Chinese Cresteds at Crestars

Note on ear taping: All my dogs, unless I chose to let their ears go down (that is on the powderpuffs), have had standing ears. It may take months on some dogs, however with consistency and patience, all ears in the end stood. All puppies leave with their ears taped, and it is up to the new owners to decide wheather to take on the rest of the taping or not. On occasions, some of my companion dogs have had one or both ears standing half way up or down. This is resulting from the new owners deciding to no longer tape the ears as it is a bit tricky and, for some reasons or another, most felt sorry for the dogs going thru this. (Once the dogs get used to it, it really is no big deal for them other than the itchiness for the first couple of hours). These new owners just love their dogs the way they are, and didn't mind both ears standing or not. It all comes down to personal preferences. Of course if you are planning to show your hairless dog, you must follow up and make their ears stand. With your powderpuffs, except for the United States, where the breed standard calls for standing ears, you can chose to let the ears go down and grow beautiful fringes. I really love this look as well, I find they look so regal.

There is many ways of taping your crested ears.  The methods vary from breeder to breeder.  The size and shape of the ear may be quite different from one dog to the next resulting on how much easier and quicker the ears may stand. l usually wait until the puppies are about 6 or 7 wks old to start taping.  At this age I have a good idea if the ears have started standing on their own.  However you don't want to wait too long to start taping, as sometimes the ear is taking a “fold” which is almost like Whippets or Italian Greyhounds would have. I prefer not taking any chances with nature taking its course, and start taping to make sure the ears with stand properly. By 7 weeks of age some puppies have theirs ears going half way up anyway. On some occasion I actually wanted a few of my puffs to be dropped ears however they started standing on their own anyway. Some even had their ears standing up on their own at 8-9 weeks.  On the other hand I’ve had some that at 7 months of age, I still taped. Something worth mentioning; at the time of teething, you may find the ears are going soft or down again even if the ears have been standing for a while. You may have to redo a "touch up" taping pictured in Method # 3.

METHOD #1kendal tape

I use Kendall tape, which is made by Curity.  As you can see it has strips it in, which helps the skin to breathe easier. This tape is available at Pet Supply House in Canada and sold on other websites as well.


tape remover


A must have as well is the STR tape remover which is also for sale thru various websites.  This remover is odourless, somewhat oily, but sure works like magic without inflicting suffering to your puppies when taking the tape off their ears.    






You next step will be to roll a paper towel into a tube like shape...I find the Bounty half sheet works great!  Depending on the age and size of your dog, folding the paper towel may vary considerably.  At this time my "Model"...puppy..."Chillie" just happened to need this height, which was the half of a towel folded in 3.


ear roll cap


Once you have rolled your towel tightly, cut 2 small pieces of tape and cap your ends. Note that at an early age, you may not have to roll the towel the whole length as it would be too fat for the ear size.

Then with the STICKY SIDE OUT, wrap the tape around your tube.tape sticky side out






You need to cut 3 pieces of tape about 3-4 inches long and one longer piece of about 5.5 inches long.  This fitted Chillie at 9 wks. of age.

lenght of tape lenght of tape

Note: Before you start taping your puppy's ear, you should make sure the ears are clean and dry.  I tape my puppies’ ears an hour or so after I bathed them...  

ears are clean and dry

location of rollbottom ear tape


I place the tube quite low in the ear.  You don't want to place it too high as it will put a "kink" in the ear and you could end up having more trouble by starting a bad fold.  I have wrapped the smaller piece of tape quite low as well.    




This is what your puppy will basically look before the bridge is being done.  As you can see the bridge is a must with this taping method as it has a bit of weight to it.  Mr. Chillie was sleeping when I started taping his ears and did behave very nicely.  Do not attempt to tape or shave your puppies when they just woke up and want to play.  It's a waste of your time and their precious time as well. Wait until they are sleepy.

ear taping no bridge

bridge longer piece


Next is to position the tape about like this picture.  Because I'm quite fast at it now, I don't usually do anything with the hair but a good idea is to wet the hair a bit before you do this step.  For the bridge, I used the longer piece of tape.

bridge shorter piece


The remaining shorter piece is placed at the back of the front piece, in order to make the bridge sturdier and to cover the sticky part of the other tape.


bridge no hair stuck



Make sure there is no hair stuck in between the two pieces of tape. 




