How to Groom a Dog's Ears

Easy
10 - 25 Minute
2 Weeks

Introduction

Every dog is a little different from the next dog. Even dogs within breeds have different shaped faces and different personalities. They even have different ears. Some dogs have two ears that point up, and some dogs have two ears that lay down flat. Some dogs have one ear that goes up and one that goes down. Many dogs' ears end up in their food and water bowls, making the tips of their ears tasty treats for later or messy grooming disasters. All dogs need their ears cared for every now and then. Whether you are grooming them to keep them clean, to pluck the interior fur, or to trim on the outside ear, grooming is an important part of caring for your best friend.

Dog's Perspective

Because your dog's ears are so close to his face and because his hearing is quite sensitive, he may be a little apprehensive to let you anywhere near his ears with a pair of sharp scissors or a pair of loud, vibrating clippers. Ease the anxieties by loving on your dog before it's time to groom his ears. If your dog's ears hurt for any reason once you get them clean, stay on top of them and maintain them to keep them clean. If your dog has an earache, he may be a little apprehensive about letting you near them.

The Brush and Cut Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Scissors
Comb
Step
1
Prepare tools
Gather a hand towel, wet paper towel or wet wipes, and scissors before you get started on trimming your dog’s ears. Having everything on hand before you begin will be key in keeping your dog calm and in place while you are grooming.
Step
2
Sit
Have your dog sit and offer him a treat for obeying. From the sitting position, gently brush his ears. If he needs to calm down, spend some time petting or brushing his face if he’ll allow. This will build trust and ease any tension he may feel. You can turn ear trimming into a body brushing session. Just make sure you are brushing out any tangles from your dog’s ears.
Step
3
Ear position
Hold the ear out, supporting it on one hand. Keep the hair from going into your dog’s ear as your cut by holding the ear out away from his body. Long ears can lie flat on your palm.
Step
4
Inner hair
Trim the hair and fur on the underside of a longer ear or on the inside of a shorter ear with a pair of scissors. Be careful not to poke the scissors into your dog’s ears.
Step
5
Outer ear
Trim the hair along the outside of the ear with scissors. Trim and groom to your liking based on your dog’s ear shape and breed. Be careful while trimming along the tips of your dog’s ears so you do not accidentally clip the skin.
Step
6
Clean ears
With a wet wipe or wet paper towel, gently wipe the inside of your dog’s ears to remove any dirt, debris, or ear wax.
Step
7
Treat
Give your dog a reward for being a good dog during this ear trimming
Recommend grooming method?

The Detail Groom Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Scissors
Comb
Step
1
Wipe
With a wet wipe or warm, wet paper towel, wipe out your dog’s ear. Be sure to clean along the flap of the ear and inside without going too deep and injuring your dog. If your dog has long ears, wipe the outside and tips of his ears as well. Long ears tend to hang into food and water bowls.
Step
2
Tuft trim
Just inside the ear, you may find tuffs of soft fur. You can clip these tiny hairs with a small pair of shears or pluck them with tweezers. Plucking will pull more out while scissors will just cut. How your dog handles either will determine which you use. Either way, be gentle. Do not pluck more than a few hairs at a time. After this trim, you may need to rewipe the ears.
Step
3
Deep wash
Using an ear cleaner solution from your veterinarian or pet store, give the ears a gentle deep washing. Pour the ear cleaner into the ear, massage, and let it drain back out. Your dog will probably shake to get the solution and any gunk with it out of his ears. You may want to be prepared with a hand towel so it doesn’t fly everywhere.
Step
4
Scissors
Clip the fur on the outside of the ear until it is tidy. Be careful not to snip the tip of the ear.
Step
5
Comb
With a comb, smooth out the outside ear fur, primping your dog.
Step
6
Treat
Once you are done, it’s always a good idea to give your dog a treat for sitting pretty during grooming.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • When you are grooming your dog's ears, be careful not to dig too deeply into the ear canal and cause injury.
  • While wiping the inside of the ear, be sure to clean the various folds and get the gunk that hides in between.
  • Pay special attention to the area behind your dog's ears, as this is where mats and fur tend to build and grow.
  • When you trim the fur on the outside of your dog's ears, make sure you know where the tip of the ear is relative to the fur so you don't accidentally snip the tip of your dog's ear.
  • No matter your dog's ear shape or size before you dive into the ear grooming process, have a vision in mind of what you would like your dog to look like before you get started so you can make it as quick and painless as possible for your pup.
  • Depending on your dog's breed and how quickly his fur grows, you may need to groom your dog's ears every 4 to 8 weeks.
  • If your dog has long ears that hang low, you may need to clean them before grooming. Ears that have spent meals settling into food and water bowls maybe tangled when it's time for grooming.

Conclusion

Whether his ears hang low and sway to and fro or if they are just short and stubby, they still need to be in tip-top shape for your dog's overall health. Keep your pup's ears clean and ready to hear any command you can issue.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions