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Getting Your German Shepherds Ears Up by Sandy Ayer

Getting Your German Shepherds Ears Up
 by: Sandy Ayer
Occasionally a German Shepherd puppy will need some help in getting his/her ears to stand up. If new puppy owners glue the ears up-according to instructions and length of time-AND if other dogs at home are not biting the pups ears ....99.9 % of the time the ears will go up.
If you choose not to glue or are not persistent, you will still have a beautiful, wonderful dog but he/she may not look like a GSD. Most will think he/she looks like a mixed breed. I LOVE mixed breeds too! - but for a GSD to 'look like a GSD' he/she needs to have ears up!
We do not recommend the 'old' way to get the ears up which was to 'tape' the ears up. The puppies do not like the tape and a lot of the time will try to get it off; you would have to take the tape off every few days to clean their ears as no air can get into their ears and the pup could get an ear infection; and it takes way more time to do.
We suggest waiting to 'glue' till the pups are 4 1/2 months old. We like to hear from our puppy owners if they have any question about when the time is right to glue ears. If the puppies ears are moving around, up and down, we may advise to wait till the puppy is 5 months to glue. Puppys ears do go up and down while they are teething.
The likelihood is usually that the puppies ears would go up anyway on their own before Puppy is 7 months old but we would rather be sure, not wait, and not take any chances, because it may then be too late! If you wait untill the puppy is 6 months old and they did need help, there may not be enough time left to get them up! The general consensus is that if the puppies ears are not up by the time the pup is 7 months old they will not go up at all. In rare instances though it is still possible to get a pups ears up till they are 1 year old. So if you are reading this and you have an older pup whose ears are down it cant hurt to try! For people who have one of our pups, who's ears need help, we do say to glue at 4 1/2 months old but you will need to start trying to locate the glue around the time Puppy is 4 months old because it could take some time to get it.
If the puppies ears at 4 months old are quite flat, have no base to them and are not moving around at all- up and down- they should be helped to go up sooner. We would say to glue early- at 4 months old which would mean locating the glue even sooner.
Locate Glue: We use Tear Mender Fabric Glue. No other 'fabric glue' will work. It is a really neat glue similar to when one gets like a credit card in the mail and the card is 'glued' to the paper. Slightly rubbery. When wet looks like Elmer's Glue but thinner. Easily peels right off your fingers. It is usually available at Walgreen's Drug Stores, some fabric stores and also some craft shops or some Ace Tru-Value Hardware stores. I recommend using your phone book to call the stores rather than driving all over town as it can be difficult to locate but easy to locate on line. On line purchase will then cost a few dollars more for the shipping. Tear Mender by Val-o-Chicago. Or purchase at Care-a-Lot dog catalogue, 1-800-343-7680 or .carealot.com item #1768 is 3.99, plus the shipping. A good time to order x-mats, nyla bones and balls too.
If you have been grooming your Puppy and clipping his nails and cleaning your Puppys ears on a regular basis and taught your puppy to sit in front of you while you do that he should sit well for you while you glue his ears with no problem.
HOW TO GLUE: Shake glue well. NEVER pour the glue from the bottle directly on to puppies ears! We recommend putting some of the glue on to a paper plate or piece of note book paper, etc. The ears will be glued together over the puppies head like an Indian tee-pee. Using your finger, put a small amount of glue in a verticle line on the outside/back side of the ear leather- edge of the ear from just slightly above the base to the tip of his ear.(edge on the top of puppies head- over forehead--NOT the outer up and down edges toward pups shoulder sides) Press and hold for 30 seconds even though the glue will appear to hold after about 3 seconds.
Their ears will stay glued for about 1 month. Do not attempt to take them down or 'pull' them apart- prior to their growing out or their coming unglued. If they start to come apart any sooner, and you can tell the ears are not up yet, you would not want to take down the ears if you are able to simply add a bit more glue to the ear with your finger. The ear hair/glue will start to grow out after about 1 month. After the 1 month if the Pups ear hair has almost grown out- to where the ears are almost apart- the remining hair can be carefully trimmed so the ears are unglued. Try not to cut away hardly any of the hair. You want hair there for re-gluing, if neccessary. Leave puppys ears alone (unglued) for 2-3 days to see how they do on their own. If they are not staying up after the 2-3 days then re-glue.
After 1-2 months puppies ears should be up but we have heard of one person that had to glue for 3 1/2 months to get a tip up. Im sure there could be the stubborn case where it could take even longer, but I would not quit - till you talked with your pups Breeder or call me if you can not reach your breeder.
If you have a pup from us whos ears need assistance going up- leave the ears glued up till they come down on their own AND keep in contact with us about length of time to leave them glued.
Do not give up! Persistence - when necessary- will pay off. After the first time you do this it will only take probably less than a minute to glue the ears together one time a month. It is very easy! -if you have taught your puppy to sit still in front of you for grooming!
When you just need to get a 'tip' of an ear up or for standard coat GSD's - you can use a piece of paper towel roll cardboard- cut to smaller shape of the inner ear. It should be bit narrower than his inner ear. It should go almost to the tip of his inner ear.(round the corners of the tall triangle shape). Use just a thin amount of glue around the edges of the cardboard.
If you feel it is necessary, when you are finished gluing there is an Adhesive Remover in the catalogue or from most drug stores. I have never had to use it though.
We always advise people not to let their puppy play unsupervised with other dogs and puppies while the ears are going up- even with out the glue! - as when dogs play they will bite heads, necks, and ears! That could damage the ears causing them to not go up ever. Also if you have glued your puppies ears, rough play could tear apart your puppies glued ears hurting your puppy and leaving no hair to re-glue to.
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