How to Trim a Dog's Ears

Easy
15 - 20 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

Your dog's ears are simply amazing; they can hear things we can't even imagine at farther distances than you might think possible. Their hearing is so sensitive, they can pick out your footsteps from anyone else, which is how they know it's you before you even open the door. 

Did you know your dog's ears can hear a thunderstorm that is several miles away or hear sounds up to four times farther away than you can? Because of this, it is your job to take good care of those ears, which starts with proper grooming on a regular basis. 

Dog's Perspective

Your pup counts on his sense of hearing as much as he does his incredibly acute sense of smell and his sight. If you let his ears fill up with dirt, debris, ear wax, and hair, you are taking away a large part of his hearing, which could put him at risk of being run down by a car or injured by a cyclist. Dirty ears can also lead to infections and other medical issues that could lead to a loss of hearing. Your dog counts on you to take care of him, including his ears. 

The Trimming Method

Effective
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Slicker Brush
Scissors
Comb
Step
1
Gather the tools
To groom your dog's ears, you will need to gather a few tools and place them within easy reach. Among these are a small pair of blunt-nosed scissors, a brush, and a comb. If your dog has really long ear hair, you may also want to grab a bottle of dog-friendly detangler.
Step
2
Prepare the hound
If you have a pup who doesn't like to sit still or remain calm, you may want to take him for a nice long and tiring walk. This should help him to be more relaxed and calm while you work on grooming his ears. If he doesn't want to calm down, you may need to have an assistant help by holding your pup still.
Step
3
Prepare the hair
For those of you who have a dog with long ear hair, it probably has more than a few tangles in it. You must remove these before grooming his ears. One of the best ways to do this is by spraying his ears down with the detangler and using a brush or comb to gently remove the tangles.
Step
4
Place his ear in the right position
Gently hold your pup's ear out from his head so that any hair that falls as you trim it does not end up dropping into his ear canal.
Step
5
Hair trim time
Using a pair of very sharp safety shears, gently trim the hair that sticks out of his ears back until it has been cut close to his ear. Care is needed to avoid cutting his ear with the shears. If you get hair down in his ear canal use your fingers to remove it. Never use tweezers, hemostats, or any other sharp instrument inside your pup's ear canals, you could seriously injure him.
Recommend grooming method?

The Plucking Method

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Scissors
Hemostat
Comb
Step
1
Gather the supplies
For this method, you will need your choice of ear powder (a powder that contains rosin to help your fingers grip the hairs), a pair of tweezers, or a hemostat. You may need to have all three in order to do the best possible job.
Step
2
Powder his ears
Lift your pup's ear flap up and out of the way and gently dust the inside of his ear with the ear powder. This will give your fingers a way to grasp the individual hairs. You can also dip the tips of your fingers in the powder if you prefer not to put it directly in his ears.
Step
3
A gentle tug with your fingers
Using your fingers, grasp a small number of hairs and using a gentle tug, pull those hairs out. Do not pull slowly as this can be painful to your pup. At the same time, you should not yank them out, for the same reason. Plus, there is the risk of injury to his hair follicles that may require medical treatment.
Step
4
Using the tweezers
If there are hairs that seem to be giving you a hard time, you can use either tweezers or a hemostat to reach and remove them. However, there is a high risk of injury; you may be better off taking your dog to the vet to have the hair removed. Each time you use these instruments, be sure to sterilize them before the next use.
Step
5
Start early
One of the best things you can do to get your pup used to having his ears groomed, is to start out as early as possible. This will let him grow up with having it done and should make it easier. If your dog tries to bite or nip, you may need to use a muzzle and have someone to help keep him in place. Remember you are only trying to clear a path for fresh air to enter his ear canal, it does not have to be stripped fully clean of all signs of hair.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Never use pointed shears or other tools in your dog's ears as you could cause injury or destroy his hearing.
  • If you do use tweezers or a hemostat, do not go deeply into his ear canal.
  • Your dog needs you to keep this hair trimmed back in order to enable him to make the most of his hearing. Once the hair becomes thick enough to block airflow in and out of his ears, it can have a significant impact on his hearing.
  • You should groom your dog's ears monthly.
  • While you are trimming his ear hair, you can also clean out any buildup of dirt, debris and ear wax.
  • If you see any signs of infection, take your dog in to see his vet.
  • If you are not sure how to trim the hair in your dog's ears, take him to see his vet, he can teach you. 

Conclusion

It is your job as a responsible pet owner to do things such as grooming your dog's ears. The big thing here is to take your time and be careful around your dog's ears. If for any reason you see anything out of the ordinary, your first step should be to stop what you are doing and take your dog straight to the vet.  

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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