Floppy-Eared Husky: Is It Normal Or Should You Be Worried?

Vet Approved

This article has been fact-checked by Dr. Dilber Hussain, DVM, to ensure we're providing the most up-to-date guidance. READ MORE

A floppy-eared husky is not a common sight, but it can be quite normal for husky puppies to have floppy ears until they mature.

If your husky’s ears are floppy, particularly if they’ve outgrown puppyhood, it’s natural to wonder why. You may even worry that something is wrong with your four-legged family member.

Floppy ears on huskies can be caused by some health conditions, but there are also perfectly benign causes. If your husky has floppy ears, it’s not always a sign of a problem, and in this guide we’ll explore all the reasons and what you need to do.

Is It Normal For Huskies To Have Floppy Ears?

All husky puppies are born with floppy ears. As they grow, the ears will become erect.

It’s not normal for an adult husky to have floppy ears. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should be worried.

Many floppy-eared huskies are healthy. However, floppy ears are considered an undesirable trait, despite their adorable appearance.

What Causes Floppy Ears On Huskies?

The most common reason for huskies to have floppy ears is because they are a puppy. You can expect your husky’s ears to be fully erect by the time they are 6 months old.

Of course, there are plenty of other causes of floppy ears in huskies.

Other reasons include: 

  • Poor breeding 
  • Ear infection 
  • Poor hygiene or grooming 
  • Ear mites
  • Injury
  • Nutritional deficiency Collagen deficiency
  • Calcium or vitamin D deficiency (teething, poor diet in puppyhood)


Puppies are born with floppy ears. As your husky grows, they will start forming cartilage and bones within the ears. Over time, these structures allow your husky’s ears to stand up.

Poor Breeding

There are a few ways poor breeding can cause floppy ears in your husky.

If your husky isn’t purebred, this can explain their floppy ears. Some irresponsible breeders will claim a husky is purebred when they aren’t. Of course, if you have registration papers for your pup, you can rule this out.

Floppy ears can also be genetic or passed from parents to offspring. The AKC and UKC state that a husky’s ears should be triangular in shape, and fully erect.

A floppy-eared husky doesn’t meet the breed standard. Reputable breeders will avoid breeding a husky who doesn’t meet the standard.

Lastly, some breeders try to exaggerate certain characteristics. They may breed huskies with larger-than-average ears, in an attempt to create even larger ears.

If the husky’s ears are too large, they won’t stand up. This is why breeds with large ears, like hounds, have floppy ears.

Ear Infection

An ear infection can also cause your husky’s ears to be floppy. This will usually occur in only one ear, which means the other ear should be erect. It is possible for both ears to be infected, but this isn’t common.

Signs of an ear infection include whining, pawing at the ear, a foul smell, and discharge. Your husky may also lose their balance or their appetite due to an ear infection.

Poor Hygiene Or Grooming

Poor hygiene is another cause of floppy ears. Husky’s ears are usually self-cleaning. However, it is possible for them to get clogged with ear wax or debris. When this occurs, the ears can become too heavy for your pooch to lift.

Check their ears. If they have debris or wax inside their ears, this may be why their ears are floppy.

Poor grooming can also cause floppy ears. Huskies shed twice a year. If you don’t remove the shed hair from their ears, this can also weigh them down, causing them to be floppy.

If these issues occur often when they are a puppy, the bones and muscles of the ear may not develop properly. This means their ears will remain floppy, even after the issue is corrected.

Ear Mites

Ear mites are small parasites that make their home in dogs’ ears. If your husky is scratching their ears, shaking their head, or has redness around their ear, they could have ear mites.

Ear mites can cause floppy ears by adding weight and irritating the ear.


Injuries are another cause of floppy ears. If you notice a wound on your husky’s ear, this is likely the cause. In addition to recent injuries, injuries in puppyhood can cause floppy ears throughout their lives.

Simply pulling on a puppy’s ears too often or too hard can damage the cartilage, which prevents them from standing up.

Nutritional Deficiency

Nutritional deficiencies can also cause your husky’s ears to be floppy. In most cases, the deficiency occurs in puppyhood, which impairs their development.

