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Discussion Starter #1
Alright so I have a 12 week old miniature American shepherd, and I'm considering taping or gluing his ears. So far they haven't pricked but his left ear has more prick to it than before. His mother had ears that are more pricked than I like, but his father and his paternal grandparents all had nice ears. So here are my questions:
When to begin taping? I heard ear formation should be completed by about 10 months but when do I start taping?
How often to replace tape?
How do I tape them without ruining their lift/break? I've watched videos but it seemed like those pups' ears were pulled down, like they would be left with hound ears, but then again they were done by people far more familiar with the breed than I am.

I'm awaiting confirmation from his breeder and his sire's owner for his showing rights, but she said she will consider it and acted like she was glad I asked. Even if we don't get the okay to show, it'd be nice to not have to worry about ear pricking. Thanks in advance!
 

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So you're wanting to tape a natural ear?

Ear cartilage softens during teething and can form and harden up to several months after teething has ended. You should start taping when he starts losing his teeth. The tape should be replaced once every 5-6 days. You should take it off, leave it off for at least a few hours to allow his ears to breath, then retape.

I taped my Dane's ears like this:



You don't pull down hard enough to misplace the fold and create a hound-type ear, just enough so that the throat latch you're making with the tape holds them at the desired fold/break.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you! I can see from you signature that your dog's ears turned out nice, with a good break. I will wait until he starts losing his teeth like you said. I looked and looked but couldn't find anything about what I wanted to know, you've helped a bunch.
 

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pretty cool Hireath, learn something new everyday. i've only known about cropping Dane's ears never would of guessed that natural ears could be helped for a nice correct lay by taping.
 

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Thank you! I can see from you signature that your dog's ears turned out nice, with a good break. I will wait until he starts losing his teeth like you said. I looked and looked but couldn't find anything about what I wanted to know, you've helped a bunch.
No problem! Titan's ears actually still get funky sometimes. He has very thin ear leather because he comes from a line of dogs bred for cropping, and thin ear leather tends to stand much easier than thick ear leather. But thick ear leather creates a better natural ear.

I think the best way to judge how they're going to lay is to tape during teething, and remove the tape for a few hours every five to six days. I'd say at about 8 months of age you could leave the tape off for about 10-12 hours one day and see if the ears perk more than you'd like, or if they stay down. I know that's how people with cropped Danes eventually gauge whether the ears will stand independently or not.
 
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