are born with floppy ears. They do not have the proper muscle strength at the base of the ear in order to hold them erect. These muscles will grow and become stronger with time (in most cases).
Usually between the age of 3 months to 6 months, the ears will gradually raise up and the stand on their own. One may stand up before the other...typically the other is not far behind and both will match up soon. Some Yorkie puppies are "late bloomers" and the ears may not stand up until much later that one expects... We've seen some take as long as 9 months.
In some instances, the ears may not stand up at all. Those with ears who do not stand erect, as referred to as having Floppy Ears. The only time that this would matter, is in dog show conformance events, such as the AKC events, in which judges are looking for ears that are balanced, V-shaped and standing straight up.
Therefore, while it will be a huge fault in show, pet owners should not be too concerned....as it is just something that does happen now and then...it does not affect health...And it can be looked at by many to be an endearing feature that makes the Yorkie look younger than they are.
What Can I do to Make a Yorkie's Ears Stand Up?
- In some instances, the ears will simply not stand up on their own, due to a lack of muscle tissue. There are some methods that may work to help improve the dog's ability to strengthen the muscles at the base of the ear. This includes:
- Massaging the base
- Shaving the hair. The top 1/3 of upper ear is shaved to minimize the weight on the ears. This method involves shaving both the inside and outside of the dog's ear; usually done with a clipping machine which should not cut the dog's skin.
What is Yorkie Ear Taping & Does it Work?
- This method is not 100% guaranteed to work; however it does work in some cases. One should stop using this method if it becomes obvious that is is causing discomfort..itching, etc.
- Begin by shaving the ears, as mentioned above.
- Clean the ears, using a canine cleaning solution and a Q-Tip. Be sure to not enter too deeply into the canal, as doing so could cause damage.
- Gently fold the ear, as if you were closing it up vertically (up and down). When folded, the ear will be standing straight up with a point at the very top.
- Wrap gauze around the base and then secure that with bandage tape or scotch tape. Once both are done, use tape to hold both in alignment with each other. You may need to experiment to find the perfect degree of tightness. Too tight and circulation will be cut off. Too loose and the wrapping will fall right off.
When done correctly, the ears may very well be standing straight on the Yorkie and not flopping to the side of the head.
You will want to leave the taping on for 3 days at a time and then allow the ear to relax and receive fresh air. Be sure to groom and clean
the ears in between tapings. Allowing this small break time will not interfere with the overall process.
Some respond to this within the 3 days, others may take 3 weeks. Ultimately, it will be genetics that are the deciding feature...You can help to push them along, but Mother Nature has the last say. You may find that this seems to give temporary results. If so, only re-tape if an ear or both ears begins to flop down.
If you do not see results within a month, it is recommended to accept that your Yorkie is either a late bloomer or will have floppy ears. If the ears are not standing up by the age of 7 months, it is most likely not going to happen. Most muscle development is done by this time. There are plenty of adorable purebred Yorkshire Terriers that do not have erect ears...Even though conformation desires this, it is just fine and nothing to worry about if you are not planning on showing your dog.