Do you want to get a puppy? When it comes to a canine companion, you’re looking for intelligence and energy, and you believe a border collie might be the perfect fit for both.
To put it another way, they’re just plain adorable. There is a good chance that you’re picturing a fluffy white puppy with expressive ears that grows into an elegant slim dog with silky hair and beautiful markings.
While border collies have ears that can be completely floppy (dropped ears), they can also be completely erect (prick ears) and everything in-between.
In the future, you may worry about whether or not your border collie ears will stay up or stay down.
Puppies’ ears are always floppy at the beginning. Border collie with pointy ears usually begin to feel hard at four to six weeks of age and should be fully grown by five to six months. At nine months, if they’re still floppy, they’re probably going to remain so.
Can You Predict the Types of your Border Collie Ears?
For many breeds, the ear types can be predicted, and you’d be surprised if your German Shepherd’s weren’t pricked in the end.
In contrast, it’s more difficult to predict the shape and size of a border collie’s ears. After six months of age, your puppy’s body will undergo a slew of awkward physical changes.
Your puppy may be able to change the shape of his ears almost daily, until they reach adulthood, due to the effects of teething.
When it comes to the final shape of your dog’s ears, genetic and environmental factors play a role that can’t always be predicted. However, there are clues that can be found along the way.
Look at your puppy’s parents to get an idea of the shape of his ears; however, there is no guarantee he will look exactly like his parents later in the future.
When your puppy is excited, his ears may stand up at the age of two or three months. It’s possible that this means his ears will be erect or partially erect when he grows up.
Ears that are higher and closer to the head are more prone to be a pricked ear. Ears that are lower and heavier are more prone to drop. It is possible for ears with a lot of hair to remain floppy even if they are heavily fringed.
The Border Collie’s Origins
Britain’s border collie breed was first developed in the late 19th century and early 20th century as a herding dog for livestock.
While working with farmers and shepherds for centuries in Britain, these dogs were not recognised as purebreds.
Named for its origins in the border regions between England and Scotland, the border collie is known as such. It was coined in 1915 to distinguish working border collies from their relatives, rough and sleek collies, which were already being bred for the show.
Border collies quickly became popular and were soon exported to farming communities in Australia and the United States as working dogs.
Border collies are now in demand as family pets and athletes all over the world.
Working ability and breed standard are the two criteria used when evaluating Border Collies.
The American Kennel Club Membership of Border Collie
There were no border collie breeds accepted for show purposes by the American Kennel Club until 1995, when the breed finally received recognition. The first Border Collies conformation shows were held in the same year.
Over time, the breed’s working abilities have been shifted to its conformation to the breed standard appearance around the world.
Those adorable puppy ears that captured your heart are at the centre of a debate over whether or not the change should have happened at all.
Basic Information for Border Collie Ears
There are three distinct parts to a dog’s ear: the outer, middle, and inner. External ears include the soft furry flap (the pinna) and an ear canal (the auditory nerve).
In comparison to humans, dogs’ ears are much larger and can be moved to better capture sound. Dogs’ hearing is far superior to ours because of the abundance of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves throughout the entire ear.
The flaps on a dog’s ears are also a fashion statement. A dog’s ears are defined by its breed standard, which specifies their shape, position, and size.
With border collies, things get even more complicated. Some have ears that are completely erect, while others have ears that are completely droopy.
In many cases, a third of the ears are upright, but most of them are sloping forwards. They’re known as ‘airplane ears‘ because they fly cheekily to one side.
For example, there are many breeds of dogs with ears that prick and relax in response to the dog’s mood.
Certain canine gene variants and ear type have been linked in studies. Border collies have a wide range of ear patterns because of their heritage as a rural shepherd’s dog, which may have contributed to the breed’s genetic diversity.
Border collies’ ‘ear confusion’ is a beloved characteristic among many breeders; in fact, most border collie breed standards mention the ears’ ability to move and express themselves.
However, as the popularity of breeding border collies for shows grows, many owners have become fixated on getting their dogs to have the “perfect” ear.
Standards for Border Collies
The American Kennel Club specifies that the ears of a border collie should be medium in size and evenly spaced. However, no specific shape is specified.
There are a variety of ways in which the ears can be styled, including pricking or tipping (meaning a quarter to three-quarters of the ear is erect and the rest is flopped over), and the tips can fall forwards or sideways.
A border collie’s ears aren’t even required to be perfectly symmetrical by the AKC breed standard, which states that one or both ears may be up or down. Hence, you can see that there are even dogs that have one ears up, one down.
It is clear, however, if you spend any time at all on dog forums that breeders have a much higher expectation for their dogs.
For the most part, tipped ears are the latest trend, which means that three-quarters of the ear is erect and the top quarter is dropping.
Natural selection is unlikely to produce such a precise specimen, which has little to do with the official breed ears standard.
This is why the shaggy ears of your puppy are the subject of a breed debate.
When Do Border Collie Ears Stand Up?
