Did you know that Yorkie ears, known for their signature perky stature, actually require some special attention and care to stand up properly? Unlike some other breeds, Yorkies are not born with naturally erect ears. So how do these adorable canine companions achieve their characteristic upright look?

The key to how Yorkie ears stand up lies in their genetics and a little help from their owners. Yorkies have a gene called the prick ear gene, which gives them the potential for erect ears. However, not all Yorkies have strong enough ear muscles to naturally hold their ears upright. To encourage their ears to stand, owners often use techniques such as taping or using ear braces. By providing the right support and training, Yorkie ears can achieve the iconic perky look that makes them so adorable.

Maintaining the stand-up appearance of Yorkie ears requires regular care and attention. It is important to start training and supporting the ears at a young age when they are still malleable. Consistency in providing proper support and rewards for good behavior can help the ear muscles develop and strengthen over time. Approximately 70% of Yorkie puppies’ ears are erect by the time they reach six months of age. By following the right methods and being patient and committed, Yorkie owners can help their furry friends achieve the trademark look that sets them apart.

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How Do Yorkie Ears Stand Up? Understanding the Unique Trait of Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, are beloved small breed dogs known for their adorable appearance and perky ears. One distinguishing feature of Yorkies is their erect ears, which stand upright instead of flopping down like those of many other breeds. If you’ve ever wondered how Yorkie ears stay up, read on to discover the fascinating reasons behind this trait and what it means for these charming dogs.

The Genetics Behind Yorkie Ears

Yorkie ears stand up due to a combination of genetics and selective breeding. Yorkshire Terriers have cartilage in their ears that is naturally stiffer than in other breeds, giving them the ability to hold their ears upright. Additionally, the erect ear trait is a result of specific genes that have been passed down through generations of Yorkies. Breeders select for individuals with ears that naturally stand up and continue to breed them to maintain this characteristic.

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Furthermore, the growth and placement of the ears also play a role in their ability to stand up. Yorkies typically have ears that are set high on the skull and have a V-shaped fold. This unique positioning combined with the cartilage stiffness contributes to the signature alert and upright ear appearance of Yorkies.

It is important to note that not all Yorkie puppies are born with ears that stand up. Some puppies may initially have floppy or partially erect ears that eventually become fully upright as they grow and develop. Patience is key, as it can take several months for a Yorkie’s ears to fully stand up on their own.

Caring for Yorkie Ears

While some Yorkies naturally have ears that stand up on their own, others may require a little assistance to achieve the desired look. Here are some tips for caring for Yorkie ears:

  1. Start by gently massaging your Yorkie’s ears daily to encourage proper muscle development.
  2. Avoid excessive handling or pulling on the ears, as this can cause discomfort and damage.
  3. Regularly check for any signs of infection, such as redness, discharge, or a foul odor. If you notice any abnormalities, consult your veterinarian.
  4. If your Yorkie’s ears are not standing up by the time they are six months old, consult a professional dog breeder or a veterinarian for advice.

Remember, the appearance of a Yorkie’s ears does not affect their overall health or happiness. Whether their ears stand up or not, Yorkies make wonderful and loving companions.

The Impact of Yorkie Ears on Breed Standards

Yorkie ears that stand up are highly valued in the show ring and conform to the breed standard set by kennel clubs. The American Kennel Club (AKC) states that a Yorkie’s ears should be “small, V-shaped, and carried erect.” At dog shows, judges assess each Yorkie’s overall appearance, which includes the proper positioning and carriage of the ears. Breeders often strive to produce offspring that meet these show standards by selectively breeding dogs with the desired ear characteristics.

However, it is essential to remember that not all Yorkies are show dogs, and the appearance of their ears should not be the sole determining factor of their worth or beauty. Every Yorkie is unique, and their ears, whether they stand up or not, contribute to their individual charm.

The Role of Training in Yorkie Ear Positioning

While genetics play a significant role in determining the positioning of a Yorkie’s ears, training can also influence their appearance. Early socialization and training that focuses on positive reinforcement can help a Yorkie develop confident and alert ear carriage. By exposing your Yorkie to various sounds, stimuli, and experiences in a positive and controlled manner, you can help them become more comfortable and confident, which may positively impact the way their ears stand up and express their emotions.

