How Do You Know When A Puppys Ears Are Open?

Puppies are adorable little creatures that captivate the hearts of many. As pet owners, it is essential to keep track of their development, especially when it comes to their ability to hear. One of the most exciting milestones in a puppy’s life is when their ears start to open. But how do you know when a puppy’s ears are open? In this article, we’ll explore all you need to know about puppy ear development and how to monitor your puppy’s ears.

This is part of my series on When Do Puppies Start Walking and the 7 Stages Of Puppy Development.

Understanding Puppy Ear Development

Before we dive into the details of puppy ear opening, it’s crucial to understand how a puppy’s ears develop. Ears are one of the first organs to develop in puppies. They begin to form when the puppy is only three weeks old.

The ear’s development can take anywhere from 14 to 21 days, depending on the breed and the puppy’s overall health. During this period, the ear canal grows in length and width, and the puppy’s hearing organs begin to form. Once the ear is fully developed, it produces a fluid called amniotic fluid that helps the ear canal open.

It’s important to note that some breeds, such as the German Shepherd, are known for having floppy ears that take longer to develop. In these cases, it may take up to six months for the ears to fully stand up. Additionally, some puppies may experience a delay in ear development due to health issues or genetics. If you notice that your puppy’s ears are not developing as expected, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian.

The Importance of Monitoring Ear Opening in Puppies

Knowing when your puppy’s ears are open is crucial because it enables you to monitor their hearing. Puppies rely heavily on their ability to hear to learn and interact with their environment and their owners. Monitoring your puppy’s ear opening will help you identify any hearing difficulties early on.

Furthermore, it enables you to notice any potential ear infections, especially if your puppy is scratching their ears or shaking their head frequently. Identifying these issues as early as possible is vital for swift treatment and healthy development.

See also  When Can Puppies Regulate Body Temp

It is important to note that the timing of ear opening can vary among different breeds of puppies. For example, some breeds may have their ears fully open by three weeks, while others may take up to six weeks. Therefore, it is essential to keep track of your puppy’s individual development and consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns.

The Timeline for Puppy Ear Opening

The timeline for puppy ear opening varies depending on the breed. In general, most puppies start to open their ears between seven and fourteen days. Small breed puppies tend to open their ears earlier than large breed puppies. Some breeds take longer to open their ears than others. For example, a Dalmatian’s ears usually open between 16 and 21 days.

It is important to note that just because a puppy’s ears have opened, it does not mean that they will immediately be able to hear. It takes time for the ear canals and auditory system to fully develop. Puppies may start to respond to sounds around three to four weeks of age, but their hearing will continue to improve over the next few weeks.

Physical Signs of Open Ears in Puppies

So how can you tell when a puppy’s ears are open? One of the most prominent signs is when you notice your puppy’s ears gradually starting to lift away from their heads. Initially, their ears may look like they are still closed, but the tips will begin to open up slowly.

Puppies that have opened their ears will start to react to sounds and even try to follow the sound source. They may also start to tilt their head when listening to a sound, indicating that they can now locate where it’s coming from. Another physical sign of open ears is when you see hair growing within the ear canal.

It’s important to note that not all puppies will open their ears at the same time. Some may open their ears as early as two weeks old, while others may take up to four weeks. Additionally, some breeds may have ears that naturally stand up, while others may have floppy ears that take longer to open. It’s important to monitor your puppy’s ear development and consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns.

See also  Why Do Father Dogs Growl At Their Puppies

How to Help Your Puppy Transition to Hearing

Once you’ve established that your puppy’s ears are open, it’s essential to help them transition to hearing. Just like humans, puppies need time to adapt to their new sense of hearing. You can start by introducing simple sounds around your puppy, like clapping or calling their name.

It’s advised to speak in a softer tone initially, gradually increasing the volume as your puppy becomes more comfortable with sound. Avoid loud and sudden noises around them as it may startle and frighten your puppy.

Another way to help your puppy transition to hearing is by exposing them to different types of sounds. You can play soft music or nature sounds in the background while they play or rest. This will help them get used to different sounds and noises in their environment.

Common Concerns About Puppy Ear Development

Many pet owners have a variety of concerns regarding their puppy’s ear development. A common one is the possibility of their puppy being deaf. It’s normal for puppies to be born deaf, but most of them develop hearing soon after birth. However, if you suspect that your puppy does not respond to sounds, it’s advisable to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Another concern that pet owners have is the shape and position of their puppy’s ears. Some breeds have naturally floppy ears, while others have erect ears. It’s important to note that the shape and position of a puppy’s ears can change as they grow and develop. If you notice that your puppy’s ears are not developing as expected, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian or a breed specialist to ensure that there are no underlying health issues.

The Role of Breeds in Ear Development

Ear development varies from one breed to another due to differences in genetics. Some breeds are also more prone to ear infections than others, such as breeds with floppy ears like Cocker Spaniels. It’s essential to research the specific breed of your puppy to know what to expect concerning their ear development.

See also  How Many Puppies Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Have

Tips for Supporting Your Puppy’s Ear Health

Good ear health is essential for a happy and healthy puppy. Here are a few tips to support your puppy’s ear health:

  • Clean your puppy’s ears regularly to prevent wax build-up and ear infections. Avoid over-cleaning, which can lead to irritation and infection.
  • Avoid loud and sudden noises that can startle your puppy and lead to hearing damage.
  • Monitor your puppy’s ears for signs of infection, such as redness, discharge, and itchiness.
  • Avoid exposing your puppy’s ears to water to prevent ear infections. You can place cotton balls in their ears when bathing them.

What to Do If Your Puppy’s Ears Are Not Opening

If your puppy’s ears have not opened by the expected time, it’s advisable to consult your vet. There may be an underlying medical issue that is causing the delay in development.


Knowing when a puppy’s ears are open is vital for monitoring their hearing and overall development. It’s normal for ears to open and take time to adjust to the new sense of sound. By following the tips highlighted in this article, you can support your puppy’s ear health and development, leading to a happy and healthy furry companion.

Leave a Comment