Dogs’ eyes are often the best way to see their souls. Careful observation of the ears and mouth can reveal a lot about the dog’s thoughts and feelings. Dog ears can be more difficult to understand and read, so they must often be interpreted in conjunction with other visual signals. This is particularly true if the ears of the dog are pulled back or held close. We will explain what it means What does it mean when a dog puts his ears back. These are some common reasons dogs place their ears back, keep reading.

1- This could indicate an emotional signal.

Negative emotions are often reflected in dog ears that are too close to the head. These are some common reasons dogs may pull their ears back.


sadness is another possibility. This can often lead to ears that are too close to the side of the head. This may be a sign that a dog is unhappy with a friend. One time, I saw a dog pulling his ears back when he saw his friends playing with his pups. He couldn’t join them as he was on a leash.

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Fearfulness can be indicated by pulling back the ears of dogs. This can be combined with other body and facial signals that are associated with fearfulness. A dog’s fearfulness can be assessed by its lowered body, lowered ears, lower tail, ears back, panting and lip-licking. They also avoid eye contact and attempt to hide, escape, or retreat. You should note that every dog expresses fear differently, and some dogs may only display certain signs. This stiffness or body of some dogs may also be seen in some other ways, such as trembling, furrowing brows, whale eye, stiffness, or pulling the corners of their lips back.


Dogs that are about to bite will often pin their ears to the top of their heads. This may be to protect their ears by keeping them clear of any nearby teeth. This could be used in conjunction with other body language such as growling, barking and lunging.


When they are anxious, dogs may put their ears back. This can be combined with body language like tongue flicks, panting or tension in the body. This behavior is common in dogs who have to be in the car, but don’t like road trips or dogs who are too overwhelmed by children. This could also be a sign that your dog isn’t enjoying being petted.

What does it mean when a dog puts his ears back?
What does it mean when a dog puts his ears back?

2- Showing Contentment

Your dog should be relaxed and allow their ears to hang in neutral. German Shepherds can have pointed ears. This makes them look more alert than other dogs. If they are happy, they can either flatten or fold their ears back. When they are happy, some dogs can show tension by pulling their ears back. However, not all dogs behave like this.

After a long day of running around the beach or park, imagine your dog lying down. You will notice a lot of panting and squinting, as well as squinty and pulled-back ears.

You can tell if your dog is content if it has relaxed, has its tail up, and is engaged in a fun activity while keeping its ears tucked, then you are pretty sure that they are happy.


3- Your dog wants to play.

A playful dog will “bow” his body, wag his tail and place its ears back. It is also known as the “play bow”, and is when your dog is happy and excited. You can expect them to want to run, play fetch, or act like a cute goofball.

An energetic dog may also be playful and might bark, jump around, or salivate. You can play with them by throwing a frisbee or ball, or running around the house.

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4- They Listening to Something

Dogs will swivel and pull their ears back when they try to focus their listening.  dogs can wivel or pull their ears back to listen when they want to. Dogs can concentrate their hearing, unlike people. They do this by moving their ears rather than their heads. If the sound is coming from behind, they will either swivel or draw their ears towards the sound.

The dog will alertly stand up when they are listening for something. The dog will remain still and focus on the sound, while their tails are down in a normal position.

They can move their ears forward depending on where the sound is located.

This can be done by taking your dog with you outside to the garden. Call your dog from the outside. The dog will immediately respond by opening his ears and looking alert while he focuses on the call.

What does it mean when a dog puts his ears back?

5- Your dog isn’t feeling well.

Dogs can turn their ears back when they feel sick or in pain. High-frequency sounds, which humans cannot hear, can cause damage to the ears. Uncomfort can also be caused by ear infections, stomach problems, and upset stomachs. It could indicate that your dog isn’t feeling well if their ears hurt or they become more tired and withdrawn than usual. If possible, bring your dog to the veterinarian to determine if you can help.


6- Getting a Dog

Your dog may use the same gesture to greet you if they are interested in having sex with someone else, just as they might fold their ears when greeting you. They use different courting rituals. Folding their ears back is a sign that they are willing to submit. This can also signify acceptance of the other.

You should also avoid disturbing your dog while he gets to know another species. This can be seen as aggressive behavior, and your dog may react negatively.


7- Sing of being aggressive.

An aggressive dog may pull his ears back, lunge and bite. Dogs that feel threatened will instinctively cover their ears to prevent being bitten by other dogs. You can calm an aggressive dog by sitting still and avoiding eye contact. Run away from aggressive dogs to reduce the chance of being bitten.

Ask the owner if it isn’t your dog. It’s safer to approach aggressive dogs with a familiar person.



Your dog’s ear is an amazing part of him. The ear is a great way to gauge how your dog feels, especially if you have a breed with very articulate ears. Each dog is unique and each one has its own personality. It is important to have a great relationship with your dog. Communication is key to this.

Be aware of the context. It may seem like appeasement to you, but your dog could be stressed. It could cause your dog to be more stressed if you make a mistake. You could even end up getting bit.


I’m a long-time animal lover and owner of two dogs and three cats. I grew up on a farm where we had all sorts of animals, from cows and horses to pigs and chickens. My love for animals led me to pursue a career in writing about them. I have been a pet care writer for over 5 years and have extensive knowledge of animal care, health, and behavior.

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