Yorkshire terriers, or Yorkies, have a small V-shaped ears set not too far apart and carried erect, according to the standards set by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
But there are instances when a Yorkie’s remain floppy instead of standing upright.
Fortunately, effective methods make a Yorkie’s ears stand erect, depending on his age and his ears’ physical characteristics.
Yorkies Are Born With Floppy Ears
It should be noted that all Yorkies are born with floppy ears.
Their ears will remain so until they have developed the required muscle strength that allows them to stand up.
The muscles used in making their ears stand up are at the base of their ears.
We also want to emphasize that some Yorkie puppies may take longer than others to manifest erect ears.
There’s also the possibility that Yorkies with large ears or ears with a sturdy texture will always have floppy ears regardless of their age.
Yorkies’ Ears Will Likely Raise Within A Few Month After Birth
To answer the question, most Yorkies will have their ears standing erect between three and six months. Their ears will gradually become erect or stand up and stand on their own without assistance.
In some instances, one ear becomes erect earlier than the other ear. But the latter always follows the lead of the former.
And it’s just a matter of time, usually a week or so. Once their ears are erect, they will remain so unless issues are encountered.
Even in full-grown Yorkies, their ears will likely droop for a period after vaccination. It may also happen during the teething period and due to stress, injury, or illness.
Afterward, their ears will return to their erect state, usually when the Yorkie is in good health again. But there are also so-called late bloomers among Yorkies!
In these cases, the Yorkie puppies may have erect ears only at nine months. Some Yorkies also develop erect ears between six and eight weeks.
The owner has to determine whether you will want to wait for your Yorkie’s ears to stand up on their own or adopt specific measures to achieve it.
There are also some instances when the ears will not stand up at all. It is even after the nine-month mark has been reached.
In AKC terminology, full-grown Yorkies with floppy ears are referred to as Floppy Ears.
Does it matter whether your Yorkie has floppy ears or not?
No, it does not matter unless your Yorkie is a regular participant in dog show conformance events. In these events, judges look for balanced V-shaped ears that stand erect.
But a Yorkie with floppy ears can still be considered a purebred Yorkie! Many pet owners also like floppy ears Yorkies because it’s the love that matters, not the physical appearance.
Yorkies Fall into Three Categories, Ears-wise
How do you know if your Yorkie puppy’s ears will stand up in time? There’s no way to know. But if your puppy comes from a kennel or a shelter, you will likely know which category he belongs to:
- Ears that will become erect on their own (without external intervention)
- Ears that will stand with external intervention when he’s still young
- Ears that will not become erect even with external intervention at any age
Keep in mind that puppies from a kennel or shelter are only released when they are at least 12 weeks old.
If your adopted Yorkie’s ears aren’t standing by this time, then they likely won’t be standing on their own.
But if the Yorkie puppies were born in your home, then you will have to wait for three to six weeks to see what category they fall into.
There will likely be on-point and late bloomers in the litter, as well as some whose ears will remain floppy throughout their lives.
All the puppies may also have ears that become erect without external intervention, or all of them may be floppy ears.
The bottom line: More often than not, it’s Mother Nature’s call. Your job is to accept the outcome and adopt measures that will make your puppies’ lives happier.
Yorkies’ Ears Can Be Made To Stand Up
Keep in mind that these external interventions should be carefully done.
You should never let your Yorkie suffer just because you want his ears to be erect!
Your goal here is to allow your Yorkie to develop the muscles at the base of his ears. This way, their muscles are strong enough to hold up their ears.
The most common method is taping the ears. The steps are summarized below:
- Massage the base of your Yorkie’s ears. Do this gently so as not to spook him.
- Shave the hair off his ears. Only the top one-third of his ears should be saved, both the inside and outside portions. Be sure to use a clipping machine for safety reasons. (Shaving the hair reduces the weight carried by the ears, thus, allowing them to respond better to the external intervention)
- Clean the inside of the ears. Use cotton buds dipped in a canine cleaning solution. But don’t enter too deeply into the ear canal to avoid damaging it.
- Fold the ear such that it forms a cone. Your Yorkie’s ears should be standing straight up with a pointed end at the top.
- Wrap a small strip of gauze around the base of each ear and secure with a bandage tape; a scotch tape also works, but it can stick to the remaining hair.
- Use bandage tape to hold both ears in alignment.
Check that the fold is neither too tight nor too loose.
Leave the taping on for three days, then remove it to let your Yorkie’s ears relax, and then repeat the process, if necessary.
Clean the ears, too, between the tapings. Depending on your puppy’s age and ear characteristics, the process may take between three days and three weeks.
In some cases, a Yorkie may not respond to taping.
But whatever the result in your Yorkie, you should never resort to cropping! You have to accept that your Yorkie is a later bloomer or has floppy ears for the rest of his life.
In conclusion, Yorkies are lovable pets, with or without erect ears! While erect ears make them more beautiful, these aren’t the be-all and end-all of their welcome presence in our lives.
You have to love your Yorkie, erect ears or not. That is the most important thing when taking care of pets.