Pawscessories is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.
Do you know what your Frenchie’s ears are saying? French bulldog ear positions can tell a lot about your dog’s feelings.
In this article, we will cover the different meanings of each ear position, what your Frenchie might be feeling, and how you should respond.
We will also provide a handy chart to help you remember them, along with some body language tips!
Let’s dive in.
Why Do French Bulldogs Move Their Ears?
It might seem obvious why a French bulldog would move their ears—to hear better! But there is more to it than that. Dogs have 18 muscles in each ear that they can use to move their ears independently.
While part of the reason Frenchies move their ears is to hear, the other reason is communication. They can indicate stress, fear, happiness, or even excitement by moving their ears into different positions.
When your Frenchie moves their ears, they are expressing emotions and communicating how they feel to you or other animals. So, paying attention and knowing what each ear position means is essential.
French Bulldog Ear Positions Chart
|Frenchie Ear Positions||Common Frenchie Emotions|
|Ears Relaxed||Neutral, usually clam|
|Ears Back||Social, nervous, or submissive|
|Ears Down / Flat||Fearful, anxious, Illness, or defensive|
|Ears Perked Up||Alert, curious, defensive, or aggressive|
French Bulldog Ear Positions: What They Mean & What To Do (With Images)
There are a variety of different ear positions for French Bulldogs. And each has a different meaning.
Here is a list of the most common Frenchie ear positions, what they mean, and what you can do in these situations:
Frenchie Ears Relaxed And Standing
The most typical ear position for a French Bulldog is their relaxed and regular ears. You’ll see this when your Frenchie isn’t doing anything in particular – they’re just being themselves.
Generally, Frenchie’s ears are standing up and relaxed. They are likely comfortable and feel safe if their ears look normal.
However, not all Frenchies will have erect ears. Some can have floppy ears into adulthood.
Frenchie Ears ‘Perked’ Forward
If you see a French Bulldog with its ears “perked” forward, the dog is no longer relaxed and may be on alert. In this state, you will also notice that their ears seem pointier than usual.
Usually, a dog’s body posture will match their ear position. For instance, if a French Bulldog has their ears perked forward, they will also have an alert posture.
Why Do French Bulldogs Perk Their Ears Forward?
Frenchies on high alert will perk their ears forward. They may be trying to listen to find out what’s happening around them or have spotted something that has caught the pup’s attention- perhaps another animal!
In addition, they may be tensing up due to fear or potentially aggression. Dogs in a heightened state like this can be reactive, so it’s essential to be aware of your dog’s body language.
Most of the time, they are just taking a keen interest in something!
What to Do When Your Frenchie Perks up His Ears?
When your Frenchie perks their ears up, try to see what has caught their attention. If you can’t determine the source, keep a close eye on your pup.
If they remain in this state for an extended time, or if they start to show other signs of aggression or fear (like growling or baring their teeth), it’s best to remove them from the situation.
If you know your Frenchie is reactive, it’s best to avoid situations that may trigger this behavior.
Otherwise, if they are on alert and just watching something intently, there is no need to worry. Dogs are innately curious creatures!
French Bulldog Ears Back
When a French Bulldog’s ears are back, it usually means that they are feeling scared, threatened, or nervous. However, depending on your Frenchie, some may do this when they are happy and playful. They are just showcasing their submission.
This is a submissive position and the dog’s way of making themselves appear smaller. They may also tuck their tails between their legs in this state.
In addition, you may see your Frenchie’s hackles (the hair along their spine) start to rise. This is another sign that your dog is feeling scared or threatened.
Why Do French Bulldogs Ears Go Back?
French Bulldogs will put their ears back when they are nervous, submissive, or simply being friendly.
If you see this happen, it’s important to pay attention to the context and your dog’s other body language cues to determine how they feel.
For instance, if your Frenchie has their ears back and is also cowering or hunching over, they are feeling threatened and may be about to attack. However, if their ears are back and they are wagging their tail, they may feel playful or friendly.
Knowing your dog’s body language is important so you can appropriately respond to the situation.
