How to Trim a Dog's Ear Hair

10 - 20 Minutes
1 Month


It turns out that, not only do dogs have a way better sense of smell than we do, but they also have way better hearing than we do. Who knew! A dog's ears are very important to him, they can detect sounds of small prey, like the sounds rats and mice make, and distinguish the sounds of their owner's footsteps or car approaching from other cars and people. 

Unfortunately, many dogs have problems with yeast and bacterial infections in their ears due to anatomical structure and hygiene. Dogs that have long floppy ears and dogs with lots of hair on their ears can easily get an excess buildup of microorganisms in their ear because hair traps moisture, which yeast organisms thrive on. The result can be yeast infections that impair ear health.  

Removal of excess hair in and around the ear helps in keeping the ear area clean and preventing infections. Also, excess hair in the ear can impair hearing function in some cases, by reducing the ability of sound waves to reach internal ear structures.  Many groomers and owners remove ear hair by plucking or pulling out the hair, but many owners are uncomfortable with this process. Some dogs strenuously object to hair pulling in the ear, and in some cases, plucking causes skin in the ear to become inflamed and compromised, which can contribute to infections instead of preventing them. In these cases, dog owners may opt to trim ear hair instead.

Dog's Perspective

A dog's ears are delicate structures. Just like you would not like someone touching and manipulating your ear, your dog probably does not either. If hair in the ear has already contributed to moisture build-up and a yeast infection, the ear will also be sore and uncomfortable, and your dog may not appreciate your manipulating his ear to trim that excess hair. You will need to be firm and gentle to convince your dog that you are not going to hurt him and that he needs to remain still while you are working on his ears. Using treats or an assistant to help restrain and comfort your dog may be useful.

Caution & Considerations

  • Ears are delicate and can be easily injured by having a sharp instrument inserted.  Be careful not to injure your dog with tools like trimmers and scissors.

  • When trimming, be careful not to get too close to your dog's ear skin and nick or cut your dog.

  • Clean all implements thoroughly afterward with disinfectant, especially if yeast or bacterial infections may be present.

  • Treat any infections present in the ear after trimming with appropriate medications as prescribed by your veterinarian.


When it comes to your dog's ear health, excess hair can be the enemy. Hair traps moisture and debris, including dead skin cells that microorganisms feed off, and can result in infections in the ear. Or, if hair is particularly excessive, hair can dampen hearing ability. Removing excess ear hair by trimming with scissors or small personal trimmers regularly and keeping your dog's ears clean will promote ear health and help avoid problematic infections.  ust remember to be careful when working around these delicate structures.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Grooming Questions & Answers

5 Months
0 found helpful
0 found helpful
5 Months

Trimmed ear hair today. Excessive head shaking. Might be hair in ear canal. Should i be worried?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
0 Dog owners recommended

Hello, and thank you for the question. I am going to forward you to a page on our website where you have access to ask a vet a question, the same as you could ask me a question. I'd prefer that as I think it's best answered by a vet, just in case. Here is the link, and the "ask a vet" is right at the top of the page: All the best to Roscoe and enjoy your puppy!

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