Your dog’s ears will keep growing and change in shape during puppyhood. As their development happens fast during their early stages, their ears will also go all over the place, like on the side or at the front.
This keeps dog parents wondering about what the actual ears of their dog are going to be and if the ear growth would ever stop.
For some, it can be nerve-wracking to see their pooches’ ears looking far beyond their expectations. But, with patience and awareness of some factors that affect the stature of the ear, you’ll be far from looking disappointed.
Does Puppy Ears Grow Larger with Time?
Your puppy’s ears will grow large as they mature, but there’s no study yet that confirms that a dog’s ears will continue to develop all their life like humans. The ears just naturally adjust their size as your dog’s body increases in proportions.
Basically, their ears are no different when compared to their paws, tails, and head. Every part of your little friend’s body will have to generally grow at a specific rate and size.
When Do Dog Ears Stand Up?
There’s no exact answer as to when your dog’s ears will stand up, but generally, their ears firm up at around 6 months of age. Not all dogs’ ears will stand up, however, as genetics play a significant role here. We have the Labrador Retriever whose floppy ears aren’t capable of going erect.
To add, all dogs, no matter the breed, are born with droopy ears and closed ear canals, making them deaf in their first week or so as well as blind since their eyes are also shut. Once they get to have their sense of hearing, your dog will have their ears opening more until they’re 5 weeks old.
You might want to read: Labrador Retriever 101: The Essential Guide
Why Do Dogs Ears Suddenly Droop?
Your dog’s ears will suddenly drop once they begin teething. Loads of changes can be expected from their growing ears, and it’s usually a normal part of the process. During this period, the nutrients that are allocated for the ears are diverted to the development of their teeth.
To say the least, the uprightness of your little buddy’s ears is halted for a short while. According to the VCA, dog teething ends as they pass their first 6 months. At this point, your four-legged companion’s permanent teeth have already erupted. And by then, the ears will go erect again.
How to Know If My Dog’s Ears Will Stand Up
The biggest tell-tale sign lies in what breed your dog is. The diversity in canines isn’t just evident in their body size, personality, and needs, but as well as on how their ears are built.
You can’t anticipate for your Otterhound dog to have upright ears, nor would your neighbor’s Beagle’s ears stand up, considering how low they’re set on the head. Point-blank dog breeds like the ones mentioned are genetically predisposed to have droopy ears.
Meanwhile, dogs like the German Shepherd have natural bristling ears. The same feature can be observed in dogs that look close to a wolf.
You might be interested in: Otterhound 101: The Essential Guide
7 Dog Breeds with Naturally Upright Ears
The Pomeranian breed has a strong trait that involves their ears looking immensely erect. As this is seen to be a natural feature, it’s pretty rare to find Pom-Poms with floppy ears. It takes around 12 months for them to acquire a fully upright pinna.
It will only take a few weeks before a Chihuahua puppy will have their ears standing up. It will not even require any assistance as this just happens naturally. However, at around 4 to 5 months, the teething stage will occur. Once the process is complete, the ears of this breed will go back to looking spiky.
Learn about the breed: Chihuahua 101: The Essential Guide
3. Siberian Husky
Some Husky puppies already have their ears erect at about 1 and 1/2 months to 3 months. But, the average period for this breed to fully have firm ears is anywhere between 8 to 10 weeks.
4. Shiba Inu
The Shiba Inu dog is born with droopy ears. This starts to change once they are 6 to 10 weeks old. Purebred Shibas will only take a few months for their ears to stand firm unless they suffer from underlying health issues such as hematoma.
5. Chow Chow
The Chow Chow breed will have their ears hardening during their first 8 to 10 weeks of age. If it’s not happening and they’re already 15 weeks old, then they might be having a health issue or that they’re of mixed breed.
How Do Ears Develop for Mixed Breed Dogs?
There’s no difference between a purebred or mixed-breed dog’s ear development process. However, looks-wise, variations can be observed. For example, a German Shepherd dog crossed with a Golden Retriever has a 50-50 chance of getting either the floppy ears or the upright ears.
The expectation regarding whether your dog’s ears will stand up depends on what lineages run on a puppy’s bloodline. If the dog breed parents have naturally firm and spiky ears, then the pup will exhibit the same feature.
Meanwhile, two floppy-eared parents will, of course, result in a floppy-eared pooch as well. It’s also worth noting that a parent with droopy ears and another parent with erect ears may end up having a pup whose ears fold only in the middle or at the tip.
4 Factors That Influence the Way Your Dog’s Ears Grow
Whatever your dog’s breed is, it’s vital for any dog parent to aid them in properly developing their ears. A study shows that these are responsible for creating bodily balance, emphasizing the importance of ensuring that both ears are in good health.
In order for you to properly take care of your puppy’s ears, know these 4 factors that would highly influence the way your dog’s ears grow:
Puppy ears are so fragile that any mishandling can divert them from properly growing. Make sure that those around them, either humans or other dogs, should not overly play around your pooch’s pinnas.
If the playdate is getting rough, make sure you intervene with their interaction immediately.
Since teething is what primarily causes your puppy’s ears to flop, make sure you add an adequate amount of calcium in their diet so there’d be more to be sent to their growing ears. Do check it with your vet first to avoid calcium overdose.
3. Ear Placement
Your puppy’s ear placement would tell a lot about how their ears will look in a short while. Those that are set high are more likely to stand erect compared to those whose ears are set low on their head.
4. Worm Infection
Your puppy needs to be dewormed every 2 weeks until they’re 3 months old. By having this done, no worms will be present in their body. As you know, they steal the needed nutrients, and this can primarily affect your dog’s ear growth.