The first 3 videos show me actually taping See See’s ears. The 4th video is extra tips for success. See See’s right ear is “breaking” over, creating a crease which can be permanent, causing the ear to never stand properly. Truth is, it might stand on its own, but I want to make sure. It has stood for a week after just 4 days of tape before the show last Friday, but now it’s down again. That’s what I get for bragging about it on a previous post! For info on supplies, refer to previous posts. If you have questions, ask them in the contact box at the bottom of this post. Thank you Claudia, for shooting the video!
Believe it or not, See See’s ears are still standing! I took the tape off Friday morning. They looked great at the show that day, and she won over Clyde, and then got second in the Puppy Herding Group competition! Winston got 2 points toward his championship (15 is needed and he now has 6) on Friday also when he got Winners Dog and Best of Opposite. The judge that day was a judge that knows German Shepherds in particular, so I am more pleased about this win than if he had won on other days. She was also the judge in the puppy show. So I am very happy about these wins, although there was not much competition.
More about ears. I have heard from some of Jane’s puppies’ owners, and some are rightfully concerned about ears. Some are really flopping, as are the two I kept. Clyde’s had been really good, then one came down in time for the show, but is now back up, with no taping. Remember to check for a “hard fold” which damages the cartilage in the ear over time. If you have a hard fold, or “break” in the ear, consider taping at this age. These puppies were born 2/6/2021, so they are 4 months plus 9 days old. I am well aware that many breeders wait longer to tape, to give ears a chance to stand on their own. However, given what I know about my bloodline having weak ears, and some adult dogs ending up with hanging ears when owners just let the ears go, I advise taping earlier rather than later. Here is a video of my puppies (with Winston of course) with ears doing really pretty good for this age. Just FYI, I had to tape Winston’s ears for several weeks at around this age, and now they are perfect.
See See’s left ear tape got messed up, and the ear started to lean way in, probably because I let Winston babysit her. They must have played a little too hard. So, I took the tape off that ear, which happened to be the one that had stopped standing on its own. And guess what? It stood up! I re-taped it anyway. I really need to get someone to shoot video of me taping ears to demonstrate how to do this exactly.
The Jane and Cash litter of 2/6/2021 turned 4 months old yesterday. Time to start thinking about taping ears. The female I kept, See See, did have both ears up, but one has flopped back down. I am showing her this Friday in a puppy show, so I decided to tape today. Unfortunately, I had no one to help me. I think I did a pretty good job with these instructional videos in spite of going solo!
Here are some more tips:
Really important: Smell the ears each day. If it smells yeasty or bad in any way, don’t let it go, that can get bad real fast. Take off everything and let them air out. If your puppy is digging at them you may need a vet to treat them. Make sure the canal stays open. You should be able to stick your finger down in the ear. Make sure the tape is NOT covering the ear canal. Along those same lines, don’t let the ears get wet. You’d be setting them up for a yeast infection. Take your puppy out with an umbrella if necessary.
Don’t let any other pets chew on the tape! They will be attracted to the adhesive smell.
Buy lots of tape and moleskin. With a wiggly puppy, it’s easy to mess up and then you have to start over. Have the tape already torn off the roll and ready to grab. If it’s windy, don’t do it outside.
Make sure the puppy is somewhat tired from playing, but not thirsty, squirmy, leave me alone tired. He will be easier to handle. The less restraint you have to use the better.
With a long haired puppy, you may have to use clippers on the inside of the ears to trim the hair off, to make a smooth surface for the adhesive on the moleskin to stick. You may even have to trim the hair around the ears so the tape stays in place.
And yes, I know this would have been better if you could see it actually being done. Hopefully I can get some help next time. And yes, there are many ways to do this! Every breeder has their own favorite way. This is my favorite way! I have used other methods and taken from each to come up with this. Also, and I want to stress this, the puppies’ dam, Jane, had weak ears. I had to tape them for what seemed like forever. That’s one reason I bred to Cash, because he has such nice ears. So Cash doesn’t get the blame for the puppies’ weak ears, Jane does, which is my bloodline. See See’s ears are way better than Jane’s, and Clyde’s are really good. So, definitely an improvement with Cash’s genes.
This is Pony, although he has a new name now. He is with his Golden Retriever buddy all crammed onto a recliner. He’s got a nice dark face! And his feet are bigger than the Golden’s!
Many of Jane’s puppies went to homes with children of all ages, other dogs, and other pets, including horses and chickens. All reports have been good and puppies are getting along with everyone just fine. Yay!
This video illustrates how a GSD Puppy’s ears might look at just under 4 months of age. Especially note how sometimes this puppy’s right ear is flat and pointed hard backwards, and sometimes it is flopping. The left ear is up nicely. This is all within the range of normal in my experience, especially based on what I know about my own bloodline. Particularly because that right ear is sometimes pointed back hard, that means the muscles are working, and in all likelihood that ear will stand. A good rule of thumb for me is, if they haven’t been up by 4 months, consider taping! Thank you to Connie’s new owner, for this great video of Connie playing with her Jack Russell family member. We will re-evaluate in one week!
At two years old, Winston’s temperament is superb. He is a half brother to Clyde and See See, who are 16 weeks old. He does a great job of playing gently with them, and they learned how to be respectful of a larger dog from their mother Jane.
A couple of the puppies that went to homes in the Richmond area came over on Saturday for some informal training. We worked on walking on a leash and coming when called. Of course, we had to have play sessions! My two short coats, Clyde and See See, got to play with Chief (formerly known as Mustang) and Loosy, both longhairs. Here are two videos to mark the occasion.