If you’ve got a Doberman pup that attracts everyone’s attention and, of course, your puppy will make you smile helplessly whenever you look at them, although you’ve noticed a problem. Their ears still aren’t standing up. Other than looking a little strange, you may be worried that this might mean there’s a problem.
The good news is that it usually takes two months for a Doberman’s ears to fully stand up properly. In fact, it normally comes after teething. Fortunately, there are also certain things you could do to help train their ears to stand up. Doing this training will help ensure your that your Doberman grows up to look the part with fully functioning ears.
Thankfully, training your Doberman’s ears to stand up isn’t as complicated as you may think. There are steps you can take that encourages them to naturally stand up, such as looking for triggers and then reinforcing the behavior with tasty treats. It’s also common for owners to use a bit of tape to help to build the muscles, which helps to get them into the habit of keeping their ears up.
If your Doberman is just a young pup, then floppy ears are common and it could only be a few weeks before standing upright. But if they’re older and the problem has worsened over time, then it could take months to get to the bottom of the problem and tackle it. It’s important to persevere with training to get their ears to stand to attention.
Before you get to work, there’re a few things you will need. For one method, you’ll need some thin, white, surgical tape. You should be able to find this at your local drugstore. You’ll also need a popsicle stick and some foam.
Other items that you’ll need to hand include your dog’s favourite treats. Alternatively, you can break your Doberman’s favourite food into small chunks. Some other items that will be useful include toys and a clicker.
Once you have all that, the only other thing that you’ll need is patience and enthusiasm, and then work can begin!
The Tape Method
The tape method is a common way to train a Doberman’s ears to stay up is to use tape. Each ear needs to be wrapped around foam or something similar and then tape them into a tight roll, in a vertical position.
- Bridge The Ears
Now use a popsicle stick or something that’s similar and use some tape to attach it to both ears horizontally. This is done to help keep the ears symmetrical.
Your Doberman is going to be wondering what’s on their ears and is probably going to try to scratch and roll around to remove it, so you’ll need to make sure you keep re-taping their ears.
After a week, you should be checking their ears to see if they’re standing up on their own. This will let you know whether the tape has done its job yet. If the ears stay up without any problem, then you don’t need to re-tape the ears again.
- Know When To Give Up
If the ears still aren’t standing up after 5 months, then it’s defiantly time to give up on the tape. If you’re at this stage, then you should see a vet to make sure there aren’t any more serious underlying problems preventing the ears from standing up.
The Health Method
- The Right Diet
Making sure that your Doberman puppy is getting the right diet is vital for getting the ears to stand up. Your Doberman needs the right diet in order for their skeleton and muscles to properly grow. This means taking them off their puppy food after a few months and checking to see if their new food has all the recommended nutrients that they require.
- Go To The Vet
If your pup’s ears are still down a few months after, then it’s time to take them to the vet before you do anything else.
- Look For A Trigger
You should spend time watching your Doberman pup, to look for any activities or moments that cause their ears to stand up. When you’ve found the trigger, you can capitalize on it with rewards.
Whenever your Doberman starts to stand their ears upright, if only for a second, make sure to praise them, giving them a treat. Make sure you do this within a few seconds. And if you can do it every time, it won’t take long for them to associate holding their ears up with positive rewards and may do it naturally.
- Check For Teething
It’s normal for Doberman puppy ears to not stand up while they’re teething. So, if they are teething, you’ll need to be patient and try not to worry. In fact, it’s not uncommon for their ears to stand up and then drop as they begin to teeth.
The Click & Reward Method
- Clicker Training
A clicker is a great way to communicate with your Doberman puppy. It can be used by simply clicking it whenever they follow an instruction correctly, followed by a treat. This signals to them that they are on the right track. When used correctly, this can seriously speed up the learning process.
You should spend a couple of days watching your Doberman closely. You’ll be looking for anything that triggers their ears to stand up. This could come from you making their food, for example, or when someone enters the house.
Once you have found a trigger, you’ll want to make it happen again, although you’ll need to be close by with your clicker and a toy. As soon as their ears stand up, use the clicker to signal to your pup that they have done something right, even if they’re not yet sure of what it is that it is.
- Play With The Toy
After using the clicker, you’ll need to follow through with a reward. If you don’t have a treat handy, you can always spend a minute or so playing around. You can play fetch, tug of war and anything that gets your Doberman puppy worked up and happy.
At this stage, all you need to do is repeat this for a few minutes each day. The more consistent you are with training your Doberman, the more of a habit it will become and the more used to using those muscles your Doberman will be. Before you know it, they’ll be standing up on their own with ease.
Why Is It Taking So Long For My Doberman’s Ears To Stand Up On Their Own?
A Doberman puppy must develop the cartilage and muscle structure that helps their ears to stand upright. Having their ears stand up takes proper muscle development and strong cartilage.
Your puppy’s body simply isn’t mature enough to have enough strength to keep their ears upright.
Continued Puppy Ear Development
When your Doberman puppy moves their ears up and down, the cartilage and muscles gain strength to keep their ears upright. As your puppy moves their ears, this helps the muscles and cartilage to eventually become strong enough to stand upright naturally.
The cartilage gradually develops over time and gradually the ears become erect.