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Akita Ears

One of the most common questions that owners have in regard to Akita ears is the issue of floppy versus erect ears.

As you probably know, on an adult Akita, ears should be erect.

With puppies, the ears are folded down, otherwise known as floppy.  Many owners worry about this, wondering at what age they should be fully standing up.  It is understandable that one would be concerned, as according to breed standard, the ears should be small, erect and carried slightly forward over the eyes, in line with the back of the neck.

The hairs will be short, approximately ½ inch to 1 inch in length.  In regard to the size of the ear itself, for an adult, if it is folded forward, the tip of it will just grace the upper eye rim. Do know that with a puppy, even once the ears are up, they may seem to be too large.  This is common and the puppy must be given time to grow into his ears.

Akita puppy earsIf you have a young Akita puppy, do not worry that the ears are down.  There are 2 elements that will affect the age at which they become permanently erect.  The first is age.  Ears will gradually rise as the pup matures.  Muscles at the base of the ears need to strength in order to hold the upright. 

Chewing helps, as the jaw muscles are connected to the muscles at the base.  While your Akita will naturally chew while eating, offering toys and chew treats will aid in this process. 

Ensuring a well-rounded diet is crucial for optimal health, and with this in mind making sure that your pup is receiving enough calcium can be of help as well.  Adding a drop of cottage cheese to one meal each day is purported to work by many owners.

Teething is the second element that will influence the timeline of floppy to upright ears on this breed. Do not expect the Akita’s ears to be fully erect until the teething process
is complete.   

Up and Down

It is common for ears to struggle up, come down and work their way up again.   Also, while it does not happen to all Akita pups, it is not uncommon for one ear to stand up before the other.  There is no reason to worry, as both will Akita earsstand once the pup has matured.


The process can begin as young as 10-weeks-old or as late as 14-weeks-old. It will end any time between 3 months to 6 months of age.


While rare, if both ears do not stand erect, this is a flaw.  One must remember that even strong purebreds can have faults.  What one must keep in mind is that this would be a genetic trait that can be passed down…and for this reason, the dog should not be used for breeding.


There are some who will claim that taping works…however it must be noted that when a person tapes, this is being done at the same time that the Akita’s young body is maturing and ears are in the process of standing up. Therefore, there is no proof that taping is a successful method, as it cannot be proven if the ears would have remained dropped without this type of intervention. 

Highly Recommended Resources for Akita Training Needs (All on Amazon - both hardcopy and Kindle) and written by Faye Dunningham:

                           Training                                        Socialization                            Chewing and Nipping
            Housebreaking & Important          How to introduce all elements         How to prevent these behaviors
           Command Training. Great for               of the world and change         from forming & how to reverse
            this breed. Works on both              any negative views already             any that have already developed.
                training AND leadership                formed. Excellent resource.                         Very helpful.

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