Do the Ears of Boston Terriers Stand up or Not?

Pet Care


April 19, 2022

A distinctive feature of Boston terriers is their ears that stand up. They appear alert and energized as a result. However, floppy ears are in no way less charming.

Unlike floppy ears, which may not get your Boston to the center of the ring at the next dog show, they may cause health problems. It’s important to know when the ears should stand up and how you may assist them if they aren’t.

How Soon Should Their Ears Stand up?

A puppy’s ears should stand up by the time it is four months old. The Boston’s ears may stand up in just six weeks.

What Causes Floppy or Erect Ears?

When it comes to floppy or straight ears, the pinna is the most important factor to consider. The pinna is a skin-covered section of cartilage that is linked to the skull by multiple muscles. There is a wide variety of Boston terriers in size, but they should all be roughly the same shape.

How to Help Your Boston’s Ears Stand up

Puppy ears are born floppy and either stay floppy or stand erect depending on the breed. Boston terriers are one of the breeds with naturally erect ears, but this doesn’t mean that they’ll stay that way. They may flip over at the ear’s breaking point, about halfway up, while others may turn down at the very tip.

The Natural Timeline

Since Boston puppies have little floppy ears, they will eventually naturally stand up. You can expect your ears to stand up as early as six weeks and as late as four months. As puppies get older, the chance of their ears straightening out diminishes. You may also notice that one ear straightens out before the other, giving a cute but lopsided appearance that will eventually even out.

Again, Boston terrier ears should naturally stand up as it grows older, but this isn’t always the case. Some things can cause a floppy-eared Boston, but if identified early enough, it can be rectified.

By then, you should be prepared to jump in since the standard is for ears to be up by four months. Starting at an earlier age may be the best option for you if you fear that the ears will not straighten on their own. A puppy with massive ears or that has suffered an injury that led to a downturned ear can be immediately treated if a problem is suspected.

What Can I Do If My Boston’s Ears Don’t Stand up?

It’s like training an athlete to get the dog’s ears to stand up. To maintain the shape of an erect ear, the muscles and cartilage must be strengthened. Your Boston terrier’s ears will not be pumping iron like an athlete in training. Instead, you should provide them with modest assistance while their bodies take care of the rest.

There are a variety of ways to provide support for those ears, and each breeder and veterinarian will have their own preference. Before beginning any ear straightening process, you should get professional counsel to ensure that you do not injure your Boston pup’s ears.

Avoid excessive handling of the ears, which can be difficult considering how delicate and attractive they are. Other dogs should be kept away from your Boston’s ears if they want to chew or lick them. Keep in mind that any of the following solutions may just encourage another dog to bite or chew on its ears, necessitating separation.

Taping Your Boston’s Ears

The most popular method for getting a Boston’s ears to stand erect is taping. Taping ears can start as young as five weeks if there is a suspicion that an ear will be trouble, but let’s remember that it could take up to four months for the ears to stand up naturally. So you also don’t want to jump on the taping wagon too early.

However, the earlier that you can intervene, the better chance you have of being successful and the less time it will take. Just be sure to consult with your veterinarian or breeder to determine when ears should be taped if at all. Taping can occur in a couple of different ways. It all depends on personal preference.

Vertical Taping Method

Some breeders and veterinarians like to use the tape inside the ears only and make a vertical brace that keeps the ear from flopping over at the breaking point. It’s sort of like attaching a splint to a sprained wrist.

The tape provides some support to hold the ear upright. Taping on the inside of the ear, you are less likely to pull out hair and leave a sticky residue that other dogs would love to chew off.

Prepping the Ear

The inside of the ear will need to be clipped or trimmed to remove as much hair as possible and then wiped with alcohol to remove dirt and oils. Allow the ear to dry thoroughly. Next, apply the tape splints from the base of the ear up to the tip of the pinna.

You may want to trim the tape at the top to follow the shape of the ear, and this will help other dogs from wanting to chew on it. You may have to use two or three layers of tape to provide the necessary support, depending on the weight of the ear.

Calcium Supplements for Stronger Ears

Some people also believe that calcium supplements will help to strengthen the cartilage and muscles. The strengthening of the cartilage is assumed to get the ears to stand on their own. While a little calcium never hurts, more significant amounts can be detrimental in the long run. Again, consult with your vet first.

Ear Cropping Is Not a Procedure to Fix Non-Erect Ears

Again, ear cropping isn’t used in Boston terriers as a way to get ears to stand up on their own unless it’s to remove any excess length that may be weighing it down. It is more commonly used for those show-caliber dogs to achieve the desired ear shape. If you choose to have your Boston Terrier’s ears cropped, be sure to discuss it thoroughly with your veterinarian.

When finding someone to crop your Boston’s ears, be sure to find someone who is not only comfortable doing it, but also comes with some excellent references. You don’t want to cause your pup any unnecessary pain or discomfort for a purely cosmetic procedure.

What Happens If My Boston Terrier’s Ears Stay Floppy?

Even if you take the greatest precautions and have the best treatments, a few Bostons may not have ears that stand up on their own. Don’t despair; if your pup is never planning on entering the show ring, it’s no big deal. However, some health concerns can plague floppy-eared dogs.

Ears that stand up not only make Boston terriers look alert and attentive but it also helps let air circulate in those ear canals. Warm, moist areas are favorites for bacteria and yeast, the two main culprits behind most of our doggy ear infections.

Avoid Infection

Air circulation is vital to keep the ear canals dry and decrease the risk for ear infections. If your pup has floppy ears, they tend to collect moisture more than if the ears stand up, leading to more ear infections.

If your Boston’s ears choose to flop down, this doesn’t mean that you’ll be battling ear infection after ear infection. You can try to prevent them with a cleaning regime. There are many, many dog ear cleaners on the market or you can make one of your own.

Ear Cleaning Solutions

The gist behind ear cleaners is that they are acidic and produce a drying effect on the ear canal. Many pet parents have luck with a water and vinegar solution to clean ears periodically to keep ear infections at bay.

Please, always consult with your veterinarian before cleaning your dog’s ears. It’s very different from how you would clean your own, and a demonstration can help prevent unwanted injuries.


A distinguishing feature of the Boston terrier is its erect ears. Their erect ears give them a regal appearance and help them express themselves.

The majority of Boston Terriers’ ears will spontaneously stand up when they grow, but some may require assistance. A vet or breeder can help you if you are concerned about the appearance of your puppy’s ears.