When to Tape Boston Terrier Ears

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Boston Terriers have trademark upright ears that help improve air circulation and prevent ear infections. However, some dogs would have flopped, puppy-like ears as they grow. If you’re considering taping the ears, you need to know when to tape Boston Terrier ears to ensure proper healing.

When to Tape Boston Terrier Ears

You can tape the ears of your Boston Terrier as early as five weeks, particularly if you notice that the size or weight is causing the ears to flop. If you waited for up to four months and the ears remain down, this still gives you a chance to try taping. 

Graphic image of a Boston Terrier with a text that explains when to tape Boston Terrier ears

Why Tape Boston Terrier Ears 

Taping the ears of Boston Terriers at an early stage provides a number of benefits. Some may work for your situation, while others won’t, so it’s crucial that you know the differences.

  • Meet breeding qualifications: Some breeders like to tape ears to make their dogs appear more alert and intelligent. In effect, they can attract buyers who prefer dogs with wolf-like appearances. 
  • Social interactions: Upright ears signify excitement, attentiveness, and intention to listen to owners. Meanwhile, it also gives dogs a fiercer look that some people want for guard dogs. 
  • Better grooming: There are times when I neglect proper grooming that may cause hearing problems. It will be easier for you to clean ear wax with erect ears, remove water during baths, trim the hair, and remove fleas.
  • Improve airflow: Folded ears may restrict airflow, trapping moisture in the ear canal. In effect, the ear becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast, which may eventually lead to ear infection and skin inflammation.  

If you want to gain one or all of the reasons mentioned above, then these should help you push through with the taping process early.

Boston Terrier ears in need of tape

Why Are My Puppy’s Ears Not Standing Up?

Cute, floppy ears may look adorable for Terrier puppies. As your dog ages, you will notice whether the ears are standing up or not. In some cases, one ear is up while the other is down. 

The reason why some Boston Terriers don’t have perky ears varies, as dogs also have different health conditions and upbringing. Learning a bit about canine anatomy and my actions toward dogs allows me to understand why some Boston Terrier ears remain floppy.

  • Some puppies have significantly large and heavy ear flaps, especially with dogs who have big heads.  
  • Growth spurt or when ears are just starting to open. 
  • The teething phase where the dog’s muscles weaken due to constant chewing. 
  • Soft, light ears due to unhardened cartilage.
  • The wide gap between the ears. 
  • Consistently petting the ears backward. 
  • Rough rubbing and excessive handling of the ears. 
  • Rough playing with other dogs who chew ears. 
  • Domestication syndrome in animals affects the level of neural crest cells, which regulate cartilage, tissues, and other physiological components.

When Should Boston Terrier Ears Stand Up?

Boston Terriers are among those breeds with ears that perk up as they age. Some Terriers could have pointy ears as early as five to eight weeks old, while others take as long as five months. Besides, dogs have ear muscles that enable them to raise, lower, turn, or tilt their ears.

Boston Terrier with ears standing up

A dog’s outer ear includes the pinna, which consists of cartilage and covered by skin, hair, or fur. Its shape intends to capture sound waves and funnel them through the ear canal and into the eardrum. 

More than that, a dog’s pinnae are mobile and can move independently of each other. This is why the pinnae may flop backward or bend forward, depending on the ear cartilage’s softness. The size of the cartilage also tends to weigh down the ears. 

There are times when the cartilage becomes firm over time, while sometimes it won’t. If you notice that this process isn’t happening, then it’s time to consider taping the ears. The whole process may take about four months to guarantee proper healing and that the ears can remain upright even without tape.

Ear Taping vs Ear Cropping

Another thing that can help you determine when to tape Boston Terrier ears is when ear cropping is out of the equation. Some breeders opt to remove the floppy part of a dog’s ear right away to mold the ears. 

Two dogs sitting in a car

However, cropping still requires ear taping to ensure the ears maintain the desired appearance. Most Terrier breeders only do cropping when the ears are too long or wide. If you notice that your dog’s ears have a chance to erect without cropping, then ear taping may be better for your case. 

Over 130,000 puppies undergo unnecessary cosmetic surgery each year. Since ear cropping is an elective surgery and not mandatory even for purebreds, this can help you decide about taping your dog’s ears instead. In addition, this is something you need to discuss with a veterinarian as there are certain risks involved.  

Related Questions

Still not sure? Let’s answer some important questions related to the topic.

What Can I Use to Tape Boston Terrier Ears? 

You can use either a soft cloth tape such as Medipore or a sports tape like Zonas tape, which is way stickier. Household items like roller and surgical tape are also good options. If you don’t want an actual tape, you can use a Molefoam and ear cement as an alternative. 

How Long Do I Need to Tape Boston Terrier Ears?

No matter what kind of taping procedure you intend to follow, it is ideal to leave the tape on the ears 24 hours a day, every day until the ears are strong enough to remain perky without support. Depending on your Terrier’s ears, this could take a few weeks or months.

Does Taping a Boston Terrier’s Ears Hurt Them? 

As long as you follow the correct way on how to tape Boston Terrier ears, your pet shouldn’t feel pain. You can avoid irritation by cleaning the ears to remove natural oils and changing the tape once it loses stickiness. You can also give your pet calcium supplements to strengthen ear cartilage and muscles. 

Boston Terrier Dogs 101: Boston Terrier Facts and Information


If you’re considering taping your Boston Terrier’s ears, make sure you know when’s the right time and how to do it correctly. Whether you start early at the puppy stage or a bit later, it’s essential you understand that what you’re doing should also benefit your furry friend. 

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