Need posting advice
Tip of one ear bending back
My girl is 7 1/2 months old. Been posting religiously since her cropping healed at 10 weeks old. No problems. When she was 6 1/2 months old and done teething we decided to not post them and see if they stayed. They did. All was god for a couple weeks. Then while out in the woods one afternoon we got caught in the rain. The next morning one of the tips started to curl backward. I immediately started posting again but the next day she was to go off for 4 weeks of board and training in obedience. So here we are two weeks after I started posting again. I took them down and out of post yesterday. All was good, today it is curling again. My problem is that she is not home. She is away at training and the trainers will not post her ears, as it is a liability issue for them. I have to go there and do it. Which interrupts her trying and is a distraction. The last time I went to clean and repost she started to develop sores under the tape. I don’t know what to do at this point. I am not there on a daily basis to check them or see the progress. My question - if I take them out of post, will the tip curl continue to get worse or fix itself? Or stay the way it is? My girl will be there for another 3 weeks, can I wait til then to continue to post? Or try the breathe right strips? Please help.
Welcome to DT.
I'm not a fan of board and train programs, for a number of reasons. Personally, I'd keep her home and train her myself and keep her in posts.
I did a 2 week board and train when posting and regretted it very much because of the interruption in posting.
Real big set back for sure to lose time posting at that age. Real important for the ears to be healthy then resume posting.
I don't get the gripe over having your pup boarded and trained over ear posting. Prioritizing behavior over aesthetic is, in my mind, the responsible thing to do. No dobi cool points lost in my book.
From what I've read and experienced, you have until around 12-months to manipulate the ears. After that, they're more or less done. So, she'll only be 8 1/2 months when you get her back. It's a set back but you still have plenty of time to work on them. I would post those puppies 24/7 for 8 weeks, evaluate and go from there.
My girl had a floppy ear-tip issue as well. Hers was due to a chihuahua friend constantly treating her ear as a chew toy (equal parts cute and frustrating). I was able to salvage it a few ways:
The base of her ears had healed up nice and firm, no longer needing external support. I trimmed a 2-inch backer rod, ran only 1 layer of reverse tape, and posted it to the top part of the ear. To keep it light and airy, I ripped the tape in half and taped only the top and bottom of the rod to the ear. Her ear was strong enough to hold this setup...this may not always be the case. I don't think breath right strips are strong enough for full support duty. You can run them under the rod...your choice.
Other tips/opinions. I found the most basic wound tape to work best. (I bought mine at target) It breathes a ton better than KT tape. I also made sure to anchor the tape always on the rod, not the ear. Attach it firmly to the inner exposed rod, run around the ear slightly snug, and then firmly to the anchor again. I did 2 loops because my girl was crazy.
And a lastly...possibly a dumb request...but would your boarder/trainer be open to making silly sounds to your pup as a replacement for not being able to post? I constantly made sounds to my girl...make her lift those ears up and train-up the muscles. I can't tell you if it helped (I think it did) but it certainly can't hurt.
I don't think any of us are saying that ears are more important that fixing behavior problems; we're just stating opinions and advising strongly against sending your dog away for training.
1. Molding dog behavior to fit smoothly into a family has an owner component. The owner needs advice and training too.
2. Whatever training is done by a third person generally won't "stick" once the pet returns to his home. The owner without instruction won't be able to follow through effectively, and any bad habits the dog has will re occur.
3. Dog problems can be very place and occasion dependent. A dog with an out of the ordinary behavior problem needs to be seen where and when the behavior occurs, so the person providing education can know exactly what is going on and recommend ways which will address the problem appropriately.
4. You have no idea what a trainer is doing when you are not there if you've sent your dog to someone to train him. The methods a trainer actually uses to "control" your dog aren't necessarily the ones he claims he uses.
Obedience training is helpful in building bonds between the dog and the owner. If the owner isn't involved in the training, they're missing out on an opportunity to really get to know their dog.
