Yorkie Ear Problems

Kelly Roper
Yorkie

One visitor is wondering about Yorkie ear problems and how she can make sure her next pup's ear will stand correctly.

Wondering About Yorkie Ear Problems

I had a Yorkie with floppy ears, and he looked adorable. Now I'm interested in buying another Yorkie, and I was told that if you touch their ears when they are puppies, they lose some kind of nerve that makes the ears floppy. Is that correct?

Expert Reply

Hi CJ,

That's a new one on me, and I used to handle Yorkie show dogs.

Here's what I know about ears.

  • The set and strength of the cartilage in the ears is somewhat hereditary. Some lines have weak ears that never fully prick up. Look closely at the parents and the rest of any breeder's stock that you visit. This will give you a clue as to how your prospective pup's ears may turn out.
  • Teething sometimes cause the ears to droop for a while, but they usually come back up once the adult teeth are in.
  • Excessive handling of a puppy's ears can cause a breakdown of the cartilage tissue that likely won't recover. So yes, it's good to avoid folding or otherwise playing with them. Could this lead to nerve damage? I suppose it could, but I never heard of that angle before.

All of that said, I've seen breeders tape the ears erect for several weeks to allow the cartilage the opportunity to strengthen. The ears will usually remain erect once the tape is removed. This is more effective for puppies than it is for adult dogs.

Thanks for your question, and I hope this information arms you with enough knowledge to choose your next pup.

~~ Kelly

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Yorkie Ear Problems