Huskies are beautiful dogs with many striking features. Perhaps one of their biggest markers – besides their signature blue eyes – are their pointy, straight ears. But do Husky ears always stand up, or are there outliers?
Purebred Husky ears should start to stand up from the age of six weeks. This can change in Husky mixes depending on the breed of the other parent. That said, even purebred Huskies can have floppy ears due to malnutrition, illness, or other factors.
Let’s go over the timeline of Husky ear growth and learn more about the factors that affect their ears’ perkiness or floppiness.
Further reading: 👉 How can you tell if a husky is purebred?
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When Do Husky Ears Stand Up?
Husky ears stand up from 6 weeks of age.
Siberian Huskies are known for their straight pointy ears. In fact, the breed standard issued by the Kennel Club adds “erect ears” to their physical description.
However, as with all newborn puppies, Husky puppies are born with small ears that flop forward. They grow in size as the puppy gets older, but they usually remain floppy until the puppy is around 6 weeks old.
The floppy ears result from the thinness and fragility of the cartilage forming them. Eventually, young Husky puppies will develop neural pathways that will let them control their ears’ movements at will. This is a skill that takes time and practice.
Between the 6th and 10th week, the Husky puppy’s ears should start to stand up. This may happen gradually or at once. In some cases, only one ear may stand up at a time.
Why Did My Husky Puppy’s Ears Flop Again After Standing Up?
Husky owners usually get worried if their puppy’s ears start to flop again after they first stand up. This isn’t a sign to worry about, though, as it’s usually a side effect of teething.
Huskies shed their deciduous teeth at around 12 weeks old. During this time, their head, jaw, and neck areas are under a lot of stress from the process. In effect, their ears may flop even after they stand up.
This is completely normal and is no cause for concern. By the time the new, permanent teeth have fully erupted at around 20 weeks, the puppy’s ears should remain in their upright position.
Why Does My Husky Have Floppy Ears?
If you notice your Husky puppy still has floppy ears beyond the age where they should have started standing up, you may start getting worried.
Several factors could delay or prevent your Husky’s ears from standing straight, which include:
Huskies have several nutritional requirements that, if met, should produce a strong, healthy dog. If your Husky is malnourished, it may fall behind in its growth benchmarks.
For example, insufficient protein intake can weaken a young puppy because protein goes into every growing tissue in the body. After all, collagen, the matrix from which bone and cartilage are made, is a protein.
The micronutrient calcium is also essential for healthy bone and cartilage growth. If your Husky doesn’t get enough calcium, their ear cartilage might fail to support its weight and flop forward.
Please consult your vet about your dog’s diet and whether or not they need supplements to fill any nutritional gaps.
Ear Infection and Inflammation
Small puppies are unfortunately prone to several types of infections that can cause their ears to flop forward. The ear canal is a dark, warm, and moist environment where harmful pathogens can spread.
These can include bacterial or fungal infections as well as inflammation caused by ear mites.
If you notice your Husky puppy scratching its head or ears, you should check its ears for any signs of infection or inflammation. If you find any unusual residue or a bad smell, take the puppy to the vet immediately.
The Dog’s Breed
Purebred Huskies that come from show dog lineage usually come with papers that guarantee their adherence to breed standards. But what about Husky mixes?
If you adopt your mixed-breed Husky from a shelter, there’s probably very little you can do to find out the lineage.
Huskies can be crossbred with many other breeds, and the percentage of their Husky DNA should decide how pointy their ears end up becoming. It also makes a huge difference whether the other parent’s breed has pointy or floppy ears.
For example, while a Shepsky (German Shepherd mix) should have pointy ears or Border Husky (Border Collie mix) with half pointy ears, a Siberian Cocker (Cocker Spaniel mix) or a Great Danesky (Great Dane mix) will probably have floppy ears.
The expression of these genes can widely vary among different litters and even within the same litter. Genetics are wild like that!
3 Ways to Help Your Husky’s Ears Stand Up
If you know your Husky is purebred but is a late bloomer, there are some things you can do to help their ears prop up and take their final shape.
1. Watch Your Pup’s Diet
Offering a diet rich in protein and supplementing with the required micronutrients can help your dog’s bones and cartilage develop naturally without stunting. Follow your vet’s advice when it comes to what to give your dog and how to monitor their food intake.
2. Offer Chew Toys
Chew toys aren’t just fun for your Husky puppy; they also serve a much greater purpose. Besides aiding with the teething stage and preventing damage to your furniture and shoes, chew toys also engage the jaw, neck, and temple muscles.
Your dog’s ears are propped up by those muscles, and keeping them toned and in shape can help your Husky puppy’s ears stand up.
3. Avoid Touching the Ears
Some people may be tempted to play with their Husky’s ears while cuddling or petting them, but it’s best to avoid that. Propping the ears up with tape, foam, or paper is also discouraged since you probably wouldn’t know the correct position of the ears, which can lead to their malformation.
Husky Floppy Ears vs Husky Ears Back
There is a big difference between a Husky with floppy ears and a husky with ears back. As mentioned, Huskies can have floppy ears because they are under 6 weeks of age, malnutrition, ear problems and not being purebred.
Huskies will put their ears back for a number of behavioral reasons including: showing they are happy and open to being social, feeling nervous, scared or being submissive, feeling sick and sometimes because they are signaling aggression.
Husky Ear Positions
Your Husky’s ear position can indicate how they are feeling. There are three main ear positions that huskies can have including:
- Alert ears – pricked up, facing forward (or towards the sound) and listening intently
- Relaxed ears
- Assertive ears
Here is a more detailed description of each.
In this position, the husky’s ears are pricked up and facing forward. This indicates that the dog is alert, attentive, and potentially curious about their surroundings. This position is commonly seen when a husky is investigating something or someone new, or when they are listening intently for a sound.
When a husky’s ears are in a relaxed position, they will be lying flat against their head. This indicates that the dog is feeling calm, content, and comfortable in their environment. This position is commonly seen when a husky is sleeping, resting, or enjoying quiet downtime.
When a husky’s ears are slightly forward but also slightly tilted back, this indicates an assertive or dominant mood. The dog may be feeling confident, aggressive, or territorial. This position is commonly seen when a husky is defending their territory or asserting themselves in a social situation.
It’s important to note that ear position is just one aspect of husky body language, and should be interpreted in the context of the dog’s overall behavior and environment.
Other cues such as body posture, tail position, and facial expressions can also provide important information about what a husky is thinking and feeling.
Final Thoughts About Husky Ears
While pointy ears are a hallmark of Siberian Huskies, sometimes you can find yourself with a Husky puppy with floppy ears. If malnutrition and ear infections are ruled out, you should probably check to see if one of their parents was of a different breed
If your Husky is just a late bloomer, you can help their ears spring up by offering them chew toys and making sure they’re eating well.
FAQ about Husky Ears
Do Husky ears stand up naturally?
Yes, Husky ears usually stand up naturally from about 6 weeks old.
When do husky puppy ears stand up?
Husky puppy ears will stand up from around 6 weeks of age.
How many muscles in a huskies ear?
Huskies have 18 muscles in each ear, to help them ignore you! 😂
Are Huskies ears naturally pointed?
Yes, Huskies ears are naturally pointed.