7 Ways to Fix Floppy German Shepherd Puppies Ears

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I receive a lot of questions from worried GSC readers and from the clients I work with about floppy German Shepherd puppies ears.

Since it’s such an important topic, I decided to address this issue in a post to answer all the questions.  And give tips on how to solve this “problem” all in one place.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • 7 stages of German Shepherd puppies ears.
  • Why timing is everything, but why you shouldn’t panic too soon.
  • My number one way to naturally support GSD puppies ears.
  • 6 other ways to help their ears develop beautifully.

And you’ll see some feedback from German Shepherd Corner’s Facebook group, who’ve had amazing results with my Chew, chew, and chew method! 

Here’s a quick taster of the kind of feedback on my Chew, chew, chew method…

One of the most distinctive features of the German Shepherd Dog is their signature pointy ears.  It’s part of what gives them their regal looks and symbolizes the alertness they are famous for.

Of course, the German Shepherd isn’t born with upright ears. When they’re born, their ears are floppy, and over time, their ears develop as they grow.

And eventually, the cartilage perks up, giving them their signature pointy structure.

So it’s only natural for German Shepherd owners like you to want the best for your German Shepherd’s ears.

5 Common Questions about German Shepherd Puppy Ears

Before we get into some natural ways you can support your German Shepherd puppy’s ears, here are some common questions folks ask me about ears.

At What Age do German Shepherd Puppies Ears Stand up?

Your puppy’s ears can stand up anywhere from 8 weeks to 8 months. And generally, they should be standing up by the time your puppy has finished teething.

One of my males was not even through teething, and his ear cartilage was upright and ready to position correctly.

On the other hand, his two littermates still had floppy ears by the time his ears were upright.

Using teething as a benchmark is inaccurate because of the wide variations in development, even between littermates.

So I prefer to play it safe and say 8 months of age is the cut off before you should start intervening.

How Do You Know if Your Dog’s Ears Will Stand Up?

Your dog’s ears should stand up in good time in a perfect world with ethical breeders who don’t breed for looks but rather for breed preservation and barring ear trauma.

But as a rule of thumb, if your puppy’s ear cartilage has perked up, even a little, this is a good sign that they are developing and the cartilage is getting stronger.

Do Some German Shepherds Have Floppy Ears?

If your German Shepherd puppy has been bred for breed preservation and not for looks, you can expect your puppy’s ears to stand up.

According to breed standards, it is considered a “fault” if a German Shepherd has floppy ears.

In short, a GSD will only have floppy ears if something has gone wrong in terms of breeding, health, or trauma, and I’ll get into each of these further down.

Why Do German Shepherd Puppies Go Ears Up then Down?

It’s common for a pup’s ears to perk up and then droop again within a few weeks.  So, don’t let this alarm you. This is a sign that the cartilage and muscles are developing normally.

And this can happen several times during teething when the adult teeth are pushing through.

Although as I mentioned above, some puppies will not experience droopy ears during teething.

In my experience, if the ears perk up once and then droop again, they will come back up.  So, in this case, just relax and wait for your pup to finish teething.

Some uneducated sources say this has to do with their bodies using calcium for bone and teeth development.

This is incorrect information because, in fact, their ears are cartilage and not bone, so calcium is not a factor in upright ears – in fact, calcium supplementation can cause serious health issues.

In reality, this up and down see-saw of your puppy’s ears has to do with the development of the Temporalis Muscle, which I’ll get into a little further down, so keep reading.

When Will My Pup’s Ears Perk Up and Stay Up?

After your puppy has finished teething, their ears will perk up and stay up for good.

But as I mentioned, using teething as a yardstick is not ideal because puppy development does vary slightly.

So, by all means, keep your puppy’s teething in mind, but don’t start panicking too soon.

Speaking of panicking…

Don’t Panic too Soon

Floppy German Shepherd Puppies Ears

Don’t panic too soon about floppy German Shepherd Puppies Ears

New German Shepherd owners often jump the gun and become stressed about their puppy’s ears way too soon.

By that I mean their puppy is only 3 or 4 months old, and they’re already flustered about their puppy’s ears.

If this is you, my advice is to be patient.

Messing around with your dog’s ears too soon can cause long-term damage.

Timing is Everything

The opposite side of the coin is that some owners realize too late that their German Shepherd puppies ears need fixing.

Usually, if a pup’s ears are not up past 8 months, chances are they’re not ever going to perk up.

Although, if you read on you’ll see, even at the age of 9 months, supporting ears to perk up is totally possible.

Note: I have chatted with hundreds of GSD owners over the years and have come to the conclusion that taping is not the only way to help those ears perk up after 8 months.

Please see the section on chewing for more information and results from readers of German Shepherd Corner.

There have also been cases where taping after 8 months has been successful (see the section on taping further down).

German Shepherd Puppy Ear Stages

I haven’t found a formal breakdown of German Shepherd Puppy Ear Stages, and I believe this is because the development of muscles and cartilage varies between puppies.

And as a GSD puppy owner, the last thing I want to do is cause you to lose hope because your puppy’s ears don’t look or act like they should at a certain age.

But since this is such an important topic…

I’ve broken down the most common ear stages and positions we see in our breed…

Please keep in mind that these stages are highly variable from puppy to puppy. Use this only as a rough guide and never as anything set in stone.

The Teensy Ear Stage

You can expect “Teensy Ears” to develop slowly from birth to 7 weeks.

Teensy Ears - Birth to 7 Weeks

Teensy Ears – Birth to 7 Weeks

The Side Flop Ear Stage

From roughly 7 weeks to 10 weeks, you’ll see your GSD puppy’s ears do “The Side Flop” – no, it’s not some weird dance from days gone by!

Your pup’s ears are developing step-by-step!

The Side Flop - 7 to 9 Weeks of Age

The Side Flop! Yes! I promise your ears will perk up in good time!

The Flying Nun Ear Stage

Yikes! “The Flying Nun” – 10 to 14 weeks. It’s starting to feel like I’m naming movies from days-gone-by!

But really, check out this picture and tell me it doesn’t look like this puppy is trying to “take off”!

The Flying Nun - GSD Puppy Ear Stages

And here you have the Flying Nun ears!

The Comb-Over Ear Stage

This ear stage can start anywhere from 14 weeks. But again since ear stage development and position are so individual, depending on the puppy, it’s not uncommon for some puppies to skip ear stages altogether.

GSD Puppy Ear stages - The Comb Over Style

Expect the comb-over style anywhere from 14 weeks.

She-Sells-Sea-Shells Ear Stage

This ear stage is when both ears are upright, although usually not in the correct position just yet.

Since puppies can skip ear stages as I mentioned, you can expect this ear stage anywhere from 15 weeks.

Sea Shells Ear Stage of a GSD Puppy

At this ear stage, those ears are upright and heading into the right position!

The One-Up Ear Stage

This ear stage usually causes GSD owners to panic. Because suddenly, the cartilage of one ear flops down.

But in reality, this is the time to start getting super excited about your puppy’s ear stage position!

In this ear stage, your puppy will either have one ear up permanently or do a bit more see-sawing. But rest assured, those ears are getting into position!

The One-Up Ear Position

The One-Up ear stage is a clear sign your puppy’s ears are getting into position.

The “Perffeto” Ear Stage

At this point, your German Shepherd puppy has gone through all the ear stages.

Their head and facial muscles are strong and their ear cartilage is upright, and (in most cases) in the correct position.

Although they still look “too big for their head”, this will correct as they grow into their ears.

This stage can start anywhere from 20 weeks (5 months) and last until full correct positioning at 8 months.

The Perffeto GSD Puppy Ear Stage

This stage can happen anywhere from 5 months all the way up to 8 months.

Why are My German Shepherd’s Ears Floppy

There are few things that can cause German Shepherd puppies ears to droop or struggle to stand up.


As I mentioned earlier, teething is one of the main reasons for droopy ears.  Luckily this is just temporary and after teething your pup’s ears should perk up. 

Teething ends at around 6 to 7 months. So I always give another month on top of that before I start panicking about droopy ears.


Perky ear at 12 weeks

My boy at 12 weeks with perky ears

OK, so there’s not much you can do about your puppy’s genetics – except choosing to work only with ethical breeders when selecting a puppy.

Some puppies are predisposed to droopy ears.  This is due to the genes passed on by their parents.

And in some cases, due to breeders specifically breeding for larger than breed standard ears.

In fact, Lupo, my first GSD as an adult, came from such a breeder.  This was 20 years ago and back then I knew little about how to pick an ethical breeder.

Even if ears are not a big issue for you and you’re fine with your GSD having floppy ears, it’s still a good idea to work with an ethical breeder who breeds their dogs according to breed standards.


Many breeders will aim to breed German Shepherds with larger ears. It’s like that age-old saying; “give the public what the public wants”.

This is especially true for breeders of the American and Canadian Showline type.

In my opinion, breeding dogs to enhance a specific trait not in line with the breed standard is poor breeding practice.

The result of this is German Shepherd puppies with droopy ears that will never perk up. 

The reason is logical, their ears are too heavy and big for the head muscles to hold the cartilage up.

In this case, no amount of help will make these ears perk up.

It’s a good idea to find an ethical and reputable breeder, meet the puppy’s parents you’re interested in, ask lots of questions, and get referrals to owners of their puppies.

When choosing a breeder and puppy, there are a few things you should look for with ears…

  • Do the parents have huge ‘satellite-like’ ears?  Or are they smaller, neater, and closer to the skull?  The latter is what you want.
  • Do the parents have larger than normal heads?  Larger heads usually come with larger ears.  Not a good trait.
  • Is the ‘ear leather’ (cartilage) of the parent’s thick and firm or thin and wobbly? Thinner cartilage lacks the stiffness needed to perk up firmly with no wobbling.  Thicker ‘ear leather’ will perk up perfectly.
  • How wide is the space between the ears?  A wider space usually means the ears will take longer to perk up.


Your puppy’s ears are still developing between birth and 8 months of age. And significant trauma to her ears will cause permanent damage and droopy ears.

This can happen during rough-housing with other dogs. And even when human family members spend too much time rubbing or playing with the puppies ears.

When Should You Start to be Concerned?

There is a point in your puppy’s development when you should become concerned with droopy ears. 

If your pup’s ears have not perked up at around 8 months, it’s time to look at ways to help those little ears!

So let’s look at some ways you can help…

How do I Get My German Shepherd’s Ears to Stand Up?

7 Ways to Support Your GSD Puppy’s Ears

Chew Toys

Before you try anything else, this should be your first step in naturally supporting your puppy’s ears.

This is the number one method I’ve used for decades to naturally support my GSD puppies ears. And I’ve dubbed it the “Chew, chew, chew method.”

Because that’s exactly what it’s all about – chewing on safe puppy toys with plenty of “give.”

Chewing on safe and healthy chew toys is the Number One way to help those gorgeous ears perk up.

I have had feedback from several readers who have succeeded in helping pups’ ears older than 6 months perk up.

In fact, this is what some members of my German Shepherd Corner Facebook group shared about my “chew, chew, chew” method…

Puppies should have chew toys.  Not only will this will help relieve pain and irritation during teething. 

It also benefits from exercising their jaw, head, and neck muscles.  The jaw and head muscles are particularly important for healthy perky ears.

I’m not a vet or anatomy expert but here’s a simplified version of how this works…

Help Floppy German Shepherd Puppies Ears by Encouraging chewing

Dogs have a highly developed Temporalis muscle, one of the crucial muscles involved in chewing.

In this image above, you can see where the Temporalis muscle is situated, and it’s found on both sides of the skull.

The Temporalis muscle is one of the muscle groups that gives dogs with upright ears their look.

Of course, it’s not the only muscle involved, as there are also many smaller muscles around the ears.

But encouraging chewing will stimulate and develop the muscles needed for healthy, upright ears.

So let your puppy chew, chew, chew!

But as I mentioned, it’s not just chewing on any old toy. You want to offer your German Shepherd puppy safe toys with lots of “give.”

By “give” I mean toys that are made of non-toxic rubber that give way slightly when they bite down. This is the best and most effective way to encourage chewing.

And if you need some recommendations you can check out this post on indestructible toys for German Shepherds.

And this post on chew toys for German Shepherds.


Many people, including myself, supplement their puppies during their development stages.  Twenty different people will give 20 different opinions on supplements. 

But here are some of the main ones.  It’s worth noting here that not all these are necessarily a good idea.


A lot of people think that supplementing with calcium is beneficial for puppies.  And some believe this will aid the development of the ears.

Personally, I don’t recommend this route. And I’ve mentioned it here as a serious warning!

Adding extra calcium to your puppy’s diet could potentially have permanent negative consequences. Excess calcium will lead to serious imbalances in other minerals.

DON’T add extra calcium to your puppy’s diet!!!  This will cause permanent skeletal problems as they grow.

Besides, your German Shepherd puppies ears are made of cartilage, not bone.  Calcium will have no effect on cartilage development, and it will only cause damage and mineral imbalances.


Check this supplement out on Amazon

If you want to supplement your puppy’s diet and potentially assist the development of their ears, a safer bet is to add Glucosamine to your puppy’s diet during development.

Glucosamine is a natural substance that helps the body maintain healthy cartilage.  An added benefit is it also helps create joint lubricant for healthy joints.

This supplement is often used to relieve arthritis in humans and older dogs.  But will work just fine for your puppy.

A product like TerraMax Pro’s Glucosamine for Dogs from Amazon is one of the best products on the market.  Since it comes in liquid form, it’s much easier for your pup’s body to absorb.

It’s also worthwhile to chat with your vet if you have any concerns or questions about adding this supplement.  I use a powder mix of Glucosamine and MSM that my vet mixes for me.

If you’re looking for natural ways to add Glucosamine to your puppy’s diet, consider whole food options like the following:

  • Chicken feet.
  • Chicken necks.
  • Duck feet.
  • Duck necks.
  • Green-lipped mussels.
  • Homemade bone broth. 1oz per 10 lbs, or 28 g per 4.5 kg.

Of course, if you’re feeding a raw diet, it’ll be much easier to add whole-food options.

