, cartilage cells release large amounts of collagen and elastin, substances that promote ear growth. Thus, the development of the ears is ahead of the overall development of the dog.
At the first stage of development, a shepherd puppy’s owner need not panic because of the shape of their ears. At this age, the cartilage must be in this position. One of the features that cause panic in inexperienced owners is the initial development of the dog’s ears, and then its fall. This phenomenon is directly related to the change in puppy teeth. So it turns out that by 2 months of age the ears can rise and fall again in a month. This is a natural process and nothing can be done with it so don’t worry ahead of time.
By the time the puppy is 4 months old, the production of growth-promoting substances decreases dramatically. At the age of 5 months, it is practically reduced to zero. During this time, the auricle acquires a certain structure and density. There is no need to worry if the cartilage is not standing at this point. Maybe they go up 30-45 days after the due date – this is still considered normal. Of course, when the dog is 8 months old and their ears are still floppy, you need to sound the alarm.
Many people make a mistake and watch cartilage formation since the day a German Shepherd is born, but this is too early to start. Bear in mind that each dog develops in their own way, so you shouldn’t have your pup examined too often.
It is best if you just have fun growing up your pet, teaching the team, and playing with them while you oversee the dog’s healthy diet.
How to Make a German Shepherd’s Ears Stand Up
To ensure that the ears stand up, it is good to provide the German Shepherd dog with all the vitamins necessary for their formation and to follow simple procedures for better education. We propose to consider the most important.
- Many dog breeders supplement the standard puppy ration with bone meal, various fish and kefir.
- It is advisable to massage the dog’s ear, which is necessary for proper blood flow and strengthening of the cartilage. But this process should be carried out carefully so as not to harm the pet.
- The owner may make sudden noises or rustles on purpose. So the puppy will strain their ears and stand up to catch the sound.
- Monitor the puppy’s health. In the event of any discrepancies that you notice (e.g. irritation, allergies), you should immediately take your pet to a qualified veterinarian for consultation.
How to make a dog’s ears stand up
Reasons Why the Ears Won’t Stand Up
As mentioned above, if the dog is of a certain age and the ears are not raised, this can be due to several factors. It is very important not to miss the moment and go to the clinic to see specialists. The vet will examine the dog, ask you a series of questions, and then determine the exact reason the ears are not standing up.
The most common causes of this discrepancy are as follows:
- Injury to the ears when the puppy is born.
- Diseases that are directly related to the ears.
- Allergic reaction of the body to certain products.
- Earlier diseases up to ear formation.
- Improper dog conditions, including improper nutrition.
- Lack of essential vitamins for ear development.
- Use or lack of organic feeding in the diet.
- The parents of a dog suffer from hormonal disorders.
- The puppy’s size and weight do not match its age.
- The emergence of a stressful situation affecting the dog.
- Bad inheritance.
- Reaction to vaccination or its lack of. This allows your pet’s body to fight one of the viruses.
What to Do If the Ears Won’t Stand Up
First of all, it makes sense to contact a qualified veterinarian. Only a professional can pinpoint the causes of a similar problem and suggest a solution. Additionally, there are a number of ways you can do at home to help a German Shepherd’s ears rise and shape themselves with proper shaping. They should also be discussed with the vet.
Most vets claim that if the ears are not up by 8 months of age, they will never rise. In this case, the only solution is to have a surgical procedure that involves placing artificial implants in the puppy to get the desired shape. Of course, the problem will remain, but the dog will have the necessary qualities to be able to participate in various shows.
Always remember that not all German Shepherds’ ears stand up naturally, and therefore track the dog’s ear development regularly.