One of the most notable traits of the Husky breed is their erect, pointed ears. Lovers of the breed appreciate this feature. The sharp and pointed ears make this breed look alert and intelligent. Indeed, Huskies are alert and intelligent dogs. Owners of a new Husky pup may be anxious to know – when do Husky puppies’ ears stand up? Read on to find out!
When Do Husky Ears Stand Up?
Husky ears will stand up as early as 6 weeks of age. However, some may not stand up until the pup is 12 weeks of age. The average age for Husky puppy ears to stand up is between 8 and 10 weeks of age.
When a Husky’s ears will stand up depends on a few factors: their breeding and genes, and their diet and overall health. Good nutrition is essential for the pup to thrive.
Why Are My Husky’s Ears Down?
Your Husky pup will be born with soft, floppy ears that are folded flat against its head. This makes sense because otherwise, they would take up much-needed space in the mother’s womb! Nature has designed dogs this way to make giving birth easier for the mother so that the puppy can slide down the birth canal in a streamlined manner.
When a puppy is born, it is deaf and blind. Its mother instinctively knows this, so she will be very protective of them. They are vulnerable. In order to get her babies to see and hear quickly, she will lick their eyes and ears to stimulate sensation.
This is true of all breeds, not just Huskies. Be patient, your Husky’s ears will stand up when they are ready!
Husky Puppy Ears
When you bring your beautiful Husky puppy home, you will notice that his or her ears are soft and floppy. This is because the cartilage that holds the ears erect has not yet formed.
Cartilage is the stiff tissue that humans have in their ears and noses. Dogs have cartilage in their ears too. Cartilage is designed to be more flexible than bone, yet still quite strong. This elastic connective tissue reduces wear and tear on bones.
Why Do Husky Puppy Ears Stand Up?
Husky puppy ears are erect because humans have used selective breeding to ensure that they do.
Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes are two breeds of dog which most closely resemble the ancestor of the domestic dog – the wolf.
The wolf has pointed and erected ears, just as their domestic descendants do. So too do other larger breeds such as the German Shepherd.
Not surprisingly, dogs need to have erect ears in order to hear better. A wolf needs to have a supercharged hearing in the wild to hear and hunt prey and to communicate with other wolves.
Your Husky is the same. The larger and more erect the ear is the more sound waves that are collected. Imagine your Husky pulling a sled in Siberia, where the wind is howling and they need to hear the voice of their human leader. This is why Huskies have retained their large and pointed ears!
Your Husky puppy relies on its hearing in order to do the job for which it has been bred.
Dog owners of any breed will notice that their pet’s ears cocks up when it can hear something that its owner cannot. Dog ears detect a much greater range of high and low pitched. Your dog may be hearing another dog barking in the distance, or a burglar prowling around, long before you hear it!
Other breeds do not rely on their hearing as much as the Husky. For example, the Whippet is a sighthound, and it has been bred for maximum vision to run down prey.
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Ear Care for the Husky Puppy
Now that we know to expect Husky puppy ears to stand up anywhere between 6 to 12 weeks, how do we care for them?
Generally speaking, when it comes to dog ears, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Your Husky puppy’s ears are self-cleaning. Expect to see some brown wax in their ears when you inspect them. This is normal.
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When to Be Concerned
If your husky puppy is continually shaking its head, scratching its ears, and/or rubbing its head and ears along the ground, then you need to take your dog to the vet.
Sometimes water or debris can get trapped in the dog’s ear, which can cause infection.
The dog may have picked up some kind of parasite, like ear mites.
You will also know that there is a problem if the dog’s ears emit a foul odor, or discharge (like pus or blood.)
NEVER poke around in your dog’s ears yourself! This is dangerous and could damage your dog’s precious hearing.
Always take your Husky puppy to the veterinarian if you think there is something wrong with their ears.
Always be gentle when handling your Husky puppy’s ears. Cartilage is strong but it can still be damaged.
What If My Husky Puppy’s Ears Aren’t Standing Up by 12 Weeks of Age?
A trip to the vet may be in order to establish that the dog can hear properly, although you will already know yourself if they can or cannot hear you when you speak to them.
You may wish to contact the breeder from whom you bought the dog, to see if either of the parents or other litters have been late bloomers in the ear department.
If the vet has given your dog a clean bill of health, then you may have to accept that your Husky’s ears may always be on the floppy side. In rare cases, some Huskies’ ears are just too big to be able to stand (too much ear flap and not enough cartilage), which is a fault in the breeding and will not pass the breed standard for a show-quality dog. But if you have only bought the dog as a pet, it doesn’t really matter if your Husky’s ears are down.
You will still have a wonderful and handsome companion for life!