If you’re feeding dry commercial food, you can safely replace 10% of their diet with whole foods and still have a balanced diet.

Diet and Vitamins

Feeding your puppy high-quality food should be something you do regardless.  Food has the biggest impact on your pup’s body and brain development.

Pure Radiance Whole Food Vitamin C

I use a whole food vitamin C supplementation for my puppies to support cartilage development.

I recommend staying away from commercial dog food and opting for a more natural diet.  If you are feeding commercial puppy food try to go for a grain and corn free make.

Vitamin C

I also supplement their diet with Vitamin C.  Although dogs can manufacture their own Vitamin C from their diet, I like to supplement their intake with whole-food natural Vitamin C.

It is an excellent source of antioxidants it also helps build cartilage.

And for puppies who are going through the stressful time of vaccinations, transitioning to a new home, and rapid growth, whole food natural vitamin support is essential.

This is according to Dr. Wendell O. Belfield, DVM, who in his book, How to Have a Healthier Dog: The Benefits of Vitamins and Minerals for Your Dog’s Life Cycles, advocates for Vitamin C supplementation in puppies.

Over a decade or so, I’ve used several different Vitamin C supplements. But for the last few, I have been using Pure Radiance Vitamin C, a whole food option and not synthetic.

Pure Radiance Vitamin C is widely available on Amazon and also at some health stores.

If you’d prefer to use food sources to supplement your puppy’s Vitamin C through ear stage development, these foods are healthy and safe:

  1. Apples
  2. Watermelon
  3. Carrots
  4. Sweet Potatoes
  5. Celery
  6. Pumpkin
  7. Bok Choy

Remember to remove all the pips from fruits and vegetables before feeding. And make sure to break down the cell walls by chopping fruits into small pieces.

And either steaming or blending vegetables before offering them to your puppy.


Some experts say supplementing a German Shepherd puppy’s diet with natural yogurt or cottage cheese will help support ear stage development.

And there was a time I believed this to be true. However, since furthering my studies in canine nutrition, I don’t believe offering large amounts of dairy is a good option for dogs, especially not for puppies.

Dairy tends to cause gut upsets in dogs unless it’s been fermented – like Kefir. Not to mention the fact that most yogurts contain stabilizers and artificial sugars, which are not good for dogs.

Get Rid of Parasites

Yes, parasites can hamper the development of your puppy’s body and so affect her ears.

Parasites steal the nutrients from the food your puppy eats, causing malnutrition.  These critters also prevent the absorption of the nutrients that remain.

You can see parasites like tapeworms, pinworms, and roundworms in your puppy’s poop. 

You should do ‘poop patrol’ regularly and check for signs of parasites.  But heartworms and Spirocerca Lupi will need to be tested for.

It’s worthwhile doing a monthly fecal float at the vet before offering your puppy a deworming medication – there’s no point in deworming if your puppy shows no signs of carrying parasites.

Although it’s worth noting that heartworms won’t show up in a fecal float.  Since mothers can infect puppies and dogs also infect each other.

Protect Your German Shepherd Puppies Ears from Trauma

You can do a few things to prevent trauma to your puppy’s ears.

A good rule of thumb is to keep any hands off your pup’s ears.  That means no bending, rubbing, or folding. 

I know it’s not easy to leave those cute, soft ears alone, but it’s best not to play with them for healthy, perky ears.

Keep other puppies and dogs from roughhousing and tumbling too much.  Pulling and biting other puppies can unintentionally cause significant trauma to the ears.

Some breeders encourage owners to massage the base of the ear.  The theory behind this is to increase blood flow to the cartilage. 

Whether this is true or not I don’t know.  But I have never tried it since my opinion is to keep hands off ears until they perk up.

And to be honest, I think a healthy diet, whole food supplementation, and chewing on safe and appropriate toys is a much better option than massaging ears to increase blood flow!

Taping Your Dogs Ears

Even if you’ve done everything in your power, you may still need to tape your pup’s ears.  Many owners have taped their German Shepherd puppies ears with great success.

There are two ways you can do this and both methods are simple and easy.


A reader here at GSC, Roger, has shared his amazing ear-taping success story…

Roger used the materials found in the first method.

Here’s what he had to say…

Our puppy was 8-9 months when we went this route.  He had a wrinkle near the base of his ear which was caused with rough playing with our other dog.

We did this 4 times over a 2 and a half month period.

At one stage, his ear stayed up for 3 weeks and then went down.

It does work, don’t lose hope.

I would not suggest doing this until you know your dog is done teething, which would be around 6 to 7 months.

Roger added some additional steps to the method – and I think these are great tips…

  1. This is a 2 person job – someone needs to keep the dog entertained!
  2. First, brush the skin adhesive onto the outside of the ear form.  Coat the whole thing and let it fully dry, for at least 10 minutes.  This helps to get a good bond with your dog’s ear when you apply a second coat.
  3. Put a cotton ball where the ear canal starts to prevent any of the adhesives from dripping in.  Most pup will tolerate it for a little while.  If it’s a problem, skip it but just be careful.
  4. Now give the ear form a second coat of skin adhesive.  Lay it flat on something like a paper plate to keep the adhesive from dripping.
  5. Wait 20 seconds.
  6. Now, carefully place the form into the ear.  Make sure it’s far enough down to the base, but not into the ear canal.  The ear should stand up without flopping at the base.
  7. The ear should be smooth on the outside.  So, make sure there are no folds or wrinkles in the ear.  This is important!
  8. Hold in place for at least 45 seconds.
  9. When you’re done, reward your German Shepherd with a delicious treat!
  10. After all is said and done, have a fun play session to get your pup’s attention off the ear forms.


  1. The ear form should stay in place a week or so.

  2. If the ear does not stand up after the form falls out, go for another round.  But clean the ear with the adhesive remover first and wait a day or so if the ear is red/raw.

  3. The edges of the ear form will curl and start to come loose after a day or two that is normal.

  4. Resist trying to put more adhesive in your dog’s ear while the form is in place! You stand a good chance of it dropping in the ear canal.  Just wait and try again when the form falls out.

  5. Good luck, have patience and love your dog no matter the outcome!

Method One

You’ll need the following to achieve results with method one:

Dog Ear Support Forms

Since the ear support foams are sometimes out of stock, you can use Dr. Scholl’s Molefoam Padding from Amazon instead.

Make sure you get the MoleFoam padding and not the MoleSkin.

With the MoleFoams, you’ll need to experiment with measurements since you’ll be cutting them into the right size before bonding.

So play around before bonding them to the ears.

dog ear support formsSkin Bond Adhesive – Montreal Osto-Bond Skin Adhesive from Amazon is the best choice. 

It causes no irritation and can easily be removed.  And won’t pull out your dog’s ear hairs.

Adhesive Remover – Uni Solve Skin Adhesive Remover also on Amazon is a great product.  A small amount will easily remove the remaining skin adhesive.  And it doesn’t irritate the skin.


  1. Brush the skin adhesive onto the skin and ear form.  Be careful not to get any inside the ear canal.
  2. Wait until it becomes a little tacky, but not to dry.
  3. Carefully place the ear form into the ear.  Make sure it’s far enough down to the base.  But not into the ear canal.  The ear should stand up without flopping at the base.
  4. Make sure there are no folds or wrinkles in the ear.  It must be smooth on the outside of the ear.

Method Two

To achieve results with method two, you’ll need the following:

A woman’s tampon applicator or foam hair rollers (found inexpensively on Amazon) – get a pack with various foam roller sizes.  This way, you can pick the best size.  Remove the plastic part and just use the foam.

Paper tape – use the thinnest paper tape that tears easily.  Micropore Paper Tape 2″ from Amazon wide is a good product to use.

A popsicle stick


  1. Place the tampon applicator or foam roller in the ear and wrap the ear around it.  Make sure the ear is in a vertical position.
  2. Then use the Micropore Paper Tape to tape the ear around the foam roller or tampon applicator.  Tape it from the tip to the base.
  3. Then tape the popsicle stick across the top of the ears one end at each tip.

Don’t use duct tape or other DIY tapes!

Keep your German Shepherd puppies ears taped for a week, then remove the tape to see if they perk up.  If they do, job done!

If not, allow your puppy’s ears to rest for a day and then tape them again.  Keep doing this until they perk up by themselves.

Your puppy is bound to scratch off the tape the first couple of times.  The key here is to keep taping the ears until they perk up. 

Eventually, your pup will get used to the tape and leave it alone.

Surgical Implants

If all else has failed, you can consider surgical implants as a last resort. A product like PermaStay Ear Implants for Dogs might be the solution.

The procedure must be done under anesthetic by a qualified vet.  So there will be extra costs for you. 

Your dog will also require pain medication after the surgery.  In my opinion, if you’re going to go this route you should wait until your puppy is fully grown.

The PermaStay website claims a 95% success rate. Whether this is true, I don’t know.  I suggest discussing this with your vet first.

I hope this information will set your mind at ease about your German Shepherd puppies ears. 

And give you the tools you need to help those ears develop into healthy perky German Shepherd ears.

If you have any questions or have your own method, please share it in the comments below.

Please consult your vet before you change your dog’s diet, nutrition, and lifestyle.

Are you still struggling with biting? Check out these 4 great games to stop German Shepherd puppy biting.

If you want to keep your dog safe during car rides, check out these safety harnesses for dogs in cars.

To keep your dog’s skin healthy and their coat shiny check out the top rated dog shampoos here.

Your pup needs a comfy place to sleep, get them one of these top-rated beds.

Are you having trouble with potty training your German Shepherd? Learn about how to potty train a German Shepherd puppy.

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About the author: Gabriella is a certified professional dog trainer with the Victoria Stilwell Academy. She has a special passion for teaching GSD guardians to train their dogs with kindness and clarity using positive reinforcement methods without force, pain, or fear. Join “Dog Speak” for free dog training tips and advice from a professional dog trainer.

  • Our 17, almost 18 week male GSD who was the runt of the litter and his ears are in the flying nun stage. We got him from a good breeder who’s very diligent and thoughtful in his breeding selections so I know this isn’t a bad breeder issue. We see him actually pulling his ears down and back and they don’t seem to show much interest in moving to the next phase. He has been slow to get his baby teeth in and as of yet has not lost any baby teeth. Should I be worried about his ears? He is my 6th shepherd and I’ve never experienced this in any of the others. He’s a lazy little boy and doesn’t do a lot of chewing. We do see some ear activity when he plays with his GSD older brother.

  • Jarra

    I was wondering if size and hair length have anything to do with the timing of the ears standing up permanently? Our GSD puppy is a male about 6.5 months old. He is about 80lbs, and he has long hair. His ears were standing up around 3 months old, but then fell down again.
    My female is the mother, and she had 3 short haired and 3 long haired puppies in her litter. All of the short haired pups ears have been up since around 3 months of age, but none of the pups with long hair have their ears up permanently yet.

    • Hi Jarra,

      Thanks for your question, it’s s good one!

      The size will definitely impact the time frame of ear development and posting. Shepherds who are bred larger than breed standard will often have a much slower ear development and posting phase.

      Long fur on the ears will have some impact being heavier than the short, tight coat hairs. But all things being equal and barring any trauma to the ears, a pup with a long coat will shape correct posting of ears in good time.

  • Robert

    My family has a 4-5 year old German Shepherd and his ears are still mostly floppy. We all think it’s pretty adorable.

    • Agreed! They are adorable regardless of whether their ears perk up or not.

  • Richelle

    Hello. Have you had any experience with a medication affecting a puppies ears? My 4 mo pup has a bad UTI. Two weeks ago my vet clinic diagnosed him and gave us meds. Just yesterday I took him back because he wasn’t improving and the vet I trust most was there and was appalled when she found out what meds he was given (Baytril). She said it damages cartilage in dogs under a year old. He’s on new meds now and I’m rather upset the other vet gave him baytril. He was in the comb over stage of development before the baytril. Now both years are floppy. I give him stuff to chew (I have since I brought him home) and he is on a high quality dog food. I wasn’t worried until the baytril. I actually started giving him some glucosamine before I read this post and I’m glad my instincts were correct on that. I don’t plan on panicking till he is older (thank you, your post helped me to be more patient). What is your opinion on the effects baytril may have on his ears? Note: if they don’t stand it’s not the end of the world, he is a family pet and not a show dog. I just love the upright ear look.

    • Hi Richelle,

      Thank you for your question. I have read some research and anecdotal evidence that the group of Fluoroquinolone antibiotics can affect cartilage and tendons.

      Whether it will affect your pup’s ears long-term or not, I have no way to know. And since I’m not a vet, my knowledge on this is from my own research.

      If I were in your shoes, I’d circle back to the vet you trust and who brought this to your attention and speak with her regarding things like detox, gut restoration, mitochondrial support, and antioxidants. These are things I’ve seen medical professionals speak about in regards to reversing potential effects. Your vet sounds like she’s super switched on when it comes to the latest research, so I encourage you to make her your main source of guidance on this.

  • Rachel

    My puppy had both ears perking up but still going inward. Wasn’t concerned at all until she got an ear infection at 10 weeks and the ear that was infected flopped over to the side. Can an infection cause the ear to permanently flip?

    • Hi Rachel,

      It’s unlikely that an infection will cause the ear to permanently flop down. But I’m not a vet and going off of my personal experience in this regard. How is the ear looking now?

  • Hello! I adopted a German sheperd mix and she just went from the comb over faze backwards to the flying nun stage, should I be concerned? Thank you!

    • Hi Jake,

      It’s unlikely that there’s anything to worry about. The stages are only a guideline and sometimes the ears do what they want. But they’ll perk up soo enough. 🙂

  • Gunner

    One ear up

    Thank you for the quick response! Since I posted that it looms like she entered a stage not on this article. Both ears are up but folding foward about halfway, it looks like the picture you showed for the one ear up stage but both ears are like the one that’s folding. Is this normal? Thank you again!

    • Hey Gunner!

