Floppy ears in German Shepherds - genetical issue? - Page 2

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by jillmissal on 14 April 2021 - 10:04

Supplementing a puppy's diet with calcium can cause serious problems.

The ears will be up, or they will not. Forms/taping just a waste of time.

Malnutrition can cause growth issues including I suppose floppy ears, so feed a reputable balanced puppy food recommended by your vet.


by Rik on 14 April 2021 - 14:04

really makes me wonder why vets who do Dobe ears, always, 100%, put them up, often multiple times if it is a "waste of time".

always curious,


by Rik on 14 April 2021 - 17:04

jill said "The ears will be up, or they will not. Forms/taping just a waste of time" jill,

no use in putting this off any longer. this is your statement. are you a vet? what qualifacitains do you have for making such a statement.. you present an "opinion" as fact, and berate every poster  who also presents an opinion, based on experience

this is a chit-chat board for people  who just enjoy talk about the GSD, ranging from complete "newbie" to very experienced. seems all are welcome.. w/l, s/l, ASL, dockdiving, obiidence, whatever activity, in whatever part of the world that involves the GSD.and the MODS can correct me if I am mistaken.

99.9% of your posts tell us how stupid we all are and how intelligent and well informed you are.


I'm going to have to go with what Confusis said here, well maybe not Confusis,  (my brain is old and foggy, and I am always open to new info) maybe Fred Lanting or maybe just a dream,

but anyway the jist is "Rik, the GSD was created 125 years ago. Beware of people who present that the GSD and all knoweledge flew out of their ass last week."






by Hundmutter on 14 April 2021 - 18:04

Probably a question of how diplomatic - or not - a poster chooses to be. Not sure Jillmissal was 'berating' anybody, however, or not this time.

There is some long-standing research evidence that shows additional calcium generally isn't good for growing large-breed dogs, as it will contribute to degenerative joint disease. I do not know whether Klossbruhe has evidence for increasing calcium in GSD puppies diets being a factor in improving ear-carriage, but all my own experience tells me not, and I certainly would not risk DJDs in any puppy of mine as a trade-off for an attempt to 'cure' soft ears. If you don't want 'em, just don't breed with 'em.

I thought the earlier posts including my own had pretty much covered all the angles on the subject.

As for veteranarians and Dobermanns, I would also be interested to hear their defence of that, (medical or otherwise). Rik, perhaps you should move to the UK since our vets do not indulge in that practice and we therefore don't need to witness it.


by Rik on 14 April 2021 - 18:04

hund, I certainly agree that Dobes should be presented with the ears they are born with. my disagreement was with that positioning/correcting/taping does not assist with correction. maybe you need ro read the whole thread again?

sorry, am not able, at this time, to move to UK, nor have any desire to do so. though my "bloodline" traces back directly to Shropshire.

no opinion on calcium, will leave that to vet advice.

and yea, I'll stick with "berating" and what I originally posted. thats JMO and I'm sure that even in UK, yall know what that means.

as always,

by jillmissal on 14 April 2021 - 20:04

If you decide to carve up your dog with a scalpel then I have no idea if forms/taping, or God, will help you. I'm guessing neither.

When it comes to ears that should stand up on their own, forms or taping will not help, source: veterinarians. Either the cartilage is there or it is not.

Re: calcium supplementation, also, plenty of veterinary evidence there. Feed a balanced, veterinary recommended diet (purina, royal canin, hills, eukanuba, iams) and follow vet advice. adding anything to those diets threatens to unbalance them and should be avoided (unless you are a veterinary nutritionist qualified to make such calls).

by Klossbruhe on 14 April 2021 - 22:04

With regard to calcium, I was not suggesting supplements. I did mention cottage cheese which does have calcium and is protein rich. As far as I have been able to tell, the general opinion is that cottage cheese is both safe and healthy for dogs, unless they are dairy intolerant. It can be added to the diet a few table spoons per meal not some huge amount.

