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German Shepherd Common Ear Questions

5 Common Questions About German Shepherd’s Ears

I get asked many questions about German Shepherds ears frequently, and it’s always usually the same five. So without further ado, here are the top 5 questions I get asked about Geman Shepherds and their wonderful ears. Enjoy!

German Shepherd funny ears


Do German Shepherds Ears Stand Up On Their Own?

The first most common question I get asked about German Shepherds is “do their ears stand up naturally?”

The answer is yes. German Shepherd’s are one of the few breeds where this is the case.

German Shepherds are born with floppy ears. Anywhere from 6 weeks to 14 weeks of age the ears start to stand on their own.

Usually by the time the dog is 6 to 7 months of age their ears are permanently upright.

It is very important to know that you should not pet your German Shepherd puppy’s ears, as this can damage the cartilage and cause them to have partially or fully floppy ears instead of an erect ear as expected.

Ears being fully erect is a genetic trait of the breed, however every once in a while a German Shepherd puppy may have a genetic defect and so their ears will not become fully erect. This is called a “soft ear.” If this is the case, don’t worry your German Shepherd is fine, it just got unlucky in ear gene department. However since this is a genetic inheritance, the dog should not be bred as it is likely it’s offspring will have “soft ears” also.


My German Shepherd Puppy’s Ears Were Up, But One Or Both Went Back Down, Is This Normal?

This is the second most common GSD ear question I get asked.

The answer to this question is yes as well.

German Shepherds puppies are born with floppy ears. Anywhere from 6 weeks to 14 weeks of age the ears start to stand on their own. However they can go up and down frequently and this is perfectly normal.

This happens when your puppy is teething. In fact it is known as the “funny ear stage.” The position of the ears can change daily, so get lots of pictures of your puppy while you can when they are going through this time, as it is extremely cute. The teething time-frame is different for every dog, however most are done teething by the time they are 7 months old.

Here is a picture of my late German Shepherd Vegas as a puppy when she was going through the funny ear stages.

Vegas Funny Ear Stage


My German Shepherds Ears Never Stood Upright, Should I Tape Them?

If your dog’s ears do not stand up naturally, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT tape their ears yourself to try to get them to stand up permanently.  This is rarely successful and usually causes problems including injuries to their ears.

If your puppy is over 7 months old and their ears are not standing, then take your dog to the veterinarian to have them check if they are done teething. If they are done teething and you want to try taping the ears, then have the vet do it. DO NOT attempt the taping yourself. However please be aware that taping the ears of GSD’s is rarely successful since “soft ears” are genetically inherited.


Can Anything Besides Genetics Cause My German Shepherd Puppy’s Ears Not To Stand?

Yes, damage to the cartilage of the ear can cause the ear to not stand upright. There are many reasons this happens, but the most common are:

  1. Other puppies or dogs biting or tugging on the ear while playing.
  2. People, especially children that play or rub on the puppy’s ears.
  3. The puppy laying with its head against a wall or interior of a crate regularly while sleeping.

Bottom line, as hard as it is to do, leave your puppy’s ears alone to avoid any damage to the cartilage so your GSD’s ears can stand tall.


My GSD Puppy’s Ears Are Upright And Huge, Will They Ever Grow Into Them?

Yes they will in time. They are going to look like Dumbo for a while though, so enjoy it.

Here is are a couple pictures of my late German Shepherd Vegas when she was going through her big ear stage. It took her several months, but she finally grew into them.

big ear stage 2big ear stage

I hope this helped answer all your questions and concerns regarding your German Shepherds ears. If not please post a comment below and let me know of any other questions you may have.


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