      It’s not abnormal for ears to be all over the place. Give them time, they’ll perk up soon enough. 🙂

  • Gunner Curtis

    Hello! I just a 3 and a half month old German Sheperd mix. When we got her she had a significant cut on her right ear. It healed ok but left a scar. She is now at the combover point with the the right ear they got cut barely being up. Should I be concerned, at what point should I consider doing something, and what should I do?

    PS I love this article, all the tips are so helpful!

    • Hi Gunner,

      Thanks for reaching out with your question.

      I know trauma to the ear can make us as puppy owners super stressed. But she’s only 3 months old and still has plenty of development to do. The muscles around the face, neck, and ears need much more time to develop before you’ll be able to tell if the cut has had any lasting effects.

      In my personal experience with my own pups over the years and helping many GSD puppy owners through the ear stages and their development, the best and most important thing you can do is encourage lots and lots of chewing on safe chew toys with “give” to them. And give those ears time to develop. That’s really it, safe chew toys and time.

      You can see the toys I recommend here and here.

      I know it’s a tough one not to worry about but try to relax and enjoy this stage in your girl’s life. It’s very likely that her ear has made a full recovery and will per up at the right time.

      Hope this helps to set your mind at ease. Feel free to reach out again if you have any further concerns.

  • Jesper Steinis

    Hello, I adopted my gsp and she had a small scratch on her ear. she is about 15 weeks in the flying nun stage and the ear that got scratch only stands when shes exited. Should I be worried they wont stand, and if so what should I do

    • Hi Jesper,

      Thanks for the question.

      At 15 weeks there’s still plenty of development to do so I would not be too concerned if the ear goes up and down frequently. A small scratch is not likely to cause problems long term. Usually, the kind of trauma that affects the ear structure long-term is quite serious.

      I know of many, many Sheps that had their ears only perk up at 8 or 9 months, so the best advice I can give is to encourage plenty of chewing on safe, non-consumable chew toys and give it time.

      Hope this helps set your mind at ease! 🙂

  • Prashant

    Hi if you can help out with in one of my query, my GSD female’s ears stands at 3 month of age and are perfectly fine until
    One morning at the age of 5 months she drops one of her ear.. she looks perfectly fine and healthy.. will she again able to stand her ear. I am worried please suggest

    • Hi Prashant,

      Thanks for your question.

      Barring any trauma, I’d say they should stand up again in good time. It’s not unusual for GSD puppy ears to drop down again even after standing up while they are teething. And at 5 months she’s right in the middle of teething.

      The fact that they perked up once already is an excellent sign that they are healthy and will likely stand up again.

      So try not to worry too much about it for now.

      Hope this helps to set your mind at ease. 🙂

  • Austin Yu


    Thank you for writing this article (and thank you Roger for your post, it’s given me hope). My puppy is slightly over 8 months now and still has pretty floppy ears. I’ll be giving method 1 a shot at seeing if it helps her ears stand up.

    Question on the materials – I got Dr.Scholl’s Molefoam as you advised but was wondering if I should peel off the Molefoam’s adhesive covering? Or keep it on and put the skin bond adhesive over the molefoam as is? If you are having trouble understanding what I’m referring to please let me know. I definitely am not using the right terminology here haha.

    • Hi Austin,

      Thanks for your question. is it possible to peel all the adhesive off the Molefoam? My concern if you’re not able to do that is there may be a reaction between the leftover Molefoam adhesive and the skin bond adhesive.

      If you’d like to go the taping route, I’d be more inclined to try it first without the skin adhesive. Dr. Scholl’s has a pretty robust adhesive, so I’d go with that option first.

      Also, I’d like to recommend that you consider waiting a week or two before taping and rather encourage chewing on safe chew toys. Many of my Facebook group members and readers here have had success with just encouraging chewing.

      If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me here or via email.

  • Jan Johnson

    Dear Gabriella,
    Our GSD pup had two straight-up ears at 10 weeks old – leaning inward, tips touching. 3 days ago at 15 weeks he had an incident where he had an allergic reaction, and poor baby his whole head was swollen, including ears which were thickened with swelling. After 2 vet visits, benadryl and a steroid, he is much better. Now here’s the ear part, which I feel silly asking, but here goes – during the allergic episode, his ears went completely down for 2 days, I mean, like our Labrador – down. They are now partway back up. Could the swelling episode of 2 days have caused permanent cartilage damage? Would you guess they will go back up since they were totally up consistently from 10-15 weeks? I’ve heard of other pups biting and damaging ears, but haven’t seen anything about my specific experience. Thank you so much for kindly reading my post.

    • Hi Jan,

      Thanks for reaching out here! And I’m sorry to hear your pup had such a bad reaction.

      The fact that they are part-way back up again after the swelling has gone down, is a very good sign! I’d imagine that even although there was swelling, it was a natural reaction and not something like a trauma. And although I’m not a vet, I don’t think it would have caused any permanent damage.

      If it was my puppy I’d give them as much time to recover as they need. Especially considering that upright ears often go down in puppies that have had no swelling. And once the jaw, head, and face muscles are fully developed and teething is complete they go right back up again. 🙂

  • Logan


    My puppy is half GSD half Chow Chow and ALL of her litermates have ears that are up, except for her (7 in total). Is there anything you know about mixed GSD ears?

    Thanks in advance,


    • Hi Logan,

      Both the GSD and the Chow Chow have upright ears. So I’d say your puppy definitely has the genes for upright ears. In fact, I have a GSD mix too and her ears are perfectly upright and have been since 12 weeks of age.

      I’d definitely begin encouraging chewing on safe toys with some “give” to them. This is superior to chewing on bones or antlers since they will most certainly increase calcium intake which you want to avoid doing.

      Chewing is the best and least invasive method to supporting the ears of dogs with the genes to stand upright. The kinds of toys I recommend for this purpose can be found on my site. This one is about almost indestructible toys, this one has some great recommendations for puppy chew toys, and this one is a range of chew toys I like and have used.

  • gianna

    i have a 16 week old puppy. she’s an aussie mix on her mother’s side and we were told that her father was possibly a husky/gsd mix, so there’s a pretty decent chance of her ears eventually standing up. they look now to be in the “flying nun” stage, and when her head is tilted back they perk up. it’s also extremely hard to tell whether or not her ears will eventually stand up altogether is because she recently had an ear infection. she had been scratching her ear a lot. the ear infection was treated pretty early on, but i’m not sure if the scratching would cause damage to the ear.
    thank you for this article and for your time!

    • Gabriella

      Hi Gianna,

      Thank you for your question. I realize my reply is late and apologize for the delay.

      Her ears might be up by the time you read this. A small infection that’s treated in time is not likely to cause the kind of trauma that can affect the conformation of ears. But it’s not impossible.

      Let me know how her ears are now. 🙂

  • Sarah

    Thank you for your article. I am not a breeder. I grew up with a close friend who’s mom was a breeder of border collies. They would regularly tape the ears. My husband and I always wanted a German shepherd. I have always felt more comfortable with finding a dog who needed a home first. We found a 6 month old German shepherd at our humane society and bought him home. The previous owners stated that they had gotten him from a breeder and that he was aggressive. We have never found him to be aggressive, but he did come with his own set of problems for us to figure out. After having him for a year, he started to develop seizures. We have gone through different meds and doses. He has done well and then sometimes worse. I was at first worried about his one floppy ear. His other one is always up, and the floppy one he only uses when he wants to. I now wonder if his ear has something to do with his epilepsy. Our vet does not know, but we do suspect that it could be from improper breeding. We also have thought that he was bred more for the American German Shepherd show dog look. He is tall. I have grown to love his floppy ear. Some people ask about it like it is a negative thing or makes him less of a German Shepherd. I am just thankful that he is here everyday. He has the sweetest personality. Does anyone else have experience with epilepsy in dogs or shepherds specifically?

    • Hi Sarah!

      Thank you for sharing the story of your rescue GSD here. And for taking in a doggo that was in need of a loving home. Adoption is so rewarding especially when we can help these beautiful dogs overcome their fears and worries.

      I also don’t know if your boy’s floppy ear is somehow linked to his epilepsy. It could also be from trauma to the ear before he became yours or it could be due to bad breeding. But as you say, he’s perfect just the way he is. Please ignore folks who ask about it like it’s a negative thing, you could give them a smart answer like “he’s a limited edition – one of a kind”. That should keep them quiet! 🙂

      In terms of the epileptic seizures your boy is experiencing, there could be many factors that play a role. I’m not a vet but I do like to investigate issues because I believe there is usually a root cause of dis-ease and physical symptoms are the body’s way of showing us that we should investigate. If I were in your shoes, I’d consider working with a holistically-minded, progressive vet to determine the root cause.

      I can highly recommend Dr. Dennis Thomas DMV. He takes a “whole-pet healing” approach. He does phone consultations and works with folks across the globe. He has assisted me on several occasions with one of my dogs through his private membership portal. However, in the case of your doggo, I think a consultation face-to-face if you’re close enough or via phone would be better. You can get in touch with him via his website here. This article he wrote specifically about seizures might be interesting to read for you also.

      I hope this is helpful. Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions!

  • Aaron

    My gsd is turning 8 months in a few days. One of her ears are still dropped but also sometimes up. When she is awake and actively playing both ears are up but when she is sleepy or just laying around one of the ear drops back down. What should I do to keep it up?

    • Amber

      Did they ever go back up? We have this same issue.

    • Chasidy

      Did they end up standing? My gsd is doing the same thing, 8 months as well

  • Brittney


    Great article. Thank you for all the advice! I tried to read all the comments, sorry if I’m posting anything repetitive. We just brought home our long-coat GSD about a month ago. He was about 4.5 months and had gone home with another owner who didn’t really anticipate the needs of a GSD and it didn’t work out. So, when we got our big baby he was already over 40lbs and we didn’t get to see any of his growth before that. He is from German lines and purebred, both mom and dad have erect ears in photos. When we went to pick him up from the breeder, the breeder said he should have ear forms in and placed them in front of us. His ears looked floppy but all I remember was how adorable he was 🙂 we took him home with instructions to try the foams for 4-6 weeks, re-gluing as necessary. He lost a lot of teeth in the first 2 weeks, I haven’t seen any fall out but there is definitely still some bleeding in the gums when I look so I’m assuming he is still teething? His left ear foam fell completely out yesterday and I’m giving it a few days to see what happens. It has stood up on its own when he is excited like when we call his name for a treat. The left ear still has the foam trainer in and is straight but the weight of the trainer makes it lay more horizontal and down to the side when he’s relaxed. I’ve seen him hold it up and backwards when he’s determined and walking to the park. Anyways, I guess my question is if I should just take the foam out and see what happens. He’ll be 6 months on June 21st. I just have no history if his ears ever did perk up pre-teething since we didn’t have him. I’m going to incorporate more chewing toys for the next few weeks as well. Oh! He did test positive for parasites and Giardia when we took him to his first vet visit and has since done 2 rounds of a powder medication. His next fecal test is in about a week to check if it’s clear. So, I’m sure that didn’t help his ear development during the previous owner’s care. Any advice would be great!! Thank you!

    • Hi Britteny,

      Thank you for your questions here.

      Male Sheps often tend to develop at a slower pace than females. So overall, just keep that in mind as you watch his development.

      If you’re seeing blood around his gums he most definitely is still teething and this can go on for longer than the standard guidelines, especially with males. And at 6 months of age, he still has quite some developing to do. And his teething will have an effect on his ears for the time being.

      So if he’s been treated for the Giardia it shouldn’t be a problem. But what I do recommend is helping him heal his gut since Giardia treatment usually involves antibiotics which can wreak havoc on the delicate gut microbiome. If you want to go the homemade route, things like bone broth is a great option. Also if you can find raw milk kefir at the health store this is another excellent wholefood to help heal any issues caused by antibiotics. And then dog-safe fermented veggies are excellent gut healers. Feel free to reach out to me via email if you would like some recipes and how to feed instructions on these.

      In terms of the foam trainers, my first through is the one that’s still in place, is it set snuggly at the base of the ear (not inside the ear) just at the base? If not, this could be why it’s flopping down. So if I was in your shoes, I’d take the other foam trainer out for a few days to see what happens. Since the breeder demonstrated how to place them, you can always place them in for another round of about 2 weeks after having them both out for a few days.

      You’re on the right track with your plans to encourage chewing and if you don’t do anything else, I’d say this is the most important because in my experience over the years, encouraging chewing is the best and least invasive method. In conjunction with foam trainers and some time, they should perk up eventually.

      Feel free to reach out here or via email if you need some more guidance, I’m happy to help!:)

  • Fahd

    Thor will turn 6 months on 3rd June 2020 . His ears went up at 16 weeks but are soft since then . When ever he is attentive his ears are up ,but when ever he is lazy or wakes up from sleep his ears are half up , but then again 1 ear goes up in 15 mins from waking up and the other takes about 45 mins to go up . Shall I consider taping or gluing them or in your experience they should go up by themself.

    • Hi Fahd,

      Thanks for your question, it’s a good one and your situation is something most GSD owners grapple with.

      If I was in your shoes and Thor was my dog I would not intervene with his ears at this point. The fact that they perked up at 16 weeks tells me they will perk up again in the future permanently.

      He’s pretty much still in the throes of teething right now (and males tend to do this a little longer sometimes). Teething affects their ears greatly so it’s quite common for them to do the see-saw behavior you’re seeing right now.

      All I recommend you do is encourage healthy chewing on safe chew toys and leave the rest up to his genes and nature. The bottom line is if they perked up earlier, they will do so again barring any sudden trauma or health issues. So keep doing what you’re currently doing and encourage chewing and Thor’s ears should be perfect in good time! 🙂

  • Jessica Boose

    Hi there,

    We have a 16 week old GSD puppy. His 1 ear was up for about a week and the other was flopped over; then they both stood up but the tips have been curled back for about 2 weeks now with so signs of it changing. I am wondering what advice you have? I dont know if this is normal and will go away. We ordered those ear inserts, but with the pandemic we are unsure when they will arrive and how old he should be before we insert them?

    • Hi Jessica,

      Thank you for your questions.

