Are French Bulldog Floppy Ears Normal? Reasons + 7 Easy Fixes
One of the most distinct things about French Bulldogs is their bat ears. They always catch our eyes because they are quite big compared to their small faces, so they look almost like no other dog’s ears.
That’s why some Frenchies owners become worried when their dogs’ ears don’t stand up and instead stay down, but this is actually not something you should be worried about.
So, let me first address your concerns:
Are your French Bulldog Floppy ears normal? French Bulldogs’ floppy ears are completely normal. French Bulldogs’ ears usually stand up between the ages of 5 to 15 months old, but 10% of French Bulldogs will have floppy ears their whole life. You can try to make their floppy ears stand up by taping them and giving them calcium-rich foods.
So, here you go. Your Frenchies’ floppy ears are completely normal and not something you should be concerned about. To understand why your Frenchie may have floppy ears their whole life and the specific ways you can try to make their ears stand up, keep reading.
French Bulldogs Ear Development Stages
I’ve answered the question of “why is my Frenchies’ ears floppy” too many times with the simple “because they are still too young” that we just need to cover the development stages of your Frenchies’ ears first.
You also need to understand that the development of your Frenchies’ ears is closely connected to their teething process.
Here are the stages explained simply:
|French Bulldog Age||Development|
|Birth to 3 Weeks||They are born deaf, and in 3 weeks their ears start opening-up|
|5 to 15 weeks||Their ears usually stand up|
|7-8 months||Their ears may go down again and become floppy as the teething process takes place|
|After 8 months||If their ears went down, their ears usually stand up again|
As you can see, your Frenchie’s ears can go up and down a few times during their life, and this is completely normal, but you may be also asking; but why? Why do they go back down again? So let’s explain this.
Why Some French Bulldogs Ears Go Up and Down?
French Bulldogs’ ears will go up and down depending on the strength of the cartilage in their ears, the more calcium their cartilage gets the stronger it becomes the more likely it is for their ears to stand up and vice versa, this is why their ears usually go down during their teething process as the body gives more calcium to the teeth and less to the ears.
As we were taught in school, calcium is very important for your teeth and bones, and the same is true for dogs.
Vets believe that the reason some French Bulldogs’ ears will go down during the teething process is that their body simply redirects its limited supply of calcium to making their teeth, and so less calcium is supplied to the cartilage which gets weaker and as a result, their ears go down again.
My French Bulldogs Ears Never Went up?
Some French Bulldogs’ ears will never go up and this is also completely normal. Some French Bulldogs will have their ears stand up, then go down again and never go back up, this is also normal.
Basically, it’s completely normal for your French Bulldogs’ ears to go up and down at any stage in their lives and you should not worry too much about it. It doesn’t happen often, but it still happens and it’s normal.
Will Your French Bulldog’s Ears Stay Floppy?
About 10% of French Bulldogs will have floppy ears all their lives, and most French Bulldogs will have their ears go floppy and stand up during different parts of their lives depending on many factors such as calcium concentration. It’s completely normal for your French Bulldog to have ears that stay floppy all their life.
Your French Bulldogs’ floppy ears are not an indication of any health problems or genetic defects, it’s completely normal for the next generation to have bat ears that stand up, so their floppy ears don’t mean that something is wrong with them.
Can French Bulldogs Have One Floppy Ear?
French Bulldogs can have one floppy ear and the other standing up during their teething period, it’s completely normal and not something you should be worried or concerned about at all. Your Frenchie will have one or both ears go down and stand up during their teething period or maybe even later in their life, and it doesn’t indicate anything significant.
Now that we’ve covered all the basics, let’s see how you can fix your Frenchie’s floppy ears.
How to Fix French Bulldog Floppy Ears? 7 Ways
‘Fix’ is the wrong word here, to be honest, because it indicates that something is wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with floppy ears on your Frenchie, but if you want to help their ears stand up, here are a few simple ways that can help with that.
Let’s discuss these:
Talk to the breeder
Did you get your Frenchie from a breeder? Consider talking to them to see if the parents had floppy ears as well. Although it’s unlikely, it’s still possible that your Frenchie’s ear floppiness is the result of the parents’ genes.
Check if any dogs in your dog’s family tree have floppy ears as well. This information could be helpful in deciding the best way to help your dogs’ ears stand up later on.
Check with Your Vet
Once you’ve ruled out hereditary issues, you will need to get advice from your vet. Have your dog checked and see if there are any developmental issues that may be the cause behind the floppy ears.
The vet may be able to find something and recommend treatments, changes in their diet, or Calcium supplements. Your vet may even recommend calcium injections if your dog is older than 8 months of age to help them stand up.
This brings us to our next point, which is a crucial one.
Don’t give them over-the-counter calcium supplements
I understand that YouTubers and bloggers probably have your best intention at heart when they advise you to give your Frenchie calcium supplements, but you shouldn’t give them calcium supplements yourself.
YouTubers and bloggers, even myself who has this article checked and edited by a vet, should never replace your vet and should not be the source for medical advice. Consult with your vet before giving them supplements.
