Why this subject, because we have been slammed on the blogs for having a “How to tape ears” section on our web page. In addition, having erect ears is an important part of the overall health of shepherds. Comments posted on blogs concerning the ear taping page included: “Keystone must have really bad ears”, “all their dogs ears have to be taped”, etc. These are all mindless comments.
The reason this page will remain on my web page is because I believe, my method is the absolute best for assisting shepherd ears to stand correctly. We sell puppies worldwide and the web page is beneficial for customers if they are unable to come out to our kennel for my assistance in taping their puppy’s ears.
I could have password protected this page, but I believe in helping people even if that means assisting my competitors. More than that, I understand the health risk to shepherds if their ears do not stand erect. Floppy ears could result in chronic ear infections, as well as, acute-severe ear infections that can enter the brain, thus resulting brain damage and death.
It is somewhat rare for us to have to tape ears. We go months sometimes almost a year before having to tape ears. Anecdotally, I cannot link any specific lineage to it, but have seen more of an occurrence with large males. Presumably because their ears are larger with more mass and, therefore, more likely to have trouble standing.
All breeders, I can comfortably say have at least the occasional problem with ears standing. So it remains a minor problem in the German Shepherd community, minor because it can always be corrected if approached before 20 weeks of age. If the ears are not standing by 8 months then they will likely never stand. Therefore, new puppy owners are responsible with working with their breeder in making sure their puppy’s ear stand. If you seek assistance from your veterinarian, query them to make sure they know what they are doing. We have had vets permanently ruin shepherd ears by taping them up like Doberman Pinscher ears after surgery. Also, we have had vets recommend massaging the ears on a daily basis, which is the absolute worse thing you could do because the cartilage has to stiffen for the ears to stand. Massaging the ears would break down the cartilage ensuring that they would never stand. Be careful about where you seek help.
These first two blogs were my attempt to address some unfair criticism of Keystone. The next blogs will be more instructive and hopefully of more interest. I must go now to teach our Saturday morning Canine Good Citizen Class.
Please post your questions and I promise, I will provide my opinion.
thanks for this, i find it very important.