Chihuahuas have distinctive little faces with big eyes and alert, pointed ears. So, many people are surprised when they see a Chihuahua puppy with folded ears. 

Did you know that most puppies are born with floppy ears, no matter what their breed? Well, Chihuahuas are no exception! When they’re first born their little ears are floppy but for most Chihuahuas, their ears will stand up as they grow. 

So, when do Chihuahua puppies’ ears stand up? We’ll take a look at the answer to this question together, as well as everything else you might be wondering about Chihuahua puppies’ ears.

When Do Chihuahua Puppies Ears Stand Up

When Do Chihuahua Puppies’ Ears Stand Up?

Most Chihuahua puppies’ ears will stand up when they’re between two and four months old, but this can vary. For some, it might take a little bit longer. 

When Chihuahua puppies are born, their little ears are folded over – they look adorable! This is because the muscles and cartilage that support the ear to stand up haven’t developed properly yet. 

Over the coming weeks as the puppies grow, the muscles and cartilage will get stronger and the ears will become erect. 

This isn’t always a linear process, meaning the ears might stand up for a little bit then flop back down, and so on. One ear may stand up before the other. 

Some puppies will progress more quickly than others, even within the same litter. 

When they’re a few months old, their ears should be fully erect and they will look like the typical Chihuahuas we know and love. 

Do All Chihuahua Puppies’ Ears Stand Up?

Puppies will develop at different paces but the majority of Chihuahua puppies’ ears will stand up as they develop. However, in some cases, a Chihuahua will have floppy ears even when they’re an adult. 

If a puppy reaches around eight or nine months old and there’s no sign of their ears standing up, they will probably remain floppy. 

This can be a natural occurrence caused by genetics and breeding, but there’s no need to worry. It won’t affect their health and they will look just as cute! It just means you may not be able to show them in official dog shows. 

Reasons a Chihuahua’s Ears Might Not Stand Up

There are multiple reasons why Chihuahua puppies’ ears may not stand up including:

  • Teething: During teething ears that were starting to become erect can start to flop again. This is very common and is caused by the puppy overworking the muscles by chewing excessively to ease their teething pain. It can also be related to calcium distribution in the body. This is temporary and the ears will become erect again once teething is over. 
  • Mixed breed: If your Chihuahua isn’t purebred and has other breeds in their bloodline, they might have inherited floppy ears from the other breed.
  • Genetics: Some purebred Chihuahuas naturally have floppy ears, especially if their parents do!
  • Health conditions: Issues such as ear mites, injury, or otohematoma (blood collecting under the skin of the ear) can cause floppy ears along with other symptoms. 
  • Poor diet: If a puppy isn’t getting the nutrients it needs, it will become malnourished so its body may not develop as it should. 

If your puppy reaches a few months old and its ears aren’t showing any sign of becoming erect, or if you notice any other symptoms of ill health, it’s time to visit the vet. They can rule out any health issues and ensure there’s nothing to worry about. 

Can You Make a Chihuahua’s Ears Erect?

Some people believe you can ‘encourage’ a Chihuahua’s ears to stand up by taping or splinting them. Others feel that massaging the base of the ears or adding extra calcium to the puppy’s diet can be helpful. 

I don’t agree with any of these methods as there is no evidence to show success and some evidence actually suggests it can be harmful for the puppy. 

I particularly would not encourage taping your dog’s ears, as this can be very uncomfortable for them. 

Most Chihuahua puppies’ ears will stand up on their own in time. If they don’t, it isn’t harmful to your Chihuahua, so there’s no need to try to force it. They still look beautiful and have that wonderful Chihuahua temperament

Chihuahua Communication Using Their Ears

Dogs communicate using body language and their ears are a big part of that. I’ve noticed that my Chihuahua is far more expressive with her ears than my other two dogs of different breeds. 

Your Chihuahua’s ear positions and movement can tell you a lot. Some common examples are included below:

  • Ears in a natural position: This means your Chihuahua is relaxed and at ease.
  • Ears pinned back: This indicates that your Chi is scared, worried, or uncertain.
  • Ears very erect and tense: Your Chihuahua is alert and interested in something in their environment – this can be either a positive or negative stimulus. 
  • Moving or switching ear positions: This likely means your Chi is unsure about something that’s happening – they aren’t certain how they feel and may be a bit confused. 
  • Ears pointed and head tilted: This is my favorite position because it looks so cute – it means your Chi is curious or trying to hear something better. 

In order to figure out what some ear positions indicate, you also need to take into account what the rest of their body is doing. 

Reading your dog’s body language helps you to understand their needs and take better care of them. 

Chihuahuas Are Adorable Regardless of Their Ears!

Most Chihuahua puppies will have ears that stand up by the time they’re a few months old. Even if your Chihuahua’s ears remain floppy, they’re still adorable and you don’t need to worry. In fact, it just means you’ll have an even more unique-looking pup! 

When Do Chihuahua Puppies Ears Stand Up

FAQs

Do Chihuahuas have sensitive ears?

Yes, their ears are large and can have quite thin skin, which makes them delicate. It’s important to be careful when cleaning your Chi’s ears and when handling them. 

Can purebred Chihuahuas have floppy ears?

Yes, it is possible for purebred Chihuahuas to have floppy ears. However, most Chis will have the usual pointed ears.