German Shepherd Broken Ear Cartilage

German Shepherd Broken Ear Cartilage-Why & How to Fix

It is ubiquitous for a german shepherd to break its cartilage because of poor breeding, ear infections, or injury. However, you can fix this issue by tapping the ears on a pace to hold them straight. This is a benign condition that can get back to normal over time:

  • Ear cartilage can break due to injuries or genetics.
  • It can repair itself if you take care of it properly.
  • However, you can mitigate this issue with proper caring steps. 
  • Broken ear cartilage is not painful. However, infections and injuries can cause an issue that needs medical attention.

8 Reasons Why German Shepherds Can Have Broken Ear Cartilage


Pups and older GSDs sometimes play so hard that they bite each other’s ears. It can result in broken ear cartilage. They don’t have many blood vessels like other parts. This means that the healing will be a slower process. 

Skin allergies

Skin allergies can be caused by some food items you give your GSD. If your dog develops allergies due to certain food items, it can get rashes and itchiness. This will make the dog scratch his body, including the ears. And due to the harsh scratching, it can break ear cartilage. 

Ear infections

If you neglect your canine’s ear infection, it can damage the tissues and ear cartilage. An important thing here is that it can even rupture the eardrums. It can be excruciating for the dog and permanently damage the ear. If you find a foul odour, swelling, general discomfort, and unusual discharge, you should take your canine for a check-up. 


Mites can invade your canine’s ears which can make him scratch his ears harshly. The mites can break the ear cartilage and lead to other health issues. 

Poor Feeding

If your GSD is getting poor feed which means low-quality food, he will not get enough immunity to fight ear diseases. Your GSD’s ears will not be strong enough to handle even a minor attack. 

Trauma to the Ears

An accident or fall can also significantly impact your german shepherd’s ears. It can result in broken cartilage. Dogs with floppy ears, like German Shepherds, are more susceptible to ear injuries such as getting caught on branches or getting hit by a car. A traumatic injury to the ear can cause the cartilage to become broken or damaged.

Genetic Factors

Some German Shepherds may be born with weaker ear cartilage, making them more susceptible to breakage and damage.

Poor Breeding

A german shepherd pup can sustain cartilage injury if he/she has poor genetics. A few mutations can even cause various disorders that can affect ear cartilage. Additionally, genetics can also cause severe problems with hips and joints.

How to Fix Broken German Shepherd Ears Stand?


Taping is the most effective way to fix your german shepherd’s broken ears. It is a widespread practice among German shepherd owners as this breed does not develop upright ears. 

Here are a few tips for taping your canine’s ears:

  • Shave your GSD’s ears, as the tape can cause discomfort if the tape is stuck to the ear hair. 
  • It is better to use breathable tapes like adhesive plasters or bandages.
  • Use a lightweight plastic guide to tape your dog’s ear standing. 
  • Do not cover the ear canal opening.
  • Keep your canine away from other canines as they can bite the tape. 

Regularly Check for Parasites

One of the best ways to not let your dog have a broken cartilage is to check your canine’s ears for any parasites. 

You can use a torch light to see deep in the ear canal to check for ticks and fleas. Ear mites are not visible to the naked eye. Therefore, you need to pay attention to symptoms such as excessive scratching, head shaking, or pawing at the ears. 

Balanced Diet

Giving your canine a balanced diet will boost its immunity to fight against various health concerns. These concerns also include ear infections that affect ear cartilage.

Have the German shepherd’s ears been damaged?

If your GSD’s ears have been damaged, then it is a possibility that it will not come back to its original state. GSD ears can get damaged very easily when they are young. Here are a few things due to which your puppy’s ears can become damaged. 

  1. Other dogs tug or bite on the ear.
  2. People who play or rub the dog’s ears excessively
  3. Neglecting your puppy’s ears is another reason for damage. It is essential to clean and examine the ears properly.
  4. The pup is sleeping with its head forced against the wall.

How long does it take for dogs’ ear cartilage to harden?

Usually, it takes around 5 to 8 weeks. The pinna or ear flap is made of cartilage. You can feel it hardening from 5 to 8 weeks. The thin and soft pinnae are telling you that your puppy’s ears may have an issue. Additionally, if your puppy’s ears have not come up in 7 months, they never will. 

How can I strengthen my dog’s ear cartilage?

Your vet may recommend you use tape to keep your dog’s ears straight. You can additionally have 1 teaspoon of plain yoghurt or cottage cheese to his/her regular food to give extra calcium. It will help to form stronger cartilage. 

Can a dog’s ear cartilage break?

Yes, there is a chance that your dog’s ear cartilage will break. There are various reasons for this. These reasons include genetics and injuries. Diagnosing it earlier is good as the cartilage can repair itself if taken care of properly. 

Do German shepherd’s ears stand up naturally?

GSDs are born with ears down. Their ears must be straight up before seven months of age. Some pups even have their ears up at the age of 4 weeks. If the ears are not up to 7 months old, you need to take care of them.

Grown German Shepherd with floppy ears

If your GSD’s ears are floppy, this can be just because of genetics. Although most of them have straight-up ears, a few can have semi-pricked or floppy ears. It is sporadic, however, just as eye colour, coat colour, and coat length, a canine’s ear shape are affected by genes. 

Can I feed my dog cartilage?

Cartilage is very beneficial for the guts, joints, and gums. The chicken neck is only best for small dogs and cats. Also, you can feed your canine lamp rib flaps, beef brisket bones, roo front legs, kangaroo tails, and lamb necks. 

What happens if ear cartilage is damaged?

If ear cartilage is damaged, the ear will look deformed. This condition is common in German shepherd dogs due to several reasons. These reasons include injuries and genetics. 

German Shepherd, one ear down

This condition is prevalent in German shepherd puppies. They have tilted and floppy ears when they are young. After 6 to 7 months, they stand up on their own. GSD ears can take several shapes, like one down, one up, one that way, or one this way. Do not panic if this happens to your canine; it is typical. 

Final words

In conclusion, I would say that GSD’s ear cartilage can break easily. Therefore you need to handle their ears very carefully. Moreover, you need to make sure that you know the cause of your canine’s broken ear cartilage before fixing it. 

In terms of fixes, treatment will depend on the severity of the damage to the ear cartilage. In some cases, the ear may heal on its own over time. In other cases, medical intervention may be necessary, such as the use of antibiotics for an ear infection or surgery to repair the damaged cartilage.

If you notice your German Shepherd’s ear cartilage has become broken or damaged, it is important to seek veterinary care. Your veterinarian can diagnose the underlying cause of the damage and provide appropriate treatment options.