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Home 9 Breeder Education Home 9 Taping: Foam Core Caulking

Taping: Foam Core Caulking



1One puppy (more if you’re lucky) 

2Tape: 2 x 6″ (Bases) 2 x 4″ (Middle) 2 x 3″ (Tips) 1 x 24″ (Brace in the form of a figure 8) 

31 square Mole foam (NOT MOLESKIN) (Kurotex – Dr. Scholl’s) to make 2 ear moulds appropriate size (cut 1/2″ longer than ears) 

4 Solvo-Plast 

5 Foam core Rods (Caulking): 2 back taped (make certain they are straight) 

6 Cotton Bails and Q-tips 

7 Rubbing Alcohol 

8 Skin Bond (Surgical Glue) or Liquid Sewing Glue (Sew-Fast or Quick-Sew) 

9 Ayerst Eye and Wound Powder


11A ruler and a pen

CAUTION: NEVER leave ears un-taped (even if they appear to be standing properly) without the breeder’s okay, at least until the puppy is done teething. Once teething is completed the ears can be left out of tapes until they droop or wilt. Then they MUST be re-taped AT ONCE.


{jb_reddisc}1{/jb_reddisc} Clean ears with rubbing alcohol (for healed ears) (peroxide for newly cut ears) inside and out. Let dry. 

{jb_reddisc}2{/jb_reddisc} Take as many squares of mole foam as needed – 2 pups per square – and prepare as follows: Do all of one step before proceeding to the next (i.e.-cut six squares in 1/2, then do next step on each stay) It goes faster. Note: LEAVE PLASTIC BACKING ON MOLE FOAM UNTIL ALL CUTTING IS DONE. Using the ruler measure halfway – vertically from backing edge to backing edge.

Take the ruler and draw a line DIAGONALLY from corner to corner, leaving a 1/2 inch at the top. Cut following lines. Cut off bottom in a slight arc; this removes the “points,” rounding the portion to go in the bell of the ear. Peel off plastic wrapping on all stays to be used. There is adhesive on the foam but it isn’t sticky enough to stay put. Place an ample amount of surgical glue on the white, sticky side, starting from about 3/4 of an inch up from the bottom. Glue ALL stays to be used and set aside. Now place an ample amount of glue, being sure to completely cover the ear – evenly – starting from the little bump just above the bell. DO NOT LET GO OF EAR. Wait a minute or so, NOT 4 or 5 minutes, being careful not to let the pup shake its head, or you’ll glue the ear to the side of the head. NOW, roll the base of the stay. Be careful not to let the stay stick to the ear before you have positioned it well into the bell (as far down as you would place any other method of posting). Holding the ear in the position you want it to stand, attach the stay – from the bottom up – straightening edges on healed ears. Rub stay to ear to make sure its well adhered.

{jb_reddisc}3{/jb_reddisc} Don’t worry about taking the stays out; they will loosen and fall out by themselves in about two weeks, from the oil in the ears. They are virtually puppy proof but they don’t come out prematurely. There is no problem with infection or goop inside the ear canal because the air can get in freely. Any remaining remnant of tape on ears can be removed with Solvo-Plast. (Use sparingly — try to avoid inside of ear as it will burn the skin quickly) 

{jb_reddisc}4{/jb_reddisc} Measure foam core rods to appropriate length for ear — fitting well into the base of ear and all the way to end of tip. Back tape foam core rod starting at top with sticky side in for one wrap to grip, turn tape sticky side out and wrap all the way to bottom keeping rods straight as possible. Run the Q-tip with Solvo-Plast on it down one edge of the back taped foam core rod and insert it into the ear starting at the base getting it as deeply into the ear as you can. Mould the ear around the rod for maximum grip. 

{jb_reddisc}5{/jb_reddisc} Apply base tape to the foam rod with the tail of the tape towards the nose and wrap around from front to back. DO NOT WRAP TOO TIGHTLY. Make certain to put base tape as low as possible and lift ear up (ALWAYS pull ear leather up tightly when wrapping to prevent taping a kink in the ear) as far as it will comfortably go.

{jb_reddisc}6{/jb_reddisc} Apply tip tapes the same way. ALWAYS apply middle tape last before letting go of tightly pulled ear.

{jb_reddisc}7{/jb_reddisc} Apply brace, starting over the top of the base tape, following the same front to back method crossing the crown of the head and around the ears. Hold both ears upright during this application to get maximum benefit. The ears should not be pulled into the center when completed, but should be in a natural upright position. Also be careful not to twist the ear on the head.

