The Two Types of Boston Terrier Ears

When you picture a Boston Terrier you probably think of a small, black-and-white dog with perky ears. But not all Boston Terriers have ears that stand erect – some of them have ears that flop forward. Before you bring home a Boston Terrier puppy, take the time to learn about the different ear types and what you can do to encourage your dog’s ears to stand erect.

What Type of Ear is Normal for Boston Terriers?

According to the American Kennel Club breed standard for the Boston Terrier, these dogs have small ears that are carried erect and they may be natural or cropped to conform to the shape of the head. Most Boston Terrier puppies are born with floppy ears that eventually stand up on their own. In some cases, however, the ear leather becomes too heavy and the weight needs to be supported by tape to “train” the ears to stand erect. Another method of forcing a dog’s ears to stand erect is called cropping – this involves cutting away the outer portion of the ear to make it stand erect. This procedure is largely cosmetic – it serves no medical purpose – and there is a great deal of debate regarding whether or not it can be considered animal cruelty.

What to Do if Your Dog’s Ears Won’t Stand Up

Erect ears are part of the breed standard for the Boston Terrier but having erect ears is beneficial in other ways. Floppy ears can increase a dog’s risk for developing ear infection because they do not allow as much air flow to the ear. When moisture becomes trapped in the ear canal it becomes a breeding ground for yeast and bacteria which can lead to infection. You need to realize, however, that it might take some time for your Boston Terrier’s ears to stand up – it is completely normal for puppies to be born with floppy ears and it can take several months for them to stand up. If your Boston Terrier puppy’s ears don’t stand up by the time he is 4 months of age, you may have to tape them.

Taping is a method of encouraging a dog’s ears to remain erect – it helps to keep the ear erect, strengthening it enough that it will eventually be able to stand up on its own. It is safe to tape your Boston Terrier’s ears as early as 5 weeks if they are already very large and heavy. You can wait to tape the dog’s ears, but the longer you way the higher the risk that it will either take a long time to be effective or that it won’t work at all. If you start taping early, it may only take 3 to 4 weeks for the dog’s ears to stand on their own. Keep in mind that it is also normal for a Boston Terrier puppy’s ears to curl backwards during teething – this can happen between 3 and 4 ½ months of age and should be resolved by the time the puppy is 5 months old.

Whether or not your Boston Terrier’s ears stand erect, his personality is really counts. Your Boston Terrier is more than just your pet – he is your loyal friend and companion so it shouldn’t matter what he looks like!

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