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Hey all, first post here.

Okay, so we have an australian shepherd (black tri) puppy who has some pretty weird ears. All the photos we've seen of them have their ears down but Sadie (the puppy) keeps her ears up nearly all the time, only when she is really relaxed do they ever go to "normal" position.

We previosly had a blue merle who had "normal" ears but not with Sadie.
Now, we know she is pure Australian shepherd. Her mother (black tri with a working coat) was an agility dog so had DNA tests to prove that she is indeed purebred and not a border collie mix. The dad is a blue merle with beautiful coat and I would highly doubt it if he was a mix. Here is a picture of Sadie:



So my question is... is this "normal" or okay, not a defect? We had hoped to breed her eventually because of her awesome personality but if the ears are a defect we don't want her pups to be considered "inferior".

Thanks for the help!
Alex :D
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp174/awise13/IMGP3139.jpg
 

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Hi Alex and welcome! Your pup is very cute! I have two Aussies myself but they have the "correct" ear type. Your Sadies ears are pricked pretty well. They may or may not go down. I googled the AKC website and this is what the breed standard says on ears:

Ears are triangular, of moderate size and leather, set high on the head. At full attention they break forward and over, or to the side as a rose ear. Prick ears and hanging ears are severe faults

American Kennel Club - Australian Shepherd

So, even though she is pure her ears are not to the breed standard. I will say this-I respect you not wanting to breed a dog seen as inferior. So, IMO I'd spay her and enjoy her awsome personality!
Do you have any more pics??? :)
 

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My Buddjet has prick ears, too. They're a fault in the breed, but they do happen now and then! (Buddjet's the mini aussie in my avatar... 'course, you can't see his ears when he's flying ;) )
 

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Yes Aussie have pricked ears, yes it is considered a fault. However you can still breed them, you just have to be very cautious about breeding. Make sure you choose a mate with correct ear set and make sure their ears have not been altered ie Taped. Some breeders will tape the puppies ears and you’ll never know that they had an issue. Throughout history Australian Shepherd’s have had pricked Ears. It’s more common then we think and with shady breeders out there were seeing it pop up more and more. I breed Aussie for over 20 years and never had this issue at all! However I recently purchased a little female and she has pricked ears as well, they started standing at 16 weeks and it looks like they are going to stay that way. I was very disappointed. However she is a great dog, perfect temperament, intelligent, healthy, show coat, but has pricked ears. I have not decided or not if I’m going to breed her. I got out of breeding 10 years ago. So will see, I hope this helps.
 
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