In my 30 years of working as a sub breeder, we have added cottage cheese many times to the diets of GSD puppies with floppy ears. While it is impossible to know for sure if it helped, in many cases, and I realize this is anecdotal rather than pure scientific evidence, we saw improvement. No, this was not a double blind study, but what I can say is that it has never harmed any of the many puppies to whom we gave it.

Jillmissal are you a veterinary nutritionalist? Most vets receive virtually no courses in dog nutrition at school. Some like Tim Hunt of Dr Tims Dog Food do work with nutritionalists. But your statement that anything added to the kibble companies food you list will unbalance the balanced diet has absolutely no basis in fact. I wonder if you are a shill for the major commercial dog food companies you mention. Vets who have taken the time to study nutrition routinely recommend supplements for different problems such as allegeries, or coat issues and so forth. 

Again, the bottom line is that if the cartilage at the base of the ear is not that strong and the ear is large, there will be a problem. One other factor, not heretofore mentioned, is the angle of the ear set. Dogs with straight up (i.e. relatively perpendicular to the base of the head) ear sets appear to be more prone to floppy ears than those whose ears are set at a slight angle.


by Hundmutter on 15 April 2021 - 02:04

Trouble is Klossbruhe, as I'm sure you well know, is that a puppy raised on any 'complete' diet should be getting adequate calcium for its needs already. What you or I might add to that carefully chosen food in the form of the odd spoonful of e.g. cottage cheese is maybe not the same message as someone just reading through this site looking to make their dogs ears stand up gets. "OOh look, it says here give them cottage cheese !" could so easily result in far too much of the extra being  piled into the dogs bowl. Setting up a long-term effect on joints, and very probably giving the pup a digestive upset in the immediate future.  We have to be SO careful on a public forum with what we recommend and how we recommend it !

Still not really convinced btw that the small quantity of cottage cheese / added calcium you have now spelled out makes any difference whatsoever to the ability of ear cartilege to bear the full weight of the deliquent ears anyway. I don't really see how it biologically could.  It sounds like the 'targetted' Neurofen con. You know, where Big Pharma gets to charge way over the normal rate for Ibuprofen because it says on the pack that instead of being a general pain-killer, it goes 'straight' to the headaches, or to your aching back, ... rather than just going around your blood stream as a whole.   ;-)  ;-)


PS Your very last sentence is completely the opposite to my experience.



by Hundmutter on 15 April 2021 - 02:04



Berate:  To chide vehemently.

Chide:   To speak out in angry or displeased rebuke; to voice disapproval to, (scold).


While I agree that such behaviour is not unknown (and I think even you, and I, have been guilty of it at times) , it would seem (unless Jill's post was severely edited before I saw it) that as her words on this occasion are simply statements of what she sees as facts, she isn't 'berating' or 'rebuking' anybody, and you could easily read her tone as 'angry or displeased' if you want to, but you could equally read it as neutral.  In short, I think she's trying to reform ( !! ) so fer chrissakes don't discourage her.



As to Dobes' ears and vets - I agree with you; but I said in my earlier post (and have posted before elsewhere) that I personally don't think all the taping and forming in the world will work on ears that are genetically not pre-disposed to stand fully.  Some people find otherwise and its their prerogative to believe that.  What I was saying I'd like to hear those vets explain is why they go on doing it, when current veterinary knowledge & teaching would seem to decry it.  Do they have some medical evidence in re the Doberman (rather than Shepherds ?) or, as I suspect, are they continuing to tape Dobes ears despite their medical education - just because their clients' keep asking for it ? Could it have anything to do with £$£$£$  ?

Presumably they still do it to Danes also - another revenue stream ?

Any practising vets here want to respond ?

by Klossbruhe on 15 April 2021 - 12:04

Never too old to learn. I stand corrected. After doing the research, I was wrong about cottage cheese and ear cartilage. Though widely believed to be helpful when I started out many moons ago, I see that this is no longer the case vis a vis ear cartilage strengthening. Guess it was like greatgrandmother's remedy for a cold...


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