Is Taping Dog Ears Down Harmful?

While some want to keep their puppies’ ears upright, others would want to keep them down. The practice of taping dog ears down is believed to have several benefits, depending on the dog’s breed and its activities.

Aside from that, many pet owners like the floppy ears look. It makes canines appear friendlier as opposed to the erect and intimidating ears of guard dogs.

Taping Dog Ears Down

In this post, I talk about taping down canine ears, how it works, and if it’s suitable for your pet.

Why do owners tape their dogs’ ears down?

Some pet owners tape their dog’s ears down for practical reasons. They claim that it can reduce a dog’s risk of sustaining injuries during a fight.

This makes good sense since erect ears are more exposed to biting, clawing, and snatching. So if the ears are pinned down, the canine would have less risk of getting its lobes injured.

Aside from that, it’s believed that taped-down ears are safer for working dogs. It makes them less prone to injuries while hunting or facing a predator.

Lastly, taped-down ears won’t get caught on twigs, bushes, and foliage as the dog runs while hunting.

However, a few pet owners would tape down their dog’s ears for aesthetic purposes only. Still, those who want to tape up their pets’ ears are more prominent than the former.

Is ear taping harmful for dogs?

Taping down a dog’s ears isn’t really harmful. However, it may cause unnecessary pain or discomfort to your pet as with dog ear piercings.

Also, you should consult a veterinarian before performing this procedure on your pet. While it may appear safe, there’s a chance that this will become traumatic to the doggo.

If taping down has no substantial benefit or purpose for your dog, it’s best not to do it in the first place. You should just allow your dog’s ears to develop naturally.

How is taping a dog’s ears down performed?

Taping down a dog’s ears is often performed with the use of fabric tape or other types of tape. Basically, the pet owner will cut a 4-inch length with a 1.5-inch notch on one side.

This notch is then folded inside to create a non-sticky area along the adhesive side of the tape. The notch is the part that will get in contact with the inner part of the dog’s earlobe.

Next, the earlobe is folded from the inside out. After that, the tape will be wrapped around it, preventing the ears from standing up.

This process may take a few weeks to more than a month. Overall, it doesn’t have any substantial benefit to your dog.

But in very rare cases, taping down a dog’s ears might be recommended by the vet. This never happens a lot and if so, the taping must be done or supervised by a licensed veterinarian.

If your dog is healthy and has no ear problems, it’s best not to do this procedure. It entails more potential risks than benefits, especially if done haphazardly.

Is there a natural way to stop dog ears from standing up?

Genetics is often the determinant of whether a canine’s ears will stand up or not. This means that if you have a dog breed with floppy ears, its lobes will not stand up naturally.

On the other hand, if your dog is genetically predisposed to pricked ears, then there’s no way for you to stop it. Performing harsh methods might lead to ear defects and injuries on your dog, which are expensive to treat.

Overall, if you want a dog with floppy ears, get a breed that has one like a Golden Retriever. That’s the only natural way to actually prevent your pet’s ear from standing up.

How much does ear taping cost?

Ear taping cost is usually done at home, so it’s not really a veterinarian procedure with a price tag. Basically, the pet owner would just purchase the tape and do the ear taping on his own.

Still, the cheap price and convenience shouldn’t be enough reason to try it on your pet. Again, there might be a bigger price to pay later on. 

Is dog ear taping cruel?

Taping a dog’s ear down isn’t cruel per se, but it causes unnecessary discomfort to your pet. Aside from that, your dog stands the risk of having ear injuries.

As the saying goes, “why fix it if it ain’t broken?”. This is especially true for dogs’ ears, whether you’re taping it up or down.

Do vets tape dog ears?

Vets don’t usually tape dog ears unless it’s for medical purposes. Taping will only be done at the veterinarian clinic and for a limited period.

It’s done if the dog has injuries and the earlobe has to be immobilized. It can also be performed if the vet has to perform adjustments on the canine’s ear to improve its health.

Can you tape an older dog’s ears?

It’s not customary to tape an older dog’s ears, whether it’s taping up or down. It’s because the ear cartilage of an adult dog is already firm.

If you intend to tape up or post your pet’s ears, you must do it before the canine turns 6 months old. After this period, the ears would have grown and almost impossible to alter.

Why do my dog’s ears always stand up?

If your pet’s ears are perking up, it’s a sign that the earlobes will stand up permanently. This usually happens as the pup nears its 6 months of life.

Technically, dog ears that are set higher and have a wolf-like profile are more likely to stand up as the pooch grows older. However, if your dog’s ears remain floppy after its 6 months of life, it’s unlikely for it to become erect later on.

Why are my dog’s ears suddenly floppy?

Sudden floppy ears are often a sign of injuries in dogs. It can indicate damage to the ear cartilage or the surrounding muscles.

In this case, it’s best to bring your doggo to the vet’s clinic for proper examination. This way, your pet will also receive proper treatment to prevent the potential injury from getting worse.

But if your dog is still a puppy, it’s normal for it to have an up-and-down phase with its ears. This will resolve after 6 months of age when the canine’s ears are either fully erect or floppy.

Are dogs with pointy ears more aggressive?

The pointiness of a canine’s ears isn’t the sole judge of its behavior and temperament. Still, it has been stereotyped that canines with pointy ears are more intimidating.

Meanwhile, those with floppy ears are seen as friendlier or laidback. Any dog can have aggressive tendencies if not trained or raised well.

Also, it’s important to note that breeds perceived to be aggressive are often used for guarding. These dogs undergo ear cropping or posting to intentionally make their ears stand up.


Is taping dog ears down harmful? This practice may not be cruel, but it still poses certain risks.

There’s no major benefit in taping down a canine’s ears. The risk of injuries and defects is also much higher, so it’s not worth the risk.

If you’re keen to tape down your pet’s ears, you should proceed at your own risk. As much as possible, you shouldn’t do any modifications to your dog’s ears unless it has established health benefits.

Written By