When & Why Do German Shepherds’ Ears Stand Up? THE COMPLETE GUIDE

German shepherd dog laying on his side on a floor

German Shepherd’s ears are quite remarkable, as they can be lifted up, giving the appearance that the dog is listening! This, along with the breed’s distinctive facial features, make the German Shepherd an appealing choice for police work, military service, and search and rescue operations.

Ever wonder why do German Shepherds’ ears stand up? The answer is likely hereditary, due to genetics. There are plenty of varying opinions when it comes to why dogs’ ears stand up. Some people say it’s to hold in more air that builds up in their ears, while others say it’s a natural defense mechanism. It’s certainly essential to have all the knowledge about your dog’s ears, if you’re curious to know more, then keep reading!

Why Do German Shepherd’s Ears Stand Up?

German Shepherds have pointed ears because of their flexible and stronger cartilage, which causes them to stand up and point. Besides, puppies’ ears have soft cartilage, which gives them a floppy appearance. When pups are about 5 months old and have finished teething, their ears should stand up.

Are German Shepherds’ ears supposed to be up?

German Shepherd ears are a distinctively noticeable trait of this herding breed. German Shepherd pups typically are born with their ears down, and they are supposed to be up between the ages of 4 weeks and 6 months.

When they reach that age, though, you could find that your pup’s ears aren’t perfectly up and standing in a variety of positions, one ear up, the other down, one ear this way, and one that way. When this happens, there’s no need to be concerned as it is a fully normal and common natural process, as their ears may require some time to build up the strength to stand on their own.

Are German Shepherd puppies born with pointy ears?

A fair few of German Shepherd puppies are born with pointy ears,  but they usually droop as the puppy grows older. The ears may perk up again when the dog is an adult, but not always. Some breeders believe that the pointy ears are a sign of good health and vigor in the puppy and therefore look for this trait when breeding German Shepherds.

Do German Shepherd ears stand up naturally?

Generally, German Shepherd dogs are born with their ears down and should naturally stand up before the age of 4-5 months; however, some puppies have their ears up by 4 weeks of age; thus, if your GDS dog’s ears aren’t up by the time they’re 4 months old, it’s necessary to take them to the vet to get them checked so that they can help them come up as it may be a symptom of a health issue.

When do german shepherds’ ears stand up?

Sadly, this is the situation. Between 8 weeks and 6 months of age, German Shepherd puppies’ ears should develop. Therefore, we strongly advise puppy owners to take a keen eye on the ears of their puppies if they are not up after the dog has done teething, which usually happens between 16 and 20 weeks of age but varies from dog to dog.

German shepherd puppy ears stages

German shepherds’ pointed ears are a sign of their hunting instincts. German shepherd pups have it when they are in the early stages of development. One interpretation of their pointed ears is that they are intelligent and have the capacity to listen to their masters.

German Shepherd Puppies go through different development stages of their ears. The first stage is when the ears are flat against the head. The second stage is when the ears start to stand up but are still floppy. The third stage is when the ears are erect and the fourth stage is when the ears are fully developed.

Can German Shepherds have floppy ears?

German Shepherd floppy ears are a genetic mutation. However, not all German Shepherds have floppy ears. The ears are typically floppy when the puppies are young, but as the dogs become bigger, they will stand up straight.

How To Fix A German Shepherd’s Floppy Ears

For German Shepherds, floppy ears are a very prevalent issue. Genetics, particular foods, parasites, and even allergies are just a few of the possible causes. Nevertheless, there are different solutions and precautions that you can consider; some of the most common ones are as follows:

Feed a Healthy Diet and Supplements

Your German shepherd’s floppy ears can be treated and prevented by feeding them healthy food diet and supplements. German shepherds should consume a lot of protein, fat, and carbohydrates in their diets. Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E are supplements that can aid in preventing floppy ears.


This is an excellent supplement for treating your German Shepherd’s floppy ears. Additionally, Glucosamine is a supplement that can help to improve the structure and function of joints. It may also help to reduce inflammation.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an important nutrient for German Shepherds and can help to fix their floppy ears. This vitamin is essential for healthy skin and connective tissue, and can also help to boost the immune system. If your German Shepherd has floppy ears, make sure to give them plenty of vitamin C to help them stay healthy and strong.

Don’t Add Calcium!

Adding extra calcium to your German shepherd’s diet will not fix their floppy ears. While calcium is important for strong bones, it will not change the shape of your dog’s ears.

Prevent and Treat Parasites

If you notice your German shepherd’s ears are looking floppy, it could be a sign of a parasite infection. Parasites can cause a number of problems for dogs, including skin irritation, hair loss, and anemia.

If you think your dog may have a parasite infection, you can start to clean his ears at home at least once per week to prevent the buildup of dirt and bacteria. Wipe the inside of the ear with a damp cloth or cotton ball, or take them to the vet for a check-up. There are a number of treatments available that can help to clear up the infection and prevent it from coming back.

