Hello German shepherd Lovers. This is Dr. Banfe:
In this blog post I want to help owners of German Shepherd puppies with questions about ears.
Yes German shepherd ears should stand on their own, but don’t always do so. Some have “soft ears” or soft cartilage. It is possible they may never stand completely. But the vast majority do. And with proper care and intervention even soft ear problems can normally be rectified.
At about 4.5-5 months, if your puppy is not teething, it is time to consider intervening. If they are still teething or just stopped teething, then you may still be fine and won’t need to support the ears.
If they have been flopping for a while, then the cartilage can become creased and needs to be artificially supported to regain rigidity. I have posted an article on my k-9 University about addressing these situations. Just click on the link K-9 U. But since the writing of that article I have been experimenting and come up with some novel ways to support the ears. I will discuss those in an article and upcoming blog post.
Always clean the ears, deep in and the folds of the ears and bases prior to any inserts or support. You can read one of my articles on ear cleaning for directions. And be really careful of calcium supplements as they can cause joint laxity and bowed legs if you are not careful.
Also, besides a good quality food, make certain your puppy is stimulated with sounds and other stimuli to use the muscles around the ear. And also, be careful that you are not crated them in a crate which does not have enough room for the ears to stand up straight when they are standing in their crate.
The latest I have seem an ear which is not standing be remediated was at about 10 months.
I hope this helps you with your German Shepherd puppy. For us as German Shepherd breeders, we are concerned that you have information to obviate problems in the future.