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Ear Grooming

A Show Dog's Life

A small wet brown with black puppy is laying on a table, it is wrapped in a green towel, it is looking down and to the right. There is a bottle of ear drying solution to the right of it.

To clean the ears, pour ear cleaner in each ear, give them a good ear massage, and then let them shake (repeat if anything yucky is in the ears). If there is any heavy secretion call your vet. A dog’s ears should be like a human’s ears, clean and free of secretion and odor. Clean with a drying agent after each bath, in case you have gotten water in the ears. This helps to dry it up. Try not to get dirty bath water in the ears. Always rinse the head area with clean running water. If the head is heavily soiled, pinch the ears shut while rinsing off the dirt, or put cotton balls in each ear. You do not want dirt running into the ears.

Close up - A brown with black puppy is having the side of its head touched by a person who is rubbing its ear.
Close up - A person is flipping the ear of a brown with black puppy to show the inside.

First put dog on your lap in a comfy position, and pet him or her to get her calm. Then lift the ear and fold back.

A person is holding a plucker tool that looks like silver blunt tweezers in their hand.

Pluck excess hair from the ears using your fingers or this tool.

Close up - The inside of a dogs ear with hair in it.

Every few months or so, the tuffs of hair that grow inside the ear must be removed by plucking a few at a time. Be gentle so as not to hurt your dog, and never pull large clumps of hair. The trick is to pull as few as possible at a time, so you do not hurt your dog. Use your fingers or even surgeon forceps.

A person is pulling hair out of the ear of a dog.
A pile of white hair on the ground.

Yes, all this hair was in this little 12-week-old puppy’s ear.

Close up - A pink freshly plucked dog ear with no hair in it.

When finished, the ears should look like this.

Close up front view - A wrinkly, extra skinmned black with tan Bloodhound puppy is sitting in grass and it is licking water coming out of a sprinkler. The dog has very long drop ears.

MistyTrails Little Misty, daughter of Belle

For dogs with long ears, like Bloodhounds, where the ears come past the tip of the nose, remember to regularly clean their ear tips after each meal, as their ears usually swim in the food bowl and get soiled with dog food.

When putting the ear wash in these big dogs’ ears, get in right inside and give them a REAL GOOD massage, then they will SHAKE their head and if there is any debris in the ear it should come flying out. The key is to avoid debris.

Close up - The inside of a dirty dog ear with black in it.

This is what happens when you do not pluck and clean the ears.

Close up - The dirty ear of a dog with black mess in it.A person is flipping a dogs ear inside out to reveal how dirty it is. The ear has a black mess in it.
Close up - The inside of a dirty dog ear. A person is holding the ear flipped out.

These yucky ears could have a fungus, an infection or ear mites. It is best to keep them clean.

If your dog’s ears smell it may be a sign that something is wrong.