Understand Your French Bulldog’s Feelings Through Their Ears

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One of a French Bulldog’s most notable characteristics is their ears. They have bat-like pointy ears that normally stand up. 

French Bulldog’s ears stand up, allowing them to hear more of the sounds around them than dogs with floppy ears.

However, their ears do more than just hear. They also indicate how your French Bulldog is feeling. If your French Bulldog’s ears go back, what does it mean?  

How Soon Your French Bulldog Will Show Feelings Through Their Ears  

All French Bulldogs are actually born with floppy ears. However, after about seven weeks their ears will begin to develop more fully and stand up giving them that bat ears look. 

They also might rise at different times, so that one ear is up while the other is down. This is perfectly normal, and it may take some time for both ears to go up together. 

They may even go down after they have gone up, which is also normal.  

These signs indicate how your French Bulldog is feeling.  

What a French Bulldog’s Ears Mean and What to Do About it 

Here are some of the common emotions that a French Bulldog’s ear can indicate and what to look for in identifying them.  

1. Curious Ears 

A French Bulldog may have curious ears if they are sticking straight up. Your dog will look like he is listening or looking to hear more. These ears will be fully extended above the head. Additionally, your Frenchie may tilt their head to show that they are curious.  

What to do if you notice curious ears on your French Bulldog  

If your Frenchie show signs of curious ears, talk to them and give them commands. Try to see what they are curious about and how you can help them understand. They may be trying to interpret your commands and you just need to help show them.  

2. Excited Ears 

Excited ears on a French Bulldog are usually pointed slightly outward. They might have wrinkles in their foreheads as the ears move outwards.  

What to do if you notice excited ears on your French Bulldog  

If your French Bulldog is excited, this is great! They may be excited to play with you, for a treat, or to meet a new friend. Enjoy your French Bulldog’s good mood and keep them happy.  

3. Frightened Ears 

You can tell if your French Bulldog is frightened because their ears will shrink. They will have their ears back and even their body language may indicate shrinking.  

What to do if you notice frightened ears on your French Bulldog  

If your French Bulldog has frightened ears, you should do what you can to determine what is frightening them. It’s possible that a loud noise, getting a bath, or a stranger may frighten them. Of course, you cannot always protect your French Bulldog from every loud noise, stranger and certainly not from bathing. But you can know what scares them so you can be prepared to offer extra comfort when they show signs of being frightened.  

4. Alert Ears 

Alert ears on a French Bulldog are quite similar to curious ears. They will stand all the way up and sort of perk to hear a sound. However, alert ears may also change direction towards where a sound is coming from.  

What to do if you notice alert ears on your French Bulldog  

If your French Bulldog is showing signs of alert ears, they are trying to determine if a sound is dangerous or playful. They may be aware of danger nearby. You should watch them and make sure they do not run off to chase whatever is catching their attention.  

5. Sonar Ears 

A French Bulldog’s sonar ears look like them standing all the way up and tilting towards the sound. French bulldogs can rotate their ears in the direction of a sound and narrow in on one specific sound.  

What to do if you notice sonar ears on your French Bulldog  

If you see your French Bulldog with sonar ears it means that they are picking up on a specific sound and locating it. This may occur after they have had alert ears, and similar to alert ears you should watch your French Bulldog to make sure they don’t run away chasing after whatever they hear. They also could be paying attention to danger nearby, so stay alert yourself for whatever their keen ears are picking up.  

6. Blade Ears 

French Bulldogs have blade ears when they are in high speed pursuit of prey or play! Their ears will stand up but be turned slightly outwards. They will also typically be running quickly after something.  

What to do if you notice blade ears on your French Bulldog  

Blade ears are not a concern on your French Bulldog unless they are chasing prey that they should not be chasing! Just watch them and make sure your Frenchie stays safe and out of trouble.  

Why French Bulldog’s Ears Go Back 

A French Bulldog’s ears go back when they are scared, angry, or becoming submissive. You can tell if it’s a warning sign if they also are growling and have barred teeth. If their ears go back slightly, it can also indicate that they are in a playful mood. It will likely not last too long, and as soon as their emotion changes their ears will too. However, there are some things you can do to help your French Bulldog be happy.  

French Bulldog Ear Shapes 

French Bulldogs have two major ear shapes: ‘bat’ ears and ‘rose’ ears. 

Rose ears are folded over, similar to an English bulldog’s ears. 

