I'm planning on trying my hand at confirmation with Tucker. And because of that he needs to fit the Collie Standard, a part of that being the ears and how they look. According to the American Kennel Clubs Website the ears are in proportion to the size of the head and, if they are carried properly and unquestionably break naturally, are seldom too small. Large ears usually cannot be lifted correctly off the head, and even if lifted, they will be out of proportion to the size of the head. When in repose the ears are folded lengthwise and thrown back into the frill. On the alert they are drawn well up on the backskull and are carried about three-quarters erect, with about one-fourth of the ear tipping or breaking forward. A dog with prick ears or low ears cannot show true expression and is penalized accordingly.
So ... because of that Tucker's ears need to be what Collie people call "semi-prick". As most of you have seen we let Teach's ear go natural. So his ears stand up straight.
In order to achieve this Tucker's ears need to be taped so they are "trained" to semi-prick. And this will have to be done until he's almost a year old. Its especially important to have them taped while they are teething. When we first got him his ears were also braced to pull them up onto his head as the standard calls for (you can see the tie in the picture above). For the past month he has had the brace gone because he is holding his ears up nicely when at attention.
So now we just have them taped.
|Look at that profile!|
The tape we use is called "Japenese Ear Tape", and its the stickiest tape I've ever dealt with. Since we got him on June 20th we have had to redo them twice. And one ear has been in for almost a month.
His parents have great ears so I feel confident that its all going to be worth it when we get to that 8-12 month mark.
This doesn't hurt him or bother him. He goes about life like a normal puppy, just with taped ears.
Below is a video that Tucker's breeder did of how to tape the ears just to give everyone an idea of what we do. The only different in the video is we don't brace them anymore.
And here's an example of what the ears are going to look like after we get finished with this. (I did a Google search for Collie Ears and got this picture from there). This particular picture from the Collie Club of American's site. That's a great place to read about the standard as well and what judges are looking for in an AKC Confirmation Show.
|You can see how the ears semi-prick here|