Dachshunds Shake Their Ears

Why Do Dachshunds Shake Their Ears?

Updated 01/09/2024 by Ava Jaine

Oh, the constant head shake and ear scratch!  My heart goes out to all of the Dachshunds that struggle with ear problems.  Finding out the root cause of the constant shake and scratch can help lead you to the right solution.

Why Do Dachshunds Shake Their Ears?  They may need to be cleaned, a painful ear infection, ear mites, food allergies, or it may even be a serious health condition. Find out more below.

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Table of Contents

Dachshund’s Ear Shape

The Dachshund’s ear shape is called the drop ear, because it hangs down low.  Dogs with the drop ear shape tend to have poor air flow to the inner ear compared to other canine ear types. 

This makes Dachshund ears more prone to holding moisture, causing infections.

Low hanging dog ears also make a cozy home for nasty fleas, mites, and ticks who will breed and defecate inside a dog’s ear, causing more problems.

Post You May Like: 8 Easy Ways To Keep TICKS Off of Your Dachshund

Dachshunds Shake Their Ears

Why Do Dachshunds Shake Their Ears?

Your Dachshund may be shaking their head because they have dirty ears that need cleaning or they may have an ear infection, ear mites, allergies, or a serious health issue.

1. Dirty Ears:

Doxies will shake their head and scratch at their ears if they need to be cleaned.

How Often Should You Clean Your Dog’s Ears?

My doxie’s ears usually need cleaning every two weeks.  If your Dachshund is prone to nasty ear infections, gently clean them out every week.  If you aren’t comfortable cleaning your dog’s ears, have a dog groomer or your vet do the task for you.


How To Clean Your Dachshund’s Ears:

This is a super easy 5-step ear cleaning process that my vet recommended to me.  I use this method to clean all of my dog’s ears with ease.

  1. Saturate a medium sized cotton ball with high quality dog ear cleaner.  I like to use VetWELL Dog Ear Cleaner (from Amazon).  It is all-natural, smells nice, and my dog’s don’t mind it.
  2. Take the saturated cotton ball and put it inside your dog’s ear.
  3. Gently massage the outside of the ear to move that wet cotton ball around the inside of the ear for about 10-15 seconds.
  4. Use the wet cotton ball to wipe the outer ear canal. 
  5. Use dry cotton balls to soak up any excess moisture.

Repeat this process for the other ear.  It is normal for your pup to shake their ears during and after this process.

Step-By-Step Video: How To Clean Your Dachshund’s Ears

2. Ear Infection:

If your dog continues to act like their ears are bothering them and cleaning doesn’t do the job – it is time to take them to the vet.  Your vet has some powerful antibiotics that can help clear up the infection in no time.

Don’t wait to visit the vet, your doxie’s ear infection can get worse or cause hearing loss.

If your dog goes swimming, make sure to clean and thoroughly dry their ears to prevent bacteria or fungus growth.

Symptoms Of An Ear Infection:

  • Ear Scratching

  • Head Shaking

  • Stinky Ear Odor

  • Ear Discharge

  • Head Tilting to the Side

  • Painful to Touch

Dachshunds Shake Their Ears

3. Ear Mites:

If you notice your Dachshund scratching their ears, they may have some nasty ear mites!

What is an Ear Mite?

An ear mite is a small parasite that lives inside an animal’s ears.  They eat the skin cells, earwax, and the blood of their host.  They leave their waste and lay their eggs in the host’s ear canal, causing infestations and ear infections.


How Can You Tell If Your Dog Has Ear Mites?

Here are some of the common symptoms of dog ear mites:

  • Shaking their head
  • Constantly scratching their ears
  • Reddish-Brown crust forming on outer ear
  • Brown chunks in the ears (looks like dirt or coffee grounds)
  • Hearing loss

Can Humans Get Ear Mites From Dogs?

Yes, ear mites can be spread to humans, but it is rare.  Ear mites are very contagious to other animals in the household though.  If you have other pets in your home, they will ALL need treatment to get rid of the whole ear mite tribe.

Dachshunds Shake Their Ears

Can Ear Mites Live On Furniture?

Yup!  Make sure to clean all carpet, blankets, and bedding to eradicate the mites.

What Kills Ear Mites In Dogs?

You can try to treat your pup at home if you notice any ear mites wreaking havoc in your dog’s ears.

4. Allergies:

Your Dachshund may shake their ears because they are allergic to their dog food.  If you notice symptoms like paw licking and chewing, ear shaking, itching, and rubbing their nose – it’s probably a food allergy.

An allergic response can occur when the allergen is eaten, absorbed in the skin, or inhaled.  Your doxie’s ears will then produce a heavy amount of ear wax, which can lead to an ear infection.

If your dog has to visit the vet for constant ear infections, you may want to consider changing up their dog food or have your vet perform an allergy test.

Related Post by Canine Journal: Dog Allergy Testing: How Much Does It Cost And Is It Worth It?

Dachshunds Shake Their Ears

5. Serious Health Conditions:

There are some health issues that can cause your Dachshund to excessively shake their ears.  This includes ear vasculitis, neurological disorders, inflammatory diseases, or hypothyroidism.

Ear vasculitis is a disease that causes inflammation of the vessels in the ear flap.  This disease mostly affects small breeds like Dachshunds and Jack Russell Terriers.  Ear vasculitis can be caused by fly bites or immune disorders.

Don’t Wait: If your dog is constantly digging at their ears or shaking their head, they could actually rupture blood vessels or cause a hematoma.

It is important to get your pup checked out by their veterinarian to diagnose any of these more serious health conditions.



Get into a regular routine of cleaning your Dachshund’s ears every two weeks.  If your doxie is itching, licking their paws, and scratching their ears, switch up their dog food and see if that helps.

If your Dachshund is still shaking and digging at their ears, take them to the vet.  Your vet can rule out if it is an ear infection, ear mites that need to be extracted, or an illness that needs treatment.

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