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Hello there!
Question about ears...

My puppy's ears are getting cropped, and the vet office said he'll come home with his ears racked and they offer re-racking after the stitches are out as a free service up to a limited number of services. I've never heard of racking or racks and have only seen videos of posting. So my question is, once his stitches are out, should I post his ears myself from the get-go instead of doing the racking method, or would it be best to keep getting them racked until the time period with the vet is up and switch to posting?

And if posting is the preferred method, which way of posting has given you the most success with puppies? I've seen methods with tampons and backer rods. How do you keep your puppy still? I've seen videos with pups in a dog grooming stand on a table, and some that just tolerate it! I don't know if mine would sit still long enough for that. I could have my husband hold him, but I don't want to make the experience seem like something negative for him since it will happen regularly. Treats, maybe?
 

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Hello there!
Question about ears...

My puppy's ears are getting cropped, and the vet office said he'll come home with his ears racked and they offer re-racking after the stitches are out as a free service up to a limited number of services. I've never heard of racking or racks and have only seen videos of posting. So my question is, once his stitches are out, should I post his ears myself from the get-go instead of doing the racking method, or would it be best to keep getting them racked until the time period with the vet is up and switch to posting?

And if posting is the preferred method, which way of posting has given you the most success with puppies? I've seen methods with tampons and backer rods. How do you keep your puppy still? I've seen videos with pups in a dog grooming stand on a table, and some that just tolerate it! I don't know if mine would sit still long enough for that. I could have my husband hold him, but I don't want to make the experience seem like something negative for him since it will happen regularly. Treats, maybe?
Real racks are one of the oldest methods of posting ears--what gets referred to as a rack these days is usually a plastic do dad also sometimes called a "crown"--all racks involved taping ears to a device that sits on top of the puppies head and has sections that stick up that allow you to tape the ear up without taping across or around newly cropped and sutured ears.

I prefer the cup or foam block method myself .

Ears should not be posted until the entire cropped edge is healed--no scabs at all. Often this is much closer to three weeks from the cropping rather than the 7 to 10 days that is the point at which sutures are removed.

The rack method has a built in flaw--you practically have to completely adjust the taping of ear to rack daily because the ears grow and as they grow the tape loosens up and allows the ear to sag. Racks also get caught on things more easily than posts.

Personally I'd post the ears myself after the ears are healed.

You should be able to Google "ear racks, or look for "crowns" on the House of Hoytt website--I think they have pictures of puppies in the racks and they sell them.

By the time I had my first Doberman puppy (1959) the Pacific Northwest was posting ears. In the early 60's I moved to California where I saw racks (those were made of heavy wire (often from coat hangers) heavily padded where they sat on the head for the first time. Within a few months I realized I'd never seen so many crop and flops nor so many bad pockets which caused even the crops that stood to tip over the head or cross when the dog was at attention--and this was when many crops were quite a lot shorter than they tend to be today.

That was when I started to do remedial taping on posts for show prospects whose ears were failing to stand for various reasons.

Puppies learn to be still when you start posting. The easiest thing to do is have someone hold them for you when you first start posting.

There are many ways to post ears and many things to use for posts. Backer rod (also known as caulking rod), pipe insulation, heavy duty tie wraps, tampon tubes, rolled paper towels. It's all based on the same principle--something fairly stiff to stick in the ear to hold the ear erect and tape. And something to soften the adhesive on the tape when you take the ears down so you are not ripping hair and skin off of ears when you are removing the old adhesive.

Start with a puppy whose had enough exercise to be fairly tired--easier to keep them still. I don't use treats until I have completed the posting--most puppies get excited and wiggly about the treats and that just makes it harder;.

Grooming tables work well because just the fact that the pup is off the ground tends to make them keep still. I use a chair--backed into a corner--when the puppy is small I can sit on the chair with them, using the back, the wall or corner and myself to pin them. When they are bigger I sit on the chair and sit the puppy between my knees. Have all the supplies ready and close enough to reach.

Good luck.
 

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Good post, Dobebug.

Just a little additional info--Look in our Puppy Corner forum under Ear Cropping and Posting Ear Cropping and Posting - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums for a couple of tutorials about posting puppies---

http://www.dobermantalk.com/ear-cro...ting-directions-photo-tutorial-my-method.html
http://www.dobermantalk.com/ear-cropping-posting/294514-hair-rollers-posting-method.html

When I need to post a puppy, I sit on a chair with the puppy on the floor between my legs facing AWAY from me. I wrap my legs around him--he’s held in place by my feet around his chest so he can’t go forward and is being “hugged”, in a way. Never really had much of a problem.

Hints:
1. Rub the old tape with baby oil/mineral oil, or some other stuff designed for tape removal from skin. Work it in under the tape with your fingers--the sticky should dissolve so removing the tape shouldn't pull on his ears/hair. No pain leads to less wiggle.
2. Take it slow if you have to. Take down his ears, let them dry out for 15-20 minutes (let him run around if he wants to). Then start taping again. It’s OK to do one ear (completely), give him a break and start up again on the other ear a bit later. Just don’t leave them down for longer than 1/2 hour or so.
3. Don’t give in to the temptation to leave his ears unposted to see if they are standing yet--put them right back up after they’ve aired for a little while. Some people suggest things like 3 days posted, one day unposted.......DON’T. Post them all of the time--take them down to change the posts and put them right back up.
 
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