How to Tip a Collie's Ears

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Properly tipped collie's ears
Properly tipped collie's ears (Image: collie image by Ivonne Wierink from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Historically, the tipped ear was bred in collies to enhance their ability to hear. The breed was used predominately as sheepdogs, and the dogs needed to quickly identify predators. When a collie's ears tip naturally, the top quarter of the ear bends down into the middle of the ear cavity. Most collie's ears no longer tip by themselves even though this trait is generally required in show dogs. You can tip your puppy's ears yourself if they don't naturally grow that way.

Things You'll Need

  • Comb
  • Glue
  • Adhesive remover
  • Rubbing alcohol

Ears

Clean the inside of the ears with rubbing alcohol then place a small amount of glue on your index finger.

Comb back the hair in front of your puppy’s ear, following the direction it naturally grows.

Tip the top quarter of the ear down in front of the combed up hair, place your index finger behind the hair and roll outward.

Remove your finger while ensuring that the glue remains in place behind. The glue should only be touching the hair that you combed and the hair at the tip of the ear.

Remove any caught hairs from the glue and ensure that no glue is touching the collie’s skin. This precaution will keep the ear from being irritated and prevent the dog from scratching.

Repeat with the second ear, ensuring that both ears are tipped equally. If they are not, gently remove the glue and try again if the glue hasn’t set. If the glue has set, use the adhesive remover before undoing the tipped ear.

Head

Cup both glued ears and push inward until they meet in the middle.

Glue together several hairs at the top of the head where the ears meet. Use the same process as before, place a small amount of glue on your index finger and perform a rolling motion. The amount of hair should be about half an inch in diameter.

Remove your hands and ensure that the dog’s ears remain in place at the top of the head. Add a bit more glue to the bridge and to the tipped ears if necessary.

Maintenance

Massage the tipped ears several times a day over the fold.

Monitor the progress of the gluing every day. Adjust as necessary. As the puppy’s head grows the skin will stretch, which may result in unequal tipping or crooked ears.

Remove the glue with an adhesive remover every two or three weeks to gauge the process of the tipping and to rest the ears. Reapply after 24 hours.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure the glue you use is safe and nontoxic, Vista Dei Shetland Sheepdogs recommends glue used for human hair extensions. For show dogs, begin tipping the ears when the puppy is about 7 weeks old and continue until they are about 8 months old. Begin the process at night when the puppy is tired. It will be easier to handle and the glue will have time to set properly.
  • Begin tipping the ears before the puppy is 10 months old or else the ears will be naturally set.

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