Soft ears? To breed or not to breed? - Page 1

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anika bren

by anika bren on 16 August 2004 - 18:08

I am hoping that there will be replys to this. I am posting it get people thinking and talking about the subject. I know many breeders that are producing litters where in every litter one or all of the pups ears need to be taped up to stand. These breeders are still showing and breeding these pups as well as selling them as show quality. It has become such common practice that no one blinks an eye at it any more. What I am wondering is how many times can you breed soft ear to soft ear before you produce puppies whose ears will not stand even after being taped? Once this trait has been fixed into the breed how hard is it going to be to get out? It may be impossible to breed out, if breeders only cull the ones that won't stand and not the parents or siblings that did stand after taped. I have a dog here whose ears flop up and down when she runs. The original owner had her spayed. When the breeder found out the dog had been spayed she was furious. Turns out the dog had been sold with a stipulation that she be bred twice. Even though the breeder knew that the dog's ears floped she still wanted the dog bred.

by zmeli on 16 August 2004 - 19:08

I know of breeders that will breed and show after having to tape ears too. I've even seen people show other people at the schutzund field how to tape their dog's ears. I don't understand it--I do not believe they should be shown or breed. I had 3 litters with my female and not one problem with ears. My female is from "old school" lines, never any problems with offspring.

by DKiah on 16 August 2004 - 23:08

Although I prefer it when ears stand on their own, sometimes they need a little help and would never rule out showing or using the dog, if after a little help the ears came up and stayed strong. I would watch them carefully though and any evidence of flopping around(after taping) or a weird earset would make me think again about using that particular dog ...

by Karices on 17 August 2004 - 00:08

I would never put a pup's ears up, the way I see it is that you a kidding yourself on, by doing this. I would never breed from a dog who's ears have not come up by themselfs as you are only breeding in a fault. as I see it we will end up with gsd's with ears like lab's witch takes away from the expression of the dog. Please lets be seen to stop the trend of fix ears, and keep our breed as it was indended to be.

by Kerry on 17 August 2004 - 07:08

I agree with DKiah on this. Puppy ears don't come up for reasons other than heredity. Sometimes they're crated for long periods of time, and their ears are touching the top of the crate, have nothing to chew on, or have been ill. This isn't sufficient justification not to breed the dog.

by Barny on 17 August 2004 - 11:08

There is a number of reasons for ear(s) not to go up or to be "soft". Even Jeck Noricum had soft ears and they became strong only when he was a year old. If you are a breeder you consider all the facts and do your research. The rule is you do not put together two dogs with same faults. They should be complementing each other (i.e. two "soft ears" do not mate together). Even after the best of researches you have to know that puppies are crapp shot. Kerry is right, justification is not sufficient, I would never drop the dog who needed some help to put ear(s) up. However one should pay attention that both parents are not with that same problem.

anika bren

by anika bren on 18 August 2004 - 19:08

Thank you everybody for your repies. Kerry what you said about the pup being in a crate too much concerned me. Any pup from 8 weeks to 16 weeks that is in a crate that long is going to have other problems other than just their ears. That kind of confinement can cause physical and behavorial problems. DKiah and Barny if you get a pup whose ears will not stand, are you going to be willing to cull both parents that passed on that trait or are you going to just cull the pub and continue to breed the parents and siblings that have proven to carry the trait?

by Barny on 19 August 2004 - 13:08

From my own experience I can say that, as far as my dogs are concerned, I had the problem of one ear that did not want to go up when dog was almost 6 months old. I used german moulds and after they have been glued for couple of weeks the ear remained in correct position. I have used that same pup as a stud sucessfully in three litters of my own and with several bitches owned by other people. Never had the problem again. Now, If I am sure that parents are carrying that trait, thats it, never again.

anika bren

by anika bren on 20 August 2004 - 01:08

Thank you Barny. I wish there were more breeders that would take resposiblilty and pull the parents from their breeding program. As I mentioned I now own a spayed female who has very floppy ears, they look great at a standstill. She also has a rat tail and her withers are below her hips. Knowing all this the breeder still tried to find a way to go after the original owner who had her spayed. None of this breeders dogs ears will stand naturally she tapes all of them. For people whose dogs ears don't stand she makes a lot of excuses about things the buyers did or didn't do, anything except blame her breeding stock. To say something in this dog's defence, she is a great working dog. Very high drive, hard with full grips, but not breeding quality.

by Barny on 20 August 2004 - 11:08

According to what you have said that "breeder" has a problem and why she is refusing to admit it is beyond comprehention. As a breeder one works hard to get good reputation and good breeder should not spill his/her hard work down the drain just to make couple of bucks.In the long run you have a lot more to loose.


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