This owner MIGHT be able to fix an ear problem after the dog is 8 1/2 months, but that is not a sure bet at all. There is a reason you start posting right after the dog's ears are healed from cropping, and keep it up until they are standing properly. Ear cropping is expensive, and you put a lot of time into proper ear care, including posting, in order to get them to stand properly. It is much much less likely to fail when his ears are posted consistently.
What she said above. I have trainer friends and they say board and trains don't work most of the time due to lack of client follow through but they're a cash cow for trainers. It's my opinion that there is no better way to bond with your dog than training. And about 95% of all the trainings that I've attended are training me to train my dog.
As melbrod said, unless you really know the trainer, you have no idea what methods they might be using while your dog is out of your hands.
I once took a group class with a popular trainer in my area who also did board and train. In class, in front of a dozen people, she darn near yanked her demo dog off his feet, then rolled and pinned him to the floor. What did he do to warrant such an action, you ask? Lunged at another dog? Tried to bite her? Nope. He's gotten up from a down stay. If she was comfortable enough to do that in front of people, I shudder to think what goes on behind closed doors.
She has long been the main trainer for competitive obedience around here, and handled dogs for other people as well as her own. Every single dog I saw her with in the ring looked dull and lifeless. They obeyed, but there was absolutely no joy in their eyes and no enthusiasm in their work.
OK. back to her ears. If she's developed some sores, you'll have to stop posting them until the sores heal, unless you can tape around the sore places to leave them completely open to the air. You also can't leave her in posts for more than 4 days max between changing her posts, and she also needs to have the posts checked regularly to see if there are any problems starting to develop.
I couldn't quite tell from your narrative...but if her posts get wet, you need to take them down immediately. Don't leave a dog posted with a wet post and tape.
Maybe you can find an experienced dobe person outside the facility and pay them to go in every day to check her ears and repost them if needed??
Aside from that, I'm afraid you'll probably have to accept just starting up posting again once your dog is home. I wouldn't post them if the condition of her posts is going to be unmonitored. There's just too much chance that she could develop an infection or get her posts messed up (falling down or crooked, tipping inward, posts popping out of her ears, etc.) when you don't have anyone who is able or willing to check on her ears' progress at least every day.
I really thought I would find some answers to a problem I had by coming into this forum. Some of You people are very judgmental. I gave you the info you needed to help me with a problem. What I didn’t say, because it had nothing to do with the problem of my dogs ear tip bending, is 1) I have been doing obedience training at this facility for 15 weeks with my Yara. I have not only gotten to know the trainers very well but they have gotten to know Yara very well. 2) I have made a commitment to my dog the moment I picked her up from the breeder. I not only want a well behaved, obedient dog, but one that looks great. I will not have a dog that I can not control. I hear of people chasing their dog around the neighborhood or dogs getting hit by cars and think - I will never have a dog that won’t listen. Yara is my 3rd dog, my other two are 8 and 6 and obedience trained. 3) I am disabled. Training at this point would have been difficult for me. I will continue to work with yara daily and learn from the trainers. When she is done training, they will train me so I can continue what they started. 4) since having problems with that ear, I have been their weekly and know how she is doing. It has been nice, in a way, to have a reason to go there and check up on her. She is thriving. With that being said - I shouldn’t have to go into details about my choice to board and train, she is my dog. The advice I needed was about her ears. I had one very nice person reach out via message and give me some good advice. Thank you for that. The ones who like to judge other dog owners - shame on you. If you have nothing nice to say then just don’t say anything at all.
I found fired out how to post pics. Yara’s ears in post and then after the one started to fall. It hasn’t gotten any worse than what you see.
Yara’s ears before the rain day
Pretty girl. :)
And I suppose we can come across as judgmental. But just about everyone here is truly trying to advise based on what they consider to be in the dog's best interests (which is generally in the best interests of the owner too, in the long run) and is not trying to judge a particular owner, just provide advice.