Around the 5-month mark, you may notice your pup’s ears starting to perk up. It’s not always a smooth ride to full standing in the majority of cases!
Even if one or both ears appear to be “dancing,” it’s likely that you’ll notice them “standing” or “floppy” in the coming weeks. And yes, it’s perfectly fine if you see the ears rise and fall several times!
In order to maintain their standing at 8 months, your collie’s ears must be genetically predisposed to standing.
This is also the time of year when teething is supposed to stop. The constant chewing that occurs during teething has a significant effect on their ears as they mature.
Nonetheless, it’s possible that your dog’s natural ear placement will come to them sooner or later than others. Keeping this in mind will be beneficial.
Controversy About Border Collies
This breed has two camps of supporters: those who emphasise the dog’s role as a working animal, and those who advocate for breeding for a more uniform appearance.
Because the breed was originally developed as a working dog, working border collie groups are opposed to the imposition of a standard because they fear it will diminish the breed’s exceptional ability as a working dog.
They are adamant that the shape or alignment of the dog’s ears is irrelevant. Many people were against the breed being recognised by the AKC in 1995.
AKC-registered dogs will not be accepted by the American Border Collie Association (ABCA), despite the fact that they have proven themselves as working dogs.
Many dog owners resort to cruel methods to give their dogs the ‘right’ appearance, which can lead to ugly clashes between the two factions of dog owners.
Dogs with Collie Ears That Are Rough
Rough collie ears, which are both more common and have a longer coat, are descended from the same ancestors as their short-haired smooth collies.
But the collie was popularised by Queen Victoria and the Lassie character a lot earlier than that. The AKC recognised the collie in 1885, nearly a century before the border collie.
As a result, collies are now being bred with a greater emphasis on showing. One quarter of collies’ ears are folded over in accordance with the AKC breed standard. A person’s ears should not be overly large or positioned unnaturally high or low on the skull.
Pricking them is not permitted. Ears that aren’t positioned or shaped correctly are penalised because they aren’t capable of expressing their true emotions.
Despite the fact that most show collies lack a natural ear shape, this standard of perfection is exceedingly rare.
Adjusting Border Collie’s Ears
While having ‘perfectly’ tipped ears may be desirable, most border collie and collie owners correct their dogs’ ears when they notice that they are floppy or pricked.
However, the first thing to determine is whether or not a correction is required. In order to keep your dog healthy, you must avoid any unnecessary pain or discomfort, especially if it is imposed on him solely for your own vanity.
When it comes to breed standards, it’s all about what’s trendy right now. Extreme inbreeding and health problems are well-known side effects (Pugs, for example, with their short, flat noses, are a good example of brachycephalic dogs.).
Bracing or taping stubborn ears into adulthood is common practise among breeders despite AKC regulations prohibiting the artificial alteration of a dog’s appearance.
Dog ears can be fixed like human teeth, but it won’t make your dog more likely to give birth to puppies with “perfect” ears.
You should correct your puppy’s ears before he’s seven months old and has finished teething, if you decide to do so. Because you are essentially ‘teaching’ his ears to maintain the desired shape on their own, the process will take at least a few weeks.
Finally, remember that your dog’s ears are extremely sensitive. Do not suffocate him by severing his blood supply or inflicting any discomfort on him. This is cruel and pointless at the same time.
In what way to make the ears of Border Collie stand up
Those ears on your dog’s head look like they’re going southward. Here are a few things you can do to help them get some lift:
• Chewing puppy-safe toys and chews from a reputable pet store or your veterinarian will help your dog’s ear muscles grow stronger.
• Rubing your puppy’s ears too much can soften the cartilage and cause damage. As soon as your puppy falls asleep, move his ear out of the way to prevent the cartilage from becoming weakened.
• Remove any hair that may be weighing down the ears.
• They can be held in place with duct tape or by using a brace. What follows is advice on how to do so safely.
How to Make your Border Collie Ears Tip
Try these tips if your puppy’s ears are dropping too much and you’d like to encourage them to tip:
Begin at the fold and work towards the tip of your puppy’s ears by gently massaging a hand lotion or glycerine into the skin. If you experience any skin irritation, discontinue use and switch to an unscented, colourless lotion.
Bend the ear tip and glue the fur at the edge to hair that is further down the ear canal. Gluing a small weight, such as a sweet, to the ear’s tip is a common method used by some owners.
Instead of using regular glue, opt for a specially formulated skin-safe glue. If you notice any signs of irritation, discontinue use immediately and consult the product’s instructions.
How to Tape the Ears of Border Collie
You’ve probably heard that ear taping is a non-invasive, painless method of achieving the ear shape you desire. When the muscles are strong enough, the ears can be propped in the desired position. You can choose between two approaches.
The tip of each ear should be folded over the tape as you wrap it around it, so use masking tape or something similar to do this. Wrap the ear in an upright position and avoid rolling or creasing it vertically.
For a more elevated and compact appearance, tape your Border Collies ears back to the front of the head at the same time to hold them in place.
