German Shepherd Puppy Ears Stages

Large pointy ears are one of the most distinctive features of German Shepherd, and most owners wait for this moment. So, when do German Shepherd ears stand up?

On average, German Shepherd ears are erect between the ages of 4 and 5 months. The ears will only stand when the small bones and cartilage have developed enough.

Most German Shepherd owners worry and become anxious when their puppy’s ears do not stand up the right way.

This article will give you more information on when your German Shepherd’s ears will stand up, what causes them to have floppy ears, and how you can help their ears stand up.

The ears of German Shepherds can be unpredictable; therefore, it is important to note that your puppy’s ears may not follow the stages.

Be patient and give time for your puppy’s ears to develop. The following are the stages of a typical German Shepherd ear:

Teething begins when your puppy is around 3 months old, and it is common for their ears to stand up and go down again. When teething is over, the ears should stand back up.

When your puppy is around 5 months old, usually teething is complete and their ears may be standing already. However, they may not be standing strong yet.

If your puppy is in this stage and their ears have not stood up yet, you need to be concerned. Most puppy’s ears should be perky and nice by now.

After the age of 6 months, you should talk to your breeder or vet to get advice on how you can help your puppy’s ears stand up. After 8 months the chance of your puppy’s ears to ever stand up reduces significantly.

They should have their ears up before they each 4-5 months of age. Some puppies have their ears up by 4 weeks of age. If their ears are not up by 4-5 months of age, they need to be posted. If their ears are up before 4 months of age, they often will come back down, temporarily, starting at 4 months.


Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about your fur baby’s genetics – some puppies are just predisposed to have droopy ears due to the genes passed on by their parents.

I believe Allie’s genetics definitely played into her perky ears standing strong at an early age.

Genetics can also come into play when some breeders try to breed specifically for German Shepherds with larger ears. As a result, those big, oversized, heavy ears may be too much to stand up.

If pointy, perky ears are important to you, then choose your breeder and puppy carefully. Make sure to check out the parents – how do their ears look?

Reasons Why Your Dog’s Ears Aren’t Standing Up

As I already mentioned, teething is the most common reason why those ears refuse to perk up. During teething, it’s also very common for German Shepherd puppy ears to go up then down. This flip-floppy stage is completely normal.

When Do German Shepherd Puppies Ears Stand Up?

For most German Shepherds, their ears will stand up between the ages of 4 and 5 months.

However, it is possible for the ears to stand up later or earlier than this age. This is the standard advice and rough timeline that breeders give out.

In the early stages, it is common to see ears dancing around and you will likely see one ear standing up first and then flops back again.

When you notice that the right and left ears alternate between flopping down and standing up, there is no need to worry as this is normal.

The first impression you should receive from a German Shepherd is agile, strong, muscular, full of life, and alert. This is according to the American Kennel Club.

The ears play an important role in giving this breed their state of vivid alertness as they are ready to rotate in any direction and have a touch of nobility.

The ears of German Shepherds should be moderately pointed and erect when attentive. When viewed from the front, the ears’ center lines should appear perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other.

You may be concerned if the ears of your German Shepherd are floppy and have no sign of standing up anytime soon, especially if you know that they will be disqualified from the show ring.

However, if you do not intend to show your puppy in conformation rings but want them to just be companions, there is no need to be concerned. Most puppies will outgrow their floppy stage and their ears will eventually stand up.


How long does it take for German Shepherd puppies ears to stand up?

German Shepherd puppy ears can come up between 8 weeks and 6 months. If they are not up when the dog is through teething (this varies from dog to dog but in general between 16 weeks and 20 weeks of age), I tell my puppy customers to get very interested in their ears.

Is it normal for my German Shepherd puppies ears to flop?

Ears flopping down are entirely normal in German Shepherd puppies. A German Shepherd’s ears stand up when they are around 5 months old, or about 20 weeks of age. This normally happens shortly after they stop teething as the cartilage and muscles that support their ears become stronger.

Can full blooded German shepherds have floppy ears?

If their ears perk up in a way that suggests they are trying to stand, there is a good chance they will go up over time. Another good indication is where the ears are placed on the head. Ears set higher up and close together are more wolf-like and more likely to stand.