Okay, sometimes they’re called ‘flying nun’ ears, hence the title of this post. If you don’t get the reference, just move on and everything will be all right.
What I am talking about is the fly away ear, the rosebud ear and the aforementioned ‘flying nun’ ear, particularly on a Rottweiler.
This usually shows up while the pup is teething, but can be later or sometimes earlier, so really the main point is not when it actually shows up, but that it shows up. Now you saw in the last post what the head of a Rottweiler should look like and that includes the ears. They are what is referred to as ‘pendant’ ears and that means that they drop down from a specific point on the head, with a specific fold, sort of like a napkin.
Sometimes one or both of the ears does not set right when the Rottie is a pup. This makes the dog look goofy and is even more annoying (at least to me, as I am totally obsessed with ear sets) when only one of the ears is set and the other one is creased in the wrong spot.
So, when new owner Chris, from the Boston, Mass. area, emailed me about the issue with his pup, even suggesting that I post an article on my blog about it, I got right to it!! Mostly, I will be using the email text, as follows, since I am lazy:
“OK, bob… I have another post for your blog that would be most helpful …hahah. King’s (Chris’ dog is named King) left ear does not sit properly…I know it’s because he’s teething but whats ur opinion on taping or massaging? Is it all bull shit that will correct itself w/ maturing?? If not, any tips on which method is better and the proper way to do it?? thx again…
Here is my answer)
There are three ways to do it and it will work, but you have to do it (the massaging) every day, like maybe two or three times a day. It may or may not correct by itself later, so doing something now is best.
Do the massaging every day, as many times a day as you can. Just massage his ear where the crease ought to be, using your forefinger and thumb, to help break down the cartilage. Use the thumb on the outside of the ear flap and the forefinger on the inside, like a woman’s curler. Really rub it,like you would roll a cigarette, all over that crease area and let him chew on a toy or eat a treat while you do it, so he doesn’t fuss so much.
Next, you can use a product called ‘Tear Mender’ which you can pick up at a craft store or maybe in the Wal Mart craft section. This is a white fabric glue that is non toxic and will hold the ear flap down while it gets re-trained. You place the glue on the tip of the ear and connect it to the dog’s cheek so that it looks like it’s supposed to. The glue is messy and will get on his head, etc. but won’t hurt him. Just make sure it doesn’t get in his eye and position the ear so the crease is correct. When the glue gets undone, after a week or a few days, leave it for a couple of days and do the massage, then go back to the glue. Keep this up until the ear sets correctly. You are basically retraining the cartilage .
Did you get the Muriel Freeman book (The Complete Rottweiler)? It has an illustration on how to massage the ears there as well.
Here is a link showing how you massage a boxer’s ears. Just use it to get the position of your fingers,etc.
Here is a page that talks about gluing the dogs ears and shows you what the glue looks like.
My son has one of your pup’s litter mate sisters and she had to have it done. Her ears started folding correctly after about ten minutes of massaging. They are using a combo of glue and massage and they are looking very good.
That should do it. Oh, here is the update from Chris:
“..the ear massaging is working great and they are almost always sitting properly now..thx again chris “
Here is the picture of his pup, post ear massage: