EAR TAPING YOUR PUPPY

We start to set the fold in puppy ears at roughly eight weeks of age. Some will set in a week or two, some take much longer. If his ears are still in tape when you get him, follow the instructions for taping. If they aren't, monitor them.

MATERIALS: Masking tape - about a half inch in width, scissors, false eyelash glue or Leech Dog Ear Cement (Cherrybrook) and a toothpick.

(Try it without the glue first and see if the puppy leaves his ears alone. If he doesn't, then you may have to resort to glue.)
   1. Cut two strips of masking tape long enough to go around his head just above the eyes, with enough left over to lap over itself under the throat and stick to itself. Cut two strips about an inch and a half long.
   2. Have someone hold the puppy while you do the taping - I use the grooming table and noose.
   3. Stand in front of the puppy, take the first piece of long tape and put it around the head just above the eyes, sticky side up. Lap it under the throat so that it sticks to itself.
   4. Take the tip of the first ear and stick it to the tape above the middle of the eye and put a short piece of tape over it to stick it to the underpiece of tape and hold the ear in place. Do the same with the other ear.
   5. Take the second piece of long tape and put it over the first one, sticky side down and lap under the throat.

tape diagram

Glueing with skin touching skin may cause sores. If the puppy doesn't leave it on, only then does glue comes into play. I prefer to put the ears back up a couple of times a day, to using the glue. If you do want to use glue, put a small drop on his head in the middle of where you are going to lay the first piece of tape. Hold the tape to it for a few minutes until it sets. You also put a small drop on the inside tip of each ear and stick it to the first piece of tape, again hold it for a few minutes to let it set. Continue as above.

Monitor the ears until they keep the fold where you want it. An adult should have a fold of about one quarter of an inch above the crown of the head. Leave the tape on for a week, take it down and see what happens. If the ears fall, put them back up again.

Also watch when the puppy begins to get his adult teeth. The ears have a habit of coming down then as well. Once those teeth are all in at about six month of age, the cartilage in the ears is hardened enough so that you can't really change them.

If the fold breaks in the middle and dips forwards or backwards, then you have to get out toothpicks for braces and use moleskin (from the foot section at the drugstore) to brace as well. Call me and I will explain that to you on a one to one basis.


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