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When Do Chihuahuas’ Ears Stand Up? 5 Surprising Facts

When Do Chihuahuas’ Ears Stand Up

Last week someone asked me:

‘When do Chihuahuas’ ears stand up?’

Here you’ll find out the truth.

Read on to discover:

  • Why some Chihuahuas’ ears remain floppy.
  • What calcium has to do with the ears of your Chi standing up.
  • How the feelings of your Chi are connected to the movement of their ears.
  • And more…

When do Chihuahuas’ ears stand up?

Chihuahuas’ ears begin to stand up at around 5 to 6 weeks old. After the cartilage in their ears forms, they will start to embody the stereotypical Chihuahua we all know and love. However, this does not mean that their ears will be upright all of the time.

5 surprising facts about Chihuahuas’ ears

Chihuahuas may be tiny, but they’re full of surprises! Here are some facts you may not know about their ears:

#1: Floppy ears

While Chihuahuas are known for their small stature and pointy ears, Chihuahua puppies are born with floppy ears.

This is due to the cartilage developing at a later stage.

As the Chihuahua puppy grows, the calcium in their body is directed to the ears, which then begin to harden and stand up straight.

You might also like: Why Do Chihuahuas Have Big Ears? The Truth Revealed

#2: Some Chihuahuas’ ears may never fully stand up

Chihuahua Floppy Ears

Why does this happen?

It’s mostly to do with genetics. If your Chihuahua’s ears don’t stand up, it’s not a bad thing.

It also doesn’t mean that you’ve been sold a Chihuahua that isn’t purebred. It can happen to any type, regardless of the breeding.

Most purebred Chihuahuas will have upright ears if the last 5 generations of the pups family did too. However, there can be unexplained genetic quirks.

#3: Chihuahua Origins

Although not scientifically proven, there are speculations that the Chihuahua may have originated from connections with the Fennec Fox. 

A Fennec Fox is a majestic, small mammal with large ears that are spread apart – much like the beloved Chihuahua. In 1980 a Fennec fox was successfully bred with a Chihuahua, making the idea a little more plausible!

Again, this isn’t proven. But it’s an interesting thought.

#4: Colors and textures

Chihuahuas are the most versatile dogs in terms of coat colors! They can be bred in over 30 different colour combinations, with multiple different types of fur!

Their ears can quite often have different colors than the rest of their body.

Long-haired Chihuahuas often have long strands of fur hanging down from their ears, which Chihuahua owners recognize as a ‘Fringe’!

#5: A Chihuahua can show how they feel through their ears

Have you noticed that your Chihuahua communicates mostly by using body language? 

A big part of this communication happens with the help of their ears.

I’ll talk more about it further in this article.

Can I help my Chihuahua’s ears to stand?

There are methods that Chihuahua owners tend to turn to. But… do they work?

There is no evidence. 

There are some methods Chihuahua owners have tried, though, and they are as follows:


A lot of Chihuahua puppies’ ears won’t begin to stand up until they’ve stopped teething. This is due to the balance of calcium in their bodies.

While a Chihuahua puppy is in its initial stages of growing, calcium is prioritized in the body. As a result of this, most of the calcium supply goes straight to forming and growing their teeth first – and ears second.

A lot of Chihuahuas’ ears will begin to stand up while they are teething, however some may not happen until afterwards.

For this reason, some owners opt to add dairy into their Chihuahua pup’s diet to give their ears the kickstart they need.

Caution: There is no evidence to suggest that this method works.

While it’s not overly harmful, adding foods such as cheese, yoghurt and cow’s milk into a puppies’ diet may cause stomach upsets and diarrhea. You may also trigger possible allergies.

Taping Ears

Another method Chihuahua owners sometimes use is ear taping. 

This involves using tape to keep your pup’s ears upright for a few days at a time. Owners sometimes use masking tape to keep their dog’s ears up, in hope that the ears will stay up even after the tape’s removed.

There is little to no evidence that this method works. Although it is pretty harmless, it can’t be comfortable for a dog’s ears to be stuck in a position they aren’t used to.

Most dogs will try to remove objects that are uncomfortably attached to them, which may cause them stress. 

My advice is this: If your Chihuahua has floppy ears – let them be. That’s the way the world intended them to be. They’re perfect just the way they are!

If you do want to give it a go, Sweetie Pie Pets has a great video full of taping tips:

5 different Chihuahua ear movements

Like most breeds of dog, Chihuahuas have all sorts of ear movements. These movements mean a range of different things.

Your Chihuahua shows you how they feel by moving their ears. If you get better at reading your Chihuahua’s emotions, you’d be better at dealing with them. 

Understanding how your Chi feels can help you when training them. 

There are many emotions that cause a Chihuahua’s ears to change position. Here are 5 of the most common ones:

#1: Curiosity

Dog Meme Cookie

This is when your Chihuahua’s ears will stay straight. If your Chihuahua hears a noise that sparks their attention, you may notice their ears prick up. 

Dogs become curious to lots of new sights, sounds and smells.

Did you rustle a packet of treats?

Did they spot a cat whilst out on a walk?

Or, are you wearing a new perfume?

Introduce your dog to a new experience, and watch the magic happen!

#2: Happiness

When your Chihuahua is happy, their ears will show you. Then the ears will be upright but slightly leaning backwards in the same time.

Often, a happy pup will also show you by approaching you with their mouth open – like a little smile! This means they’re pleased to see you and might want to play!

#3: Worry

When a Chihuahua is worried about something, their ears tend to lean backwards. Their mouth will stay closed. 

Chihuahuas can become anxious for many reasons.

Often you will notice this around someone or something they are unsure of. As well as triggers that have frightened them in the past, such as strange noises.

#4: Fright 

A level up from our previous point is fright. When a Chihuahua becomes scared, they will pin their ears completely back.  

They may also hide behind you, or some furniture to shield themselves from the ‘threat’.

The threat could be something as small as a negative trigger from the past, to a loud bang.

#5: Defense

When your Chihuahua becomes intimidated by something or someone, they may become defensive. If you see your Chihuahuas’ ears wide apart, approach with caution.

Chihuahuas will often do this while displaying their teeth, to intimidate the aggressor. Chihuahuas may be small, but they can be quite nippy when in defense mode – so don’t rush to pick them up!

One of my favorite facts about Chihuahuas

Moving on from the subject of ears – did you know that Chihuahuas have been spotted in the wild?

A pack of stray Chihuahuas has apparently been seen terrorizing neighborhoods in Arizona, USA. The packs are often seen in numbers of 10 to 15 dogs at a time. 

According to Huffpost, they have been chasing small children riding their bikes down the streets and running after cars.

This has resulted in a few Chihuahuas being tragically run over. 

Although it’s not a laughing matter, only imagine how strange it would be to be surrounded by a pack of tiny, angry, yapping pups!

Reading tip: 101 Fun Chihuahua Facts