NOTE: When taping the ears be gentle but firm and confident. If you’re concerned about the puppy being in pain because he/she cries out even before you touch the ears, just watch he/she play alone or with another puppy. They seem to forget they have anything on their ears. By being firm when you work on the ears you will give you puppy reassurance. Don’t be cross, just firm, gentle and sure of yourself. When the puppy is especially good you can reward him/her.

HELPFUL HINTS: Your puppy may arrive with its ears taped to a Styrofoam cup. NEVER remove this cup until it loosens enough to pull on either one or both ears or falls off on its own. The tape may curl but as long as it is holding leave it alone, at least until the cut edge of the ear is fully healed. Then it may be removed and the taping procedure may begin.

{jb_browndisc}1{/jb_browndisc} Always remove tape in the direction of hair growth to eliminate unnecessary hair loss. If there are any sore spots upon removal of tape sprinkle lightly with Eye and Wound Powder. 

{jb_browndisc}2{/jb_browndisc} It the ears tend to pull together at top of head they probably have pockets or cups. When re-taping pack the pockets with cotton. If the ears are breaking or flat down (see illustration) which they shouldn’t ever be you MUST re-tape. 

NOTE: If you have allowed this to happen you have set yourself and your puppy back by at least 2 weeks and have extended the taping procedure by the same amount or more!!! 

{jb_browndisc}3{/jb_browndisc} To remove the tapes cut each piece from the base to the tip starting on the inside of the ear between the tape and the foam. Cut tape on both ears before pulling the tape off one ear. There’s no painless way to remove the tape but it is easier on the puppy to do it as quickly as possible. After cutting tape put one hand on puppy’s head and pull the tape off in one piece as quickly as possible. Repeat process with other ear. ALWAYS clean the ears thoroughly inside and out, letting them dry completely before re-taping. 

{jb_browndisc}4{/jb_browndisc} Sometimes ears are covered with a pus-like fluid (caused by the hair decaying under the tape). Nothing to be concerned about. Clean and dry. 

{jb_browndisc}5{/jb_browndisc} If the tapes get wet PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THEY WILL SHRINK — thus cutting off circulation and in extreme cases the tip of the ear can fall off. The tapes MUST be changed immediately.

{jb_browndisc}6{/jb_browndisc} This method has lasted up to 14 days, when the natural secretions of the ear usually cause the Mole foam to come away from the ear, and they must then be taken out. While very fresh, in the first couple of days, the glues are quite strong, and removal is difficult and painful. 

{jb_browndisc}7{/jb_browndisc} General rule of thumb for when to tape is: when the ears are down or wilted looking, put them up in tapes and leave them until the tapes come off. This is a relatively short time in a puppy’s life, and the more relaxed approach will convince the puppy that this is no big deal and reduce stress on e

submitted courtesy of Judy Bohnert, Equinox, Canada


Or you can cut a length of the foam longer than you need (to be to the tip of the ear when you’re finished taping to the dog).  Get out your trusty roll of DUCT TAPE (silver, plastic tape) and cut a piece of it a bit longer than the foam.  Lay the foam at the long edge of the tape (uncut) and “roll” the foam up in the tape.  (Sometimes, if you can only find the 1/4″ wide foam, you can put two pieces together to get the width you need – and roll them tightly in the DUCT TAPE.  Trim the bottom edge of the foam (the part you will insert in the puppy’s ear).

Now get out your adhesive tape and “back wrap” it around the foam (which is already wrapped in DUCT TAPE.  You can start at the top or bottom – makes no never mind.  Start in the normal direction as if you were taping something up and then fold the tape backwards so that you’ve now got the sticky side OUT and go all the way down the piece of duct-taped foam.

Put lots of anti-fungal and/or anti-bacterial powder in puppy ear.  Insert the back-wrapped creation deep in puppy’s ear – and begin the taping process.  Sometimes, you can cut and shape the bottom part of the creation, so it fits snugly in the ear  (something like sharpening a pencil).  Tape to the top of the ear.

When finished, cut off the excess at the top of the ear, to just slightly above the tip of the ear.  Put a “loose” brace at the base of the ears between the two.

Some people double wrap the foam in DUCT TAPE (see Step 1)  for extra strength.

submitted courtesy of Cheri McNealy, USA