If dog's ears are meant to stand up they often are down as a puppy and gradually they stand up.
My chihuahua pups looked like kittens when they were born but they all finished up with fabulous ears.
I remember when my son got a German Shepherd puppy and I stroked his head and ears.
'Don't touch the ears! don't touch the ears' he almost shouted.
'Their ears are very fragile when they are pups and they might not stand up at all!'
I had never heard that so can't vouch for the truth.
Anyway I thought this pic and the saying lovely.