However, American breeders prefer the bat ears and so that type is much more common today in the U.S. 

Others common question about French bulldog’s Ears

Why Do French Bulldog’s Ears Stand Up? 

Your French Bulldog’s ears stand up because they have gone through teething .

That seems odd, right? 

Well it is because a French Bulldog uses calcium for teething however, when the teething process is finished that extra calcium is distributed throughout the body which makes their ears stand up. 

Yogurt and foods high in calcium have been known to help a French Bulldog’s ears stand up, however, it has not been scientifically proven and you need to be careful if you change your Frenchie’s diet . 

Do they really help ? You may also want to check this article , about Reasons behind French Bulldog’s Floppy Ears 

What to Do if Your French Bulldog’s Ears Don’t Stand Up 

You don’t need to be concerned about your French Bulldog’s ears standing up unless it’s been more than ten weeks since they were born, and they still are not standing up. 

However, if you still don’t see their ears popping up after ten weeks then you can try taping their ears up to grow into their normal shape.  

You can simply take masking tape around the base of a French Bulldog puppy’s ears and keep the tape about 1.5 inches wide, lying flat on the ears. If it is not flat, it can create wrinkles on the ears. 

Position the ears at 11 o’clock and 1 o’clock so that they are straight up. Leave the tape on their ears for four to five days. Afterward, you can cut the tape between their ears and then gently peel it off. 

If this process did not work to help their ears stand up, try taping again for another four to five days. You can try as many times as you’d like for five days at a time, however, after about three attempts, it may be time to give up. 

Your puppy may just have different genes that affect how their ears stand up.  

Once a French Bulldog’s ears go up, they typically do not go back down except to indicate emotion. Their ears should be up permanently after ten weeks, or after you’ve taped them up and trained them to grow that way.  

As soon as your French Bulldog’s ears start to rise after they are a puppy, you will start to notice signs with their ears going back, and in all different directions.


Cleaning Your French Bulldog’s Ears 

Keep your Frenchie’s ears happy and healthy by cleaning them regularly. Because their ears stand up straight, they can easily fill with dirt and debris. 

You should clean your French Bulldog’s ears either weekly or monthly and if they are upright more, then they need to be cleaned more frequently.

You should also normalize playing with your Frenchie’s ears so they get used to the feeling of someone touching their ears.

This is good practice for prepping them for ear cleaning and if they need to go to the vet.

To clean your French Bulldog’s ears, you will need a cotton ball, witch hazel or canine ear wash, and unscented baby wipes. 

Soak the cotton ball in the witch hazel or canine ear wash, then use the cotton ball and gently brush over the exposed ear area. 

Clean the inside and backside of the ear but avoid the ear canal which can damage their eardrums and cause pain. 

To calm your dog down, you can also offer them treats and allow them to sniff the cotton ball and cleaning solution. And, always reward them after behaving for a good ear cleaning.  

What Your French Bulldog’s Eyes Are also Telling You 

Besides the ears, your French Bulldog’s eyes can indicate different emotions as well. You may notice your Frenchie winking, which indicates happiness and playfulness. 

They may also have wide open eyes to indicate playfulness. If your French Bulldog is holding eye contact, they may be challenging you to their attention. However, if they break eye contact, they are avoiding confrontation. 

Pay attention to narrowed eyes, which indicate aggression. If your French Bulldog has narrowed eyes and concentrated staring, you should beware that they may begin to attack. 

Other Dog Body-Language Signs 

Additionally, your French Bulldog may communicate through facial expressions or gestures.

For example, raising their paw is often a way of saying that they need something. If you see a tail or hip wagging, they are ready to play!  

And you can notice facial expressions similar to a human. Your dog may appear to smile, with a wide-open mouth and lips slightly upturned. 

This indicates they are happy. Barred teeth may indicate aggression, as well as narrowed eyes and blade ears. 

And if they are licking you, that is their way of saying hello! Prolonged licking is more a sign of attachment and showing love. 


While your French Bulldog can’t communicate through words, their body language, especially their notable bat-like ears, can tell you a lot about how they are feeling and what they need. 

However, it does take a few weeks for a French Bulldog puppy to develop the ability for their ears to stand up before they can communicate emotions through their ears. 

And you might have to help those ears out, depending on how the calcium in their body distributes after teething. 

But once your French Bulldog’s ears stand up be sure to pay attention to the signs of their body language and what type of ears your Frenchie has to indicate their mood.