The Pug Ears and the Set according to Breed Standards
The ears of pugs are small and folded, and they are dark in color. This is a striking feature, as the black ears match the breed’s black mask. These are also visible on other Pugs (fawns and silver-fawns and apricot–fawns), since black Pugs all have black fur and ears.
According to the AKC (American Kennel Club), the ears are small and soft like velvet. There are two types: the “rose” or the “button”. The preference is for the latter.
According to the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale), the largest kennel association with 90+ member nations and the KC (Kennel Club of the UK), ear shapes are thin, small, and soft like velvet. There are two types: “Rose-ear” – small drop– an ear that folds backwards to expose the burr. “Button ear”, a flap folded forward that covers the skull. Preference given to the latter.
As you can see, Pugs have small, black ears. They are soft and remind one of velvet. There are two shapes that are accepted: rose and button. The button is preferred for conformation show rings.
Different types of Pug Ears
There are many variations to the Pug ear. Each dog will have a unique look. However, there is one thing that is certain about this breed: It is a folded ear. This means it rises then folds over itself. There are two things that distinguish Pug ears from other breeds: the angle at which it folds and how far it extends from the side of its face to the ear tip.
Let’s look at some examples of the different types of ears that a Pug could have.
The button ear
A Pug’s button ear is one where the ear folds inward, towards the outer corner of your eye and lies against your face. The entire outer ear canal is covered. This is the preferred shape for conformation.
The rose ear
Although the rose ear of a Pug looks similar to the button ear, it is not folded over. The main difference is that the ear has an easier fold that makes the ear stand out and not rest against the Pug’s head. The outer ear canal is shaped by a burr, which is the small section of cartilage that forms the rose ear. In the show ring, this ear shape is acceptable, but not preferred.
Pug Puppy Growth: Ear Shape and Color Changes
A Pug puppy’s ear shape will indicate the size of his final adult set. If a Pug puppy’s ears are too prominent (rose ears), they can eventually drop to the side (button ears). If a Pug puppy’s ears are very prominent (flying ears), they might eventually fall down and expose the burr (rose eyes). However, this is not a guarantee.
You might notice your ears changing over the first nine months. This is most noticeable during the teething phase, which can temporarily affect the set of your ears due to the connection between the nerves in your jaw and the muscles at the ear base.
The color of a Pug’s ears at birth is a good indicator of what to expect when he becomes an adult. This can change over time. Fawn Pug puppies and other non-black Pug pups may only have partially black ears. This color may fade or become darker as the pup grows.
The ear set and color of a Pug puppy will usually tell you what to expect, but there may be changes in the first year. The final adult set and color are in place at the one-year mark.
Is there a way to make a pug’s ears flatter?
Like other physical characteristics, the Pug’s earset is genetic. There is no way for owners to alter the Pug’s ear set. Taping is a technique that literally uses tape to fix a Pug’s ears in the desired position. This is done with the hope that they will stay there. This method is not always effective and can lead to frustration for both the dog and the owner.
Even if your Pug’s ears don’t look the way you wanted them to, keep in mind that every Pug is unique and beautiful. If you intend to enter your Pug in a conformation show or breeding program, then only does ear set really matter.