Care & Health Tips

Brilliant breeds require complex treatment

There are many methods of ear taping - as long as it gets the results is all that matters. You can also combine or alter methods as you go along.

When we crop the pups, we glue in double faced foam tape (used for window insulation) on the inside of the ear cut to the shape of the ear. Effective and cheap- available at most Dollar Stores. See the picture with the pup on the white ornate chair. Note: One must use ‘instant dry' glue to work. This foam support stays in for 7 - 10 days while the ears edge heals. By leaving this edge to the air it heals quickly. Any method that covers a cut edge will almost always end up with infection, so beware of this at this stage. Once the edge is healed one can wrap or cover the edge with no problems for short periods of time.

Some owners have used just this method with success. Another common support glued to the inside of the ear is the "nasal strips" sold for snoring as their rigidity will also train the cartilage to stand.

You must support the ears as a pup to train the cartilage or you will have to look at a lazy or bent ear for the dog's lifetime, if you give up too soon, so PERSEVERE !!!

THE next method, once the ear is healed, I find most effective, is to insert a complete "tape" or ‘splint" inside of the ear, standing it deep in the bell of the ear and stretching the ear to it's tip and then tape the splint from the base to the tip in a circular motion from front to back with either masking tape or ‘paper adhesive tape', as neither will take much hair off the ear.

You can build a tape with a napkin by rolling it tightly, like a cigarette shape, then take a strip of masking tape about 6 - 8 inches long, going around one end about half inch up and then reverse the tape the go up the rest of the tape, almost like a candycane stripe. What this does is make the tape sticky so that the ear will stick to it when taping. The thickness of the tape can be increased as needed as the ear grows, as well.

You take the tape and place it deep in the bell, or base of the ear, and tape it into the ear as in the last paragraph. It is best to tape from the base to the tip, going in the direction towards the top of the head, as in that fashion the natural fold of the ear on the inside edge will fall into place as you go up the ear.

Once both ears are taped, they should then stand in the normal way of a pinscher with its ears standing. If they are not like that, you may have to redo one or both. Keep the tape snug, but no too tight as to cut off circulation or you could lose an ear. Then you can put the ‘cross tape' going from one ear to another, but not too tight - allow some movement, as in illustration on this page. You can use masking, or electrical, or any stronger tape for this part.

This style of tape should only be left on a maximum of 3 - 4 days, be removed for a couple days, then redone. Since it cuts off air to the ear canal, you could end up with an infection if left in too long. This style of taping can be done ongoing as needed, or if only one ear needs it as well.
You can also strengthen a weak middle ear with a ‘minnie' version of above as well.

Most German Pinschers require an average of 3 - 5 times taping before standing permanently. Dobermans require more as their ears are much heavier and larger. The longer an ear is, the more taping it will need, even up to a year. So be diligent and you will have a great looking pinscher.

Do realize that pinschers ears, once cropped, are much like a horse's ears, and they can move them around in many positions. They only stand erect and forward when they are looking at something in that direction. But, like a horse, watching their ears, can also indicate their thoughts.

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Donna Smith is a professional dog breeder with over 30 years experience and specializing in the two magnificent breeds the German Pinscher & Doberman Pinscher.

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