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What makes a dog's ears stand up?


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#1 Root Beer

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 08:12 AM

Let me qualify this by saying that I am not in favor of manipulating a dog's ears to make them do what I want rather than what they are going to do naturally! As you can see from my signature photos, I enjoy the variety.

But I've always wondered - what is it in the ear that makes it stand up, if it does so? Does anyone know?

Whatever it is, Speedy obviously has it. Dean and Sammie have some of it. Maddie doesn't have it.

What is it? I've googled and never come up wtih an answer.

Kristine
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#2 Kelliwic Border Collies

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 09:56 AM

Genetics controls basic ear set, if you do nothing to the ears. But as you've seen in the Lockeye thread, you can artificially create a pricked or tipped ear, too. (RaisingRiver's post #29...the post link scripting didn't want to link to the right post for me.)

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#3 border_collie_crazy

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 12:10 PM

cartilage, if you feel the edges of a dogs ears you will notice the cartilage is harder and thicker on the prick ears dogs and very thin on the floppy eared dogs, when people manipulate ears they are doing it before the cartilage sets, so if they want the ears to stand they tape the ears up to the cartilage hardens like that. when they force ears to tip however they tie the bases up so the base hardens in that area and glue the tips down to break the cartilage at the fold so that the stiffness does not go over the entire ear. now how the cartilage forms on its own is entirely up to genetics lol

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#4 Root Beer

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 02:44 PM

cartilage, if you feel the edges of a dogs ears you will notice the cartilage is harder and thicker on the prick ears dogs and very thin on the floppy eared dogs, when people manipulate ears they are doing it before the cartilage sets, so if they want the ears to stand they tape the ears up to the cartilage hardens like that. when they force ears to tip however they tie the bases up so the base hardens in that area and glue the tips down to break the cartilage at the fold so that the stiffness does not go over the entire ear. now how the cartilage forms on its own is entirely up to genetics lol


Makes sense! Thanks! :rolleyes:

Kristine
And Dean Dog, Tessa, and the Bandit
In Memory:  Sammie, Speedy, and Maddie

 

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#5 kcdawg

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 06:46 PM

ITS THE WIND I TELL YA, THE WIND!!!!!!!!
THE WIND MAKES MY DOGGIES EARS STAND UP!!!!!!

LOL :rolleyes: :D :D
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#6 Tassie

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 08:55 PM

Aaaw kcdawg, you got there ahead of me - no fair. :rolleyes:

Yep - definitely the wind. My old KelpiexBorder Collie was a OUOD (one up, one down) girl - but facing into a strong wind, especially when she was interested in something, both ears would be pricked - made her look a totally diferent dog.

Seriously - combination of muscle movement and cartilage. The ear position is not as important, IMO, as the dog's ability to change its ear position - i.e. mobility - e.g. when on alert.
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#7 Root Beer

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 09:22 PM

Speedy's ears have always been very expressive.

Back when Speedy was between 7 months old to a year, he had one ear that stood and one that flopped over. But in obedience class, when he was in a stay, the ears would both stand straight up a few seconds before he was about to break the position! It was really comical! Or, at least I thought so.

By the time he was just over a year old, both ears stood all the time, so I lost that bit of fun, but he does have great mobility with them. He says a lot about his emotional state with his ears. I watch his ears and his tail a lot to get a read on whether he's nervous or confident, or somewhere in between.

Kristine
And Dean Dog, Tessa, and the Bandit
In Memory:  Sammie, Speedy, and Maddie

 

Tessa's Training Blog - Our Training and Experiences in Musical Freestyle, Agility, and Rally FrEe

 

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#8 marm

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 12:15 PM

Mabel's ears are pricked, but when she's INTENSELY interested in SOMETHING (the cat, food, a squirrel, bird in the tree...whatever) her ears do what our daughter calls the "stupid look". They stand upright, but only when she cocks her head a certain way! She's got the most adorable HUGE ears when they stand up; they make her face look really funny LOLOL :rolleyes:

I really didn't know much about BC ears when we obtained Mabel. Now, if I could have a choice on another BC (that will be a LONG ways away), I would prefer tipped versus pricked.

Oh, and you guys didn't mention how soft BC ears are to rub! Like putting your fingers in the flour canister...


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