Why do German Shepherd’s Ears Stand Up: Explained For Beginners!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission. Also, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

The German Shepherd ear is a dog breed’s distinguishing characteristic. Typically, when standing at attention, the ears stand high on the head. Many people think that this trait is purely cosmetic. However, the German Shepherd’s ears are also very useful for hearing.  

 In this article, we will attempt to unpack the reasons why the German Shepherd’s ears stand up, as well as some of the advantages that this characteristic provides.

Why do German Shepherd’s Ears Stand Up

So, Why Do German Shepherd’s Ears Stand Up?

German Shepherd’s ears stand up because of their strong and flexible cartilage. This flexibility allows the ears to respond quickly to vibrations from predators and prey.  

These delicate ears have little to no hair on them, which should be another reason for their upright position.  

The German Shepherd’s ear is also very sensitive, allowing it to distinguish between high and low volume noises. The German Shepherd’s ear is also helpful when hunting; instead of using their nose as a tool for smelling, they use their ears for locating prey.

Do German Shepherd’s ears stand up naturally?

The simple answer is yes; however, the process of their ears standing up is not as simple. Although the German Shepherd’s ears stand up naturally, it is important to remember that the German Shepherd was bred to be a working dog. This means they have to be used to situations that could cause their ears to stand up.

The reason why the German Shepherds’ ears tend to stand up has more to do with their genetics than anything else. The German Shepherd’s ancestors have been used since the 1800s to catch poultry, and now, they are used as protection dogs.  

In order to accomplish their task of catching these flocks, they were required to have strong “ears.” This led to an evolution of the eyes and ears as a whole.

What will happen if my German Shepherd’s ear doesn’t stand up?

Sometimes, the German Shepherd’s ears will not stand up completely. This can be caused by several things. The most common cause of this is a lack of proper care. This can be from neglect, lack of exercise or playtime, or improper grooming.

 If your dog’s ea ears do not stand up properly, it can lead to some health issues like: 

1) Higher chance of ear infections: The German Shepherd’s ears tend to be very sensitive. If they are not properly cared for, then there is a higher chance of them becoming infected.

2) Bad posture: Another possible outcome is that the dog’s ears may remain down because of their posture. They will keep them down because this position eases their heads from the tension caused by their upright ears. This could also cause your dog to slouch or not want to stand up straight.

3) Hearing Damage: If this issue is not addressed, the dog may experience permanent hearing damage. This could cause your dog to not be able to hear other dogs barking, other people yelling, or even the doorbell ringing.

How Do I Make My German Shepherd’s Ears Stand Up?

If your dog’s ear is not standing up, there are a few things you can do to try and fix the issue.  

1) Go to a Vet: If this is a big problem, you should go to the nearest animal hospital. The vet will go over your dog’s ears with a mirror, and possibly ask you to get both dogs’ ears examined.

2) Care: Try to give your dog proper care so that they do not get ear infections. Water, food, and toys all play a role in keeping the German Shepherd’s ears clean and healthy. This can also help if your dog is experiencing pain from their ears being down.

3) Buy some natural supplements: The first thing you can do is buy some natural supplements. There are several brands that claim to fix the issue of your dog’s ears being folded or down.  

You should take your dog to the vet and have them check out their ears before trying any supplements. Adding glucosamine to their diet can help increase the flexibility and health of their cartilage.

4) Stay active: Next, you should make sure that your dog is always active. Try to do an activity with your dog every day. Give them chew toys to stimulate their mind, play fetch with them. One of my recommended chew toys is Kong Classic.

For almost forty years, the kong classic has been the gold standard of dog toys and has become a staple for dogs all around the world. The kong classic’s unique natural red rubber compound is ultra-durable with an unpredictable bounce that is great for dogs who prefer to chew while also satisfying a dog’s need to play, providing enrichment by helping to satisfy dogs’ innate requirements. Do you want to play for longer? Stuff with tasty chunks of kibble and a splash of peanut butter to tempt them. Add to the enjoyment by serving kong nibbles and a kong simple treat on top.

5) Grooming: The next thing you should do is make sure your dog is properly groomed. It is very important to keep the German Shepherd’s ears clean, dry, and protected from dirt. You should use a brush, comb, or anything that can keep your dog’s ears clean without hurting them.

6) Walk them early: The final thing you can do is take your dog out for a walk very early in the morning. Before you know it, the sun will be up and shining!  

7) Bandage: If the issue is not solved by these methods, then it is time to do something about it. You can try taping your dog’s ear. Many German Shepherd’s owners have reported success with this technique.  

Simply cut a small strip of tape and place it over their ears in their own position. Make sure the tape is still comfortable for them to move around. Just make sure the tape is not too tight.

What Are the Causes of German Shepherd’s Floppy Ears?

There can be several reasons why your dog’s ears are not standing up. Some main reasons could be:

1) Genetics

 You need to make sure that you check your dog’s parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents. Some dogs have passed on this abnormal trait. If you are not able to find out why your dog’s ears are floppy, then your only option is to go through a genetic testing process.

2) Teething

 If your dog is teething, then this could also be one of the main reasons behind it. As teeth become visible on your puppy’s gum, calcium levels in the body are lessened. This consequently manifests in softer ear cartilage. However, it will stop around six to seven months.

 3) Trauma

Traumas such as dog fights, ear infections, middle ear disease, and head trauma could cause floppy ears in dogs. If your dog experiences any kind of trauma before they reach the age of five months, then their ears may not stand up as they should.

How Many Weeks Before German Shepherd Ears Stand Up?

Although German Shepherd ears will not stand up until they are about five months old, it’s important to remember that German Shepherd puppies still have a dog’s ears. 

When the puppy is born, its ears will be in this “puppy” position. Once they are at the four-month mark, your puppy’s ears should have taken on a more “Keeshond” like position.

 By the time they are five months old, their ears should be standing up. The ears should not entirely be upright; however, you can see that their ears will begin to get a set shape.


The ears of a German Shepherd are sensitive and important to their health. If they are not up and standing, they will get infections and cause discomfort.  

So, you should make sure that whenever you notice your dog’s ears going down, you should do something about it. By following the tips above and observing your dog, you will be able to achieve a more upright position for your dog’s ears.