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Why Does My Pitbull’s Ears Stick Up? (Explained)

Pitbulls have a unique ear structure. The ears of this breed are often seen to stick up. So, we are often asked, for what reason my Pitbull’s ears stick up. In this writing, we will break down this question and offer you a thorough insight into the lifestyle of Pitbulls.

Why do Pitbull’s ears stick up?

The Pitbull’s ears can stand up naturally. When the Pitbulls are excited about something, become alert, and want to establish dominance, to hear the ear often sticks up. Another important reason in this regard is the ear pinna and ear cropping of the Pitbulls. 

Pitbull’s ears can stick up for various reasons. Let’s take a look at some of the most significant reasons why the ears stick up:


When the Pitbulls are excited the ears automatically stand up. This situation can take place when you call the Pitbulls by their name, when it sees you, or when you give this food.

When you go to pet or play with your pitbull, his ears may still go to the straight position. Thus, any kind of excitement can change the position of the ear.


When the Pitbulls hear some noise or smell something, their ears may perk up very fast. In this regard, the ears will perk up and angle in that direction from where the sound or smell came from.

So it can be seen that the position of the ear can change when there is danger. This danger can be by seeing a wild animal or by seeing a stranger; Ears come to straight position mainly to make themselves and their owner aware of them.

Establishing dominance:

Being an animal, the Pitbulls wants to dominate another dog or animal. In this way, the ears will be seen standing in a straight position. Mainly, the dog wants to show supremacy by the ears.


This point can also refer to the alert. The Pitbulls use hearing as an alert. They can assume how far the danger is.

When they try to hear something the ears stand up. There is another dimension, where there was a long time of silence in the room; and suddenly you spoke. Then the ears of the Pitbulls can stick up abruptly.


When there is no sound in the room but the ears of the Pitbulls are in a straight position, you can assume that the Pitbulls are sensing something. This can include any sort of smell.

The dogs have a unique sense of smell for this reason they can react to smell from a huge distance. 

Ear pinna:

The ear pinna refers to a part of the ear of the Pitbulls. Pinna plays an important role to capture sounds and bring them to the eardrum. But this process depends on the shapes of the pinna.

The pinna is made of cartilage. This cartilage of the ears becomes stronger around 8 to 10 weeks, and the ear begins to stand up. This process may vary.

Ear Cropping:

“Ear cropping” is an optional procedure done on some purebred puppies. This refers to the surgery process by which the ears can be brought into the desired shape.

There is no reason to do this other than for cosmetic results. It is painful for a considerable period while the animal heals. It is increasingly seen as unnecessary and abusive to the dog in question. This process is not allowed in many countries. 

Are Pitbull’s ears up or down?

The ears of the Pitbulls are down when they are of infant age. On the other hand, when the Pitbulls are around 8 to 10 weeks the pinna of the ear becomes stronger. For this reason, the ears are lifted.

The ear cropping is another dimension by which the down-sided ears are made into straight ones.

This is a controversial subject, the owner of the pit bull is the only person who can decide this.  Ear cropping surgeries are not always successful, and if it is not performed correctly, they can leave the dog more susceptible to ear infections.

What do Pitbulls natural ears look like?

The natural ears of the Pitbulls are similar to the Labradors and Greyhounds. Pitbull puppies are born with what is known as rosebud ears. They have soft, folded ears that are slightly lifted, giving them an inquisitive appearance. 

Adult Pitbull ears are not as floppy as they were as puppies, so they are no longer considered rosebud shaped. They rise slightly, but the bottom half of the ear continues to fold over the top.

This situation occurs as a result of the pinna. This pinna becomes stronger in adult Pitbulls. Thus the ears become straight. 

That means the natural ears of the Pitbulls are not completely erected ones. They do have a curve at the top of the ears.

But when they get excited or alert about something these ears become erected. On the other hand, ear cropping represents the artificial ears done by the process of surgery. 

How do I stop my Pitbull ears from sticking up?

The Pitbulls have ears that always stand up. You can train the dog’s ears to make their point downward instead. By following these steps you can do this.

Cut a strip:

Cut a strip of dog ear tape long enough to reach from the center of one of the dog’s ears to the center of the other. Cut a trapezoid-shaped notch in the center of this tape and fold it down.

Attach each end: 

Attach each end of the tape to the inside of the dog’s ears near the base of the ear. Hairs caught under the tape will pull and hurt the dog. The notch you cut out will now be on top of the dog’s head, between his ears.

Cut another piece of tape:

Cut another piece of tape about two inches long and roll it up with the sticky side facing out. Place this near the tip on each side of your dog’s ear.

Fold a section of tape:

Fold a section of tape down so that the tape you’ve wrapped snaps into the clip you made with the first piece of tape. Press lightly to secure. Your dog’s ears are now taped where you want them to form naturally.

Wait for the result:

Wait 2-3 weeks for the tape to work, then remove it with an adhesive remover such as Detachol. If the ears flap naturally, you’re done. If not, repeat steps 1-4.

Their ear structure matures with age. Between 8 and 10 weeks, the structure of their ear cartilage is strengthened.

And because of this, you can easily guess that their ears will go to a straight position at this time. That’s why you need to do this taping process at an early age.

How do you know if your pitbull ears will stand up? 

There are many ways by which you can assume that the pitbull’s ears will stand up. They are elaborated below:

Call your pitbull:

If you call your pitbull by its name, there is a huge chance that the ears will stand up.

You can make sounds to get the attention of your pitbull. The ears will stand up if they went excited and want to meet you. Also, their ears stick out to suggest they are standing.

Position of the Ears:

Another good sign is where the ears are located on the head. Ears placed higher and closer together are more wolf-like and more likely to stand upright.


Whenever food is brought in front of a pitbull, a kind of sense will be awakened in them.

And through that sense, their ears can become erect. When food is brought forward, a kind of excitement works in them. As a result, their ears go to a straight position.


A pitbull’s ears may perk up if it senses danger. That is, you can easily guess if Pitbulls fear any kind of danger by looking at their ears. This is why they play a very important role as guards.

Final Thoughts

We can say that Pitbulls have rosebud ears for a certain period, but with age, the tendency of the ears to stick up. It can be due to any sudden excitement. This event can also be considered an alert. Thus, this position can change with the motive of hearing and creating dominance.