When Will My German Shepherd's Ears Stand Up?

Updated on August 8, 2017
Sam Shepards profile image

I am a writer with a great interest in German Shepherds, travel, psychology, and movies. I hope you enjoy my articles.


Classic German Shepherds have ears that stand up straight. But anyone who has ever adopted this breed knows that their ears are floppy when they are young. Some owners, especially those who want a very classic-looking GSD (German Shepherd dog), are eager to see the ears stand up right away and often wonder whether there is anything they can do to help.

At What Age Do German Shepherd Ears Stand Up Straight?

When your puppy is finished teething (around week 20), his ears should start to stick up or should be all the way up. Why does it take five months for this to occur?

As a puppy, the GSD's cartilage is not strong enough and cannot hold up the weight of his big ears. But as he grows and gets the right nutrition, he develops stronger cartilage. This process usually takes about 20 weeks.

When he starts to wean himself out of the teething phase, you will likely begin to notice his ears fluctuating between floppy and pointy. You might see them rise when he perks up in response to a noise but see them flop down quickly afterwards.

If his ears can stick up straight during the first five months (prior to the end of the teething phase), then it’s likely that they will be straight and pointy for the rest of his life.

Can This Process Take Longer?

In some dogs, the process will take longer. Every puppy, even puppies from the same litter, will develop differently. Some German Shepherds may take up to seven months. If his ears do not stand up by the time he is 8 months old, they are probably never going to stand up because this is the time when most GSD's ears take permanent form.


Is There Something Wrong With My Dog's Ears?

If five months have passed and his ears have still not perked up, it could be an indication that he is either not developing properly or that he is not getting proper nutrition. Your dog should have a diet that is abundant in protein, calcium, and vitamin D. If he is not getting enough of these nutrients from his puppy food, it might be time to switch to a higher-quality food. If you are really worried, you should take him to the veterinarian for a checkup.

However, most cases of floppy ears are an indication of non-standard genetics rather than lack of nutrition. Owners might want to rectify this problem with taping, but it rarely works because you cannot correct your dog’s biological makeup.

If you are not too picky with your puppy's appearance, then there is no reason to worry if his ears have not perked up by five months of age.

Is Taping German Shepherd Ears a Common Practice?

Many breeders recommend taping, and this is a fairly common practice, especially in show dog circles.

But taping is a less common practice with family or working German Shepherds for two reasons:

  1. Dogs that are bred to be family pets or working dogs are less likely to come from “show lines,” which means they are less likely to be “pure” German Shepherds.
  2. Owners of dogs that are not going to be shown in competitions are sometimes less concerned about their puppies being standard in appearance and may be perfectly happy with a floppy-eared adult GSD.


Is Taping Safe?

Taping, as long as it is done properly, is usually painless, but it rarely works and can cause irritation or annoy your pet. The idea is that taping trains the cartilage the same way weightlifting trains the muscle. However, it's not a very effective method because you can't fix genetics.

What Else Can I Do to Make German Shepherd Ears Stand Up?

If your GSD does not have the right genetics for pointy ears, then there is nothing you can do. However, if he has shown signs that his ears are going to perk up, then there are a few things you can do to protect them from damage.

  1. Keep him away from puppies or dogs that like to bite or tug on the ears. While this might be cute and normal behavior, it can damage the cartilage and make it impossible for one or both of the ears to stand up properly.
  2. It is also important to talk to children and other family members about handling the puppy in a gentle manner.
  3. If you see dirt inside his ears, clean them very carefully with a wet cotton ball. Never stick anything down the ear canal! If you notice a lot of hair growth or wax, take him to the vet for a professional cleaning.

When did your shepherd's ears finally stand up?

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Questions & Answers


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      • Sam Shepards profile image

        Sam Shepards 11 days ago from Europe

        Normally nothing 2.5 months is very young. Just keep giving him decent food and play enough.

      • profile image

        Mohit kumar 12 days ago

        Dear sir i have 2.5 months old german shepherd puppy but his ears not standing up. So please tell me what should i do.

      • profile image

        RAVI 3 weeks ago


        i have a mix gsd 5 months old .but his ears is not standing.

        what i do for stand his ears.

      • Sam Shepards profile image

        Sam Shepards 7 weeks ago from Europe

        Hi readers,

        Since I get a lot of personal messages with questions like "when will my German Shepherd's ears stand up straight" or my German Shepherd is already 3-4 months and his ears are still flappy, is this normal.

        I can only say it depends and varies between dogs. For a clue take a look at the poll here you see that 50% of dogs will have their ears up between 3-6 months. Around 30% after 6 months and 15-20% will never have their ears completely up.

        Also just remember it's more important to have a happy and loving dog over having the perfect ears.


      • Sam Shepards profile image

        Sam Shepards 7 weeks ago from Europe


        13 weeks is still young, just make sure his food is decent and he's happy and all will probably be fine. And indeed even for people who are unfortunate, if you love your german shepherd puppy it normally doesn't matter that much :)

      • profile image

        7 weeks ago

        My puppy is 13 weeks and his ears stands up randomly but most of the time they're down. Idc I still love him

      • profile image

        Zed222 2 months ago

        Hi wendy so i have a german shepherd he is 8 months old and his ears didn't raise i mean from the back of his ears they are raised but in the front they aren't so should i tape them or they will raise when they grow??

      • Sam Shepards profile image

        Sam Shepards 4 months ago from Europe

        Hi Wendy,

        Just looking at the age the chances are slim. Also if I read correct they are brothers and both have the same issue? Seems like genetics then?


      • profile image

        Wendy 4 months ago

        I have two brother GSD they have one ear up and one ear down . They are 15 months old... I feed them Blue wilderness so it is not a nutrition issue

        Are they ever going to go up?

      • Sam Shepards profile image

        Sam Shepards 4 months ago from Europe

        sudhanshu, is your German Shepherd teething? Shouldn't start worrying before he has changed all his teeth. Als make sure you puppy has good nutrious puppy food.

      • profile image

        sudhanshu 4 months ago

        I HAVE A 3 months old GERMAN SHEPERD Puppy his ear is not stands

      • profile image

        Annika Dinescu 7 months ago

        It did tell me???

      • profile image

        Mayur banya 8 months ago

        Thanku for explaining everything and making me comfortable

      • profile image

        Kyle 9 months ago

        I have a 10 week old GSD I believe but a man told me he looks mix. He has a gsd face someone help me

      • profile image

        nishan 9 months ago

        i have a 4 months old GSD puppy.His one ear is stand erectly and another one isnt. Does that one also erect properly?

      • profile image

        Angie Hernandez 10 months ago

        Thanks for the article good read.. still waiting for our puppy's ears to stand up she just turned 4 months. They stand when she plays & is running around outside but when she's relaxed they're flopped to the side like pippy long stockings lol

      • Sam Shepards profile image

        Sam Shepards 11 months ago from Europe

        Thank you for the response. I do my best to provide information. It stil need some work, for instance calcium is important for you puppies and can be related to ears not standing straight etc.

      • Kathleen Cochran profile image

        Kathleen Cochran 11 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

        Yeah! An actual article on HP - not just somebody's latest thought in a discussion or Q & A. It's hard to find real work on this site any more. Good work, and thanks for making the effort!


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