Corgis are known for having erect, pointy ears.
But some ears take their sweet time before standing proud.
Are your Corgi’s ears one of them?
If so, then read on. Here, you’ll find out:
- How your Corgi’s teeth are keeping their ears down.
- What a humble masking tape can do for your dog’s ear.
- The story of 5 owners and how they dealt with their Corgis’ floppy ears.
- And much more…
Table of contents
- When do Corgis’ ears go up?
- Why does my Corgi have floppy ears?
- 3 reasons why your Corgi has floppy ears
- What Corgi parents say from experience
- 5 tips to help your Corgi’s ears stand firm
When do Corgis’ ears go up?
Corgis’ ears go up at around 8 weeks old, but this can be delayed in some cases. Some owners notice that their Corgi’s ears don’t fully grow up until they are at least 1 year old. However, the ears will fully stop growing once your Corgi reaches their first year.
Why does my Corgi have floppy ears?
Corgis have floppy ears for a variety of reasons. Some may still be having their growth spurt, while others may still be at their teething phase (3-5 months old). They can also have floppy ears for external reasons such as people playing with their ears or other pets biting into them.
3 reasons why your Corgi has floppy ears
#1: Your dog is still teething
During the teething phase, the distribution of calcium in the body is relatively uneven. This means while your Corgi’s teeth are getting sharper, their ears are still catching up since the cartilages are getting less calcium.
When this happens, it’s generally not a bad thing.
The teething phase only lasts until they are 5 months old. It can take that long for your Corgi’s ears to become perfectly straight, so you should wait it out.
You can also help your Corgi out by providing them with a calcium-based diet.
Warning: If you’re taking the diet route, avoid giving them calcium supplements. The danger is that they can cause joint problems and bone spurts later in your Corgi’s life.
#2: Their ears might be getting too much attention
Corgi ears are always funny and cute to look at. You’ve probably already petted them once or twice there.
Unfortunately, petting on a downward motion can help change the position of their ear while it’s still developing.
As such, it’s recommended that you don’t pet them from the back of the ear.
Note: There are other petting methods that you can try out as an alternative. There’s even a command you can use to help incentivize proper petting. Head over to tip #4 to find out more!
#3: Thousands of years of domestication may have played a role
Do you know who else used to wonder why dogs sometimes have floppy ears? None other than Charles Darwin himself.
A recent study built on this and hypothesized that our entire history of domestication has altered dog physiology.
Specifically, some dogs inevitably display lower neural cell count and quality. This then causes the cartilage to change and cause floppy ears in some dogs.
In other words, your Corgi’s floppy ears might just be the result of genetics. The AKC does list both Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis as having standing ears. However, this hypothesis hints that some dogs will inevitably form an exception to the rule.
What Corgi parents say from experience
Many Corgi parents have varied opinions about floppy ears.
Some are concerned that their Corgi may be ill, while others are perfectly fine and think the flop adds a bit more to the cuteness.
Here’s what some of them have to say on the subject:
Pet parent #1
They say they had to wait for a long time before their ears could perk up, and even then they weren’t really too worried.
For them, having their Corgi’s ears stand up can only be a problem if one pursues turning their Corgi into a show dog. They also think that the floppy ears actually make them cuter.
As a result, they’ve petted their Corgi more than others.
Pet parent #2
This dog parent was a little bit worried because their Corgi’s ears weren’t standing up together. One ear was already standing at 19 weeks and he was already late compared to their other pets.
However, a few days later, they started perking up. When they consulted their vet, they learned the ears usually stand up fully between 9-14 months.
They also hinted at intervening with their dog’s ears personally with tape, but decided against it. They warned that other people should consult their vets before trying anything.
The rate at which the ear grows also depends on how big the ears are. If they’re really big, others may have to wait a while longer.
Pet parent #3
They gave some precious advice of their own. They were also worried about their Corgi’s ears not standing up enough, but were told by their breeder to help them by gently massaging the ear.
This advice ended up helping them as the ears perked up just days later. They were confident the ears would go up on their own, but feel glad that they ended up helping their precious pet.
Pet parent #4
They say that other pet parents should simply wait for their Corgis’ ears to go up. To them, it’s okay to leave the ears on their own, as they did with their dog.
They don’t think that taping specifically helps.
However, they noted that it could be the lack of calcium in the early stages of the dog’s life.
They advise going to the vet for more supplements or a change in food. They say that a nutritious diet should help their ears stand up.
Pet parent #5
They shared they got their Corgi at 12 weeks old with 1 ear flopped. From there, their pet’s ears took about 16 weeks to fully stand up.
They actually got sad when it happened because they thought their Corgi looked perfect already.
Besides that, they do not recommend taping. That’s because they tried it on another dog who ended up developing an allergic reaction to the tape.
They had to visit the vet as the ears had become infected. Not wanting anyone to experience the same, they say to just let nature do its work.
5 tips to help your Corgi’s ears stand firm
#1: Use a tape to hold their ears in place
Corgis may have naturally pointed ears, but some of them will inevitably need help with their ears to keep them standing. Luckily, the ear cartilage is pliable and can be stretched upward.
This is where masking tape comes in. Gently plaster it on your dog’s ear for 10-14 days at a time for the best results.
This will help condition the cartilage to stay up once they’re fully grown.
You can use porous tape as an alternative, especially as some vets recommend it too.
