Closeup of a Samoyed with ears that stand up.

When Do Samoyed Ears Stand Up?

6 mins |

Nothing beats cuteness like a Samoyed smile with upright ears. Samoyed ears don’t start that way though. This leaves every Samoyed owner wondering, “When do Samoyed ears stand up?” as they wait for them to pop straight.

An answer to when Samoyed ears stand up is different for each Samoyed dog. Most Samoyeds have upright ears between 6-10 weeks of age, but at the very least they should not be droopy after 16-18 weeks. It ultimately depends on a lot of factors, including gender, health, nutritional status, purity of the breed, and many more.

Why Are Samoyed Ears Floppy At Birth?

A Samoyed adult and Samoyed puppy, one with ears that stand up and the other with floppy ears.
Samoyeds are cute no matter what age they are.

It’s adorable when a Samoyed moves its ears around to focus on different sounds. However, these beautiful, upright ears don’t start standing up. Now, I’ll tell you why.

The reason lies in the domestication process. Humans bred dogs with desirable characteristics like friendly temperament, beauty, loyalty, body shape etc. With this selective breeding, some characteristics became more prevalent in successive generations while others started to fade. 

There are cells in the developing embryo called neural crest cells, which contribute to the development of the adrenal medulla. This structure releases adrenaline and noradrenalin during emergencies and stress. Domestic animals had significantly less exposure to stressful conditions.

The development of neural crest cells slowly degraded in domestic animals. These neural crest cells are stem cells and contribute to the development of many structures in the body. Due to this degradation of the neural crest cells, many parts of the body, especially the extremities, are affected.

The cartilage of ears is also derived from these cells. So, over time during domestication, dogs developed floppier ears, especially the young ones, due to missing and weaker cartilage tissue in the external ears.

Are A Samoyed’s Floppy Ears A Flaw?

A Samoyed’s floppy ears are only a flaw if you have to present your Sammy to a dog show. But if your Samoyed’s ears are not standing yet and you don’t have to take it to a dog show, it is totally fine, and there is nothing wrong with its hearing.

When Do Samoyed Ears Stand Up?

During the first week of life, a Samoyed puppy relies solely on its sense of touch as its eyes and ears aren’t quite ready yet. As the puppy grows, the cartilage of the ears becomes thicker. Also, the muscles become stronger with age and exercise, leading to upright ears.

If everything goes right, a Samoyed’s ear should start standing up as early as 4 weeks when its milky teeth have erupted from the gums. By the age of 15-16 weeks, a Samoyed should have its ears firm, thick, and upright. If not, it could be due to one of the following factors.

Factors Causing A Delay In A Samoyed’s Ears Standing Up

There are a few possible factors for a delay in Samoyed ears standing up. They are breed purity, health status, nutrition, deaf dogs, and stress.

Breed Purity

A purebred Samoyed’s ears will stand up, but if your Samoyed is a mixed breed, then it might take longer for that to happen, and it might not happen at all. There are not many options when your dog is not pure. If the dog is not pure, the ear length can go comparatively longer, leading to floppiness.

Health Status

To a veterinarian, the position, structure, and texture of a dog’s ear indicate a lot about its health status. Sometimes, a Samoyed with upright ears can show ear floppiness after an episode with disease. Similarly, ear infections, parasitic infestations, ear mites, allergies, and over-scratching can cause floppiness in Samoyed ears.


A Samoyed with nutritional deficiency, especially the ones messing with collagen synthesis, can have floppy or drooping ears. Collagen is a protein involved in making the basic structure of bones, teeth, cartilage, and wound-healing tissue, so it helps Samoyed ears to stand up. In fact, the overall nutritional status of a Samoyed can be guessed by its hair coat and ears. For example, a Samoyed with floppy ears could have a protein or vitamin C deficiency.

Also, when a puppy is teething, it is suffering from a lot of stress. During that time, poor nutrition can cause further delay in the standing of the ears.

By the way, here’s a list of our articles about what dogs are okay or not okay to eat or chew on that can help your Samoyed to maintain good health:

Deaf Dogs

Deafness is not common in Samoyeds. Still, a Samoyed can be deaf due to congenital, genetic, or ear disease. In that case, a Samoyed ear can go droopy or not stand up at all.


Physical or emotional stress, including fear and anxiety, can cause a change in ears. Typically a fearful dog has erect and alert ears, but prolonged stress can lead to ear issues. This may include the drooping of one ear while the other is normal.

What To Do To Help Samoyed Ears Stand Up?

The following tips will help a Samoyed ears stand up, but it’s always best to first get a veterinary examination about your Samoyed health. Now, here are the tips: 

  • Maintain good health status
  • Provide good nutrition with at least 22% protein.
  • Regularly de-worm your Samoyed
  • Keep on checking the dog’s ears for mites or other ear infections
  • Gently stimulate Samoyed ears daily during training sessions.

A Pro Tip For Helping Samoyed Ears To Stand Up

The pro tip I recommend to help Samoyed ears stand up early is to stimulate your dog to use them. Keep your puppy engaged in hearing many sounds from different sides. Keep calling it from different sides and reward it when it comes to you.

Dogs try to focus on the sounds from different sources by changing the position of the ears. This exercise will help your Samoyed to have strong ear muscles that will help them in standing up early. 

Conclusion: When Do Samoyed Ears Stand Up?

A healthy and pure Samoyed will have its ears stand up by the time all its teeth have erupted from the gums. You should not take it as a flaw and wait until your Sammy is 16 weeks of age. If Samoyed’s ears don’t stand up by that time, then it is time to review the purity, diet, health, nutrition, and environment of your Samoyed. 

I’d like to know what you think too. What did you find most useful in this article and why? Let me know your thoughts and why in the comments below!

Dr. Hafiz
Dr. Hafiz
Dr. Hafiz is a certified Veterinarian working at Veterinary Research Institute in Pakistan. He has the best combination of knowledge and professional skills in the field. Dr. Hafiz loves to write about animals. The areas of his expertise are Pet health, Pet medicine, animal nutrition, training, and infotainment related to animals. He has written 5 Research Publications, books about dog training, and hundreds of blog articles about animals, fisheries, and insects.