Thankfully, there are other ways to give your dog more calcium without giving them supplements.
Give Them Calcium-rich foods
You can make sure they get more calcium by adding calcium-rich foods to their diet. The most helpful foods according to vets and my own experience are yogurt and cottage cheese.
Even one spoon of yogurt with their dinner can help them. Make sure to keep an eye on your dog after giving them yogurt because some dogs will have varying degrees of lactose intolerance and will have trouble digesting yogurt.
Some signs of lactose intolerance in dogs include excessive ear scratching, licking paws, itchiness, diarrhea, and vomiting. If you notice any of these signs after giving them yogurt, your dog may be lactose intolerant, and of course, you should take them to the vet.
Consider Cartilage encouraging supplements
Wait, didn’t I just tell you not to give them OTC supplements? WTH?
Oh, yeah, hip and joint supplements are actually fine to give yourself as long as they are in a proper dose. They rarely have any side effects, and they help with more than their ears.
My own vet recommended these two for my dogs, and I think you can try them out as well:
Cosequin Maximum Strength Joint Supplement Plus MSM
It will help strengthen their joints, so it will make things like running and climbing stairs easier for them. They are made in the US, and they are available in chicken flavor which my dogs seem to just LOVE.
Alternatively, you can get
First Light Hemp Chews + Glucosamine for Dogs Hip & Joint
By the way, since we talked about the difficulties French Bulldogs have with stairs, you should take a minute to learn more about this. Check out my guide to why Stairs are Bad for Frenchies here.
Taping their ears (step-by-step guide)
I personally have not done it, and I’ll explain why. My Frenchies ears didn’t go up until they were around 13 or 14 months, I believe, because I didn’t really care much for it to take note of when exactly it happened.
I don’t think this is necessary, and I don’t think French Bulldogs’ floppy ears look bad, on the contrary, I think they are rather adorable.
Anyway, here is how you can tape their ears to help them stand up:
- Use masking tape to tape around both ears individually
- Keep their ear level while taping and ensure to maintain the distance from a crinkled looking ear base
- Arrange their ears to the top where they would stand erect
- Once erect, make a bridge with tape between the ears. It’s recommended to make sure the ears are correct in the 11 and 1 oclock
- Leave the tape on their ears for five days or more.
- After this time passes, make a little cut at the base of the tape and tenderly strip off and remove it.
Here is a simple video that shows how to do it:
Help their teething process
You can help your dog’s teething by giving them chew toys that help them develop more quickly. This should, theoretically, help their cartilage get stronger as well and consequently help their ears stand up.
How Floppy Ears Can Actually Be Better for your French Bulldogs
Believe it or not, floppy ears can actually be better for your French bulldog because they make them less susceptible to infections. Erect ears are exposed to the elements, they make the ear canal easily accessible for dust and insects, while floppy ears will cover the canal and protect them.
This means that dogs with floppy ears are actually less prone to ear infections and other ear-related health issues.
Why do French Bulldogs Ears Go Back When Excited?
French Bulldogs can pull their ears slightly back when they are in a playful mode or pull them all the way back when they are negatively excited, such as when they are scared and fearful. French Bulldogs express their feelings through their ears, so pay attention to the base of their ears to see backward shifts more clearly and understand what they are feeling.
Conclusion of French Bulldog Floppy Ears
The important takeaway you should take is that French Bulldog floppy ears are completely normal and don’t have to be something bad. About 10% of French Bulldog puppies will never have erect ears, and this is fine.
As we discussed, there are ways you can help your dog’s ears stand up, but whether these work or not should not be a source of frustration or concern for you at all. Your dog is still as awesome as all French Bulldogs and all dogs in general.
Why has my French Bulldogs Ear Gone Floppy?
Your French Bulldog’s ears can go floppy during their teething process as the body gives less calcium to the ear cartilage as it’s needed to develop their teeth, but their ears also may go floppy due to a genetic cause or an injury. Talk to your vet and your breeder – if you got your dog from one – to find out why their ears have gone floppy.
Do Frenchies Ears Always Stand up?
Frenchies ears don’t always stand up, and about 10% of all French Bulldogs will never have erect ears and their ears will be floppy for life, which is completely normal.
What if my Frenchies’ ears won’t stand up?
Some Frenchies’ ears won’t stand up and this is normal and you should not be worried about it too much. If your Frenchie’s ears won’t stand up, then they will stay with their cute, floppy ears their whole lives, which is very normal. In fact, floppy ears can be better for them as they protect the ear canal from dust, mites, and insects, so you will have fewer health problems to deal with.
Should I Tape my french bulldogs’ ears?
You should tape your French Bulldog’s ears if they are older than 7 months old and their ears have not stood up on their own, and it may take anywhere from 5 days to 3 or 4 weeks to hold up in the upright position. You should also know that some Frenchies’ ears will not hold up the erect position and can go down again later in life, and this is normal and should not worry you.
Anatomy and physiology of the canine ear
Ear Structure and Function in Dogs
This article was edited and reviewed by a vet for the accuracy of the information provided, but it doesn’t and wasn’t meant to replace your own vet.
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