What to Do When Your Frenchie Puts His Ears Back
When your Frenchie puts their ears back, you should first try to determine how they are feeling. If they seem scared or threatened, removing them from the situation is best.
If they are being playful or friendly, there is no need to worry. Just enjoy your time with your pup!
However, suppose your French Bulldog always seems nervous or skittish around other dogs or people with their ears back. In that case, it’s best to consult with a professional behaviorist or trainer to help them overcome this fear.
French Bulldog Ears Down
When a French Bulldog’s ears are down and almost flat looking against their head, it can often mean a dog is sick. However, it can be more complicated. This ear position is very apparent, as you will not see it often.
Why Do French Bulldogs Put Their Ears Down?
A French Bulldog may put their ears down for several reasons, including sickness, fear, or anxiety. In some cases, it may be due to circumstance – like if they’re in an unfamiliar setting.
French Bulldogs may exhibit signs of fear when they’re around certain people or animals, and their ears may move to this position. Some common indicators that a Frenchie is afraid are whimpering, hiding their face, and having their ears pointed down.
You may find dogs in shelters or on the street with their ears down like this. In addition, Frenchies dealing with sickness or injury may also have their ears in this position.
What to Do When Your Frenchie Puts His Ears Down?
If your French Bulldog’s ears are down, you should investigate why. If they’re in an unfamiliar place, give them some time to adjust.
If your dog continues displaying no improvement or their fear seems abnormal, consider meeting with a trainer or behaviorist. They could help uncover the problem’s root and how to manage it best.
If your French Bulldog seems ill and their ears are in a down position, you should take them to the vet. Again, this is a body language cue that cannot be ignored, especially if other cues are present.
French Bulldog Ears In Opposite Directions
A French Bulldog’s ears pointing in two different directions is a tell-tale sign that they are trying to focus on two things simultaneously.
This is usually quite apparent, as their ears may twitch back and forth rapidly.
Suppose you notice your Frenchie’s ears perking up and them trying to focus on multiple noises coming from different directions. In that case, they may be trying to figure out what is happening.
This can also happen if they see something that catches their interest in one direction and then hears something else that piques their curiosity coming from another.
Understand French Bulldog Body Language Cues
One of our jobs as dog owners is to be able to identify when our Frenchie is signaling stress or discomfort.
The best way to determine this is through their body language. We’ve already discussed how we can use french Bulldog’s ear positions to help us understand how they’re feeling, but there are other cues we can also look for.
By understanding your dog’s different signals, we can better diffuse situations that could get out of hand.
Here are a few body language indicators:
- Licking their lips
- Tucking their tail between their legs
- Hiding their face
- Avoiding eye contact
- Hunching their body
- Freezing in place
- Hackles raised
- Tail movement
- Stiffness or rigidity
Keep in mind there are tons of little signals a dog can give off that are not mentioned in this list. However, these cover the most common ones to look out for.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
When Should A French Bulldogs Ears Stand Up?
A French Bulldog’s ears will usually start to stand up between the age of four to sixteen weeks (1-4 months). However, they may only be fully erect once they are several months old.
In addition, small ears will stand up faster than large ears. However, all dogs can have different ear growth rates.
How Should Frenchies Ears Look?
The ideal Frenchie ear is small, thin, and triangular. They should be set high on the head and relatively close together.
The top part of the ear attached to the head should line up with the inner corner of the eye. This is what some would consider the ideal French Bulldog ears.
Now that you know about French Bulldog ear positions and what they mean, you can better understand your dog’s feelings and emotions.
Dogs are different, so not all of them will show the same cues. However, by paying attention to their body language, you can get a pretty good idea of their feelings.
For example, my dog Enzo always puts his ears back and down almost flat against his head. When most dogs put their ears in this position, it signifies fear or illness. However, Enzo is just being submissive or social!
So, the next time you’re wondering how your Frenchie is feeling, look at their ears and see their position. It might give you the answer you’re looking for.
Other posts you might find interesting:
6 Reasons Why Frenchies Lay Like Frogs (Sploot) + Dangers
Ultimate French Bulldog Walking Guide: 26 Things To Know