Ear taping or bracing is done in Collies and other breeds to prevent floppy ears. Aside from knowing how to do it right, knowing when to stop taping Collie ears is also crucial information.
Take note that ear taping must be done at an early age to make it effective. Delaying it will make the technique inefficient and it will be difficult to fix the canine’s floppy ears.
Below, I discussed the topic of taping Collie’s ears with some tips to help you out.
Should I tape my Collie’s ears?
Taping or bracing a dog’s ears is common practice among pet owners and veterinarians. This is so the canine’s ears will get used to the upright position.
There are several benefits to taping Collie’s ears in this case. As working dogs, Collies need to hear well, so they can perceive commands from their handlers.
Aside from that, taping the ears of the dog will prevent it from getting floppy. Also, it will solve a common problem wherein one ear of the Collie is floppy and the other one is upright.
Also, guiding your dog’s ears to grow upright will allow for better ventilation. This will help reduce the risk of an ear infection if paired with regular cleaning.
Overall, taping isn’t necessary for all Collies. It’s up to the owners to decide whether they want to do it or not.
I also want to mention that ear taping is different from ear cropping. Ear cropping is a painful procedure wherein the dog’s pinna (lobes) are trimmed and cut.
Dog owners opt for cropping to enhance their pet’s sense of hearing. It’s commonly done in guard dog breeds like Doberman Pinschers.
Most of the time, ear cropping is unnecessary. Also, the problem is that some pet owners perform ear cropping on their own without proper knowledge or tools.
With that being said, ear taping is safe, pain-free, and humane. Instead of cutting, taping just uses medical tape, paper towels, adhesive spray, and other safe items.
When to stop taping Collie ears?
Taping a Collie’s ears usually start once the puppy is at least 7 weeks, so its ear cartilage hasn’t hardened yet. After that, pet owners will keep bracing and taping the ears until the age of 5 months.
Still, some Collies may need ear taping longer than others. It depends on the results you’ll get in the 5th month.
Nevertheless, Collies from the same litter often need the same length of ear taping. You can consult the breeder where you got your puppy or a trusted veterinarian to determine the exact duration suitable for your pet.
Aside from taping the dog’s ears erect, pet owners also cross-brace it. This is when the two taped ears are connected together with a bracing material or the same tape.
Bracing is done to strengthen the muscles on the base of your dog’s ears. This is possible as dogs will try to pull their ears apart to ease the sensation from the brace.
Like taping, cross-bracing is completely safe and pain-free. It may cause discomfort on your dog at first, but he will soon get used to it.
Moreover, bracing often have the same duration as taping. Nevertheless, most breeders and Collie owners will keep the brace on until the pup turns 6 months old.
Tips in taping Collie ears
If you’re planning to tape your Collie’s ears to keep it standing up, here are a few tips you can use:
1. Always use cotton tape
Never use just about any tape on your Collie’s ears. Instead, you should only stick to non-stretch cotton tape, whether it’s silver or zinc-backed.
Cotton tapes are gentle on the dog’s fur and skin. Also, the silver and zinc backing has antiseptic properties to prevent infections or irritations.
Aside from that, the cotton material will absorb the moisture from your dog’s pinna to prevent ear infections. In comparison, other tape types will allow moisture to get trapped, which will weaken the adhesive.
2. Trim your Collie’s ears
Before you stick the tape and cross-brace on your dog’s ears, make sure that you trim its fur first. Collies have long coats, which can get in the way of the adhesive.
Take note that you don’t have to clean-shave your Collie’s ears (you never should). Just keeping the fur short is enough.
3. Change the tape periodically
It’s also important to replace the cotton tape every two weeks for a variety of reasons. Take note that you should use a hypoallergenic adhesive remover instead of ripping the tape off your Collie’s ears.
Collies puppies grow big fast and so are their ears. The rule of thumb is to replace the tape every two weeks to keep up with your pup’s growing body.
Aside from that, replacements are necessary upon the first sign of loosening. This way, the process would be more effective and you’ll achieve a correct tip.
Lastly, you should replace the tape to prevent accumulated dirt from irritating your dog’s skin. Since Collies have thick coats, their ears can gather a lot of dirt over time.
4. Watch out for irritations
While rare, some Collies may experience skin irritation due to the tape used. If this happens, remove the tape immediately and consult the veterinarian.
In this case, you may need to use a different material to tape your dog’s ears. Your dog’s vet can prescribe an alternative and advise if it’s still safe to continue with the procedure.
Is taping a dog’s ear cruel?
Unlike ear cropping, taping is completely safe and humane. It’s just merely guiding your Collie’s ears, so it grows straight up and not floppy.
Just make sure that you use the right tape for the procedure. Also, proper replacement and ear care are necessary for the best results.
Overall, ear taping is a common practice among breeders. This way, your Collie will have a better appearance and sense of hearing.
How do I train my dog’s ears to stand up?
Taping is the best way to train your Collie’s ears to stand up. This is a common solution among puppies since their ear cartilage is still soft and will easily adhere to the upright position.
No matter how much you want to see instant results, I don’t recommend ear cropping for Collies. This process is painful and may mess with the canine’s body.
Can you tape a dog’s ears to stay down?
In rare cases when dog owners want to keep their dogs’ ears floppy, taping down isn’t a wise move. This will literally block the proper airflow and allow moisture to thrive inside the ear, leading to ear infections.
If you don’t want your dog’s ears to become pointy, just don’t tape it. You should also understand that some breeds will naturally have pointy ears, no matter what you do.
Moreover, never try to press your dog’s ears down too much for the sake of making it floppy. This desperate move may end up in a serious injury.
Can I tape my dog’s ears at home?
Ear taping among canines can be done at home using the right materials. You can always consult the vet for the proper way of taping if you’re new to the process.
Never use duct tape or electrical tape for this purpose because it will damage your pet’s ears. Also, you should monitor your dog and watch out for any signs of irritations or pain.
If you want a quick reference for canine ear taping, I highly recommend that you watch this video.
Knowing how and when to stop taping Collie ears will let you achieve pointy ears on your pet. The key here is using the right materials and consulting the veterinarian.
Above all, you should never try any harsh methods that could injure your Collie. If it’s causing irritation or pain, such a method isn’t a good option.