Why Do German Shepherd Puppies Ears Flop?


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As a new pet owner, it is normal to wonder, “Why do German Shepherd puppies’ ears flop?” The answer is relatively simple. German Shepherd Puppies are born with floppy ears due to their cartilage not being fully developed. This usually occurs around 8-10 weeks old, and their ears should be permanently erect by the time they are 12 weeks old.


Read on to learn more about why German Shepherd Puppies have floppy ears and what you can expect as they grow up!


Why Do German Shepherd Puppies Ears Flop?


Puppies are born with floppy, velvety ears. This is because the cartilage and nerves in their ears still have not developed. They also are born with closed ears, which means they are unable to hear. In fact, their ears do not open to hearing sounds until they are around a week old.


Although certain breeds, such as Beagles and Lapdogs, have floppy ears by nature, others, such as most Shepherd types, have pointed, pricked, erect ears.


As the bones in their bodies mature and strengthen, the ears of these breeds should begin to stand erect between six and eight weeks of age. If they’ve not stood up by the age of eight months, they are unlikely to do so.

Is It Normal For German Shepherd Puppies Ears To Flop?


German Shepherd puppies are born with floppy ears that do not pop up and stand erect until they reach adulthood. During the first several months, their floppy ears will seem to have an existence of their own; one will be upright, both will be erect, and none will be erect! It’s quite the journey!


You don’t have to be concerned if your German Shepherd does not have sharp ears when you first get them. Having floppy ears is common in newborn German Shepherd puppies, but when can you expect your German Shepherd’s ears to stand up?


After 5–10 weeks, a German Shepherd puppy’s ears will straighten up and stand up upright, albeit they are not necessarily in sync. When they have done teething, most German Shepherd ears will cease becoming floppy. When the ears rise, some children might be as old as eight months.

The Reasons Behind Your German Shepherd’s Floppy Ears


The reason for your German Shepherd’s floppy ears might be due to various reasons, including whether they’ve always been floppy or whether they’ve suddenly flopped. Is one of them droopy while the other stand up normally, or are they both floppy?


To begin, take a look at some of the most common causes of floppy ears in German Shepherds during (or since) puppyhood.




During teething, many puppies develop floppy ears. Teething is the process by which all infant animals’ baby or milk teeth drop out, and their permanent teeth grow in. It usually begins about three weeks of age and lasts for 4-6 months; however, it can take longer.


A puppy’s mouth may require more calcium during teething to maintain its growth. As a result, their bodies may pull calcium from other parts of their bodies, such as their ears, compromising their body frame and causing them to flop.


Puppyhood Nutrients Are Poor


Calcium is required for the cartilage in the ears to form and strengthen in order for them to stand erect. Vitamin D is also necessary for strong and healthy bones. If a dog’s ears were not properly developed as a puppy due to a lack of vitamin D and/or calcium, they might flop permanently.


This is especially common in shelter dogs that have been rescued from puppy farms, abandonment, or mistreatment.




Due to their breeder’s techniques, German Shepherds’ ears might also be floppy. The American Kennel Club specifies that German Shepherds’ ears must be “moderately pointed, in ration to the skull, open to the front, and passed erect when at focus.


The perfect carriage is one in which the center lines of the ears, viewed on the front, are similar to each other and parallel to the ground. Large ears are frequently sought by judges in dog shows and competitions.


At What Age Do German Shepherd Puppies Ears Stand Up?


The age at which German Shepherd puppies ears stand up can vary depending on a number of factors, including the puppy’s individual rate of development and whether or not they were born with floppy ears. However, most German Shepherds will have their ears standing up by the time they are 4-5 months old.


Final Thoughts


Now that you know why do German Shepherd puppies ears flop, you can better take care of your furry friend and ensure their overall health and well-being. Be sure to keep an eye on their diet and make sure they’re getting enough calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients essential for healthy bones and cartilage.


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Doug Burke

Doug Burke

We love Frank, our German Shepherd - he's basically part of the family.
But you know how it is - there are challenges and questions that every dog owner faces, so here's what I discovered about German Shepherds while raising him.

About Me

We love Frank, our German Shepherd – he’s basically part of the family.
But you know how it is – there are challenges and questions that every dog owner faces, so here’s what I discovered about German Shepherds while raising him.

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