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Thread: Aussie Ears

  1. #1

    Aussie Ears

    My sister-in-law has a 5 month old pure bred Aussie pup. One of his ears stands up. As they're not planning on showing or breeding, I think it's cute and adds character, but it bothers her.

    I know that erect ears can take time to stand, but has anyone heard of drop-ears that stand erect? Do you think that it may drop as the pup ages?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Northern California
    I don't think the ear would drop with age. I'm not sure if it's the same for dogs, but I would assume that erect ears are held up by hardened cartilage. Once it's up, it's up, I would think.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Erect ears stand up via cartilage and yes, if it's up, it's up. They MAY droop with age, but for the most part if it's up at 6 months theres a good chance that her current ear set will remain that way. In my experiences, the ears will only stand more erect with age and not droop IF they are going to change at all.

    Has some information on the correct ear sets.

    Jamie has close to the ear set in the second photo but her's fold higher, whereas Charlie's ears are both fully erect. At 4 months one was fully erect and the tip on the other slightly flopped over, but both stood erect with time.

    Your SIL shouldn't worry so much -- the dog will still love her the same with or without a "proper" ear set I think one erect and one floppy ear are ADORABLE!!!


  4. #4
    Do you think this is a fluke, or could it be a problem with the breeding? She is just concerned that they paid quite a bit for this dog and the ears seem to be way out of breed standard.

    She was told by her vet to put a piece of chewed up gum to hold the ear down and maybe eventually it would stay. Have you ever heard of such a thing? It seemed so ridiculous.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Sunny Florida
    I don't know if something along this manner can be done for this breed but another PTer has Rotties that have had their ears taped to hold them down properly, this sounds more appropriate than ummmm...chewed gum. She has two posts in this thread with pictures, it is the second one I believe.
    Taped ears
    If I was your SIL I would just love the pup for who she is, not whether her ears are to standard. That is only a concern for showing or breeding. If she feels she paid to much for a poorly bred dog, well I think that is something that she would have had to have researched before she bought her...
    ~Traci, Duke, Champ, Chopper and Ryleigh

    On occasion I have been know to speak Chopperese.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    That is so weird. I just PM'd Jessika yesterday asking her about Charlie's ears. I swear I had not seen this thread. I am seeing it now for the first time.

    Zoee's ears are like the first pic in the link Jessika posted. And all other Aussie's I've seen at the park and around have had these ears. That's why I was curious about Charlie's. But I think they are so cute when they stand up. And one standing up and the other down would be adorable. I think your SIL should not worry about it. It adds character.
    Our goal in life should be - to be as good a person as our dog thinks we are.

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    Cindy (Human) - Taz (RB Tabby) - Zoee (RB Australian Shepherd) - Paizly (Dilute Tortie) - Taggart (Aussie Mix) - Jax (Brown & White Tabby), - Zeplyn (Cattle Dog Mix)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Quote Originally Posted by venus74
    Do you think this is a fluke, or could it be a problem with the breeding? She is just concerned that they paid quite a bit for this dog and the ears seem to be way out of breed standard.

    She was told by her vet to put a piece of chewed up gum to hold the ear down and maybe eventually it would stay. Have you ever heard of such a thing? It seemed so ridiculous.
    There is really no way to tell from when the puppies are born what ear sets they will have. If she will not be showing him, there is no problem. It is still a pure Aussie whether their ears are perfect or not. You can breed two flawless examples of the breed and get puppies with wonky ears. I wouldn't call it a "fluke" since it's pretty common.

    I don't understand why this is such a big deal to her? She really would have a problem with my two then... lol. Some dog's ears are just different. Just because they aren't within the breed standard doesn't make them any less perfect OR any less an example of that breed, it's just considered a "fault".

    If she wanted a perfect example of the breed, perhaps she should have adopted an adult that is already grown. From what you've describe it seems she's more worried about money and the way her pet looks than what pets are there to do -- love and be loved. You can't put a price or a visual on that.

