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Are Chihuahuas Born With Floppy Ears?

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Chihuahuas are known for their large pointy ears but they don’t start out that way. Chihuahuas, like all dogs, are born with floppy ears.

floppy ear fawn chihuahua puppy walking

At What Age do Chihuahua Ears Stand Up?

A chihuahua puppy’s ears will usually stand up between 2 to 4 months though sometimes it can be later. If they haven’t stood up by 6 months, they probably are not going to stand up, although there are a few rare cases where it took up to a year before the ears stood up.

Will a Chihuahua’s Ears Ever Go Down Once They are Up?

3 chihuahua puppies with fog toys

You may notice that your puppy’s ears will go down after they have previously been erect. This is common and is caused by teething. Most times they will go back up after the teething diminishes.

There are other times a Chihuahua’s ears may go down after they have been up for years. Sometimes a very hard pregnancy or a traumatic health condition can cause the ears to become floppy.

How to Tell if a Chihuahua Puppy’s Ears will Stand Up

One good way to tell is to call your puppy to you or make a funny noise. Your puppy’s ears may stand up for a few seconds. This is a good indication that they will stand up permanently eventually.

Reasons Why a Chihuahua’s Ears Don’t Stand Up

  • Teething During teething, the jaw muscles are overworked with the constant chewing and the adult teeth trying to break through, and the ears will lie flat. This is usually just temporary.
  • Mixed Breed Your chihuahua may be mixed with a breed that has floppy ears.
  • Genetic Quirk Sometimes it’s just a genetic flaw but it doesn’t mean your chihuahua isn’t purebred.
  • Health Issues Malnutrition, an ear infection, or a health-related trauma are all possible reasons for floppy ears.

How to Get Chihuahua Ears to Stand Up

3 little Chihuahuas
  • If your dog is long-haired and has a lot of hair on their ears, get the groomer to shave them for you. The weight of the hair could be keeping them from going up.
  • Tape them with medical tape to stand erect. I really don’t like taping them personally because it’s uncomfortable for the dog but it is one way to train them to stand up.
  • Have your vet crop the ears. This is another procedure I am not on board with. It causes unnecessary pain for your dog. But it is a way to get the ears to stand up.
  • There is no proof that this works, but some claim that giving their dogs foods that are high in cartilage such as pig ears, tracheas, and chicken feet will help.
  • You can also give your dog a supplement that has collagen such as this one on Amazon. Again, no proof this works but it won’t hurt.

What if Your Chihuahua’s Ears Never Stand Up?

You will still have an adorable, loving little companion whether their ears stand up or not. The only real reason the ears need to stand up is if you plan on showing your dog. Otherwise, it’s not a big deal.

At what age did your chihuahua’s ears stand up? My Chihuahuas were about 3-4 months when they stood up but I did have a Yorkie puppy whose ears went back down just during the teething period.

Cathy
blond woman holding white chihuahua

Cathy Bendzunas

Dog Blogger

I’m an avid dog lover and I’ve had many dogs throughout my life. When I rescued my first Chihuahua, I was hooked on the breed.

I have had dogs all my life and have trained as a dog groomer. I also have been a kennel worker, worked in a pet hotel through PetSmart, and still am a pet sitter.

Read my full bio on my About page

Sarwar Abdullah

Wednesday 25th of January 2023

Chihuahuas are a breed of dog that typically have erect ears, but some Chihuahuas are born with floppy ears. This is due to a genetic variation in the breed, which can cause the ears to flop over instead of standing up. This genetic variation results from a mutation in the gene responsible for the development of cartilage and muscle in the ears. This condition is known as "chihuahua ear carriage" and it can be inherited by the offspring of affected dogs.

Doreen Cherf

Saturday 7th of January 2023

Cathy , thank you so much for the floppy ear article. Diego is almost 5 months , and his ears have never stood up completely . I’m glad to hear it’s ok . My husband is against the taping idea , so we are gonna leave him be . He also runs from me . When I go to get him , feed him , call him . It’s very frustrating , and he is spoiled rotten .

Cathy

Sunday 8th of January 2023

Will he come to you for treats? I think I'd spend a few minutes everyday sitting somewhere comfortable with some treats in your lap and see if he comes to you. If he does, give him a treat but don't try to put him in your lap or anything. Keep doing that and over time, he may find coming to you more of a positive thing.

Linda straton

Saturday 24th of December 2022

My little Tiki’s ear where up by 8 weeks. We’ve had no problem with that. Also I have a question, when do they stop play biting you? Yuki is 9 months old, her teeth are in but she still loves biting you? She really loves to go after our hands. Any help would be greatly appreciated. We do give her toy’s , treats, and a lot of play time. Help . Have a merry Christmas with you family & chihuahuas. Linda straton

Cathy

Saturday 24th of December 2022

She should be stopping the play biting now. When she bites you, act like it really hurts you and say "Ouch" in a loud voice. You can even pretend to cry. She needs to think she is hurting you and that it's not just play.