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Are these pockets? Or a "natural crease in the ear"? I have tried to figure out a way to get that crease out. I've used bumpers, made sure his ears are stretched up the post and started using a bigger baker rod...

I have pushed around on the inside of his ear, trying to find the "spot" to put a bumper and can't seem to get that "crease" out.

Here is also pic of the inside of his ear and a couple of what his ears look like while waiting to dry and repost.

I began to get concerned last "dry out hour." When he went outside and became super alert, his ears did not touch, but did come in toward each other.

I tried to repost being more mindful of what I said earlier, bumper placement, etc. They seem to be okay when I get his attention, but if that crease by his head and ear is a pocket I need help and advice on how to get it out.

Thank you greatly.
 

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Pockets are formed when the ear starts to sag over the top of the head. Take a look at these pictures:

But there will be a fold of the skin backward right at the leading edge of the ear (you need to let it fold back against the ear when you post--don't pull it forward and wrap it around the post) and then an indentation. That is normal and helps the ear to stand upright properly



It is when the ear above that indentation start to sag over the top of the head and the ear tips start to point inward instead of being vertical or even slanting out that a pocket is formed.
Like this / _ \ instead of | _ | or this \ _ /

Looking at your picture, I think his ears are fine, or may have a small pocket--I can't quite tell. But I'm not seeing his ears look like they are slanting in, and it looks like the part of the ear you are concerned about is merely the normal indentation that dobe ears have.

If you'd like to post a picture of him directly from the front without the posts in, we might be able to see a bit better.
 

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I think you answered my question, it is indeed that slight indention right beyond the fold of the ear.
I just wanted to be certain that wasn't the reason his ears almost touched at the tips the other day when he was extremely excited. I think maybe I posted and put the bridge too tight? I'm not sure...
They seem to be better after the past post of three days. Unfortunately, I've already reposted for the evening so a head on picture will have to come a bit later.
I think I might be over thinking...I just want to be sure his ears are what is expected.
Thank you for the response!
 

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If his ears tip in at all when he is excited he may have slight pockets too. But you may not even need a bridge at this point. That is one of the problems with a bridge; it's easy to get it too short and that will pull the ears in. Enough of that and you will have pockets form. Go ahead and keep using a bumper, but leave the bridge off and see what his ears look like after that posting.
 

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I think ?? The rule of thumb when using a bridge is setting them at 10 and 2 , I was closer to 11 and 1 , I found out when I posted LG at first, I had them to straight up .

Remember , as the puppy grows up you have to adjust the length of the bridge ( wider ) what you start out with will not do as they grow - it's a work in progress with them

Good luck :)
 

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So, here I go again:

Update, I see that for sure my pup has natural ear indentions and it is not an ear pocket.

I stopped bridging, but now when I take down his ears they stand more at 2 and 10 immediately following, until I get his attention, then we are good.
So, I have corrected the inward slant for sure.

However, my next question is this: what is the expectation? What are "normal" ear stances for a Dobermans ears? He seems to be very expressive with his ears and sometimes turns them where the leather of the ear is facing outward instead of towards the front.

...and I read that dobebug, you prefer to tape the ear all the way up instead of just the 3 places (bottom, middle and tip)?
Please correct me if I am wrong.

With that being said, how do I get rid of the wave I sometimes see after being posted, especially on the back side close to the head, where the bell is bigger. That wave seems to come and go.
I try very hard to ensure an even, "uniform" tape job, but find myself struggling to get it right.

I know, that perfect is never going to be achievable. However, again, as said many times before: I want to be sure I am doing all I can to get the best after his ear crop. As this crop was a difficult decision for me.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
 

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the ears certainly don't have pockets; howerever, it does seem like they are weak about 1/3 of the way up on each side. Are you by chance folding the "natural fold" around the post instead of back on to itself? This will cause the look that the ears currently have. Since your puppy has very hairy ears I would recommend using clippers to trim the inside, bases, and outer edges of his ears when you post. It will give a cleaner appearance and make removing the posts easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
the ears certainly don't have pockets; howerever, it does seem like they are weak about 1/3 of the way up on each side. Are you by chance folding the "natural fold" around the post instead of back on to itself? This will cause the look that the ears currently have. Since your puppy has very hairy ears I would recommend using clippers to trim the inside, bases, and outer edges of his ears when you post. It will give a cleaner appearance and make removing the posts easier.
I will definitely do a "hair cut" before posting again, thank you for the tip.

However, I am folding the ear back on to itself. Am I not folding it enough?
 

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You shouldn't really have to figure out "how much to fold an ear". If you are following the generally very good directions on "how to post with backer rod"--and start the tape at the base as far down as you can on the post with the tape aimed UP toward the top of the head--and making sure that you have stretched the ear flap up on the post the little flap will position itself properly folded back again the ear.

dobebug
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
the ears certainly don't have pockets; howerever, it does seem like they are weak about 1/3 of the way up on each side. Are you by chance folding the "natural fold" around the post instead of back on to itself? This will cause the look that the ears currently have. Since your puppy has very hairy ears I would recommend using clippers to trim the inside, bases, and outer edges of his ears when you post. It will give a cleaner appearance and make removing the posts easier.
I will do a trim, I use alot of unisol for sure.

So, if I am indeed folding the ear correctly, and have studied the ear posting tutorial like a book, am I over thinking?

I will redo his posts in a few days and attach a picture of the finished job. I am not sure why the ear looks a bit weak toward the top. So, maybe a critique of my posting job will be helpful.

I would take a pic now, but he is in doggy daycare and I fully cover his ears with tape the days he goes. I cover the two little sections of exposed ear with a layer of tape too. So you can not really see the three pieces I put on very strategically.
(I use the word strategically, like I know what I am doing and not second guessing every time I retape 🙄)

*Within the past year we lost our pitbull, Karl, from cancer at the age of 11 and then another, Luca, died shortly after due to old age and, I say, loneliness.

I did my research before deciding on a Doberman, but these damn ears, boy! With a pitbull you cut them and make sure they heal properly. That is it, they stand.

I knew I had to post, but didn't think I would be having so much trouble.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

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Crogers,

Pitbull ears stand almost immediately with no huge effort on your part because they are VERY short.

You need to remember that ear cartilage (which is what enables you to get a standing ear) hardens over time from the bottom to the top. So time is a factor in how stiff the cartilage is--but that's why you sometimes (as in often) get ears that clearly don't stand as well half way up the length of the ear. The cartilage stiffens over time and you just keep posting until the cartilage is actually stiff enough to hold the ear upright.

Sounds like you are making sure that the little ear flap is positioned correctly but getting ears standing properly all the way is definitely a process--and you probably are overthinking it to some extent.

How old is he now?

As far as what puppies can do with their ears--they can swivel them to better catch soft or distant noises. they can fold them down in a zillion different ways. And they can plaster them back so that they look like a seal. And ear carriage definitely is a good clue to how a dog is feeing about what is going on around him--and that's all normal.

Hope this helps...

dobebug
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Winston is 5 months. I know I have a while to go, for sure.

I appreciate you clarifying the process and how the ears strengthen.

The vet who cropped his ears didn't ask my husband what crop he wanted, so I wasn't involved. I was going to go for medium crop and wasnt clear with my husband, so he just dropped him off.

Winston has the "shortest show crop"- vets words. So, I knew I was in for the long haul.

I know I've said this before, but again I appreciate your help!
 

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Mel great ear picture montage! Here's an ear position, rarely caught on camera : "Dobe Melting In Rain Ears"! 😲
(a.k.a. Droopy, melting airplane ears)

 
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