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When should a Sheltie puppy's ears start coming up?

Discussion in 'Puppies 101' started by SRW, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. SRW

    SRW Premium Member

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    Jul 17, 2018
    Hi folks:

    It's possible I may have the opposite problem most people do with Sheltie ears. I just got a puppy yesterday that is two days shy of eight weeks old. When I picked him up the people I got him from showed me a picture of the father, who doesn't belong to them, and the father's ears were completely down (i.e. hound dog ears). I can't say for sure if that's his normal condition as he looked like he didn't want to hold still to have his picture taken as his tail was between his legs too and I could see his owner's hand in the picture admonishing him to stay still. This puppy's ears are still completely down whereas my previous Sheltie, whom I got at 8 1/2 weeks, had his ears glued down as they were already standing straight up.

    I'm wondering how long I should wait for the ears to start coming up before I consider doing something about it? I'm OK with pricked ears as I didn't continue gluing down my previous Sheltie's ears and he had pricked ears all his life, but I'm not sure I want a Sheltie with hound dog ears, as I think that might ruin the entire look.

    Comments or suggestions welcome.
     
  2. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    Hello, and welcome to the Forums! Hound ears are much harder to deal with than upright ears unfortunately, and you really have to be vigilant to correct them. I know, because I've had both. The dog in my avatar to the left once had hound ears!

    The time to correct them is now, and consistently throughout the coming months. You'll need to tape her ears in the same position you would if you were training them to tip. That will help teach them to stand up. You'll find several threads here that will guide you on how to tape if you aren't familiar with it. I like to use glue, which doesn't work with hound ears because you need the structure and support of tape. Japanese tape from Wickets by Mel is the one I used on my girl to correct her ears.

    You'll want to keep your pup's ears taped until at least 9 months old, maybe longer. See how they look when you take the tape out and let that be your guide. Good luck!
     
  3. SRW

    SRW Premium Member

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    Your Sheltie looks very nice. So by eight weeks if the ears aren't already up, that's an indication of hound ears?
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
  4. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    Not at all. Most 8-week-old puppies still have their ears laying on their heads. We start bracing them on top of the head around 8 weeks, and taping or gluing them shortly thereafter. Mine was 6 months old and her ears were hound. But you need to start training them as early as possible so they're in the correct position as the head grows.
     
  5. SRW

    SRW Premium Member

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    OK, thanks. I'll order the tape; but if I'm going to be bracing, aren't I also going to need some glue and string or yarn? I've seen several posts here and on other websites about getting "perfect" Sheltie ears, and while the methods appear similar they differ in materials to be used and somewhat in technique. Do you have a preferred method and/or a link to what you would consider the best method? As I said, I'm actually only interested in the puppy not ending up with hound ears, but I guess if what I have to do is the same as going for perfectly tipped forward pointing ears then I might as well go for the whole thing.

    Right now the puppy's ears also appear to be sideways oriented, like a hound dog's. When I got my previous Sheltie his ears were already pointing mostly forward in addition to being glued, so I don't have any experience with ears in this configuration. Do a Sheltie's ears also tend to rotate sort of forward when they come up (if they are going to come up), or does that only happen if they are braced? I ask because I don't know if my previous Sheltie's ear configuration was due to them being braced when he was very young before I got him, or if it was all natural.
     
  6. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Premium Member

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    When I got Finnie the breeder showed me a newer way of bracing the ears using the Sheltie ear tape.
    These are the instructions she gave me (it's the entire instructions for taping she'd gotten from another breeder but my breeder only does step 2 and step 4 and we place the rolled tape in step 4 with the edges to either side of the ear, not top-bottom). Step 2 is for the bracing. Hope this helps!
    https://imgur.com/a/vo4u88Y
     
  7. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    We always brace the ears together on top of the head along with tipping them until the puppy is at least 6 months old. This keeps them from slipping to the sides as the puppy's head grows. You can do that with glue or yarn, combined with your tape. Piper's mom has suggested a good solution for using tape, and there are also some in this recent thread here on the Forum: https://sheltieforums.com/threads/no-experience-to-glue-pup-ears.27099/
     
  8. SRW

    SRW Premium Member

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    Thanks for all the tips. Think I will try the tape only method shown in Piper's mom's link, and if that doesn't do the trick I'll move up to glue.
     
    Ann likes this.
  9. SRW

    SRW Premium Member

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    The Yutokuban tape just arrived, so I'll be trying this soon. I'm sort of skeptical that Devon will sit still and allow me to do this though. Right now, at 8 1/2 weeks, he's a bundle energy and sharp teeth looking for something chew on. Also, how does one get this tape off without hurting the puppy? Here's a picture of the floppy eared Devon:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tk44XnlujcVIk_fYAZoiDKQIZgMUJwLO
     
  10. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    You buy Zoeze from the Wickets by Mel website to remove glue or tape and very, very slowly and gently soften the glue with Zoeze on a cotton swab until it's gummy enough to pull off. Takes longer than it does to brace them but if you don't take your time, you'll have an unhappy puppy who won't sit still for the process.
     
    SRW, corbinam and Hanne like this.

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