      At 16 weeks I wouldn’t worry about the curled tips or intervene with ear implants for now. Those ears along with his facial and jaw muscles still have some development to do. And males, as a rule, do develop a little slower than females.

      He’s still in the teething process too and that does affect the ears in terms of the up and down see-saw. I do recommend encouraging chewing as the number one way to support the healthy development of ears. This is ideally done by offering safe chew toys. This article displays some links where you can read my full reviews of safe toys for chewing.

      I hope this helps to set your mind at ease about your pup’s ears. 🙂

  • Debbie

    My 3 1/2 (16 weeks) month old German Shepherd had her ears at about 12 weeks up until about a week ago when just one crumpled…she rolls around on that folded up ear and pushes her head through things but except for petting and playing with the children, there hasn’t been any excess trauma to her right ear but it’s folded down, and her left one is up still. Her ears are big…what can I do to help her ear? I just loved it when her ears were up and I’m hoping she has a chance to bring that one up again. I’ll love her no matter but what can I do?

    • Hi Debbie,

      Thanks for your comment!

      Right now I would not do anything. In fact, the best thing you can do is nothing because this up and down see-saw is totally normal with a GSD puppy’s ears. And the fact that her ears were upright is an excellent sign that they will perk up again when the time comes.

      The only thing I would recommend is to encourage a lot of chewing on healthy and safe chew toys. This by far is the best, most effective and natural way to support those ears. These are my recommendations for chew toys that suit German Shepherd pups, and these especially if they are power chewers. And maybe try to minimize any “attention” to her ears from members of the household. I know it can be difficult not to play with or pet those gorgeously soft puppy ears, but it is best not to. 🙂

      I hope this helps to set your mind at ease! I know you’ll love her no matter what, but trust the process and you’ll see her ears perk up in good time. 🙂

  • Allison Hiby

    Thanks he has a whole bunch of toys which he also shares with my older gsds. And he loves tug of war. When he has a loose tooth he comes to me with his toy to play lol wish I cpuld show you a pic. He looks alot like your boy in your pic! Darby is more golden red tho probably the 1/4 American/Canadian lines.

  • Allison Hiby

    My little man Darby is a little over 4 months just started a few weeks ago losing puppy teeth. His ears perked at 12 weeks then fell to “flying nun” now only stand for like a couple minutes. My older 2 gsds ears never went down. He is a huge boy already 53lbs he is 3/4 West German Show line and 1/4 American/Canadian Show lines. Will his ears stand up again?

    • Hi Allison,

      This does happen to some GSD pups while other’s never experience the “Flying nun” ears. If his ears have perked up, that’s a good sign. And although they have gone down subsequently, this is normal and you likely have nothing to worry about. They’ll perk up again permanently in good time.

      To help them along naturally and in a non-invasive way, I highly recommend encouraging Darby to chew on safe toys. Here is an article with some recommendations. Our favorites here at home is the Goughnuts range.

      Hope this helps set your mind at ease, I know ears can be stressful! 🙂

  • Sandi

    A method I used to perk up my dogs ears was to (provide lots of chew toys, of course) take him out very early in the morning just when the birds start chirping. Their curiosity helps strengthen the ears . I did this for a few weeks. You must be patient and it works like a charm!

    • Hi Sandi,

      Thank you for sharing your advice! It’s a super smart idea and also has the benefit of stimulating the curious GSD’s highly sensitive hearing.

      I’m a big supporter of trying natural options to perk ears up before trying more invasive routes.

      I’m sure other folks reading this article will be encouraged by your advice!

      Thanks again for sharing here!

    • Diana

      I have a few questions and would love your knowledge. I feel like it would be too long of a post to just comment lol. Could you send me an email? I don’t see where I can just send you one.


    • Hi Diana,

      Feel free to use the email address on this page to drop me an email. 🙂

      Chat soon!

  • Sydney Meyers

    Hi there – do you think it’s at all worth it to try taping my 15ish month old GSDs ears? I got him when he was around 14 months and he had quite a rough start to life, as a result he has droopy/half perked ears. I love him regardless but I’m truly enthralled by the alert German Shepherd look. I’m hoping there’s a chance taping would be successful because there are times when he wakes up his ears stand up for a few moments or when he’s playing. I hope to hear from you soon!

    • Hi Sydney,

      Thanks for your comment.

      You’re awesome for giving your boy a new lease on life after his rough start!

      It’s worth a shot trying to help those ears perk up since the issue could be slow/poor development due to nutritional deficiencies or lack of chewing stimulation since he came from a bad past. And taping is an option you can explore.

      Although I will say that if I were in your shoes, I’d definitely try encouraging him to chew more. Even a couple of weeks of this first before attempting taping. It might just be a case of him needing something to help strengthen his jaw, face and head muscles which play a role in perked up ears.

      He has everything to gain by going this route first and considering his age, waiting two or three weeks before attempting the taping won’t be a dealbreaker because ultimately it’ll either work or it won’t. And encouraging chewing is less invasive and tries to solve a possible root cause of poor facial, jaw and head muscle development.

      Check out these toys for my recommendations of safe, tough chew toys for German Shepherds. Since your boy is already large, he’ll need something that can handle some heavy chewing. Our favorites here are the Goughnuts since they are designed for heavy chewers and since it’s a stick shape and long-ish, you can interact too which will encourage chewing even more.

      Hope this helps. Let me know how he gets on. And feel free to drop me any other questions in the comments or email me if you prefer.

      Chat soon,

  • Linda Moss

    If you have a longhaired gsd puppy (as in first picture) trying shaving pups ears, with a #10 or #15 blade, (bottom to top) starting just above base of ear. Taking of the extra weight off, on pups that don’t have badly broken cartilage, this can help.

  • Gary

    I have a year and a half old male GSD. One ear up, one never came up. What can you tell me about perma stay ear implants. Do they work, cost, etc. I’m one of those picky GSD owners…….. ears should be UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks !!

    • Hi Gary,

      Thanks for your question. In theory, I think perma stay implants should work well. But I’m not a vet, and I recommend your first step to be getting in touch with the company to find out more information.

      And since a vet needs to put them in place surgically, you’ll need to make sure your vet is willing to do so. It might be useful if you either got the info to pass on to your vet. Or ask your vet to get in touch with the company directly.

      Although, this might sound like a lost cause, have you tried encouraging chewing? I’ve had feedback from many, many readers that their dog’s ears perked up from just encouraging their dog’s to chew more. And this was always after they thought all was lost.

  • John

    Hello I have a black gsd puppy he is around 6 and a half months old, his ears perked up and dropped down multiple times and haven’t been perked up for a month now. Should I wait a bit more and give him bones to chew on or should I tape them.

    • Hi John,

      Thanks for your question.

      I’d definitely wait. He’s a male and from my experience, they do sometimes develop slower. Also, he’s only 6 months and might still be doing some teething.

      I’d certainly encourage chewing. But before you give bones, rather consider safe chew toys. They are a better option in this case since you want to offer something that’s not going to “finish” as a bone would. You also want something that’s soft and gentle on their gums and teeth because your boy’s mouth and jaw are still young and developing.

      Heavy weight-bearing bones are not safe for any dogs to chew on indefinitely especially not pups. They should only be offered as entertainment and with a lot of meat still on. Once the meat has been stripped by a dog, the bone should be removed.

      Here are a few personal recommendations for toys I’ve made elsewhere on my site:

      This one is good for long chewing sessions.
      These interactive sticks are a great way to interact with your pup while encouraging chewing.
      You can also check out this Kong on Amazon for puppies. If your pup is already a powerful and experienced chewer, you might need this one instead. You know him best and will be able to make the most appropriate choice here.

      The Kongs are great too because you can do organic peanut butter and banana mix, fill the Kong, freeze and offer it to your pup. This will stimulate his natural drive, encourage chewing and keep him cool in the summer. You can also use them to play fetch. The unpredictable bounce is super fun!!

      Hope this helps you some. 🙂

  • Brandi

    I have a female GSD who just turned 1 in December. Her ears started to stand up around 3 months old and stood up firmly by the time she was 8 months old. Now within the last month both ears have flopped completely. Not even when she’s fully alert, excited or being a goof ball to odd sounds and does the tilt will her ears stand up. What made her ears all of a sudden flop?

    • Hi Brandi,

      Thanks for your question.

      The fact that her ears were firmly perked up for long with no issues makes me think there might be something going on inside her ears. Have you had her checked for a possible ear infection? Or something else like mites? Our dogs can pick these up from playing in fields or from other dogs.

  • Dang

    My GSD just turned 5 months. I can’t stress enough that ever since we brought him home at 8 weeks old, his ears never perked up. When I say never, I mean that both have never been up for more than a day, week, etc. They’ve always been floppy like a lab, which he gets mistaken for a lot. He’s been on glucosamine so not sure why it’s taking him awhile. However, they only perk up when he’s playing or gets excited but it doesn’t last long! Only one ear would be up for a couple seconds then he flops it back down. I’m worried his ears will never perk up since they haven’t. I’ve given him so many things to chew on like safe chew toys, bully sticks, bones, etc and it doesn’t seem to help. Idk what else to do and I’m already accepting the fact that his ears will never go up. Both his parents and litter mates all have their ears up between 8-12 weeks so not sure where we went wrong along the way since we never touched his ears and he never had any trauma. What can we do at this point? Help we’re desperate

    • Hi Dang,

      Thanks for your comment.

      5 months is still young. And I’ve learned that even older German Shepherds can have their ears perk up. So nothing is set in stone. If all his litter mates and parents have their ears up, it might just be a case of slower development of the ear and facial muscles.

      You’re giving him chew toys and he’s on a good supplement you’ve chosen. And even although his ears only perk up for a short while, the fact that they do is a good sign. And he’s never had trauma to his ears. All of these are good signs.

      Don’t lose hope, just give him time and keep doing what you’re doing. some pup’s ears just take a little longer than others to develop.

      Which glucosamine supplement do you have him on at the moment? Also, what bones are you giving him? Are they weight-bearing? Or are they totally consumable like duck or chicken backs? I’d avoid any weight-bearing bones.

  • Allie

    My GSP is 8 months old and her ears still haven’t gone up! Only one stood up when she was about 5-6 months and it went back down in less than a week, although it would pop up at random times. Should I think about taping?

    • Hi Allie,

      Is it a German Shepherd Pointer you have? As far as I know and also from the AKC breed standard for the GSP, their ears are supposed to be flat. From the AKC website on breed standard:

      “The ears are broad and set fairly high, lie flat and never hang away from the head.”

      If she’s a German Shepherd Pointer, I would not recommend taping her ears.

  • KodyGodfreyGirl

    hi i wanted to ask a question my mom just got me this dog right after new years and its a german shepard but its also mixed with lab but the DNA was mostly german shepard and ive noticed that since weve had her one ear has started standing up more but the other one hasint…. Will the other one stand up or no because of the lab????

    • Hi KodyGodfreyGirl,

      Good question! But it’s hard to give a definitive answer on the ear situation since your girl has some Lab in her too.

      You don’t say how old she is but if she’s still very young the other ear might just perk up. Although since there is a mix of genes, I personally wouldn’t mess with her ears. I recommend encouraging chewing which puppies need anyway and let her ears develop naturally. You don’t want to run the risk of trying to force anything that’s not genetically natural. And since you don’t know which genes she got from which breed in terms of ears, I wouldn’t take the chance.

      But encouraging chewing has a lot of health benefits, not just for ears, but also for ideal puppy development. I’ve made some recommendations for safe chew toys here, here and here.

  • Stacy

    Thanks! He actually gets a fair amount of bully sticks per week but I can add in some of your suggestions. So the calcium thing is definitely bunk? Sometimes I think it’s because his ears are just so big. Is there any way I could show you a picture? And would you recommend taping over gluing? We tried taping the molefo am, and he tolerated, but they went to the side instead of up. The glue makes me nervous.

    • Sure, send me a picture.


      If they went to the side instead of up, the foams might not have been firmly in place at the base of the ear, maybe? I think for this kind of chewing maybe offer something with more “give” than a bully stick. These balls from Bad Cuz have a lot of “give” but they still work the jaw. I like to cut the feet and other bits off and I also remove the squeaker. I have 3 laying around the house – they’re a big hit.

  • Stacy Whisenand

    Hi, sorry to jump into thread so late. I have an almost 9 month old Belgian Mal whose ears stand occasionally but for the most part are flopped forward or in airplane mode. He has put them up but it’s very rare. Is gluing worth it at his age? I’ve had people say calcium, but I’ve also read that’s bunk because ears are cartilage. He’s beautiful and to standard, except for the ears, and it’s such a bummer. Thanks.

    • Hi Stacy,

      Thanks for jumping in with your question. 🙂

      So before you do anything such as taping, try encouraging chewing first. I know it sounds simple and I’m sure your Mal already chews on designated toys but I’ve had several readers email me to let me know how much success they had with this method. One reader’s GSD had both ears up within a couple of weeks. I’m not saying it works for all pup’s ears, but it’s worth a try before going the taping route.

      It’s also not an invasive route either like taping is. Maybe give it a try for a couple of weeks?

      Encouraging chewing could be introducing a few new safe chew toys. I’ve reviewed a few (almost) indestructible ones here. Check out the Goughnuts selection for power chewing.

      Or offer toys that are safe to chew on but that he doesn’t get access to often. The more intriguing the toy, the more likely he is to dive into chewing it.

      Also, using the chew toy as an interactive game between you and your dog is another way to encourage chewing.

      Let me know the results.

      P.S. If you’re unsure of anything, check with your vet first.

  • Jayne Miss Burt

    My pup is 10 months old has one floppy ear ,but when she is working or alerted by something it stand up beautifully . she has extremely large ears though .she kinda of a big pup 70 plus lbs at 10 months . long body not bulky. anyway should I invest in the insert for the on 1 ear .when it is down its not really flat .looks like the flying nun kinda . any way it just seems to have crease in it . she is a beautiful dog would love to fix this

    • Hi Jayne,

      Thanks for your comment.

