Airedales are terriers, so their breed standard calls for specific folded ears. For most Airedales, this occurs naturally as the puppy matures, but in some dogs, the owner or breeder may have to step in and help the ear cartilage grow in the required way. You can always ask a friendly, experienced Airedale breeder to help you glue and set your pup's ears, but you can also do it yourself, and your dog will have beautiful, standard folded ears.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Clippers with #10 blade
- Old clothes
- Dog ear cleaner
- Cotton balls
- Tincture of Benzoin
- Val-A-Tear Mender
- Gauze tape
- Chew bone or Stuffed Kong Toy
Prepare the ear. Clip all fur from the top of you airedale's head except the eyebrows. Clip all hair from the outside, edges, and inside of his ears with a #10 blade. This will leave enough fur for the glue to stick to. Clean the inside of your dog's ears with a cotton ball dipped in dog ear cleaning solution.
Protect the ear. Apply Tincture of Benzoin to the top and sides of your airedale's head and inside the ear. This will protect your dog's skin from irritation from the Val-A-Tear glue. Allow to dry.
Apply the glue. Apply the Val-A-Tear glue to the top 1/4 to 1/3 of the inside of your airedale's ear. Allow it to partially dry---it will start to become transparent---before you try to glue your dog's ears in the proper position.
Glue your dog's ears in place. Hold your Airedale's ear with your thumb inside near the base and your fingers on the outside of the ear. Gently fold the ear over your thumb, leaving a "loop" to allow for air flow. Press the tip of the ear about a thumb's width up from the eyebrow. Pinch the fold in place, but don't destroy your air loop in the process. Make sure you can get a finger into the loop of skin and touch your airedale's ear canal. Repeat for the other ear, making sure the folds match.
Wrap the head. You will want to temporarily wrap your dog's head to allow the glue to dry and not be rubbed all over your carpet and furniture. You can use masking tape, self-sticking gauze tape, or even electrical tape, as it will not pull out the fur when removed.
Distract your dog. Be sure to have a bone, big chew toy or Kong toy stuffed with goodies to distract your Airedale while the glue dries and to give her positive associations with the process.
Tips and warnings
- Wear old clothes---this can be a messy process and the glue won't come out of your clothes easily.
- Allow your Airedale's ears to dry thoroughly after you've cleaned them---at least 15 minutes.
- Your pharmacist should be able to order Tincture of Benzoin for you, if your local drugstore doesn't carry it.
- You can purchase the Val-A-Tear Mender glue online. Amazon.com carries it for £4 a bottle in October of 2010. Amazon.com also carries Tincture of Benzoin if you want to purchase the two together.
- Do not get Tincture of Benzoin or Val-A-Tear glue in your dog's ear canal.
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