    I would personally never use GUM (of all things!) to try to hold the ear down for a number of reasons... first off, it would get stuck in the fur and knowing Aussies they have a LOT of fur around their ears, you'd have a horrible tangled mess!! It just sounds like a horrible idea to me...

    EDIT: Also there is a difference between "conformation" dogs and "stock" dogs. My two are pure 100% Aussies, but they look nothing like what you'd see in dog shows. Why? Because stock dogs aren't bred to look pretty, they are bred for work. What the breed was originally intended to do. Aussies were never originally bred to look pretty and be in dog shows or be "perfect" by someone's standards, they were bred to do a job. Just because their ears may be pricked or "standard" does not mean they will do their job any less than a "perfect example of the breed".

    So my two's ears may be "way out of the breed standard" by your SIL's definition, but they are STILL 100% genuine bonafide Aussies.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Sophia, NC (originally from SE OHIO)
    I don't have Aussies, but I do have Collies.. and have experience with the ears on Collies that can go up and down and in all kinds of crazy directions, especially during teething.

    At 5 months of age, the ears are probably staying, how they are now.. however if you wanted both ears a like, you could TRY to glue the prick aer down but its a long shot... just because of age.

    Typically if you want correct ears, you will need to tape and/or glue the ears, starting at a young age - by about 3 months of age, before teething starts, but you need to do it correctly. Chewing gum in the ear to make weighted down (or any other kind of weight hanging in the ear) will more than likely strenghten the cartilage and make the ear stand prick. During teething, the ears (in Collies so I am sure Aussies as well) will go up and down and all over the place, so if you want correct ears, you need to keep them down properly during these months.

    I had a friend of mine who had an Aussie she showed several years ago and they used a fabric glue (I use Tear Mender fabric glue in my dogs ears), and she glued the dogs ears down to the side of his head to keep them down correctly.

    Obviously Aussie ear sets are different that Collies, and I start my Collie ear training around 12 wks of age, and use tape (Elastikon bandage tape, with skin bond is best, IMO) to pull the ears up on top of their head correctly.. then use either tape or glue and fold the tips over to the inside of the ear.

    Here is correctly taped Collie puppy ears

    I've been trying to find a website that has instructions on taping Aussie ears down, but not having luck.... I know I have seen a site about it before, so I'll keep looking, if I find it I will post it here.
    If you're gonna breed Collies, don't you forget to breed in the brains and common sense. Without that you won't have a Collie, you'll have just another dog.

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Pensacola Beach,FL
    Tallon has almost perfect ears and his breeder and I are hoping they stay this way! I don't have a good pic of him at the moment though.

    Your SIL shouldn't be so upset over the dog's ear set if she's not going to show it. She has a pet quality dog and that's what she needs. A pet. Just because one of his ears stand doesn't make him any less of a loving companion. I think it's cute when one ear stands.
    Owned by two little pastries!


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Chihuahua, Mexico
    I´m in love with this dog

    and from the link jessika posted I love the second ear set the most... althought prick ears give them a quite interesting look and sooo cute!!
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  11. #11

    Prick Ears in an Aussie

    I had one puppy one time that had pricked ears...I was bothered by it, but not any longer. This is a fairly frequent occurrence because it is part of being an aussie...they all have different ear breaks, and some not at all! So I've quit beating myself up. I did some research on it and found that it in no way means your dog isn't purebred, or of good quality. Even the people that set the breed standard have said that classifying pricked ears as a fault was a mistake, and a disservice to the breed. However, if you start to see your pups ears go wonky at about teething age, you can glue them down for a few days, and sometimes help them to stay down. It is not harmful to the pup if done correctly. Tear mender is often used....much easier than other glues on the dog. I am just a hobby breeder, but I love and am fascinated by this breed, so I've tried to learn as much as possible about them. I've also learned that there are kind of two categories of aussies..the working dog, and the show dog. Working has the shorter coat, and more often pricked ears. Show has the longer ears, and a fuller thicker coat. Hope this helps, and I'm always eager to learn more! Aussie lover...

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