If your Malamute often moves its ears back you might be wondering why.

This post will show you why it might do it and how you can figure out the exact cause.

Common reasons why Malamutes more their ears back are that it is excited, it is being submissive or that it is warning you.

There are actually a number of reasons why your Malamute might move its ears back. Fortunately, there are also a number of things that you can consider that will greatly help in figuring out the exact reason.

Reasons why your Malamute moves its ears back

Below are some common reasons why they do it.


It might be the case that your Malamute has been doing it due to being excited. This would be more likely if it shows other signs of excitement such as wagging its tail. It would also be more likely if it does it when something might be exciting it such as when you come home or are about to take it out for a walk.


Another possible cause is that it is being submissive. This would be more likely if it does it in situations where it might be being submissive such as when bigger dogs are around it or when it has just done something it shouldn’t have and you just found out. It would also be more likely if it shows other signs of submission such as hiding its tail or rolling on its back.

It’s warning you

It might also be the case that it is warning you not to go near it or it is being aggressive. This would be more likely if it does it in situations such as when it is eating or when it is guarding something that it thinks belongs to it like a spot on the couch. It would also be more likely if it shows other signs of aggression such as showing its teeth, stiffening its legs and growling.

In this case, it would be important to give it lots of training so that it learns how it is meant to behave. If it seems to be the case that it could become aggressive, the best option would be to seek the help of a certified dog behaviorist or trainer in your area.

Consider what its other body language signs are showing

Below are some body language signs to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.


The eyes can tell you a lot about the mood of your Malamute.

Generally, wide-open eyes where you can see a lot of white around the outside with dilated pupils is a sign of aggression, fear or stress. Whereas, squinting is generally a sign that it feels relaxed.


When Malamutes are feeling relaxed they will normally have their mouths open with their tongues out and be panting.

If it is feeling frightened then they might pant excessively, have a closed mouth or drool a lot when there is no reason to.

Whereas, if they pull their front lips up and show their teeth, it would normally be a sign of aggression. However, if they show their front teeth when wagging their tails, squinting and flattening their ears then it would be a more submissive sign.


When your Malamute is feeling excited it will likely wag its tail and often raise it as well. Whereas, if it hides its tail between its legs then it would normally be a sign of fear or submission.


If its hair appears to raise then it will usually be a sign of being upset or aroused. However, raised hair can also signal that it is feeling aggressive especially if it shows other signs of aggression.


It is normal for a dog to pant in order to keep itself cool. However, if it pants excessively with a tight mouth then it can be a sign that it is feeling stressed.

Consider the timing of when it puts its ears back

It would also help to consider what else is happening and the timing of when your Malamute moves its ears back.

For example, if it moves its ears back when you come home and it is wagging its tail and trying to lick you, it would be much more likely that it is showing excitement.

Whereas, if it moves its ears back when it is eating and it growls as well, it would be much more likely that it is doing it because it is resource guarding and warning you not to approach it.

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