The Belgian Malinois breed of dogs can be easy to recognize with their short brown coats and erect triangular ears. As puppies, the ears are adorably folded over triangles, but as the dogs grow, the ears go from floppy to upright and vertical.
Not all Belgian Malinois dogs will experience the ear transition at the same time, but there are general expectations around the timeframe of a dog’s life that it should start.
Some puppies will start to transition from floppy ears to upright ears by the time they are four months old. Others may take more time and begin around six months of age.
The ears and the teeth work in conjunction with each other and should complete simultaneously.
For your dog’s vitamin supplement, dog food, dog toys, or other dogs product please visit the Health Extension website
Why Are My Belgian Malinois’ Ears Not Standing Up?
Sometimes, one ear may stand up before the other, but this is natural and not a cause for alarm. Remember, as the puppy starts teething, the ears begin to stand erect.
One side may take shape quicker than the other but allow the total amount of time necessary for teething to finish before worrying too much.
Injury to the ears can cause either one side or both not to stand upright. Even a minor injury that does not heal properly or damages a crucial part of the ear structure can result in permanent floppy ears.
Infections, deficiencies, and the wrong diet also play a vital key in ears that do not stand up. Insufficient calcium, worms, and parasites that steal nutrition from otherwise healthy dogs can cause delayed growth and affect the health and appearance of the ears.
Breed genetics can cause predisposed floppy ears. When dogs are bred, some attributes are enhanced and can have an adverse effect.
If more prominent ears are the goal for a breeder or a paying consumer, there is a likelihood that the size of the ears may be too large for the muscles that are used to hold the ear in an upright position.
If the muscles are not strong enough, the tips of the ears may fall off or the whole ear may suffer and remain floppy. Other breeding issues that are beyond human control can cause the ears not to stand up.
Ear infections are another culprit to ears that will not stand up, especially during the first year of a puppy’s life.
Symptoms to look out for are redness, inflammation, crusting, discharge, and any abnormal odor. Other signs of possible ear infections include loss of balance, walking in circles, mild to moderate hearing loss, rubbing ears on the ground, shaking the head, scratching the ears, or tilting the head to one side more frequently than usual.
Since dogs can not tell us what is wrong, if we ignore the signs and symptoms, internal and external damage can occur that impairs growth, jeopardizes health, and causes ears to behave in undesirable ways.
To check your Belgian malinois health status or their DNA, please visit the Embark vet website for all the help you may need.
How Can I Help My Belgian Malinois Have Ears That Stand Up?
First and foremost, stay on top of your dog’s health. Take precautionary steps to avoid ear infections, such as routine vet check-ups, removing matted hair or debris from the ear canal, and getting to know what diseases and illnesses are more common in the Belgian Malinois breed. When you understand the risks and know what to look for, the job of being a pet parent becomes much more manageable
Knowing that the dog’s ears will start to stand up as teething occurs, it is beneficial to brush their teeth every few weeks, if not at least once a week.
Check and clean the ears weekly. Sticking to a consistent eating schedule and menu will do wonders for the overall health of any dog, but specifically Belgian Malinois for their characteristic ears.
Exercise and obedience are just as important as a diet for a healthy coat, teeth, ears, and organs.
Another option for helping your dog’s ears stand upright is called Ear Taping. If your dog is coming up at eight months old and is still having trouble with its ears standing up, you may want to try the taping method.
The procedure must be done correctly to avoid any injury that could permanently damage your dog’s ears. Make sure to ask your veterinarian for help if you are uncomfortable or unsure of the steps.
- Get an ear form that will fit your dog from a breeder, groomer, or specialty supply store. Apply skin glue made specifically for dogs to the outside of the dog’s ear and let it dry for at least ten minutes.
- Place cotton in your Belgian Malinois ear and make sure no sticky will get into the shepherd ear
- Apply a second coat of the cotton ball and allow it to dry until a putty-like texture forms that don’t drip.
- Place the ear form in your dog’s ear so that the ear stays upright but doesn’t go so deep into the ear canal that it annoys your shepherd. There should be enough coverage to keep the ear vertical and upright and no folding.
- Check your dog’s ear for wrinkles or folds. The skin should be smooth on the outside from root to tip.
- Keep the ears in shape for about a week, using a protective cone if necessary to prevent your dog from scratching the structure.
- Clean your dog’s ears with an approved dog glue remover, and wait all day for the ears to heal before using another ear form for another week.
For your Puppy’s vitamin supplement, foods, toys, or other dogs product please visit the Health Extension website.
With proper dieting, exercise, and routine care, the Belgian Malinois should have no issues growing into ears that stand up on their own.
Do not hesitate to get advice from the local vet when you see signs of symptoms, injury, or infection, the early stage of illness is easier to get treated