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Avoid a dog ear problem after ear cropping surgery using tampons to post the ears.

The "Tampon" or "post" ear taping method will not cause a dog ear problem if applied correctly and result in a beautiful set of standing Great Dane ears!

Cropped brindle Great Dane puppy with ears taped.

This method of ear taping utilizes a cardboard tampon as a "post", to support your Dane's ears after ear cropping surgery.


  • Any brand of cardboard tampons.
  • Medical adhesive tape like 3M or Johnson & Johnson, both 3/4" and 1-1/2" wide.
  • Antiseptic wash, hydrogen peroxide 3% & cornstarch powder.
  • Stick to itself bandage wrap, (alternative to tape).
Cropped black Great Dane puppy.

To prevent a dog ear problem it is important to remove the dressing and posts about once a week and let the ears breath for a while. Take this opportunity to inspect the ears and check for dampness, redness and odor. Leave the ears free for a few days if these symptoms are apparent.

Remember to always assure dressings are dry and if they get wet, to change out the wraps.

If everything looks good when changing the wraps, clean the ears with antiseptic wash and let them dry out for a day before re wrapping. This is typically a one-day affair meaning, if you take them down, put them back up the same day. Leaving the ears down and letting your pup sleep on un posted ears can cause a dog ear problem with cartilage development!

Tape, tape, and re-tape until the ears stand on their own. On occasion, a once standing ear can begin to flop or bend, this is normal and you may have to tape again from time to time until the ears are truly set.

Dog ear problem taping cropped ears with tampons sketch.

Question & Answers:

Q: What makes cropped ears stand?
A: There are two determining factors as to when a Dane's ears will stand on their own. One, is development and stiffening of the cartilage or "leather" of your Great Dane's ears. The other, is the strength of the muscle between the ears.

Q: How long before my dog's ears stand on their own?
A: There is no "set" time for ears to stand, this is different for every Dane and can take a few months up to a year.

Q: What is the ear "bell"?
A: Point your finger straight down, now down your Dane's ear. When you hit bottom, this is the bottom of the ear bell.


  • After a couple months the post can usually be moved upward from the bell of the ear and set at the cartilage flap or "nub" about 1/3 of the way up from the bell.

Taping your Dane's Ears..

Begin by preparing the posts, pull some of the cotton material out and bunch it up into sort of a ball. This ball of material will go down into the bell of the dog's ear. Test fit the post prior to applying tape, also adjust the length at this time by sliding the tampon apart.

Great Dane ear taping sketch.

Next, get your medical tape and wrap the post sticky side out. Start just above the area of cotton you previously "balled up". Work your way up, wrapping the tape while half overlapping the previous wrap.


  • If you are having difficulty "reverse wrapping" the tape, use a 1-1/2" tape, fold it in half to act as a two-sided tape.

Once the posts are taped up, set them aside and clean the dog's ears with antiseptic wash, this will help them adhere to the posts and also help prevent a dog ear problem caused by dirt and bacteria.

Get a friend or family member to help you and proceed by holding your Dane's ear up straight and placing the post down into the bell of the ear.

Apply pressure and form the ear around the post causing inner skin to adhere to the sticky post. Have a 4" piece of tape ready to wrap around the middle of the ear. Press the center of the 4" tape onto the outer side of the dog's ear about half way up. Now work from the center of the piece of tape and press each end around the ear and over the post. Repeat this process at the bottom of the ear, as close to the base as possible and again near the top.


  • For "finishing" a nicely standing ear that only bends at the tip, try a "Breath Rite" strip bandage fastened to the inner tip of the ear.

Now begin wrapping the ear, all the way up the post. Be sure the inside of the ear is properly stuck to the post as you wrap upward. There will be a small flap of skin at the base of the ear, this flap is folded back when taping. Repeat this process for the other ear, now we will connect the two ears together. Cut a 16" piece of 3/4" tape and fasten to the base of one ear.

Hold the pup's ears in the correct upright position and run the tape over the dogs head, wrapping it around the other ear. What we are doing here is creating a linkage between the bases. Keep an eye on your puppy, if you notice an ear starts to lean inward, slightly increase the length of this tape. On the other hand, a dog ear problem such as an ear leaning outward can be corrected with a linkage piece of tape at the top of the posts.


When wrapping tape around the ear, don't wrap to tightly, this can lead to a dog ear problem such as circulation loss and tissue damage! We are trying to "lay" the tape around the ear, use just enough tension as required, don't over do it!

Final thoughts & things to remember..

In the early weeks after the crop, the inner skin of your Dane's ear must adhere to the posts. As the cartilage begins to harden, after 8 weeks of taping or so, this is not as important.

Once the ears begin to "firm up" and the "bell" is well developed, you can change things slightly. The post at this stage does not need to go all the way down to the bell any more. Typically, inserting to the cartilage "flap" or "nub" is now sufficient. Using cornstarch powder on the posts will help prevent a dog ear problem and minimize skin irritation and wetness.

Use less tape and fewer wraps as the ears develop. Don't worry, hair lost during tape removal will grow back soon:)


  • Teri and Titus sent this tip for those whose Danes are giving a hard time during taping.. "When wrapping the ear I use the stick to itself bandage wrap, that way it does not stick to his hair and guess what, no more biting puppy during wrapping."

Remember, watch for excessive redness, odor, discharge and other signs of a dog ear problem. Contact your Veterinarian if these symptoms occur. If you have any questions regarding ear taping, caring for cropped ears, or have a dog ear problem relative to taping, send us a note.

Best wishes on your quest for a perfect set of ears:)