There will be some scratching involved, but they do get over it after a few hours or a day.  If the scratching persists, your puppy may be allergic to the tape.

ear taping scratching ear taping method 1 all done

I leave the tape on for about 10 days at the time...CAREFUL!!! If you are not using the right kind of tape, OR the ears are not standing nice and straight, this means you will have to redo them!...and this “wraps” up how I tape my puppies ears for method # 1. Good luck!


ear taping ear bend

This is Mojo, our super model for method # 2.   He was four months old at the time on this picture.  One ear is standing but the other one is sore of half way bent. Many people have asked me about  the ear folding the other way like the right ear. Nothing to worry! will fixed itself when your dog gets older...let concentrate on stopping the fold on the ear that is still bent.  Shave the ears first. If you leave the hair too long, the tape just sits on top of the hair and lose its proper shaping. If you want to have your dog's ears to have fringes, just shave the back and inside of the ears, leaving the edges on. Word of warning; you will really need your tape remover when you have to take the tape off.


This time, on the the following pictures , I started taping the ear on the inside. Note how high I went up with the tape on his ears.

ear taping starting on the insideear taping finishing wrapping at the back of the earear taping method 2ear taping method 2ear taping method 2

I split a piece of my tape in half and start shaping the ear in a "cup". These pictures show how I place my thumb inside and my index on the outside of the ear to form the cup shape. With my other hand, I wrap the tape so the shape will be held this way, finishing at the back. 

ear taping method 2 making a cup ear taping method 2 making a cup

For the bridge.  Starting at the back of the ear, I place my tape on top of the piece I used to shape the cup.  Before you go any further you may want to wet the hair down on the head to flatten it. Proceed by making a fair judgement on how much space in between the ears you will leave...(not too tight). Wrap the other ear the same way, finishing at the back of the ear. As in method # 1, you have your piece of tape that still has the sticky part at the back. The same procedures applies; cover it with another piece of tape so the hair doesn't get stuck on it and it makes it a bit sturdier. Make sure you run your finger under it so no hair is caught in between the two pieces of tape.

ear taping method 2 bridgeear taping method 2 bridgeear taping method 2 bridge


ear taping method 2 bridge


On this last picture of method # 2, note something  rather important: the bridge is done low...if you build your bridge too far up, the ears will start "pointing" together and a bad fold might result from it....hope this other method has helped you as well.





In this last method, our super model was Diezel. Instead of starting taping the ears on the inside, I started at the back. The same procedures applied, just the other way around and, followed by bridging the ears. At some point the ears will be sturdy enough at the base. You may just need a last "touch up taping" for the tips of the ears and no bridging will be required.

ear taping method 3ear taping method 3ear taping method 3

Last note regarding taping:
Thru the years, I've had countless inquiries from people asking if it was too late to tape their dog's ears after viewing this webpage. The dogs involved may have been rescued or the breeder knowing the puppy would be of companion quality, didn't keep up with the taping for some reason. What I tell everyone is to give it a try anyway. I don't believe there is much chances for the ears to go up after a year of age especially if no taping was done at all.

However I feel I must share the following personal experience:
One of my boy, "Enlil" (now gone to doggy heaven at the tender age of 15) came to me later in his puppyhood with very soft ears. The breeder (from the United States) said she didn't have any luck and felt she wanted him shown to a championship. I tried for a few months taping his ears, but to no avail. I gave up started letting his fringes grow back, and showed him to his championship...being that in Canada we can show powderpuffs with dropped ears. (I do believe Enlil became the first dropped ear powderpuff to obtain his Canadian Championship at the time).

After a while it was decided by both myself and the breeder, that Enlil would stay with me and would be neutered. A few weeks after his neutering, I noticed his ears started to lift a bit! Being curious, and finding this quite odd, I decided to shave his fringes to take off the weight and yes you guessed it...up went his ears! They always remained quite soft and required constent routine shaving but they stood up. When Enlil became a bit older and not so fond of frequent grooming, I decided to let the fringes grow back again and it brought his ears down again (but not as flat as when I got him) from the weight of the hair.
From this experience, I am confident to believe hormones must play a big part in whether the ears may stand or not.

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