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At What Age Do Boston Terrier’s Ears Stand Up?

  • March 18, 2020
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At What Age Do Boston Terrier’s Ears Stand Up?

Maggie had the cutest floppy ears as a puppy. And they seemed too big for her head. I remember one day I looked at her and thought if Dumbo had a puppy it would be her.

I didn’t mind it so much.  In fact I thought it was adorable.

At some point though I started to wonder and I asked myself the question all floppy Boston Terrier puppy owners ask:

At what age do  Boston Terrier’s ears stand up?

And right there Google showed me article after article that a Boston terrier’s puppy should be up by 4 months.

Easy enough right?

Well not exactly. Because now that I am a breed advocate, and have been exposed to literally hundreds of puppies either online or in person I realize it doesn’t take into account the following:

  • What do the parents look like?
  • What kind of ear fold does your puppy have now and how old are they?
  • What’s the weight of the ears?
  • What does it mean when the tips of the ears fold back?
  • Can I Tape My Boston Terrier’s Ears Earlier?

So instead of giving you one answer I’ll attempt to answer this very simple question based on the different factors.


What Do the Parent’s Look Like?

Do you have access to what the parents look like?

If you got your puppy from a rescue or shelter you probably don’t have this information.

But if you got your puppy from a reputable breeder you should be able to see what the parent’s ears look like.

Chances are if both parent’s ears stand up your puppy’s ears might stand up.

And then those chances increase if your breeder can confirm that the line that your puppy came from – all had erect ears.

I remember when I got Orbit at 14 weeks her ears were standing up perfectly at attention and if memory serves me right they were up as early as when she was 10 weeks old.

Both her parents were show dogs and I knew without a doubt that her ears would be up too.

The photo below shows her dog dad and dog mom.  Both are Grand Champions and this was taken at the Boston Terrier Nationals in April of 2017.  Orbit was just a few months after turning one and as you can see her parents have fantastic ears.


What’s the Weight of the Ears?

On some occasion the ears might be out of proportion to the head and abnormally large and heavy.  If they haven’t stood up on their own by the time the puppy is four months and the ears are heavy and large, the chances of them standing up are not as great.

What Kind Of Ear Fold Does Your Puppy Have Now and What Kind of Fold is it?

Ears vary and so do the folds.

Boston Terriers puppies are born with floppy ears.

Typically they will start to look like they are standing up by the time they are between 5 – 8 weeks of age.

And then by 10 to 12 weeks they are looking like they are starting to stand up if not already up.

There is a difference in how they look as puppies to that time.

Some puppies ears never change.

Their ears stay folded just like they were when they were puppies.

If your puppy’s ears are completely folded over and they are 16 weeks old, it’s most likely that your puppy will have folded ears.

Taping them will most likely not help.

Now some puppies on the other hand go through a different transformation.

Their ears will be up at about 12 weeks of age and then between 14 to 16 weeks the tips of their ears flip backwards.


What does it mean when Boston Terrier ear tips are folded back?

Typically it means your puppy is teething.

Sometimes you will see a phenomenon where one side if flipped back and then the other will flip back.

And this is coinciding with the side of the mouth that your puppy is teething.

A friend of ours on Instagram recently added a new puppy to their family.  They were kind enough to share photos of her ears flipped back with me.  You can follow them on Instagram: Theoloveslola_

In this case there is no need to fret because those ears will stand up on their own after your puppy is teething.

And generally you can expect your puppy’s ears to be fully erect by the time they are 20 weeks old.

What Causes Boston Terrier’s Ears to Stand Up?

There is a section in your puppy’s ears called the pinna.


The outer ear includes the pinna (the part you see that is made of cartilage and covered by skin, fur, or hair)

Boston Terriers are born with floppy ears.

If the pinna is strong the ears go up on their own.

If the pinna is weak or if the ear is genetically not destined to stand up – the ear fold remains and the ears stay down.


Can I Feed My Puppy Calcium To Get Their Ears To Stand Up?

This is a bit of a myth.

Assuming you are feeding your puppy a nutritionally balanced meal I would not add calcium to your puppy’s diet.

Too much calcium on the extreme side can cause kidney stones.

If you wanted to give a small amount of calcium you could through Greek Yogurt – no more than a spoon’s worth a few times a week.

What About Taping? Will Taping Help My Puppy’s Ears Go Up?

It depends.

If your puppy’s ears are completely folded over and they are four months of age, no amount of taping will bring them up.

They are not destined to come up.

If they are up but have a slight crease or bend at the tips, or appear to be a bit weak in the stance then you can consider taping them.

You can watch how a breeder tapes her puppy’s ears via this YouTube video.

Keep in mind taping them doesn’t necessarily mean the floppy ears will stand up.

Show breeders will tape them not necessarily because they need to stand up, but rather because they want to avoid the crease in the ear.


Can I Tape My Boston Terrier’s Ears Earlier?

If the puppy is destined for the show ring, and the ears look large or heavy, then knowledgeable breeders will start taping as early as eight to ten weeks.

But it’s not “because” of taping alone that ears stand up.  Typically a show breeder would do this to limit the crease in the ears.  An inexperienced pet parent shouldn’t tape thinking this alone will get ears to stand up because of all the other factors mentioned above.

Boston Terrier Standard

Boston Terriers standard states:

The ears are small, carried erect, either natural or cropped to conform to the shape of the head and situated as near to the corners of the skull as possible.

boston terrier ears standard

boston terrier ears standard


When Did Maggie and Orbit’s Ears Stand Up?

Maggie’s ears were floppy at the tips till she was 5.5 months or 22 weeks old.   Maggie’s mom’s ears have a slight fold to them at the tip while her dad’s ears are straight up.

I remember she lost a tooth a week prior which I picked up off the kitchen floor and then after that the tips of her ears stood up fully.

Orbit’s ears were up as early as 8 weeks.  Both of her parents are champion show dogs.

I did not tape their ears.

In Closing

Boston Terriers are born with floppy ears.  A well pred puppy from a preservation breeder will be the greatest predictor of whether or not your puppy’s ears will stand up because typically you can see what the parents look like and the breeder has several generations of puppies that would give you clues to what your puppy’s ears will look like.

Secondary to that will be how strong the pinna is and if the ears are proportionate to your puppy’s head.

Did you enjoy this article?  Read more about Boston Terriers via the links below.




Hannah Zulueta and her two dogs Maggie and Orbit

Hello, my name is Hannah and I dance with my dogs.

I am a Boston Terrier Breed Advocate.  I started this blog because there isn’t enough space to tell our story on our Instagram.

I have two Boston Terriers. Maggie is my socially awkward heart dog while Orbit is my shadow and soul dog.

You won’t read about cats here, but you will get a fairly large dosage of articles dedicated to this wonderful breed to help you learn more about them or provide practical tips as you raise your own. Read more about us.

By, March 18, 2020
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