A calcium or vitamin d deficiency is often the issue. In fact, teething will often cause a puppy’s ears to be floppy. This occurs because the teething process requires high amounts of calcium and vitamin d.  If teething is the issue, it should resolve itself when teething ends.

Malnutrition, or poor diet, can also cause nutritional deficiency. If a husky doesn’t get proper nutrition as a puppy, they may have floppy ears for their entire life.

Malnutrition can also cause a collagen deficiency, which can also lead to floppy ears. Collagen is essential for the growth and repair of cartilage, which helps to support your pooch’s ears.

When Do The Ears Stand Up?

Your husky pup’s ears will typically begin to stand up when they are 6 weeks old. However, you shouldn’t expect them to always be erect at this stage.

Like other areas of your puppy’s body, their ears are developing. As they develop the cartilage, bones, and  muscles necessary for erect ears, you’ll notice their ears standing up more often.

A blue-eyed husky next to a window
What normal husky ears should look like

The process is typically complete when your husky is 6 months old.

Signs Your Husky’s Ears Are Beginning To Perk Up

Before your pup develops ears that are erect all, or at least most, of the time, you’ll see some signs that the process is happening.

Feel their ears regularly. This helps you to monitor their progress and gets them accustomed to having their ears examined.

As their ears develop, they will get firmer over time. Eventually, you’ll feel stiff cartilage, rather than the soft floppy ears they had as a puppy.

You may also notice that their ears stand up at certain times. They tend to stand up when your pup is curious or excited. When they relax, their ears will be floppy until fully developed.

Do You Need To Contact A Veterinarian If Your Husky’s Ears Are Floppy?

Your husky’s floppy ears aren’t necessarily a cause for concern.

However, in some cases, you should contact your veterinarian.

Suddenly Floppy-Eared

If your husky is out of the puppy stage, their ears shouldn’t suddenly become floppy. If they do, it’s a good idea to give your vet a call.

This is because there’s a cause for your dog’s floppy ears. It’s possible that their ears simply need cleaning. However, it can also be caused by an ear infection or injury.

Should You Be Concerned About Your Husky If Their Ears Are Always Floppy?

If your husky has always had floppy ears, you may still want to discuss it with your vet to find out the cause. If it’s genetic, there’s nothing you can do about it.

However, because underlying nutritional deficiencies can be the cause, it’s a good idea to get them checked out.

Can Floppy Ears be Prevented Or Treated?

When it comes to floppy ears, prevention is the best treatment. However, there are things you can do to help your husky’s ears stand up as well.

Preventing Floppy Ears

When your husky is a pup, be sure to feed them high-quality puppy food. If you suspect your pooch is low in calcium, you can consider calcium supplements.

If you suspect your pooch needs more collagen, you can give them a collagen supplement.

These supplements may help your husky’s ears if given when they are young. If they are beyond the puppy stage, supplements may not help their ears to stand, but they can still be beneficial for their health.

Before giving your husky a supplement, it’s a good idea to have their levels checked by your vet. However, supplementing is unlikely to cause them any issues in reasonable amounts, so it won’t hurt.

You should also be gentle with their ears, particularly when they are puppies. Keep their ears clean, and inspect them at least once a month.

Final Thoughts

Erect ears are normal for huskies once they are out of the puppy stage. While floppy ears aren’t normal, they aren’t always an indication of a problem.

If your husky has floppy ears, it’s a good idea to check with your vet to rule out any underlying issues.


Why Does My Husky Have One Floppy Ear?

It’s common for husky puppies to have one ear become erect before the other. However, the other should stand up soon as well.

Injuries, ear infections, and ear mites can cause one ear to be floppy as well.

Are Floppy Ears Bad For Dogs?

Floppy ears themselves won’t hurt your pooch. However, they are more susceptible to infection, because they are closed rather than open.

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About The Author

Hi, I’m Carrie! I’ve always had a special connection with nature, and animals of all shapes and sizes in particular. I’ve been a writer for nearly a decade and recently joined the Malamute Mom team. I love providing information to other dog lovers.

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