Using moleskin or a similar stiff material, cut out two oval-shaped supports of the same dimensions. In order to fold over the tips, place the template on a flat surface on the inside of the ears.
If the tape or brace comes off while you’re playing or sleeping, reapply it. Ensure no sticky residue is left on your puppy’s skin by gently but thoroughly cleaning the inside of his ears before and after application.
This is the proper way on how to clean Border Collie ears.
A dog’s ear may be taped to help keep a small wound in the fold of his ear dry, as in the case mentioned above.
In most cases, the purpose of taping is to enhance the appearance of your dog, so it’s important to keep your pet safe and avoid inflicting unnecessary pain or discomfort.
You’ll need to be patient with your puppy, whichever method you choose, for a few weeks before you see results. Keep in mind that this can be a stressful process, and the tape might impede his ability to hear.
Why Are There Border Collie’s Ear That Do Not Stand?
You may be wondering why your puppy’s ears are still floppy. What age do Border Collies ears stand up? Simply put, not all border collies end up with ears that stand on end. When it comes to collie ears, there are many varieties to choose from!
By the time your border collie reaches 8-10 months of age, its ears are likely to be floppy as an adult. Let’s take a look at some of the most important aspects of ear placement below.
Three Factors That Influence Ear Positioning
• Ear Genetics:
Of course, genetics is the most important factor in ear placement. The shape and location of your puppy’s ears will ultimately be determined by his genetics. As a result, his ears are very likely to resemble those of both his parents.
Teething can have a significant impact on ear development, even if the effects are only temporary.
Constant chewing stimulates the ears because the jaw and neck muscles are connected to the ears. Some vets believe that a lot of chewing and well-developed jaw muscles can (occasionally) result in a dog’s ears becoming more puffed out.
In some cases, excessive ear-fondling by us can have a detrimental effect on our ears.
Too much fondling or touching of the ear cartilage and bones in the early stages of development can cause damage and ultimately alter the shape and growth of the ear in the future.
Keep your distance from their cute ears because this has happened many times before.
The Health Of Border Collies’ Ears
It’s common for purebred dogs to have health and ear problems, and border collies are no exception.
Both conductive and acoustic hearing loss are possible in this population. Adult-Onset Deafness (AOD) occurs between the ages of 1 and 8 years after early-onset deafness (EOD).
An abnormal ear shape in Border Collies may be an indication of ear infection, nerve damage, or a genetic disorder. Border Collies are also known to be sensitive to loud noises.
In both early and adult-onset deafness, the condition is inherited, but there is no specific ear shape associated with it.
All-white or mostly white dogs are thought to be more susceptible to deafness because their inner ears lack pigmentation, which causes nerve fibers to atrophy and die off, likely to result in deafness.
According to one study, the inheritance pattern is autosomal recessive.
Even though breeders routinely put down deaf puppies, it is possible for a partially deaf dog to lead an otherwise normal life.
Frequently Asked Questions about Border Collie Ears
We’ll go over some of the most frequently asked questions about border collie ear placement. There will be a succinct answer for every question you ask us.
• Does the shape of a border collie’s ears tell you if they are purebred?
The ears of a border collie do not always reveal whether or not it is a purebred dog. The ears of purebred border collies can be shaped, sized, and placed in a variety of ways.
There is no difference in purebred border collies with floppy ears and those with standing ears.
• Is it normal to have one ear up and the other drooping down all the time?
Because of its rarity, a border collie can have one ear that stands/semi-standing while the other falls down. This does not imply that your collie has a problem with their ears, and they will be able to hear as well as any other collie.
• Are there any border collies that don’t have their ears erect?
It’s not true that all border collies have erect ears. Ears of all shapes and sizes can be found, from floppy to semi-erect to standing, depending on the individual. Purebreds and crossbreeds cannot be distinguished based on a dog’s ear placement.
• Is it normal for my border collie’s ears to flap up and down?
For the first few months, your collie’s ears will “dance” around, bouncing up and down. Teething can cause a baby’s ears to wiggle a lot, which is mainly due to the constant stress and muscle tension.
• My border collie’s ears aren’t growing as fast as they used to. Is this due to her diet?
It is imperative that your puppy eats a high-quality, puppy-specific diet if you want him to grow and develop properly. Ear damage from a poor diet hasn’t been proven yet, but it’s safe to assume it will.
• Is it okay for me to massage my dog’s ears?
Despite the fact that your border collie puppy ears will be velvety soft, it is recommended that you avoid stroking them excessively. The cartilage in their ears can be damaged or weakened if they touch their ears too frequently, causing them to grow incorrectly.
When it comes to your Border Collie ears, you may be better off leaving them to grow as they naturally would. As he grows older, savour the odd shapes they take on and revel in his singular appearance.
Consider joining a dog-loving community online, where people can share photos and stories of their pets to learn more about the breed’s personality. The ears of a border collie are a wonderful way for him to express his feelings.
No matter what breed you choose, the best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with your dog is to pay attention to his temperament and protect his health.
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