Yorkies are born with naturally floppy ears that start to perk up just a few months later. If you prefer the adorable, floppy-eared look, leave the hair on the back of the ears long and use tape to keep Yorkies’ ears floppy. Do the opposite of what’s recommended to make them stand up straight.
We don’t all have the same tastes. While the standard for Yorkie ears is prick and pointy, we’re talking about how to keep Yorkies’ ears floppy. Read further to discover tips and tricks for ways to do that and other things you should know about your Yorkie’s ears.
How Do You Keep Your Yorkie’s Ears Floppy?
It’s possible you could choose a Yorkshire terrier puppy whose ears never stand upright. Those of us that don’t show or breed dogs and keep them as furry family members don’t need to worry about, what has been lovingly referred to as, “Yorkie floppy ear syndrome.”
However, most Yorkie owners will end up with a puppy whose ears stand up. Combatting that natural progression can be done in a couple of ways.
- Keep ear hair long
- Tape tips of ears down
- Repeat, if needed
Keep Ear Hair Long
The standard set by the American Kennel Club indicates Yorkshire terriers should have prick ears. The AKC recommends owners should keep the hair behind and around the sides of the ears cut short and neat. The reason for this is the weight of the hair can cause the muscles to weaken and let the ears flop over.
You want to keep your Yorkie’s ears floppy. That being the case, you should do the opposite of what’s recommended to make the ears stand up. Allow the hair all around your Yorkie’s ears to grow long and thick. That alone may be enough to keep the ears floppy.
Tape Tips of Ears Down
Should you find you need a little more help keeping your Yorkie’s ears floppy, you can try taping them down. The tape you use doesn’t matter as much as how you go about it. Your biggest concern when you’re taping a puppy’s ears down should be his well-being. Make sure you aren’t pulling the ear too hard and hurting your Yorkie.
Generally, dog owners taping down their dog’s ears will simply tape the tips of the ears down at a position that is comfortable for the dog. You can place tape over the outside of the ear tips to do this.
Another method consists of rolling up a piece of tape so that it’s sticky all the way around. You then place the rolled tape inside the ear close to the tip and gently press the ear against the side of your dog’s head or face.
You can secure the ears better by using a combination of these two methods. Place the rolled tape inside the ears and secure it from the outside, as well, by placing tape over the ear tips.
You’ll find the tape will need replacing frequently, especially if you have a puppy with rambunctious energy. Try to replace the tape quickly to get the fastest results.
Your Yorkie’s ears should stay floppy after about two weeks of taping. There should be a couple of breaks in that time, also. Once you take the tape off, assess how they look to determine if more time is needed.
Repeat, If Needed
There’s nothing wrong with repeating the taping process if the results aren’t what you wanted. Make sure you’re keeping your furry friend’s comfort level in the forefront of your mind, though.
You can give your pup a little break in between taping sessions. It won’t hurt the results or cause a regression to take a little time and allow your Yorkie to relax before taping his ears back down.
The number of times you repeat the taping process is up to you. If you’re being mindful of your dog’s happiness, it’s not harmful to tape his ears. Should you notice any indications of discomfort or pain, stop the process immediately.
Why Have Your Yorkie’s Ears Fallen Down?
Sometimes, Yorkie’s ears will fall back down after they’ve already stood upright. This is usually an indication of stress and fatigue. It can be caused by teething, illness, anxiety, or a health condition.
Understanding why your Yorkie’s ears have fallen over starts with knowing what’s supposed to happen. From there, you can assess for reasons which can cause the revert to floppy ears.
The Normal Progression of Yorkie Ears
Yorkshire terriers come into the world with floppy ears. The ears stay that way for around three months while the muscles and cartilage strengthen. As the muscles develop, you’ll start to see your Yorkie’s ears standing upright more.
You’ll often notice one ear standing up before the other. This is normal. It just means the muscles on that side of the Yorkie’s head may have developed a little faster. In most cases, the other ear will follow closely behind.
It’s important to note there are common things that can cause a regression back to floppy ears. Teething often causes prick ears to flop back over. Your puppy will be more exhausted when he’s teething. His muscles may not have the energy to hold the ears up during that time. One or both ears could revert to flopping.
Yorkies won’t all develop prick ears on the exact same timeline. There are some Yorkie puppies that won’t have fully erect ears until closer to nine months. If you’d like to speed up the process for upright ears, there are some things you can try.
How to Massage Your Yorkie’s Ears
Some Yorkie owners will massage the ears and the muscles at the base of the ears to help strengthen them. The thought is that it will help the muscles develop enough to hold the ears in an upright position.
How to Massage Dog Ears
It might be a good idea to do a full ear massage for your Yorkie before you tape their ears. For the purpose of making the ears stand up, you’ll need to massage the muscles at the base of each ear.
- Use your fingers to firmly, but gently, knead the muscles at the back and base of the ears.
- Wrap your hand around the base of the ear and roll the ears around with gentle firmness.