Remember to be patient and consistent with your training efforts. Celebrate small victories and provide plenty of praise and rewards when your Yorkie’s ears are in the desired position. With time and consistent reinforcement, you may notice a positive difference in the way your Yorkie carries their ears.

Common Challenges in Maintaining Yorkie Ears

While Yorkie ears are known for standing up, there are a few challenges that owners may face when it comes to this unique trait. Here are three common issues to be aware of:

Supporting Weak Ears during Puppyhood

During the early months of a Yorkie puppy’s life, their ears are still developing, and it is not uncommon for them to experience periods of floppiness or inconsistency in ear position. In some cases, weak ear muscles may require additional support to encourage proper ear carriage. One way to provide support is by using specialized ear supports or braces designed for puppies. These supports help train the ear muscles and encourage correct positioning as the puppy grows.

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It is crucial to consult with a veterinarian or an experienced dog breeder before using any ear supports to ensure they are properly fitted and do not cause discomfort or harm to your puppy.

Ear Infections and Allergies

Yorkies can be prone to ear infections and allergies due to their long, floppy ears and a buildup of wax and moisture. It is essential to keep the ears clean and dry to prevent infections. Regularly check for any signs of redness, discharge, or itchiness, as these may indicate an infection or allergy. If you notice any abnormalities, consult your veterinarian for appropriate treatment and care.

Tips for Cleaning Yorkie Ears:

1. Use a specialized dog ear cleaning solution recommended by your veterinarian.

2. Gently wipe the inside of the ears with a clean cotton ball or soft cloth.

3. Avoid using cotton swabs or inserting anything deep into the ear canal, as this can damage the delicate structures inside the ear.

4. If you are unsure about cleaning your Yorkie’s ears, seek guidance from a professional groomer or your veterinarian.

Inherited Ear Problems

Some Yorkies may inherit certain ear problems due to their genetic predisposition. These issues can include ear canal abnormalities, chronic inflammation, or even hearing loss. If you suspect your Yorkie is experiencing ear problems, such as excessive scratching, head shaking, or a foul odor, it is crucial to seek veterinary assistance for proper diagnosis and treatment. Early detection and appropriate management can help mitigate any potential long-term issues.

FAQs about Yorkie Ears

Here are some frequently asked questions about Yorkie ears:

1. Can I use tape or glue to make my Yorkie’s ears stand up?

While some dog owners have tried using tape or glue to encourage ear positioning, this is not recommended. It can cause discomfort, skin irritation, and potential damage to the ears. It’s best to let a Yorkie’s ears stand up naturally without any interference.

2. When should a Yorkie’s ears stand up?

Yorkie puppies’ ears typically start to stand up between three and six months of age, although individual variation can occur. If a Yorkie’s ears have not fully stood up by the age of six months, it is advisable to seek guidance from a professional breeder or veterinarian.

3. Can I train my Yorkie’s ears to stand up?

While you cannot train a Yorkie’s ears to stand up if they naturally flop down, you can provide proper care and attention to encourage their natural positioning. This includes massaging the ears, providing a healthy diet, promoting overall good health, and fostering a positive environment that supports your Yorkie’s well-being.

4. Can a Yorkie’s ears ever go back down once they are standing up?

In some rare cases, a Yorkie’s ears may temporarily go back down due to factors such as illness or trauma. However, once the underlying issue is resolved, the ears usually return to their upright position.

5. Are there other dog breeds with naturally standing ears?

Yes, there are several other dog breeds besides Yorkshire Terriers that have naturally standing ears. Examples include the German Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher, and Boxer. However, the mechanisms behind ear positioning can vary between breeds, and it is essential to familiarize yourself with the specific traits and care requirements of each breed.

6. Do Yorkie ears serve any functional purpose?

While Yorkie ears primarily serve an aesthetic purpose, they also play a role in communicating the dog’s emotions. Ears held upright indicate attentiveness and alertness, while ears flattened or relaxed suggest a more relaxed or content state. Paying attention to your Yorkie’s ear position can help you understand their mood and behavior better.

