A German Shepherd's ears will stand up at different times depending on the dog; some puppy's ears beginning to stand up at 7 to 9 weeks old, while other wait until 5 to 6 months of age. At the end of the eighth month of a puppy's life, the puppy's ears will become permanently placed as the ear cartilage hardens, so owners who are not happy with floppy ears will need to speak with their veterinarian to correct them.
There is nothing wrong, health-wise, with German Shepherds whose ears do not stand up, but many owners prefer to follow the AKC guidelines for the "look" of the German Shepherd. If the dog is not a purebred German Shepherd and is actually a mixed breed who has German Shepherd in its lineage, then it is possible that the ears will not stand up at all. The ears will need to be surgically positioned upright before the eighth month if that is the owner's wish.
There are several things that can be done to promote the upright positioning of the ears, reports the World Class German Shepherd Dog organization. Owners can stimulate the ears by massaging the ear cartilage and gently rubbing along the outer edges of the ears. Owners can also provide a calcium phosphorus tablet or another vitamin that includes calcium in order to influence cartilage to develop stronger.