Avoid using anything other than these two as common adhesives can stick on your dog’s fur. The resulting pain may make them less cooperative in the future.
Here’s a video showing how porous tape is actually used:
Note: Genetics can sometimes cause your Corgi’s ears to be floppy despite taping. If it looks like the flopping is permanent, ask your vet if it’s okay. This is because floppy ears can also be a vector of infection, as some owners can attest.
#2: Watch out for wounds and allergies before applying tape
Before you use your tape, make sure that your Corgi has no open wounds near the ears. If you end up taping over the wound, you may cause an infection.
You should also check for allergic reactions as some owners have reported having their dog experience it after putting the tape.
Check for the following symptoms while having the tape on your dog’s ears:
- Excessive licking.
- Constant scratching near the ear.
Once you see the following symptoms together and you spot redness on the ear, remove the tape immediately and go to the vet for treatment.
This is because some dogs can go in shock during worst case scenarios.
Note: Your dog may also try to remove the tape as they may consider it a nuisance. To prevent them from doing this, distract them with treats and toys. You can also teach them obedience training with the tape on to help them feel normal with it.
#3: Deal with your dog’s fears before taping them
Owners should also be careful of phobias that might prevent your dog from interacting with tape. Dogs can become anxious when confronted with new objects. When they’re anxious, they might do the following:
- Wanting to escape.
- Excessive scratching/licking.
If your dog starts showing signs of fear, be sure to orient them with the object first. Have them play with it, lick it or have general fun with it.
You can give them the entire masking tape or cut long sections and soak them in water so they don’t stick.
When applying the tape, use the stay command and then reward them. Once you’ve applied tape on one ear, give them a treat.
Do the same for the other ear until both are firmly erect.
#4: Pet your Corgi properly
When it comes to ears, petting your Corgi becomes a bit more complicated. If you do it wrong, you run the risk of pushing their cartilage downward.
This can result in floppy ears once your dog is older.
As such, avoid petting behind their ears or stroking their heads downward. Instead, try petting them from the front or regularly stretching their ear upward. The ear cartilage (pinna) is flexible and easy to adjust over time.
Doing this may not help as much compared to calcium and tape, but the continuous stretching should still help get their ears up.
Try doing this when you are playing with your Corgi and giving them treats. Instead of petting their bodies or heads, try the ears by pressing them gently with your palm.
Never yank the ears or force it upward. Your dog might become scared of you if you start approaching them with force.
Be patient with their ears and just pet them like you would your best friend.
You can even incentivize this behavior by actually using the come command specifically to pet them in the ear.
To train them with this simple command, just do this:
- Put your Corgi on a harness.
- Establish some distance between you by walking backwards.
- Show your dog your treat.
- Tell them to “come.”
- Pull them gently to help them walk towards you.
- Give them a treat, pet them by the ear and praise excitedly.
- Rinse and repeat until mastery.
Never pull your dog too aggressively or punish them for moving too slowly as doing so has negative effects.
In a study of 92 dogs across different dog schools, the 50 dogs who were given routine punishment ended up becoming pessimistic and stressed.
Note: It’s recommended that you use a harness for Corgis rather than a leash. This is because harnesses help distribute the pressure of a pull evenly across the body. This prevents bone-related injuries.
#5: Pay closer attention to your other pets when playing
When dogs play, they can get physical and start roughhousing, even destroying the place at times. This unfortunately means that young Corgis will have their ears regularly stretched or pushed down.
All of these could not only delay your dog’s ears from standing up, it can even lead to wounds on your dog’s ears due to scratching.
As such, it’s important for you to implement these measures to keep them from being too physical:
Crate train your Corgi
Having a crate is crucial because it serves as a safe space for Corgi to relax after playtime. It also prevents your other pets from bothering each other.
This protects your pet’s ears from unnecessary roughhousing.
To crate train your Corgi, here’s what you can do:
- Prepare a treat in hand.
- Show your Corgi their crate.
- Tell them to come.
- Move your hand inside the crate.
- Reward them for eating inside.
If possible, play games near the crate. Give your pet toys to play with while the crate door remains open.
Don’t force your pet to get in or punish them if they don’t. Focus on removing anything in the area that can stress your Corgi out.
Once they’re able to stay comfortable with the door closed, remember to let them out to prevent them from soiling inside. Young Corgis (under 1 year old) can last 4-5 hours, while older Corgis (1 year and up) can last 6-8.
Be the referee in every game they play
When letting your dogs play, it’s important that you act as a referee. This is especially true if your dog is playing with other dogs at a park, for example.
If you’re not careful, roughhousing could end up hurting more than just your dog’s ears.
If your dogs are playing too rough or if they’re actively being aggressive towards one another, stop play time immediately by giving them a stern “no.”
Once you’ve gotten their attention, tell your Corgi to come and bring them to their respective space..
Hormonal changes can also encourage aggressive behavior during play. As such, consider spaying or neutering your Corgi if possible.
Designate separate spaces for each pet
Each pet should have an exclusive space for themselves, particularly if you’ve only recently adopted your Corgi.
Dogs need time to get used to each other and can be stressed if they’re introduced to new things at once.
If your house has multiple floors, you can give your Corgi the kitchen or the living room. You can keep your other pets upstairs.
You can also put some dogs outside and your pet inside if they’re able to sleep outdoors.
In general, just make sure there’s adequate space between you and your dogs. You’ll know you have a good set up if you can clearly establish their spaces at home.