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When Do Corgi Ears Stand Up? Breed Characteristics & Facts

Brooke Bundy

By Brooke Bundy

close up of a pembroke welsh corgi dog

Corgis are typically depicted as friendly, smiling orange and white dogs with a long back that hovers low to the ground and rounded ears that are curved and raised. Their tails are usually shown as docked in pictures, but that’s actually only the case in the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, one of the two distinct Corgi breeds. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi has a fluffy, foxlike tail. However, both breed standards set by the AKC indicate that Corgis always have raised ears.

Anyone who’s ever owned a Corgi puppy will tell you that it takes their young dog a few months to grow into those ears! All Corgis are born with floppy ears. Most turn upright between 8-15 weeks, but they almost always will by the time they’re finished teething around 8 months. Although it’s rare, some Corgis never develop raised ears, but they’re still a part of the breed, nonetheless.

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Do All Corgi Ears Stand Up?

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the more recognizable Pembroke Welsh Corgi have several marked differences. For example, the Cardigan has a long, fluffy tail with a heavier set body and a more widely acceptable range of coat colors, including black and brindle. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, by contrast, has a docked tail, lighter bones, and typically only comes in the famous orange/white or tricolor combination. Despite their differences, both Corgi breeds are expected to develop raised ears according to the AKC.

brindle cardigan welsh corgi dog sitting on a path in the park
Image Credit: Liudmila Bohush, Shutterstock

Why Are Corgis Born with Floppy Ears?

Although the AKC dictates that all Corgis must have raised ears in order to qualify for certification, no Corgi is born this way. Instead, all Corgis are born with floppy ears. A young puppy doesn’t have the necessary cartilage or muscles in their ears to make them stand up. Plus, it’s a safety design for them because the birthing process would be much harder if their ears were already erect.

When Do Corgi Ears Stand Up?

As your Corgi builds up cartilage and muscles over the course of their puppyhood, their ears will generally begin to raise. It’s not unusual for your Corgi’s ears to stay floppy as late as 8 months old, which is around the time they’re finished teething. In theory, this is because their bodies use their calcium supply to prioritize growing strong teeth at first. However, some Corgis’ ears may begin to start standing up as young as 8 weeks old. It really depends on the individual dog, but 8 weeks to 15 weeks seems to be the average age that their ears begin to raise.

The muscles and cartilage always begin lifting the ear from the bottom up. Both ears may not raise at once, which can result in a cute tilting look for a little while until the other ear catches up. Your Corgi’s ears will always raise between 8 weeks and 1 year, if they’re going to. If your Corgi’s ears don’t raise by their first birthday, they probably won’t ever. But this is okay! You have an adorable exception to the rule.

corgi puppy sitting on the ground
Image Credit: Natalia Fedosova, Shutterstock

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Why Won’t My Corgi’s Ears Stand Up?

Your Corgi may keep their floppy ears due to injuries or genetics. For their own well-being, you should talk to your vet if you think your Corgi may have an ear injury. If this is the case, the sooner you catch the injury, the sooner it can heal and raise their chances for lifted ears.

However, some Corgis don’t develop erect ears due to genetics. This is especially the case if you’ve adopted a mixed breed as opposed to a purebred Corgi, or if someone in their lineage also had floppy ears. Just to be clear, floppy ears aren’t a sign that you’ve adopted a crossbreed. It’s very possible that you indeed do have a purebred Corgi that simply doesn’t have raised ears.

What Can I Do to Encourage My Corgi’s Ears to Stand Up?

Some people recommend taping your Corgi’s ears to encourage them to lift up. We don’t suggest this, since tape can damage their skin and fur. Talk to your vet if you suspect your Corgi injured their ear, which could be a reason why it’s still floppy. Otherwise, you should wait for their ears to raise naturally.

a smiling pembroke welsh Corgi dog lying on grass
Image Credit: ozsvathcsilla, Pixabay

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Whether you have the Pembroke or Cardigan Corgi, all Corgis are born with floppy ears that generally begin to raise by the time they’re 8 weeks to 15 weeks old. Some won’t develop their upturned ears until 8 months, and a few never do. Floppy ears aren’t a sign that something’s wrong, so you shouldn’t worry if they don’t raise unless you suspect they’re injured. Always talk to your vet if you think your Corgi’s ears may be hurt, and then give your Corgi some time to see if their ears raise naturally. No matter how their ears develop in the end, your Corgi will be satisfied if you embrace them just the way they are.

Featured Image Credit: Vlad_Sin, Pixabay

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