Encourage Exercising of the Ear Muscles

There are exercises that you can do to help fix your German Shepherd’s floppy ears. One way is to encourage your dog to use its ear muscles more. This can be done by hiding treats around the house and having your dog search for them.

You can also try using a toy that makes noise, such as a squeaky toy, to get your dog to use its ears more. By doing these exercises, you will help strengthen your dog’s ear muscles and eventually fix the problem of floppy ears.

Prevent Trauma

Trauma might result in floppy ears in your German Shepherd. It’s crucial to keep the ears from trauma in order to prevent this. Pulling a dog on a rope, hitting them with a baseball, or dragging them behind you on a bike are all activities that could cause ear trauma. To prevent floppy ears from happening, you can try to avoid situations that may result in this condition.


Many German Shepherd owners choose to tap their dog’s ears in order to fix floppy ears. Taping dog ears is a simple process that involves gently tapping the base of the ear in order to make it stand up straight. Many owners find that this is an effective way to fix their dog’s floppy ears.

Is dog ear taping cruel?

Some people believe that taping a dog’s ears is cruel, as it is often done to prevent floppy ears. However, many breeders and veterinarians believe that it is a necessary practice in order to ensure the dog’s health and well-being.

There are many risks associated with floppy ears, including infection and the development of even more serious conditions. Taping may be painful for your dog, but it is a necessary part of keeping your dog healthy.

Does taping German Shepherd ears work?

While there is no guarantee that this will work, it is worth a try. All you need is some medical tape and cotton balls. First, put a cotton ball in each ear. Then, take the medical tape and wrap it around the top of the ear, making sure to not pull too tight. You may need to experiment with different ways of wrapping the tape, but eventually, you should find a method that works well for your dog.

How to Tape a Floppy-Eared German Shepherd’s Ears Upright

German Shepherd’s ears are large and upright and have a significant role in the dog’s overall appearance. German Shepherd puppies’ ears may alternately stand up and flop down in the beginning until they have the strength to stand absolutely upright.

As a result, if your german shepherd puppy’s ears are floppy, you can use taping to support them so that they stand in an upright position. The steps listed below will assist you with taping the ears of your puppy:

1. Gently Place the Foam Roller Inside Your Dog’s Ear

To tape your dog’s ears, gently place the foam roller inside their ear and hold it in place. You can then use a piece of tape to secure the foam roller in place. Be sure to not tape the ear too tightly, as this can cause discomfort. You may need to experiment with different techniques to find what works best for your dog.

2. Make a Popsicle Support

To make Popsicle support, tape your German shepherd’s ears to the popsicle stick. Make sure the tape is secure, but not too tight. Repeat with the other ear.

3. Remove and Inspect Their Ears Weekly

It is important to inspect your dog’s ears weekly. This can be done by gently pulling on the ears, looking at them from different angles, and examining them in natural light. It is also recommended that you take your puppy to the vet if you notice that the ears are infected or have any redness. If the ears appear to be wet, this could indicate a problem.

4. When to Stop Taping Their Ears

When to stop taping German shepherd ears really depends on the individual dog. Some dogs need their ears taped for only a few weeks while others may need them taped for several months. The best way to determine when to stop taping your dog’s ears is to consult with your veterinarian.

How much does it cost to tape a dog’s ears?

The price of taping your dog’s ears will depend on several factors, including where you live, the size of your dog, and the brand of tape used. The most common brand of tape that is used for this purpose is Vetwrap, which can cost between $15 and $30 per roll.

Surgical Implants

If you have a floppy-eared German shepherd, you may be able to get surgical ear implants to help improve their appearance. The implants can help to stiffen the ear and make it stand up more erect. This can be a cosmetic improvement for your dog and may also help to improve their hearing.

While implants can work wonders, they are not a long-term solution. Implants will eventually need to be removed and replaced with new ones. If you choose to have your dog’s ears surgically implanted, be sure to discuss the pros and cons of this procedure with your veterinarian.

There are many different types of implants available and each has its own benefits and risks. A common way that people choose to support their floppy-eared German shepherd puppies is by using tape as well as ear surgery.

Final words

German Shepherds are known for their large, erect ears. While these ears are one of the most distinguishing features of the breed, they can also be a source of health problems. German Shepherds are susceptible to a variety of ear infections, which can be painful and frustrating for both the dog and the owner.

If you think your German Shepherd may have an ear infection, it’s important to take them to the vet right away. With prompt treatment and extra care, most ear infections can be resolved quickly and without any long-term problems.

What do you think?

Written by Jack

Jack is the founder of Germanshepherdsfamily, a german shepherds specific website where you'll find everything you need to know if you are a true lover of the German Shepherd breed!

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