When you think about Boston Terriers, you think of their tuxedo coat (which earnt them the title of “The American Gentleman”) and their perky ears. But, do Boston Terriers ears always stand up?
When do Boston Terriers ear stand up? Most Boston Terrier puppies are born with floppy ears that will naturally stand up on their own when they reach 4 months old.
With this illustrative guide, you’ll discover when those ears should be erect and what you can do to help your dog’s ears stand if they naturally don’t.
According to the American Kennel Club breed standards for Boston Bull Terriers, these dogs have erect ears.
So, do they naturally stand up? And when does this happen?
Generally, Boston Terrier puppies are born with floppy ears that eventually stand up on their own.
Standing ears improve air circulation in the ears. Also, it reduces the risk of ear infection.
Although Boston Terriers ears can stand up naturally, this isn’t always the case.
A Boston Terrier’s ears will stand up naturally when the puppy is 4 months old. This process can take between 6 weeks to 4 months.
You might notice that one ear straightens out sooner than the other one (like in the image below), but they will eventually even out.
However, if this process doesn’t happen naturally, you might have to help your pooch to get those ears standing to avoid health problems.
You can always be proactive if you suspect they aren’t going to straighten on their own.
Boston Terriers are born with floppy ears and then, their ears will naturally stand up. But not every Boston will have completely straight ears. Some may turn down at the very tip, and some may flop over at the breaking point (midway up the ear).
The main area that determines if your Boston’s ears are floppy or straight is called “pinna“. The pina is a part of the outer ear that you can see. It’s made of cartilage and covered by skin and hair. It can vary in size in Boston Terriers but it’s about the same shape.
Your Boston Terrier’s ears might remain floppy because:
There are different ways to support your dog’s ears. You should talk to your breeder and vet for their expert advice before starting any protocol.
Once you decide on a method, to avoid any further damage to your pup’s ears, try not to touch the ears too much – even if those soft ears are irresistible!
Also, you should avoid any other dog from chewing or licking your dog’s ears.
Ok, so let’s see what you can do…
When your Boston Terrier’s ears don’t stand up by themselves because the ear leather becomes too heavy… this weight could be supported by tape to help the ears to stand erect.
If your Bostons ears are not up by 4 months of age, then you should tape them to strengthen the ear. By doing so, they will stand up on their own eventually.
It’s best to consult with your vet for specific advice. Because, if you suspect that your dog’s ears are going to be very large or heavy, you could start taping as early as 5 weeks.
If you start early, it may only take 3-4 weeks for the ears to stand on their own. But if you start late (when your pooch is at 4 months old), it will take longer or it may not happen.
Placement of the tape is crucial to ensure that you’re providing support at the proper area.
There are two taping methods that you can use:
Regardless of the method you use…
The tape must be kept on 24 hours a day, every day until the ears are strong enough to stand on their own. Depending on your Boston’s ears, this process could take a few weeks or a few months.
You will have to replace the tape as needed. Usually, every couple of days you will have to reapply the tape. This is because your dog’s skin secretes natural oils that will cause the tape to lose its stickiness.
Also, beware that the tape can cause irritation on the back of the ears and your pup will definitely want to scratch it off.
Here’s how to the tape their ears:
There are different types of tapes for your dog’s ears. It’s about personal preference between soft and sports tapes.
In both cases, I would recommend applying two or three layers for proper support.
Do you need to crop your Boston Terriers’ ears?
Ear cropping is not used as a method to get ears to stand up on their own in Bostons Terriers. Unless a reputable vet advises surgically removing any excess length that may be weighing the ears down.
Ear cropping in Boston Terriers is done to give the ear a distinct shape. It involves cutting away the outer portion of the ear when ears are too long or too wide.
This procedure is largely cosmetic, i.e., it serves no medical purpose and can be considered animal cruelty practice. Plus, ear cropping might be banned in some countries or states.
Finally, this surgery causes unnecessary pain, discomfort during recovery and a risk of infection.
Apart from being part of the breed standards, Boston Terriers having erect ears is also beneficial for the dog. This is because:
But, what happens when your BTs ears remain floppy? What are the health concerns?
When a Boston Terrier has floppy ears, they are likely to develop ear infections.
When their ears are folded, not much air can flow. As a result, moisture becomes trapped in the ear canal. This becomes a breeding ground for yeast and bacteria, which can lead to infection.
However, it doesn’t mean that your pooch is going to be continuously suffering from one ear infection to another.
The best way to keep your Boston Terrier’s ears healthy is to clean them regularly. There are many dog ear cleaning solutions that you can buy, or you can make one. Check How to Clean Boston Terrier Ears blog post for a step by step guide.