If you look at a litter of Chi’s you will notice that all have floppy ears. The muscles at the base of them are not yet strong enough to hold them up… This will change in time, however it will be a gradual process.
It is not uncommon for owners to worry about when a Chihuahua's ears will stand up. It should be noted that ears may drop and stand erratically, until the muscles located at the base of the ear are fully formed and strong enough to hold ears permanently erect.
By the age of 8 to 12 weeks old, many puppies
do have erect ears. This means that for many owners, when it is time to take the new puppy home, the ears are already standing. With some pups this young, the ears can actually curl back a bit at the tips.
While not a guarantee, most Chihuahua puppies that have a good standing or even a curl back at this young age will have erect ears after the teething age that can cause temporary limpness.
Teething Age and How It Affects Ears
Beginning as early as 4 months old and as late as 6 months old, a puppy’s milk teeth will begin to fall out. As they do, new permanent adult teeth grow in. Just like human babies, this process is called teething
and not only does it cause discomfort and sometime intense urges to chew
(in order to relieve soreness and itchiness), for many Chihuahua puppies, it also affects the ears.
During this phase, ears that were previously erect can begin to droop…And this can happen to one or both of them. Why does this happen and what is the connection? Well, during this time a puppy is chewing a LOT… jaw muscles are connected to the muscles at the ear base. It is true for us as well and you can test this out… place your fingers on your temple while you move your mouth open and closed. Do you feel it?
Therefore, due to intense chewing motions, those muscles can become overworked and strained. This in turn, can cause the muscles that hold up the Chihuahua’s ears to weaken and consequently lose their shape. In most cases, this is temporary. Once this puppy phase is over and all adult teeth have dropped down, ears will begin standing again.
During this time it is completely normal for there to be changes on a near daily basis… One may flop down…The next day the other may fall… both may begin to stand erect, only to have both droop the next day. It can be a bit of a roller coaster ride, however when all is said and done, the ears will sit as they were meant to.
It should be noted that long haired Chihuahuas
tend to take a bit longer to have fully erect ears than short hairs.