      You could look at using an insert for the one ear. But keep in mind that larger pups will take more time to develop. And even although one ear is already upright the other one may need more time. Or it could be the crease causing this, in which case taping might help. Have you asked your vet to have a look? I’d get your vet to check the ear out too, just to cover all your bases.

      Before trying the insert, I’d work on encouraging chewing on safe toys for a week or two. I’ve had feedback from other owners who’ve corrected floppy ears only with this more natural approach. If it doesn’t make a difference, then consider taping. But trying to encourage chewing is worth a try first.

  • Sherri

    Hi, my GSD is 9 1/2 months old; using the forms; I have let the ear forms fall out, the ears stand for about 3-5 days and then flop; she does have long ears based on my limited experience; of the 10 puppies, she is the only one with this problem; she did have an ear infection for about 4 weeks; caught it after 2 weeks, she was about 5 months when this occurred; on Vit C, chondroitin and Dasaquin, Fromm Salmon. I will continue the forms if the ears do not stand but wondering if you have any other suggestions.

    • Hi Sherri,

      Thanks for your comment.

      This might sound like a fix that’s too easy, but I highly recommend encouraging chewing. I have had several folks with older pups who have had floppy ears get in touch with positive feedback on this method.

      Chewing is the best way to strengthen those muscles in their heads. One reader here had her dog’s ears perk up after just a week of encouraging more chewing.

      I’m not a vet but if her ears are perking up for 3 to 5 days and then flopping down again, it might just be that she needs to strengthen the muscles.

      Offer her lots of safe chewing toys and you could also spend time with her to encourage chewing by playing with her and the chew toys.

      Here are a bunch of safe chew toys you can check out. And here are some more…

      If the ear forms don’t work and the chewing doesn’t make a difference, you might need to accept that her ears won’t perk up. But I have heard a lot of great feedback on encouraging chewing on safe toys.

      Hope this helps. 🙂

  • Mark Shafron

    Have you ever heard of this, my GSD Is nearly 4 years old. and her ears never stood up; all of a sudden her ears are beginning to stand up, have you ever known that to happen?

    • Hi Mark,

      Thanks for sharing this.

      Honestly, I’ve never heard of this late maturing of the ears. But it’s great news! Was there a change in her diet or environment? Or perhaps she’s been chewing more than usual?

  • Katie

    Great article! We have a 5 month old purebred GSD who is definitely still teething and we know they fluctuate through the teething stage. One of his ears is fully erect at all times and has been for the last 2 months or so. The other ear is not as strong as the erect one so the base is strong but the top of it flops over. So he has 1 fully erect ear and 1 partially erect ear with the tip flopped over. Of course we will wait and see what happens once he is done teething, but would you recommend taping for just a floppy tip of an ear?

    • Hi Katie,

      Thanks for your comment. 🙂

      I don’t recommend any taping. If his ear is erect at the base, the tip should follow unless there has been trauma. I highly recommend that you encourage a lot of safe chewing. And I do mean a lot. I’ve found that chewing does wonder for ears. I have a few readers who have had success with this even after 6 or 7 months.

      Chewing is the safest way to naturally support your pup’s ears. There are a host of safe chew toys, and I’m sure you have a bunch already. But if you’re looking for more chew toys to add to your pup’s toy box then check out these reviews of toys for pups. If your boy is a power chewer and you’re looking for more robust toys then check out these reviews of indestructible toys.

      Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions, I’m happy yo help. 🙂

  • Wayne V Dennis

    THANK YOU so much for your great article. I learned a lot and feel more comfortable in being patient. I’ll review all your info in the coming days. THANK YOU again. …Wayne

    • Hi Wayne,

      You’re welcome! I’m please you found it useful. 🙂

  • Suzy

    Hello, I have GSD 2 years old his ears where fine, until he had hematoma in right ear. After Hematoma surgically removed his one ear is floppy. Please help we want to get his ear back. I read the bonding and tampon but will that help my dog since its because of surgery and also do I need to do bonding and the tampon use together or either or and if I can see a pic or video how to actually do this visual is much better. Please advice asap.

    • Hi Suzy,

      Sorry to hear about your dog’s ear and the haematoma.

      If you’re looking to tape your dog’s ear I think you’re on the right track. It’s the best way to try and get it back up. It’s hard to say whether it’ll work or not, but it’s worth a try.

      For a one ear problem the tampon or foam roller might not work. That’s because it assumes that both ears are problematic and so the popsicle stick is required.

      In your case it’s only one ear, and using a popsicle stick on the good ear is not good.

      But you could try the first method. Instead of using the ear foam supports which are no longer available you can use Dr. Scholl’s Molefoam Padding and cut it into the right shape. You can find the padding here on Amazon.

      Make sure you get the MoleFoam and not the MoleSkin.

      Cutting it into the right shape might take a few tries, so experiment first and measure well before bonding it to the ear.

      I hope this helps. 🙂

  • Dexavier Sanders

    Hey, I have an almost 8 month old (German Shepherd/Labrador)/German Shepherd puppy. To clarify, his mom is a German Shepherd mixed with lab and his dad is a purebred German Shepherd. He looks just like a purebred GS but his ears aren’t standing from the middle up. The base is strong enough to stand but almost directly in the middle, its weak and hangs straight over in front of the ear. His ears stood up for about a week when he was 4 months, but never came up like that again. When he runs his ears go up and down, and they don’t flop like crazy. When he sleeps on his side, the ears stand erect. Sometimes when his ears are erect because he laying down, when he raises up, the ears remain standing until he moves his head. There has been no trauma to the ear and he is very well fed. His dads ears are very strong and erect. His moms ears are not erect, they’re slightly standing but to the side and pretty floppy. His ears are the proper shape, although they are pretty large. They are in proper position on his head and everything, they just don’t stand erect. Some of his litter mates have erect ears, some of them have ears that resemble his. Is it too late to tape his ears? Do you think they’ll ever stand for good if I don’t. Is there anything i can do to help his ears stand properly? Thanks

    • Hi Dexavier,

      Thanks for your question.

      It’s hard to say whether taping will be successful in this case since you boy might have inherited his mom’s ears. And if so, taping them might cause more harm than good.

      That being said, the fact that his ears stood up at about 4 months of age is a good sign. In most cases with purebred Sheps, if they stood up, they’ll do so again. I can’t say for sure, but this could be true for your boy too.

      Before you go down the taping route, rather try to encourage more chewing. A lot of chewing. I’ve shared this in other comments here, but I’ve had readers who’s pups had floppy ears at up to 10 months old and after a week or two of focusing on chewing they stood upright.

      I’d definitely go this route first since your boy could still be teething. Some dogs take longer to get through the teething phase.

      If you haven’t had improvement or success after two to three weeks, then you’ll need to make a decision as to whether to tape or not. But give the chewing a go first.

      Just make sure the toys are safe to chew on and also that chewing is always supervised.

      I’ve shared my opinions on safe chew toys for German Shepherds.

      Hope this helps. 🙂

  • Katy

    Is this information true for other breeds of dogs as well? I have a 9 month old Pomeranian puppy who still has floppy ears. Although I will love her regardless, I would prefer her ears to go up! Is it worth trying to tape her ears too??

    • Hi Katy,

      Thanks for your question.

      I’m not sure if taping a Pom’s ears will work or even if it’s a good idea. They have fluffy ears which means you’ll have to shave her ears and I can’t say whether that’s the best thing.

      What I know is that even a small breed like a Pom can still be teething at 9 months of age. And as you know teething play a big role in when and how ears stand pointed.

      The best advice I can give, is to encourage a lot of chewing. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot. I’ve had readers here who’s pups still had floppy ears at 9 and 10 months and after a week or two of focusing on chewing they stood upright.

      Of course any chewing should be on safe chew toys and always supervised to make sure there’s no damage to their teeth. I’ve given my recommendations for safe chew toys. You can check out which toys are safe in this article. The sizes recommended are for large pups but you’ll fine the same toys in the right size for a Pom on Amazon.

      I hope this sets your mind at ease. 🙂

  • Conni

    Thank you for your article it really helped us with our German Shepherds ears, they were still floppy at 6 months, one more than the other. We ordered some ear supports online and used your suggestions to insert them. After about a week and a half they came out on their own and her ears have remained standing!

    • Hi Conni!

      Thanks so much for your feedback!

      I’m so happy that the taping and this method worked for you and your pup. Sometimes they just need a little help!

  • Arpi K

    Hello, I have a 5 almost 6 month old east european sheperd. He is much bigger than the gs puppy and will be double the size of a gs when hes older. He is still teething, but hes ears are still droopy. One ear stands one day and then the other the next or neither. I was told because he is bigger than gs itll take longer for his to stand. I just dont want to wait to long to the the taping process. When do you recommened that it gets done the latest?
    Thank you for your time.

    • Hi Apri,

      I wouldn’t worry about his ears to be honest. It’s normal for ears to fluctuate like this. The fact that they are standing up (even for a day) is a good sign.

      Your line of Shep has a pretty clean record when it comes to breeding stock and practices going way back into the history of this line. So there hasn’t been much tampering by humans to accentuate a particular feature, in this case size. Some Sheps are bred so large that their ears struggle to fully mature.

      But this is not the case with your line. So all clear there.

      And if your pup hasn’t had significant trauma to his ears, you have nothing to worry about.

      All you’ve got to do is protect your pups ears from trauma. Next, encourage chewing. The more chewing the better. It helps with teething pain, stimulates their overall drive. And it also aids in the healthy development of face and jaw muscles which play a huge role in having upright ears. Just keep in mind that your pups gums are still soft and his teeth still developing. So always go with puppy safe chew toys.

      I can’t see that you’ll ever need to tape your pups ears. But I’ve spoken with a reader here at GSC who had success taping his dogs ears at 8 to 9 months. You can check out what he had to say in the article above.

      I hope this helps ease your mind. They’re going to be just fine! 🙂

  • Connie

    I kept 2 pups from my litter, their ears were up about 3 weeks ago but they are together and rough house a lot, I think they each have cartilage ruined in one of their ears, they are now 4 mths old and you can see a fold where they are flopped

    • Hi Connie,

      Thanks for your comment.

      The best thing you can do is keep them separate and only allow them to play when they are being supervised. I know that might be difficult but it’s the best way to ensure they don’t damage each other’s ears.

      Also, I highly recommend a lot of chewing. And I really mean a lot. It’s the best way to encourage those ears to stand up. And it’s the least intrusive way too.

      In all honesty, I wouldn’t worry too much right now. You’ll likely find that their ears aren’t damaged at all but just going through their development stages. If they’ve stood up before, they are highly likely to stand up again. And there’s no point in taping those ears until you know for sure there’s an issue.

  • Bonnie Francis

    My 4 month old CKC Registered German Shepherd male puppy has both of his ears up, but the tip of one of them is actually curling backwards. Will this correct itself, or should I consider taping it. If I use the foam roller method, can I just tape the curly tipped ear? The other one is perfect.

    • Hi Bonnie,

      Thanks for your question.

      I wouldn’t worry about it now. He’s only 4 months old so it’s most likely that’s the last little bit that needs developing. I don’t recommend any kind of taping at this young age.

      Just encourage a lot of chewing on safe toys.

  • Delia Kramer

    My puppy is 4 months old and has floppy ears. So I will wait. He has a vet appointment at 5 months and I will talk to him then.

    • Hi Delia,

      Yes, absolutely wait. Even at 5 months it’s totally normal for them to still have floppy ears. I do recommend you encourage chewing on safe toys. Chewing really works wonders to support those ears. 🙂

  • Sarah

    I’m so glad I found this. My hubs and I just got our boy Jasper 2 weeks ago at 8 weeks old. My hubs is so worried about his ears standing im not to worried. But hes been talking about it like crazy lol. Thanks for the great article.

    • Hi Sarah!

      Thanks for your comment.

      I’m pleased you’ve found this useful and hope it will put your hubby’s mind at ease. Jasper’s still got a long way to go before you need to be concerned.

      I do recommend encouraging a lot of chewing. It’s done wonders for other readers here who were struggling with floppy ears way after 7 months of age. It’s the healthiest way to support those ears.

      Just make sure the toys are safe for chewing. You can find some of my recommendations here.

      All the best!

  • Morgan

    My German Shepherd puppy turned 6 months old on October 9th and his ears have been up all the way, then down, then one up one down, and now they’re down, should I consider taping or give him till 7 months?

    • Hi Morgan,

      Thanks for your question.

      What you’re experiencing is totally normal. It’s all about teething and the fact that his ears were up before is a good sign. I really wouldn’t worry now. And definitely not interfere with those ears at all.

      I do recommend giving him A LOT of opportunities to chew. I’ve had readers on my blog who’s dog’s ears perked up after being down for months and months after chewing for only one week.

      Just take care to make sure the toys are safe, especially for puppies who are not streetwise yet.

      Check out my recommendations for toys for GSD puppies.

      Here are a few more options…

      My pups were teethed on a bunch of these and some of these toys are still doing the rounds in our house.

      I hope this helps.


  • Lida Vardania

    Dear Sir/madam, I am writing to you from country Georgia. As we have very low level of veterinary services and we have case that needs more expertise, we kindly ask your opinion. Friends Dog, German Shepard puppy’ hears were down and without asking owner breeder brought the puppy to the veterinary. The doctor made surgery that we think is owfull and total disaster. In first place to do surgery to fix ears we consider unacceptable, and the way it was done is even worse. Attached we are sending photo of the dog. As we want to make case out of it and make sure this doctor never touches other dogs, we thought to get other professional opinion from other countries. We kindly ask you to share your opinion: 1. Is this type of surgery normal practice? 2. From the photos, do you also agree that this is brutal. We are just seeking for other opinion, as we are not professionals in the area and the doctor that made this tries to convince that this is normal to fix this type of “problems”. Thank you in advance

    • Hi Lida,

      Thanks for your questions.

      I’m not a vet so I can’t give a professional opinion.

      If I was in your shoes, I would seek a second opinion from a qualified vet. This way you’ll be thoroughly informed. And from that point on your friend can make a decision about the way forward.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help.

