Why Do Dogs Put Their Ears Back?

If you’ve ever wondered why your dog puts their ears back when they see you, you’re not alone. It’s a common behavior that can have a few different meanings. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most likely reasons why your dog puts their ears back and what it might mean.

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Dogs communicate with their ears in a variety of ways. The most common is by placing them back, which usually signifies submission or fear. Dogs also use their ears to show interest, as well as to listen out for sounds.

The Various Reasons Dogs Put Their Ears Back

There are various reasons dogs may put their ears back. If a dog is feeling submissive or uncertain, he may put his ears back as a way of appearing non-threatening. A dog may also put his ears back when he’s concentrating on something or is feeling intense emotion, such as excitement or fear. If your dog’s ears are always back, it could be due to an ear infection or another medical condition. Talk to your veterinarian to determine the cause and get appropriate treatment.

Ear-Body Language

Dogs communicate with their whole body, and their ears are one of the most expressive parts. If you pay attention to your dog’s ears, you can learn a lot about how they’re feeling.

There are two main types of earpostures: ears forward and ears back. Ears forward usually indicates interest or alertness, while ears back usually indicates insecurity or anxiety. However, it’s important to note that there is a lot of variation within these two categories, and context is always key. For example, if a dog’s ears are slightly back but they’re also wagging their tail enthusiastically, they’re probably still feeling happy and relaxed.

So why do dogs put their ears back? There are a few different reasons. One possibility is that they’re trying to make themselves look smaller and less threatening. This often happens when they’re around other dogs or people that they’re not sure about yet. Another possibility is that they’re experiencing negative emotions like fear or anxiety. This is more likely to happen in response to loud noises or sudden movements. If your dog’s ears are consistently back, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian or professional trainer to rule out any underlying health conditions or behavioral issues.

When to Worry If Your Dog Puts Their Ears Back

If your dog puts their ears back, it could be a sign of fear, submission, or excitement. While it’s usually nothing to worry about, there are some cases when you should be concerned.

If your dog’s ears are drooping and they seem lethargic or unwell, it could be a sign of an ear infection or another health problem. If your dog’s ears are erect most of the time but they suddenly start drooping, it could be a sign of nerve damage. If your dog is shaking their head or scratching their ear constantly, it could also be a sign of an ear infection.

If you’re concerned about your dog’s ears, the best thing to do is to take them to the vet for a check-up.

How to Respond If Your Dog Puts Their Ears Back

If you notice your dog’s ears flatten against their head, it’s important to pay attention to their body language as a whole to determine how they’re feeling. There are a few reasons why your dog may put their ears back, but the most common is that they’re feeling submissive or fearful. If you think your dog is putting their ears back due to fear, it’s important to remain calm and avoid reacting in a way that could scare them further. In some cases, dogs will also put their ears back when they’re experiencing pain. If you think this may be the case, it’s important to consult your veterinarian.


After taking a closer look at the evidence, we can conclude that dogs put their ears back for a variety of reasons. It could be a sign of submission, fear, or excitement. Or, they could simply be trying to communicate something to you. If you’re ever unsure about why your dog has their ears back, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian.


There are many reasons why dogs might put their ears back. It could be a sign of aggression, fear, or even submission. Or, your dog could simply be trying to communicate something to you. If you’re wondering why your dog’s ears are back, read on for some possible explanations.

Further Reading

If you’re interested in learning more about dog body language, we’ve put together a list of resources for further reading. Check them out below!

-“The Language of Dogs” by Sarah Kalnajs
-“Canine Body Language: A Photographic Look at the Visual Dialect of Dogs” by Brenda Aloff
-“Dogs: Body Language,standards,and Selection” by Lawrence C.Animation

About the Author

Dogs are social animals, and their body language is one way they communicate with each other and with us. When a dog puts his ears back, it can be a sign that he’s nervous or submissive. It can also be a sign of affection, as when your dog leans into you for a pet. If you’re not sure what your dog’s trying to say, observe his whole body language and context clues to get a better idea.


We always love to hear from our readers, but sometimes we just can’t answer every question. In this case, we’ll be taking a look at a question that’s been asked a lot recently: why do dogs put their ears back?

There are a few theories out there, but unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer. Some people believe that it’s a sign of submissiveness or that the dog is trying to communicate that it’s not a threat. Others believe that it could be an involuntary reaction to something that’s bothering the dog, such as an itch or an uncomfortable feeling.

Whatever the reason may be, one thing is for sure: it’s always adorable!

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