How to Soften Dog's Ears for Tipping

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Several dog breeds, such as the Irish terrier and the Shetland sheepdog require some assistance in properly forming and carrying their ears. The process of reshaping or adjusting a dog’s ears is known as “tipping.” Tipping is a generally painless and simple process that uses glue or other tools to help hold and form the ear. The process usually starts when dogs are puppies, but for those dogs that are a bit older, or for puppies with strong ear cartilage, softening the ears is required. Softening a dog’s ear will prepare them for effective tipping, or will simply help their ears to fall nicely.

Things You'll Need

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Cotton balls
  • Canine ear cream
  • Washcloth

Massage your dog’s ears occasionally. Massaging the ears will increase blood flow and flexibility of the ear. Focus on the tip of the ear. The tip is the area that needs to fall forward in order for your dog to achieve the proper ear shape.

Clean the ear thoroughly with hydrogen peroxide and a cotton ball. Dip the cotton ball into the peroxide and swap the inside and outside of the ear. This will maintain the cleanliness and health of the ear and will ensure that the ear cream will take full affect. Allow at least 10 minutes for the ears to fully dry.

Apply a cream to your dog’s ears daily. Frequently applying a rich cream such as Cherry Knolls Ears Beautiful or Hery Bio Cleaning Lotion, which are creams specific for dogs, will moisturize and soften the ear tissues. Massage the cream into the tip of the dog’s ear, making sure that it is fully absorbed by the skin and fur.

Allow the cream up to 10 minutes to absorb and dry. If there is any excess lotion, wipe it off with a warm washcloth. Do not rinse the ear out with soap and water as this combination can potentially cause an ear infection for your dog. After frequent use, your dog’s ear should begin to fold correctly and will be easier to shape when tipping.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not shave a dog's ear when shaping and tipping. This can cause irritation or infection in the ear.

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