  • My 3 month old gsd pups ears were up a week ago then a couple days later his left ear is flopped out to the outside. The vet said it looks like a lazy ear and will never stand up. Anyone have any input?,,

    • Hi Max’s Mom!

      Thanks for your question.

      In all honesty I think it’s way too early for your vet to make a call on Max’s ears. He’s only 3 months in and still has a lot of teething and developing to do. So I think your vet might be strapping the cart in before the horse.

      And the fact that his ears were up is a good sign, even if they are down now. And it’s not uncommon for shep pups to have ears that flop to the inside and outside. So I’d hang in there and try not to worry too much.

      It shouldn’t be a concern until after 7 months or so. And even then it’s fixable without to much meddling in most cases.

      I do recommend giving Max plenty of safe chew toys. I’ve made this suggestion to other GSD owners. And I’ve had one owner who’s dog’s ears perked up at 7 months after just a week of chewing.

      I’ve reviewed a bunch of great toys that might help you pick out the best ones for Max.

      Here are to those articles:

      The best dog toys for German Shepherd puppies.

      Indestructible dog toys for German Shepherds.

      Hope this helps!

  • Max''s Mom

    I know this subject has,been discussed but mine is,a little different. I’ve read about puppy’s ears leaning inward. My 3 month old pups ears were up then one day his left ear was flopped out to the side. My vet said it is probably a lazy ear,and will not stand up . Any opinions? ??

  • Mike

    My puppy is 4 months old. He is being trained as a service dog for me. I am doing the training. His ears are down and i have decided if they dont stand that i will allow his ears to stay down. Is there any danger to a shepherds ears being down or am i safe? He wont be a show dog so im not worried about his ear appearance.

    • Hi Mike,

      Thanks for your question.

      There’s no danger to them having floppy ears. But I think you might be jumping the gun.

      He’s only 4 months old and he’s got a long way before he’s done teething.

      Just make sure you give him plenty of safe chew toys. I have a reader who’s pup’s ears where still down at 7 months. she gave him chew toys for a week and both his ears are upright now.

      Hope this helps.

      Chat soon,

  • Teri daniel

    Thank you so much. We rescued a beautiful gs pup from a puppy mill. She turned out beautiful, with perfect ears. Whiles wrestling with our other dog, her ear got injured and just hangs.
    These options have been very helpful.

    • Hi Teri,

      Happy to have helped. She’s lucky to have been rescued by you!

      If you have any other questions about her ears just drop me a comment here.

      Chat soon,

  • Charlotte

    This was a very good read. Thank you for all the proper ways to do ears. I have the incerts and I’m now know how to do so again, thank you.

    • Hi Charlotte,

      Great! I’m pleased this was helpful. Good luck with the ears and let me know how you get on.


  • M. Asim Sana

    I am a German shepherd dog. I think he is a hybrid and is still a substance, born on the first day. As soon as he is five months old, his ears have fallen. What should I do to get his ears off?
    Please guide

  • Britt


    I was looking through to see if I could find the answer, but I didn’t come across it. Of course, I could have just as easily overlooked it.

    In any case, I was wondering if you use the first method with the ear molds, do you still need to use a popsicle stick or is that solely for the second method?

    Thanks for writing this post! While I’ve had two German Shepherds in the past, their ears stood up almost immediately and stayed up within a few days of bringing them home. My little rascal that I just recently got hasn’t had as much luck. She’s only four months and I’m aware that it could still be some time before they stand, but I wanted some idea of what to do if they didn’t after she finished teething. And this post has given me some wonderful and useful tips. Thank you!

  • Zameer

    Hi I have 2 dogs 1 is a 5 month old German shepherd and the other one is a 4 month old Swiss shepherd it’s almost the same as a German shepherd but just different color coat anyways my Swiss shepherds ears are not going up I don’t know if it is happening because they play and my German shepherd bites his ears please I really need help on how to fix his ears

  • Darcy

    We have a female shepherd whose ears went up about when she was 4 months and stayed up. She is now almost 7 months and the tips of both ears have flopped down. What is going on? She did have some bug bites inside the tops of her ears but they have been down now about 10 days, will the go back up? How long should we wait?

    • Hi Darcy,

      Usually when their ears have been up before and drop down they will go up again. The bug bites might be the cause that the tips are flopped down. But I doubt there’s permanent damage. It’s not like there was serious trauma. And if they have been treated and cleared up that’s good.

      What I recommend is to encourage A LOT of chewing. I’m sure she already has a bunch of chew toys so set time aside a few times a day and really encourage chewing. Make it a game which involves you too. A member of the FB group’s 8 month old pup had totally floppy ears and she followed my advice and after a week they were both up for the first time since she got him.

      That extra chewing does wonders!

  • JustMe

    Forgot to mention we had to crate them and I often see their ears being pressed against the sidewalls or top of the crates!! Should we stop the crates and use a playpen type thing for them? Thanks again!

    • Mmmm, yes, I would be careful of that. It sounds like your crates are too small. A playpen sounds like a better option.

  • JustMe

    We just got two female German Shepherd pups and they are sooooo beautiful!! We got them at 9 weeks old and their ears were straight up! Only a week later, one of the pups’ ears is not really falling down, but seems floppier than the other, if that makes sense. We got these pups as family pets…and for protection, so it is important to us that they look fearless and fierce! It was the reason we chose this breed. We just bought a house with almost 5 acres of land out in the country. We want these dogs to protect our three small children outside from anything that may cause them harm, including humans and animals!

    These pups are only 10 weeks old now, and from what I gathered from your post, the floppy’ish ear should be fine, right? TIA

    • Hi There,

      Yup, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. They’re still teething and during this time ears tend to go up and down.

      Just make sure they have plenty of safe toys to chew on. I got feedback recently from a member of this site’s FB group who encouraged her 8 month old up to start chewing and within a week his ear was upright.

      I’ve written some reviews of great puppy toys, some of them are still going strong here in my house.

      Here’s a link if you want to check them out: https://germanshepherdcorner.com/best-toys-for-german-shepherd-puppies/

      Hope this helps.

  • Jen


    I have a male GSD that will be 6 months tomorrow! He is pretty much done teething, just one dead tooth that needs to come out (vet saw it and said I could wait to see if it comes out). My question is, he has one ear that has always stood up perfectly, since he was very young and another that always seemed weaker. Now I’m wondering if the weaker ear needs some help or if I should wait a little longer to see if it stands properly. When he sees something interesting both ears stand up, just the one dips in on the inside. The tip is good, just seems less stable on the left side of the right ear. Any advice would be appreciated! He is just our family pet but it’s a big male (over 26kg already!) and I want him to look good!!

    • Hi Jen,

      Sorry for my late reply, I just got back from vacation.

      The final decision lies with you but I’d give him another few weeks and if the ear is still floppy, I’d do some ear taping. Also, give him plenty to chew on.

      If you haven’t already, check out the cool update in this article from Roger. He’s a reader here at German Shepherd Corner and he had amazing success with taping his dog’s ears.

      Let me know how you get on. 🙂

    • Jennifer

      Hi Gabriella,

      Thank you for the feedback. I will give Teddy a few more weeks and see what happens as you suggest. In the meantime all his baby teeth are out, including the grey one, and he has a few new toys to chew! I read the article by Roger, it’s very interesting! I hope I don’t have to tape but it’s good to know it may work if nature doesn’t sort his ear out!!

      Greetings 🙂

    • Hi Jennifer,

      Keep me updated, if you have questions, feel free to ask.

      Speak soon,

    • Jen

      Hi Gabriella,

      Just an update, my Ted is going to be 8 months in a week and although the ear has gotten somewhat stronger, there is still a twist in the middle. I am starting to think it’s the way the ear is shaped. In general it is slightly different than the other ear and even when the wind helps it into perfect position you can see it looks a little bit like Ted is listening beside or behind himself. I did experiment with taping it but nothing stuck and I had the feeling whatever I put on was weighing the ear down. I am also afraid to make it worse or damage the other ear in the process – this is possible right? I feel like I would need someone like you to come and do it for me in order to get good results!!!! Ted wont be used for breeding, so I guess it doesn’t really matter, but I was hoping it would stand a little more like his other ear!

    • Hi Jen!

      I’m pleased to hear the ear has gotten stronger! The last time we chatted was when he was 6 months old, so there’s been an improvement.

      Taping one ear won’t ruin the other ear, so you’re good there.

      I’m sorry to hear you’ve been struggling with the taping. Which part of the taping is not working for you? the taping shouldn’t weigh the ear down, it should make it stand up right. It sounds like he’s got a kink in the middle of the pin of his ear. Taping should work to straighten that out.

      But, it’s worth noting that a member of this site’s FB group started encouraging her 8 month old puppy to start a lot of chewing. Basically chew, chew, chew and more chewing. And in a week his one floppy ear was all the way up. It’s really worth making chewing extra exciting and encouraging a lot of it.

  • Sharon

    Hi my puppy is 10 weeks old and one of his ears kind looks twisted and is down has not gone up yet. I think the puppies brothers and sisters might have damaged it when they play and bight each other. How can I tell if there damaged or of they just need more time?

    • Hi Sharon!

      Their ears do look twisty sometimes. I wouldn’t worry about it. And at 10 weeks those ears still have plenty of developing to do. 🙂

    • Jen


      How old is your GSD now? I was wondering how the twisted ear looks now. I have a 6 month old that has a twisted ear and I am wondering if I need to wait a little longer or do something about it now… he always had one that was standing straight up and one that was as you describe, kinda twisted!


  • Golan tamir

    I need help. I have a German Shepherd, 5 months. His ears are hairy and fall.
    Today is one of his ears bitten by another dog and was bleeding.
    Is there a chance that caused irreparable damage to the ear or she will recover?
    I’d appreciate an answer as soon as possible

    • Hi Golan,

      It’s difficult for me to tell whether the bite will cause permanent damage to your pup’s ear. The best advice I can give to to take him to a vet for a professional opinion.

  • Vicki

    We adopted Gibbs at 4 months. At that time his left ear was up and the right was drooping at the tip, about the last 3/4″
    He’ll be 6 months on February 17th. Both ears now droop about the top 3/4.” The left went down after He got his vaccinations about a month ago and hasn’t gone back up.
    I think he is done teething. They all look like adult teeth but some are maybe not in all the way. Any advice?

    • Hey Vicki!

      Ears are tricky things!

      So, it is normal for ears to droop after things like vaccinations. Also, if his ears were up before that’s a very good sign, even if they still drooped the last 1/4. The chances are almost 100% that they will perk up again.

      Also, some pups take longer to complete their teething than others. 6 months is just the base line to work from. And if you’re seeing that some of his teeth are not all the way out yet, then he’s still teething.

      I recommend giving him lots of opportunities to chew, chew and chew some more. This is so good for the jaw and head muscles which really helps with teething which in turn helps those ears.

      If you’re looking for some great chew toys, here’s a review I wrote on some of the best chew toys for German Shepherds.

      My personal favorites and the ones I raised my pups on are the Rogz da bones, any of the West paw zogoflex and also the JW Good Cuz and Bad Cuz. Check them out to see if any of them look interesting.

      I hope this helps. Let me know how the ears get on.

      Chat soon.

  • Kristen

    Hi thanks for the great advice. Woke up this morning and found my 11 week old pup’s ears are suddenly droopy. They had been quite erect for the last 2 weeks so I’m hoping they go back for her. My only concern is that it’s really bothering her. She hasn’t stopped shaking her head like she’s trying to get them to go back (super cute haha).
    After reading all your comments I’m just a little worried she might cause some damage to them, is that possible?

    • Hi Kristen,

      It’s totally normal for GSD pup to have ears that see-saw, even if they’re as old as 6 months. But, because you’ve mentioned that she has been shaking her head, I recommend visiting a vet. Dogs usually shake their ears when they have an ear infection. I’m not saying it is an infection and I’m not trying to freak you out. But it’s best you have it checked out by a vet. An untreated ear infection can cause lasting damage if it’s not treated. If it’s not an infection you can rest assured they will perk up again.

      I hope this helps.

  • Pam

    I have a female GSD that will be 6 months old on January 11th and she weighs about 45 lbs. Her right ear has been standing up for a month but her left ear is still flopped over and never stands up. She has lost all her puppy teeth and her adult teeth are almost all the way thru. Should I do something to help the left ear stand up?

    • Hi Pam!

      If the ear has never shown any signs of perking up, you could consider helping that left ear along. It’s generally the rule of thumb that by 6 to 7 months both ears should be upright or at least almost there.

      But, I do encourage you to read the feedback from a reader that I included in the post above. They had great success with taping their German Shepherd’s ear well after the 6 to 7 month period.

  • Zouaidi Cirine

    I have a 2 months old german shepherd whose’ ears are very floppy. They haven’t come up until now and even when I whistle, I can’t figure out the reason. His mother lives with us, sure he does play with her all the time. Can the playing be a problem ? I don’t know what to do?

    • Hi Zouaidi!

      At 2 months your pup still has a lot of growing to do. You have nothing to worry about now if his ears are still floppy. I suggest just letting them be. Yes, playing can be a problem if there’s rough play that involves pulling and biting ears. But that’s usually only between puppies and litter mates. It’s not likely that his mom will pull at his ears. But if she does, then you will need to supervise all play.

      I think you can relax about his ears.

  • Fred Rodriguez

    Hi, i have a female GSD that was having issues with droopy ears, i went ahead and added Glucosamine to her diet (1000 mg) a day and i changed her puppy food to Non corn, wheat and soy when she was 5 months old. At 7 months old her ears finally became errect and its been two months since they have stayed up. My question to you is, when do you recommend that i put her on regular puppy food and when should i stop feeding her the Glucosamine ?


    • Hey Fred!

      Great news on those ears perking up! It pays to be patient and persevere!

      If I was in your shoes, I’d keep her on the food you’re feeding now. It sounds like you’ve got her eating a good diet. Foods with corn, wheat, soy and other unnecessary grains can cause many problems in dogs. But especially the GSD because they have sensitive digestive tracts and skins. She still needs to be fed a food formulated for puppies though.

      As for the gulcosamine, I’d stop giving this now because it’s done the work you needed it to do.