Enjoying Your Yorkie Companion

Yorkie dogs are cherished companions known for their loyalty, intelligence, and endearing personalities. Whether their ears stand up or flop down, their playful nature and affectionate disposition make them a delightful addition to any household. Embrace their unique characteristics and provide the love and care they deserve, and you will be rewarded with a devoted friend for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about how Yorkie ears stand up? We’ve got you covered! Check out the FAQs below to learn more about this adorable characteristic of Yorkshire Terriers.

1. Why do Yorkie ears stand up?

Yorkie ears stand up because of their genetic makeup and specific breed traits. As Yorkies grow, their ears undergo a process called “ear cartilage stabilization.” This means that the cartilage in their ears becomes stronger over time, causing them to naturally stand up. So, if you notice that your Yorkie’s ears are floppy during the early months, don’t worry – they will likely stand upright as they develop.

It’s important to note that not all Yorkie ears will stand up on their own. Sometimes, a Yorkie’s ears may require additional support, such as tape or a brace, to encourage proper standing. However, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog breeder to ensure the ears are supported correctly without causing any harm or discomfort to your furry friend.

2. At what age do Yorkie ears stand up?

The age at which Yorkie ears stand up can vary from dog to dog. In most cases, you can expect to see their ears starting to stand up between the ages of 3 to 6 months. During this time, their ear cartilage becomes more stable, allowing the ears to naturally stand upright. However, every Yorkie is unique, and some may take longer for their ears to fully stand up.

If your Yorkie’s ears have not stood up by 6 months of age, it is advisable to consult with a veterinarian. They can examine your pup and provide guidance to ensure there are no underlying issues preventing the correct development of the ears.

3. Can I do anything to help my Yorkie’s ears stand up?

While Yorkie ears usually stand up on their own, there are a few things you can do to support the process. One method is to massage the base of your Yorkie’s ears gently. This massage can help stimulate blood flow to the cartilage, promoting healthy growth and development. Additionally, providing a balanced diet that includes essential nutrients can contribute to overall ear health and encourage proper ear stance.

If your Yorkie’s ears are not standing up as expected, it’s always best to seek advice from a veterinarian or a professional dog breeder. They can provide specific guidance on exercises, methods, or even recommend alternative options like using tapes or braces to support and train the ears to stand up correctly.

4. Are there any risks involved in trying to make Yorkie ears stand up?

When trying to make Yorkie ears stand up, it’s crucial to proceed with caution to ensure you don’t cause any harm or discomfort to your furry friend. Always consult with a veterinarian or professional dog breeder to get expert advice and guidance specific to your dog’s needs.

If improperly done, using tapes or braces to support the ears can lead to skin irritation, infections, or discomfort for your Yorkie. It’s essential to follow the recommended techniques and regularly monitor the condition of the ears to prevent any adverse effects. Patience is key, as sometimes the ears simply need more time to naturally stand up as the dog continues to grow.

5. Can a Yorkie’s ears go back down after they have stood up?

In some cases, a Yorkie’s ears may go back down even after they have stood up. This can happen due to various reasons, including genetics, health issues, or injuries. If you notice that your Yorkie’s ears have suddenly gone back down or appear floppy again, it is recommended to consult with a veterinarian.

A professional can examine your Yorkie to determine the cause and provide appropriate treatment if needed. They will assess the overall health of your dog and address any underlying conditions that may be affecting the ear stance. Remember, it’s always better to be safe and seek veterinary advice whenever you have concerns about your pet’s well-being.

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How to Get your Yorkie’s Ears to Stand Up? 😲 (Finally Revealed)


Yorkie ears can stand up naturally or with some assistance from their genes or the environment. Genetics play a role in determining whether a Yorkie’s ears will stand up. If both parents have upright ears, chances are high that the puppies will too. However, some Yorkies have floppy ears due to genetic variations. External factors like teething and the weight of the ears can also affect their stand-up ability. Proper care and regular cleaning can support healthy ears for your furry friend.

In conclusion, whether a Yorkie’s ears stand up or not depends on a combination of genetics and external factors. Understanding this can help you give the right care to your adorable Yorkie and keep their ears healthy and happy.”

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