If you have questions about your Chihuahua with floppy ears, then you’ve come to the right place.
There’s no denying a Chihuahua’s ears are one of the keys to their undeniable cuteness.
But why do some chihuahuas have floppy ears… and others don’t?
And what if your particular Chihuahua still has floppy ears and you don’t know why?
Let’s take a closer look.
Why Do Chihuahuas Have Floppy Ears?
The main reason why a Chihuahua has floppy ears is down to their genetics.
Simply put: If your Chihuahua’s parents have floppy ears, then there’s a good chance the pup will as well.
It can also be down to:
- Age (they’re still a pup).
- Mixed breeding (they’re not purebred).
- Possible nutritional deficiency (they’re not getting enough calcium).
Are Chihuahuas Born With Floppy Ears?
While they may be born with the potential to grow straight, erect ears… the truth is puppies are always born with their ears flat, at first.
As they grow older and mature, their ears strengthen and develop… and eventually, they’ll begin to stand erect and become “prick ears”.
By around 6 months of age, their ears will most likely be standing up.
Why does this happen?
It’s because it takes time for the underdeveloped muscles and ear cartilage to develop enough to fully support the ear when it’s erect.
Do Chihuahuas Ears Always Stand Up?
Depending on your Chihuahua’s genetics, they may develop those pointy “prick ears” or remain with cute floppy ears instead.
One of the biggest reasons why their ears don’t stand up (after they’re older than 6-8 months) is because they’re not purebred Chihuahua.
In fact, having erect ears is one of the telltale signs that a Chihuahua is purebred.
Of course… this doesn’t mean your Chihuahua isn’t just as sweet and adorable with any type of ears (don’t forget that!)
How Long Does It Take for a Chihuahua’s Ears To Stand Up?
For many Chihuahuas, you’ll start to see their ears becoming erect when they’re about 10 to 12 weeks of age.
But this number can certainly vary based on numerous factors… so you won’t always know for sure until they’re around 6 months old.
Why Do My Chihuahuas Ears Still Flop?
The biggest reason usually comes down to being a genetic trait.
If your dog is a mixed breed and a parent has floppy ears, then it makes sense that they could have inherited these floppy-eared genes instead.
Furthermore, it’s possible that your Chihuahua is still young and hasn’t “grown into their ears” yet.
In their early stages of life, a lot of the calcium in their diet is being used up in other areas… like growing strong, healthy teeth (particularly during the teething stage).
When they start to lose their puppy teeth and the adult teeth are coming through, a lot of the calcium is being directed toward this developmental process instead.
But once they’re a little bit older, there’s more calcium available for the cartilage in their ears to strengthen.
Then, the ears finally perk up! (If it’s going to happen, that is…)
It’s also possible that the teething stage makes their jaw muscles tired, and these muscles are linked with the ear muscles, too.
So during this time, their ears are more likely to be a little droopier.
How Do I Get My Chihuahuas Ears To Stand Up
There are a few commonly-talked-about methods for making a Chihuahua’s ears stand up.
Let’s explore a few of these ideas (without any particular endorsement of them…)
1. Taping Your Chihuahua’s Ears
It may be controversial, but it’s worth mentioning, so you’re at least aware of the practice.
Taping the ears involves using masking tape to “lift” the ear.
It’s done by:
- Raising the ear into an upright position.
- Gently wrapping a piece of tape around the base of each ear.
- Using a final piece of tape to “connect” your tape masterpiece over the top of your pup’s head.
It takes around 5 days to see results.
However, the method doesn’t always work, so it’s certainly not a guaranteed way to make a Chihuahua’s ears go from floppy to perky.
Is It Bad To Tie Your Dogs Ear Up?
It’s a somewhat controversial practice to tie a dogs ear in the upright position, but when done properly, it shouldn’t be causing your dog any pain or discomfort.
When it works, there’s also the added long-term benefit of reducing the risk of ear infections… because it’ll be easier to clean and generally look after your pup’s ears.
So, there are pros and cons to it, perhaps.
2. Massaging Your Chihuahua’s Ears
This method is often talked about online, and it simply involved gently massaging the base of your dog’s ears.
Perhaps it stimulates the area enough to make their ears upright and erect?
However, some veterinarians suggest that this technique may actually be counter-productive… as the massaging may instead break down the cartilage instead.
Before trying this technique, you may want to seek professional advice.
3. Give Your Chihuahua More Calcium
Having enough calcium in your dog’s diet is important for the healthy growth and development of teeth, bone, and you guessed it… cartilage.
As such, it might be beneficial to ensure your dog has enough calcium in their diet.
While it’s unlikely to be a miracle solution, it could have some impact if your dog isn’t already getting enough calcium to accommodate all of their developmental needs.
It’s easy enough to add more calcium to your Chihuahua’s diet:
Simply add some cottage cheese to their food.
Why You Need To Keep Your Chihuahua’s Floppy Ears Clean
Something to be aware of is the importance of keeping your Chihuahua’s ears clean, especially when they’re the floppy variety.
The floppy style means they’ll take longer to dry out if your Chihuahua’s had a bath or been swimming (because of the restricted airflow in the ear canal)… so it’s vital to dry out the ear properly to minimize the risk of ear infection.
Furthermore, it’s easier for dirt and debris to get stuck inside your dog’s floppy ears, too.
If your pooch keeps shaking their head for no reason… this could be a possible sign of an ear infection coming.
To be fair, there’s nothing wrong with Chihuahuas with floppy ears.
However, it’s worth knowing that it can make your dog more prone to ear infections.
Perhaps giving them a hand to make their ear upright once in a while might be worth considering? It could help reduce the risk of a few ear problems further down the line.
Yet ultimately, you shouldn’t be too worried about how floppy or perky your Chihuahua’s ears are… and instead, just enjoy how cute it looks!
The best thing you can do for your pup is to feed them a balanced diet and look forward to seeing if their ears flop… or not.
But regardless of whether they’ll have perky ears or become one of those delightful floppy-eared chihuahuas, they’re sure to look adorable either way. Lucky you!