  • Megyn Sullivan

    I have a 10 month old German Shepherd, most of the time his ears are either down or one up (more often the left one up than the right, and sometimes flopped over the top of his head.)

    The thing is, when he is alert, or excited, or playing, he’ll perk both ears up almost perfectly, or sometimes with some inward floppiness where they’re leaning against eachother like you’ll see in younger puppies. He’s just shy of 80lbs now, he’s a big boy and as tall as me when he jumps up on me when we “dance” lol, practically eye level.

    Early on he did have a yeast infection we treated his ears for though.

    Is there anything that can be done, since he CAN hold them up during certain times of excitement, or will he stay just a mostly floppy earred sheppy?

    • Hi Megyn,

      Thanks for your question.

      The fact that your boy’s ears perk up when he’s alert is a good sign.

      You say he’s a big boy so it’s possible that his ears are larger than say a more regular sized male GSD. This means the leather is a little thinner than a GSD with smaller ears that are closer together.

      I don’t believe the earlier yeast infection would have any long term effects on his ears. If they were treated by a vet and the infection has cleared up, you should have nothing to worry about.

      I think it’s safe to say you can and should get actively involved in helping those ears perk up. I’ll say right off the bat that sometimes helping out makes no difference.


      I want you to read the read the feedback in this article from another reader here at GSC. His GSD was a younger than your boy by only one month. They followed the taping method and persevered. In the end, they had positive results and now their GSD has those lovely pointy ears.

      You can find the feedback under the ‘taping’ section. The text is in orange so it’s easy to find.

      My advice is to follow what Roger did exactly. There is a good chance you will have positive results too.

      If you have any questions as you work through helping those ears, just drop them in the comments. Also, come back and share your success. Even better, send me an email. I love success stories!

      Hope this helps to answer your question.

      Chat Soon,

  • Jasmin

    I have a 10 week german shepherd his name is chaos..
    We noticed from last week that one of his ears always points to the left.. it looks teribble . We made sure that we arent touching the ears..
    But he sleeps on it all the time. It looks as if its glued that way.. shoyld i be worried. ?

    • Hi Jasmin,

      Thanks for your question.

      At 10 weeks Chaos still has a lot of growing to do. And ears can do strange things until they’re fully developed.

      Has this pointing to the left only started recently? Is the leaning to the left at the base or somewhere on the leather part? Is the ear upright and pointing to the left?

      Knowing the answers to these question will make it easier for me to answer your question.

      If you can, take a picture and email it to me. rosemary[at]germanshepherdcorner.com

      I’ll look out for your email.

      Chat soon,

  • Safakheir

    I have a german spitz about 10 weeks with droped ears can I use these guides to fix this problem?
    please help me .

    • Hi Safakheir,

      Thanks for your question.

      Okay, so I’m not an expert on the German Spitz, but here’s what I think…

      All pups are born with their eyes and ears closed. At 10 to 14 days their ears start opening. A Spitz has smaller ears than a German Shepherd but the Spitz has much more hair, which is also thick. So in my opinion it will take some time for your pup’s ears to point upright.

      If on the other hand IF a Spitz should have upright ears by 10 weeks, then you should consider getting involved in helping those ears. But, I think it’s unlikely. Any pup is still very much a baby at 10 weeks, they still have a lot of growing to do relative to their adult size. And if this is correct, I’d hold back and monitor the ears. If you force the ears, you’ll cause damage you can’t fix.

      The feedback for another reader was that even at 9 months they had success with taping their pup’s ears. The cause of the problematic ear was trauma – which is always difficult to fix (see the orange highlighted text in the article). It’s a fine line to tread and you’re the only one who can make that decision.

      If or when you do decide to get involved there are a few things you should take care of;

      You’ll definitely need to shave the entire inside of your pup’s ears. Remember, it’s easier with a GSD, they have very little and fine hairs – well the short hair ones anyway.

      You won’t be able to use ear form supports, unless you can get your hands on a size suitable your your Spitz. If you do, you’ll deform the ears. If you can’t find those, the second method would work better.

      You might need to trim the outer hairs a small bit because of the tape in method 2 but don’t shave it all off. You want the ear leather to stay accustomed to the weight of hair.

      And always use surgical tape like in the description.

      And be careful when you remove the tape.

      Let me know how you get on.

      P.S. Do you have a Klein or Mittel Spitz?

  • Mahnoor


    This was so enlightening. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    I have a 6 month old male German Shepherd. We got him at a very younh age – when he had just turned a month old – due to some complications. I know for a fact that both of his parents had their ears erect.

    The past few months, Rocky’s (his name) ears have perked up and drooped back down. At small intervals – maybe an hour or so a day – both ears would be erect, but for the most part, his ears only perk up one at a time. He’s very protective so in alert mode his ears perk up instantly. At first I wasn’t worried but now that he has his adult teeth coming out, I feel like his ears should be pointed up.

    Is all his ear droopiness because of the age at which we got him? He is quiet petite for his age, would that effect his ears? What do I do? Any and all help would be appreciated!

    • Hi Mahnoor!

      I’m pleased you found this useful!

      What you’ve described is 100% normal. Ears perking up one at a time, perking for short intervals and so forth. His adult teeth are still developing and pup’s mature at their own speed. The fact that he was not able to suckle on his mother from age 4 weeks, could have an effect on the speed of his development but not on the final outcome. It might take his body a little longer to catch up.

      The fact that his parents have perky ears is a huge plus point. And he’s most likely not had any trauma since you’ve had him since a very young pup. And the see saw of up and down is a good sign too.

      Also, his ears are perking up when he’s alert, so there is strength in the ‘leather’ to stay up and in the muscles too. My first GSD, Lupo had floppy ears, and even in an alert state they never perked up. So another positive point for Rocky’s ears.

      So my advice is to sit tight and fight the urge to get involved with his ears. I don’t think you have anything to worry about. Let your little guy develop at a natural pace.

      Chat soon,

  • Thomas

    Hi I have a 13 month gsd male whose ears are erect but when he runs they flap he is a big boned dog and I was wondering if there is a way to rectify this problem as he has excellent construction but gets penalised in the show ring for this

    • Hi Thomas,

      At your boy’s age I think you have nothing to lose by giving the taping method a go. There have been instances where taping has helped even after 6 to 7 months.

      In this article under ‘Taping Your Dog’s Ears’ section I’ve just recently added a wonderful success story from one reader – Roger. He managed to help his German Shepherd’s ears perk up permanently.

      You could possible have success in teaching those ears to stay upright when he’s running.

      I’ve highlighted the advice and tips from Roger in orange so it’s easily distinguishable.

      Let me know what you decide and how you get on.

      Chat soon,

  • Erik

    Appreciate the article, lots of useful information. Unfortunately, it didn’t address the problem my pup seems to have.
    His ears were standing at 6 weeks and down by 8 weeks; I know, perfectly normal and I take it as a good sign. At 4 months the left ear is perfect and the right is trying but right where it flops over (just above half way up) there’s a noticeable crease in the ear tissue. I’m a bit concerned that it may have been injured at some point, leaving a weak spot. If it is a weak spot, I’m thinking that taping it now, instead of waiting for him to finish his teething, would be more effective and possibly the better move.
    Since my experience is with Great Dane ears not GSD, any advice would be welcome.

    • Hi Erik,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m please your found this article useful.

      What you’re describing could very well be from an earlier injury. But this does not necessarily mean the ear will never perk up.

      Also, does your pup’s parents have large ears? Larger ears have a thinner ‘leather’. If so, your pup’s ears might take longer to settle in.

      However, I’d really recommend waiting before taping his ears – perhaps wait a couple of weeks before you make a decision. Teething really does play a big role in how German Shepherd puppies ears react.

      I have been contacted by other readers who have had 100% success in taping ears after 6 months. Of course it took much longer than taping at a younger age but by 12 months the ears were perking up without any support.

      I’ll post the method and information on this post during the weekend. So check back here on Monday for the additional advice.

      Chat soon,

    • Hey Erik,

      Just a heads up to let you know I’ve added the info I promised. I think you’ll find it useful.

      You’ll find it under the ‘Taping Your Dog’s Ears’

      Let me know you you get on with it.

      Chat soon,

  • Subrata

    My GSD is 2 months old. His one ear is getting erect but not the other. Please suggest if there is any problem.

    • Hi Subrata,

      Thanks for leaving your question here.

      In a nutshell, no I don’t see anything to worry about. At 8 weeks old, your pup’s ears are still in the early development stages when it comes to them perking up. The ears can take turns to stand up and then drop back down – it’s totally normal.

      Please, fight the urge to make the process move faster. You will most definitely have the opposite effect.

      All you can do is give him lots and lots of safe chew toys and keep them from any trauma through injury or touching.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Chat soon,

  • Kim

    Hello, I have a 9 month old female German Shepherd. I’m worried that her ears may never stand up. We got her at 3 months old and at that time they mainly stood up. I got to see her mother and her mother’s ears stood up, but I wasn’t able to see her father.
    The thing is, she’s very large for her age. At 6 months she already weighed almost 60 lbs. she is very tall, thin and lanky. She looks as if she hasn’t quite grown into her features yet. She has that awkward teenage look as I call it 🙂 her ears do seem to be a bit large. Anyway, after 3 months her ears began to stay down all the time. Then at about 5 months they started to stay up sometimes, sometimes not. Now at 9 months, her ears are up about 40% of the time and down the rest. A month ago we tried gluing her ears for about 5 days, and afterwards her ears definitely stood up more.
    So basically, my question is this- should I consider taping/gluing again? Or do you think that since her ears do stand up for at least part of the day every day that eventually they will stay up permanently? I’m worried because she’s 9 months old already…please help me if you can! I’ll love my girl regardless, but I do love that pointy-eared look! Thank you!

    • Hi Kim!

      Usually when the ears have stood up they will become perky at some stage. But since she’s already 9 months old, you should consider getting involved in helping the ears over the last hurdel.

      If she does have larger ears this could be the reason they’re not upright yet. You said taping them did help, so I’d say go ahead and tape her ears. You’ll need to be patient because if her ears are larger it might take more time for the taping to work its magic.

      Let me know how you get on – okay.


  • umar

    hey i have a 3.5 month old german shephard and his one ear is errect bt the other is too mch floopy..he never goes up..some says he is weak and his ears never stands up..should i worry r wait till six months…??

    • Hi Umar,

      In short, no I don’t see any reason why you should be worried right now. Some German Shepherds have their ears up at 12 weeks and some later. Try not to handle the ear and also keep other dogs and kids from touching his ears.

      And, don’t listen to people who say he’s weak, they don’t know what they’re saying.

      Let me know how the ear gets along, okay?


  • Melissa

    My Inga’s ears stood at 7 weeks overnight, no problem. German and Croatian bloodlines. She has been fed Purina 1 puppy food.

    • Hey Melissa!

      Yup, there’s usually less ear issues with the DDR, Croatian, West German and Czech bloodlines. They are smaller in size and I think that might be why, but I could be wrong. Glad to hear your pup’s ears pearked up with no issues. 🙂

  • siddharth

    hiiii. i hva gsd puppy of 3 months but his ears are not rising above. even when he looks suddenly that time his one ear is stand straight nd second still down. wht should i do

    • Hi Siddharth!

      Firstly, don’t panic…

      My advice is to do nothing at the moment. Your puppy is only 3 months old, there’s still plenty of time for them to perk up. If you try to force it now you will cause more harm than good and perhaps cause permenant damage.

      Just give him plenty of safe chew toys and make sure no one (human or puppy) causes any harm to his ears.

  • Jeremy

    I just got a new shepherd mix a couple weeks ago. He’s 11 weeks old and has fairly prominent GS coloring and facial features, but he has very floppy ears. As a mix, it’s impossible to know how much GS he has in him, but is there a chance his ears could eventually perk up?

    • Hi Jeremy,

      Only time will tell here. But I know of a few GSD mix dogs who have perky ears. In fact I own one. My youngest is a GSD Border Collie cross. And she’s got upright ears. They’re smaller than a GDS’s ears though.

      My advice is to give her plenty of safe chew toys to help strengthen her jaw muscles and then most importantly keep fingers, hands and other pups away from her ears. Your boy is only 11 weeks old, there’s still plenty of time. You should know by 6 months.

      Send some pictures I’d love to see him!


  • Joe

    Thank you very much, I have 8 weeks old puppy and still waiting for his ears to perk up. Hopefully I see that soon. Your Article is very helpful.

    • Hey Joe,

      You’re welcome!

      It’s good to be patient! You know what they say about good things coming to those who wait! LOL!


  • Chris

    I have a 12 month old German Shepherd her ears does not stand does not stand up what can I do to get on the stand up is there anything I can do thank you please email me

    • Hi Chris,

      Usually at 12 months you’ll have to consider taping the ears but that might still not do the trick. I have heard of success stories at this age but they are few and far between.

      If it’s a real problem for you, you could consider the implants I mention right at the bottom of this article. It’s pricey though.

      Unless you’re planning on showing with your girl it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. I’ve owned a GSD who’s ears never perked up for no rhyme or reason. But I loved him just the same. 🙂


  • Jay Thomas

    It is a brilliant article.I would say about this post that every dog has different ears some r tinny another r longest so we have’nt need to worry about it.I want share one experience with you that is about my german shepherd dog..whenever he is in the mood of enjoying and while playing he attaches his one ear with second year then it looks very amazing and we r happy to see him.Here i got more information about dogs.Thanks for sharing.

  • Moeed



    My girl andy is 12 months exact.initially there were some issues while perking up her ears but certainly they did.
    Now the issue is !
    There is big gap in her ears,apparently the ears are up since they perked up but not pointy the way they should be.she is from show line and none of her dam or sire hve such issues

    Please advise or send me any email address where i can send you her pics for better understanding of the matter

    • Hi Moeed!

      Please send me a picture to rosemary[at]germanshepherdcorner.com

      I’ll be happy to take a look and give my opinion.

      I’ll keep a lookout for your email.