Sometimes when you're on the receiving end of unasked-for-advice it can be very anger-making, but we really do want to help folks out here. Which means that sometimes they get advice they didn't ask for--it comes with the territory.
Your information that you have worked with this trainer for a fairly long period of time, and also that perhaps your disability means you need a little extra help, explains your decision a little more clearly and makes it more understandable.
Best of luck with your girl (and her ears :))
I wouldn't want to leave them unposted for so long, myself. If they're not ready to be left down, then you're really just creating more work for yourself in the long run. And potentially allowing the cartilage to stiffen during that time so that you end up with a bend or curve in the ear that can never be fixed.
Are the trainers telling you that you coming to check her ears and post her is disruptive and distracting? Or are you assuming that? IME, it doesn't take very long to clean the ears and re-post. Maybe a half hour total to let the ears "air out," right? I would hope they're not training her so rigorously that she can't be spared for 30 minutes for you to check on her and re-post.
Also, I see that you're irritated with people offering their extended opinions on the board-and-train situation so, I'll preface this by saying - this is just my opinion so do with it what you will but, if I were paying someone to care for and train my dog, *I* still own that dog and I'm going to see them whenever I damn well please. I wouldn't trust someone who wants to restrict my access to my animal. If everything's on the up-and-up, then I should be able to show up unannounced and see the conditions in which my dog is being kept. I'm not saying I'd go storming in and interrupt a training session, but I would expect them to be able to present my dog to me in some form within minutes of me showing up. Whether that be bringing her out from her kennel to me, or taking me somewhere I could observe an in-progress training session without her being aware I'm there. And I would certainly expect I could spend 30 minutes out of a whole 24 hours of one day to re-post her...
I read your reasons for choosing a board-and-train option; those are just my thoughts on the expectations I would have if I were going that route.
If it is only the tips curling, try using breathe rite strips and colostomy glue (torbots on amazon) - you can reinforce it with tape. I will say that they need to be replaced about every 5 days. Not a fan of send away training - but that's your choice.
I'm going to be stone cold honest here and I'll likely get in trouble for it. Nothing gets under my skin like someone coming to a forum seeking advice and then playing a "boowho victim" because they received some advice that they didn't want to hear". There absolutely isn't one damn ounce of judgement in a single comment on this thread!!! I know because instead of playing a victim when you said something I didn't like, I went and reread the comments!!!
Maybe we aren't in your shoes, maybe we don't know the full story but people are trying to be helpful. And it is selfish, self-righteous, people like you that make me hesitate to give advice to people because they are so exuberantly UNGRATEFUL!!!!
I wasn't going to give you the entire story as I didn't think it was any of YOUR business for me to go into details. I know an EXACT same story as one like yours. Trains puppy with a trainer, then sends the puppy to stay with the trainer for board and trains. Wants to check on the puppy's ears for posting, slowly starts not allowing it, says it's disruptive. Guess what. Puppy had died and trainer was trying to cover it up. So maybe the next time YOU go JUDGING people that are give YOU ADVICE and appearing as ungrateful, instead you take a chill pill, sit back and hear what they're saying, and think about it.
OFF MY SOAPBOX!!!
As far as ears go I agree with the Breathe Right Strips and torbots glue. You'll want to cut the "wings" off at one end so you can get it all the way to the tip of the ear.
If you need a little more weight at the ear tip than Breatherite strips offer this is an appropriate place to use 'Mole Foam'--cut to the shape of the ear tip and coat ear tip and the back of the not quite sticky enough Mole Foam and use it with the Torbot adhesive to get the tip to stop curling back.
Good luck--but you really need to keep on working without gaps when tip isn't either posted as a full ear post or the tip only with either Breatherite strips or Mole Foam.
Laura, I'm glad you found a someone to help you. Thanks for being part of the dobi family and doing all you can to make your pup happy and healthy. And I'm sorry for the all-caps enlighteners who know better.
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