- Move your hand down the ears, still rolling them between your fingers.
- Repeat the process.
We recommend you massage the entire ear, as well as the base muscles. Rubbing your dog’s ears will release hormones into their bloodstream that will help relax them and allow you to proceed more easily with taping his ears, grooming, or anything else.
How to Help Your Yorkie’s Ears Stand Up
You can help your Yorkie’s ears to stand up quicker or more evenly. There are a few methods for doing this.
- Massage the muscles at the base of the ears (as mentioned above)
- Clipping the ear hair
- Ear taping
Keep in mind there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to make your Yorkie’s ears stand erect if they don’t naturally. Some pups will simply have floppy ears regardless of what you do. But you can try some things to make the ears stand up in their first year.
Clipping the Ear Hair
Keeping the hair on the back and base of the ears clipped short or shaved can help your Yorkie’s ears to stand up. When that hair is long and thick, it weighs the ear down causing it to flop over. The muscles and cartilage that hold the ear up aren’t strong enough in those cases.
Most Yorkies will have prick ears naturally if you keep their ear hair trimmed short. For those owners, no other steps are necessary. When it doesn’t work that way, there’s ear taping to try.
You’ll start by preparing the area. You should shave the hair on the back and inside of both ears. Then clean inside the ears with a solution and a cotton swab. Be very careful not to push the cotton swab too far into the ears. Allow the ear canals to dry.
There are two methods of ear taping to help your Yorkie’s ears stand up. Here’s a look at each:
- Folded Method – This is more of a rolled method than it is folded. You’ll fold the ears gently together in a vertical manner. Keep the tips of the ears pointed straight up in the center. Wrap the bottom of the ears with tape, gauze, or both to secure them in their standing position. Add a strip of tape to anchor the ears to each other so they will be even.
- Flat Method – Take a 3-inch strip of masking tape and layer it four times. Then cut four triangles out of it. You’ll adhere the four triangles to the front and back of each ear. Next, take another strip of tape and position the ears where you want them while securing them to the tape. Place another strip of tape on the other side of the ears.
Regarding both methods, you should leave the tape on for up to 5 days at a time. For some, that’s all it will take. Those who don’t see the results they’re looking for should wait 24 hours before repeating the taping process.
Remember that you may still end up with a floppy-eared Yorkie after taping. While it’s ok to repeat the process more than once, you may have to accept the floppy ears at some point. Puppies stop developing those muscles by around 7 to 9 months. Your efforts to stand the ears up after that will be futile and possibly harmful to your pup.
Should You Get Your Yorkie’s Ears Cropped?
Ear cropping has been a controversial topic for quite some time. You may have thought about having it done for your Yorkie’s ears. The truth is, it’s a decision you must make for your Yorkie yourself.
Ask yourself how important it is for your Yorkie to have prick ears. Ear cropping is a surgical procedure. While it generally won’t cause any harm to your pup, there can always be complications with any surgery. And there isn’t a real need for your Yorkie to have prick ears.
In the past, owners had their dogs’ ears cropped for functional purposes. Today, most of us don’t have dogs for the same reasons people used to. Our reasons for having dogs’ ears cropped are typically purely cosmetic.
Our recommendation is to stick with ear taping and keep your dog’s ear hair trimmed short. However, it’s a choice you should make according to how you feel.
Common Issues with Yorkie Ears
There are some common problems that arise with Yorkie’s ears. Most of them aren’t serious but should be watched for.
- Ear infections – These usually stem from allergies. They can also occur if you don’t routinely clean Yorkies’ ears or when water from their bath can make its way into the ear canal. Keep your pup’s ears clean and always dry them after bath time.
- Ear mites – Parasites will sometimes make their way into your Yorkie’s ears. They usually get transferred during contact with another animal. If left untreated, they can infest other parts of your dog’s body. Your veterinarian will prescribe something to rid your furry friend of these pests.
Other Yorkie Health Concerns
Yorkies are known to be healthy dogs. They’re somewhat prone to ear infections and can suffer from ear mites, but both are easily treated.
There are two other health concerns that come up in Yorkies, as well. They will occasionally have eye anomalies. They also suffer from a luxating patella sometimes. It’s basically a dislocated kneecap. You should have them screened for both health risks.
Want To Train Your Yorkie With Peace Of Mind?
If you haven’t trained your Yorkie properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.
The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.
With Brain Training For Dogs, you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.
So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!
And in most cases it’s still going to be:
- Cheaper than hiring a professional.
- Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
- And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.
Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your Yorkie completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT.
And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!
So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior, or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!
(You can also check out a full review here, to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)
You know how to keep your Yorkie’s ears floppy now. You’ll want to let the hair on their ears grow long and thick to weigh them down. If you need more help, you can try taping the ears down. Should you find prick ears to be more appealing, you’ll take the opposite approach to help your pup’s ears stand up. Floppy or not, you have the know-how to take care of your Yorkie’s unique ears.