  • Moeed



    My girl andy is 12 months exact.initially there were some issues while perking up her ears but certainly they did now the issue is!
    There is big gap in her ears,apparently the ears are up since they perked up but not pointy the way they should be as she is from show line

    Please advise or send me any email address where i can send you her pics for better understanding of the matter

  • Evelia

    I have 4 German Shepherds, two of them turned 1 yr old 2-23-16. The females ears stood up when she was very little but the males are still floppy. Is there anything I can do since he is 1 yr old?

    • Hi Evelia,

      Thanks for reaching out here!

      From their joint birthday I’m assuming that both of these one year old pups came from the same litter? If the female’s ears are up yet the male’s are not, I suspect there might have been trauma to the ears of the male. This trauma might have occurred before you even got the pups.

      At the age of 1 year, I’m not convinced that taping or supplements will make any difference. You might want to consider permanent implants that I briefly mentioned in this article. I don’t know the genuine success rates of the procedure so it’s best to speak with your vet first. One of my first German Shepherds, Lupo, had floppy ears due to early ear trauma and I decided to leave them as they were.

  • Durgesh

    Problem with my gsd pup is that his one ear stood up in 7 weeks but the other is completely down. Is there any sensation thats missing or something else is the problem . He is 8 weeks old

    • Hi Durgesh!

      I don’t think you have anything to be concerned about regarding your pup’s ears. He’s only 8 weeks old and still has his teething stage to go through. It’s not uncommon for German Shepherd puppies ears to stand up one at a time or to flop back down.

      Just give him plenty of safe toys to chew on and fight the urge to meddle with his ears.

      You’ll probably find the other ear will stand up at some point and could very well flop back down.

  • Concerned Owner

    I have a 5 month old and I am trying to find out if an ear has been damaged and then taped will it still stand?
    We got her at 12 weeks and only one ear stands. So we aren’t sure what other dogs she was around or if it’s normal for one ear to be slower than the other. She’s such a gorgeous girl. But it’s frustrating only having one ear up and one still folded over.

    • Hi Concerned Owner!

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your question.

      It’s not uncommon for one ear to be ahead of the other in terms of perking up. If there was trauma to the ear there is a chance the ear will perk up with some help from taping. Of course a lot will depend on how much and what kind of trauma the ear might have been exposed to. But as you say this is impossible to tell since you don’t know the full history. In my opinion, you have nothing to lose in that case and taping might just do the trick.

      Just keep in mind that if your girl is still teething, it might be the reason the ear is still droopy. Has the ear perked up at any time and then dropped back down again? If so, there’s a good chance the ear will perk up on its own. If its never perked up at all you could consider taping. At 5 months there’s still time to give the ear a helping hand. In my experience, after 6 months the chances of the ear perking up drops considerably.

      If you do decide to tape the ear, follow the steps in the article carefully. I say this because sometimes the ear can actually be traumatized if taping is done incorrectly and an otherwise healthy ear is then damaged permanently.

      Let me know how you get on with the taping. I hope it’s a success!

  • Gary Collatz

    I’m a veteran with service-connected Severe PTSD. My wife and I are living off of Disability Pay. We live in Rio Rancho NM. I’m sure there are more Veterans out there with the same Disability as my self. Once you find a trainer for a Service Dog, it’s so darn expensive!! What do we do? Is there a foundation that helps Veterans afford the training that runs between $1,400 & $2,500? Please let us know. We’re financially okay, but other Veterans I’m sure are not….

    • Hi Gary!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your question.

      I’m sure it’s a question many veterans ask themselves. I’ve learned that this kind of training can be anywhere from $10,000 to $60,000. That’s astronomical!!

      I’ve done some research for you and tried to narrow things down to in and around the area you live in NM.

      I noticed that all the organizations that provide such a service supply the dogs too. I found one that actually allows the veterans to hand pick their dog from selected rescue dogs. I’m not 100% sure whether they’ll make an exception and train a dog a veteran already owns. But in all honesty, I don’t see why not. All their services are supported by donations and according to their website, veterans are not required to pay for anything.

      The great thing is they are in Albuquerque, NM. I checked the rough distance and it’s roughly 18 miles from Rio Rancho.

      Here’s the link to their website where you can find more information…

      Paws and Stripes

      Hope this helps. If they can’t assist you they might know of an organization near you that can. But, I’m keeping my fingers crossed they’ll be the place for you.

      All the best,

  • Rick

    I have a Very Large GSD…he just passed 6mos a few days ago..he’s pushing 65lbs and growing everyday. His ears currently look like ‘wings’ as they are not all the way down or up. When he runs outside they stick up..in the house one pops up for a few seconds..then goes back down, same for the opposing one. His parents are pretty big themselves….both of them have big ears and are both up. I so far have decided against helping his ears stay up with molefoam or anything else. I’ve read online that because he is just so dang big….that it just might take a bit longer than usual. His teething I think is almost done… Has a huge Kong toy to chew which he loves…and has ropes etc etc…and chews all day long. However we have been regularly shaving his ears with a trimmer to make his ears lighter…in hopes they go up easier..never the less fingers crossed.

    • Hi Rick!

      Wow! He’s a big boy!

      I think you’re on the right track with lightly shaving his ears to “lighten the load”. And of course chewing helps a ton. If perky ears are important to you, I’d consider giving his ears a helping hand in the near future. GSD’s with large ears can take longer to stand upright though so it’s a tough call. The fact that both his parents have upright ears is a good sign. But if ears aren’t a big deal for you, just go with the flow and see what happens.

      I had a boy years ago, Lupo, he was a big boy too and only one ear stood upright. I didn’t mind though, it was him that I loved and not his ears. 😉

  • Jess Demo

    Thanks for the article. It has a lot of good information. I have a 15 week old German Shepherd and his ears are very floppy. At random times they come up but not very often.

    When he was 7 weeks old he had one ear up one ear down but they werent typical german shepard. They were up and the tips were together in the center of his head. By the time he was 11 weeks old his ears were back to floppy. His ears are bigger I believe. Do you think they will come back up since they were up at one point? What kind of problems does it cause if his ears never come up? Would the taping hurt him in any way? I rather have him happy and floppy if this could hurt him.

    Thanks for your time,

    One worried Momma.

  • Teresa

    we recently got 2 wonderful German Shepherd pups, ones ears are up – and always have been and the others ears are up on day then one is up, and one down then both down then another one up.. Its funny, and I hope his ears go up and stay up, but it is not a big deal if they don’t I will love them both anyway! But this was a great article, thank you!

    • Hi Teresa!

      Thanks for your comment, I’m please you enjoyed the information.

      This is a common situation with German Shepherd puppies ears. Up and down, up and down! And with some pups, as you’ve seen with your own, don’t experience this. And if he’s still teething, it’s a pretty common occurrence.

      But it’s like you say, no matter whether his ears are up or down – you’ll love him regardless! 🙂

  • mo

    Hi Gabriella, thanks for the great article very informative.My male GSD puppy is 5 months old and his one ear flops to one side , should I be worried , should I look at supplements or tape ear up or should I just be patient and wait for him to theeth.

    • Hi Mo!

      Thanks for your question!

      If your pup is still teething I’d suggest waiting until this stage is completed. While your pup is teething you’ll notice loose teeth and sometimes blood around the gums. Keep an eye on this and you’ll soon notice when he’s done teething.

      My suggestion is not to start doing anything right now, he’s still got a way to go.

      P.S I’m pleased you found the article informative! 🙂

  • rod storey

    Yes this is a wise and helpfulwebsite. I just had 4 boys and 2 girls and it’s really helping me out. I raised my female and did good but there was a lot of things I didn’t know that I know now and what to do. Thanks gsc.com

    • Hi Rod!

      Thanks for sharing your comment, you made my day with it! I’m pleased the information here has been helpful to you. 🙂

      If you have any questions please feel free to ask, I’m always happy to help.

      Happy Training!


  • Karen

    Please help, my fourteen week old gsd’s ears have been up for about three weeks, however I had him at the vet yesterday for a suspected ear infection. Since Iv put drops in today his ears are completely down, have I damaged them?

    • Hi Karen!

      Thanks for your question.

      No, you haven’t damaged your puppy’s ears! 🙂 As long as you’ve followed your vets instructions for administering the drops you have nothing to worry about.

      It’s not uncommon for a German Shepherd’s ear(s) to droop when they have an infection and putting ear drops in can also make them droop. Once the infection has cleared up your puppy’s ears should return to their happy, perky selves!

      I hope this will set your mind at ease. 😉

    • Florence L Collins

      My German Shepherd is 11 months old. Her ears stand up when she is active outside. Or when she is allergic by something. But when she is in the house relax and in her cage. They are down. Will they ever stand up all the time

    • Hi Florence,

      Thanks for your question.

      Have her ears ever gone through a period where they stood upright most or all of the time? If not this may be an indication that they need a little help in perking up.

      Before doing anything invasive, I recommend encouraging a lot of chewing and gnawing on healthy chew toys. since she’s older and likely a power chewer as most GSD’s are, I highly recommend using these types of toys for chewing.

      I’ve heard from many readers who did this simple yet effective thing and had excellent success with their dog’s ears perking up, even at an older age. Of course, every dog is an individual and there’s no guarantee this will work, but it’s worth a try. Chewing is the number one way to support the development of ears but the toys need to be safe to avoid injury to teeth and gums and of course, ensure no toxic materials are in the toys.

      Feel free to drop me any other questions in the comments. Good luck and let me know how those ears get on after a few weeks of chewing.

  • pilar


    i have 4 month he will be 5 octorber 25 old german shepard. hes ears went up when he was 12 weeks now he just have them all floppy. will hes ears ever go up or should i help him out and taped them?
    they are pretty big ears

    • Hi Pilar!

      Thanks for your question!

      Your puppy is still teething and it’s normal for ears to droop during this time. Check your pups mouth, you’re bound to see a mix of milk teeth and permanent teeth. You might also see slight bleeding of gums around milk teeth, which is normal because the permanent teeth are pushing through.

      You said his ears are pretty big. Did you see the parents? Did they have unusually large ears?

      Also, keep in mind that the ears on a German Shepherd puppy do look oddly big because their heads are not fully grown yet, so they might look big to you but actually they’re just big ears on a puppy’s small head.

      Do you know whether your pup’s ears could have suffered any trauma in the last few months?

      In my opinion, the fact that they perked up at 12 weeks is a good sign and I’ve never come across a case where this happened and the ears didn’t perk up in the end. Except if there was trauma. In the case of pups bred with too large ears, they probably wouldn’t have perked up at 12 weeks at all.

      As long as there was no trauma, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Your pup is only turning 5 months in a 6 days time, so I’d wait before taping. Messing around with ears too soon can cause more harm than good. In the meantime, give him lots of safe toys to chew on.

      Chewing does help the jaw and head muscles develop. You might also like to consult with your vet regarding some supplements. Glucosamine is an option. Also make sure your pup is free of internal critters that steal nutrients.

      If your pups ears are not up by 6 months, you should consider taping them.

      Hope this helps to ease your mind. Let me know if you have any other questions.


  • Christy

    Please help I don’t know how to help my puppy she can’t walk well on back legs she’s 4months and needs xray and get spayed I’m taped to afford both what is the right thing to do I love her so much thank you I hope I get some response from anyone

    • Hi Christy,

      Sounds like you’ve got a whole lot going on. I can tell you love her a lot!

      If I was in your shoes I’d have the xrays done first. If your puppy is having a hard time walking, that needs to be checked out pronto. Your vet can then prescribe treatment based on the findings.

      Your vet might be advising to do the spay and xrays at the same time. Which makes sense since both of these procedures are done under anesthetic. So your pup will only have anesthetic once, not twice. But if you’re strapped for cash to do both, do the xrays first.

      Your pup is only 4 months old and most females have their first heat at 6 months. I think it’s great that you are being responsible and want to spay her. But you have a little time on your side.

      When you’re ready to spay her, here’s a great website where you can find shelters, vets and other organizations who are able to provide sterilization of pets at very affordable prices.


    • LG

      6 months for a GSD? I dont think so. My pup is 9 months and no signs of heat. Truly curious.

    • I’m going to disagree here. I’ve helped dog owners with German Shepherd puppies way over 9 months of age get their ears to stand up. 🙂

  • I enjoyed reading your post. I remember when my Shepherd was a puppy and I wondered if her ears would EVER stand up. I don’t remember how old she was when they finally did, but I was happy. I love Shepherd ears. Thanks for the great article.

    • Hi Jeanne,

      I agree with you 100%, there’s nothing as cute as a German Shepherd’s ears. Especially when they’re going through their up-down, flopping to the side phase! Whether they’re going to perk up or not is something most GSD owners worry about but in 99% of the cases there’s never a problem.

      My first GSD I had as an adult, Lupo, his ears never perked up all together. But he had other hereditary health problems too. 🙁

      Thanks for visiting! I’m pleased you enjoyed the post 🙂

  • Eli Vassie

    Whoever the man was that told you your pup was weak because of the ears doesn t know anything about German shepherds. Some GSD Puppy ears stand early and never come back down but if they are standing at all at 12 weeks that is a great sign.

    • Hi Eli,

      Thank you for your visit and comment.

      I’m not sure which part of this article gave you the idea that I’m saying a GSD puppy is weak because of it’s ears. Although it is a fact that some breeders specifically breed puppies with larger heads and ears – which can cause permanent droopy ears. However this has nothing to do with the strength or weakness of a puppy.

      I totally agree with you on your point about some puppies having permanent perky ears by 12 weeks. In fact I specifically mentioned my own puppy who’s ears were up at 12 weeks and never went droopy again, even during teething.

      Thanks for sharing your opinion here, it’s always a positive thing to have diversity of opinions. 🙂

  • This is a great article. So many that are looking for showing their GSD worry too much when they are puppies. I love all the tips you offer in this post.

    Thanks for share.


    • R V

      Hi Suzanne,

      Thanks for stopping by, I’m pleased you enjoyed the tips! I agree, pups should be left to be pups and let mother nature take care of their ears, meddling too soon could just make the owners ‘fear’ a reality.

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