From your first glance, you will notice that dogs have different ear types and shapes. Based on their genetics, breeding factors, or other scientific reasons; dogs will have a variety of shapes to cater to their nature or survival tactics.
Canines come with plenty of ear types and shapes including, erect ears, semi-pricked ears, bat ears, blunt ears, drop ears, button ears, rose ears among others. Some ears are large and long while other are small and short.
Following are details of the various breeds with pictures.
Also referred to as erect ears, this is the most envied type of ears. Probably because it takes on the shape of a wolf that’s seen to be masculine and independent. The type of ear has upright standing ears with sharp and pointed tips. Hence also known as upright ears.
This kind is mostly seen on wild like breeds like the malamutes, Siberian huskies, german shepherds, Basenjis, and the Samoyed. Other Nordic breeds like the Belgian malinois, semi-domestic canids, and dingoes can also have such ear shapes.
As for smaller dog breeds, you will see an erect ear on multiple terriers. These include west highland white terrier, cairn terrier, Norwich terrier, and the Yorkshire terrier, among others.
Further Reading: Dog Breeds with stand-up Pointy Ears
Cocked or Semi-Pricked Ears
Next up is the type of ear that’s not completely upright nor dropped/ floppy. The cocked ear is an erect ear with the tip slightly bent over. It’s only seen to cover an inch of the ears. You will majorly see this ear type on the rough collie or border collie.
Other dog breeds with a tipped ear include the pitbull, fox terrier, and the Shetland sheepdog.
For years, dogs have had their ears cropped at a tender age. Some say its mechanisms to aid the dog head better, while others simply want the cosmetic benefit of it.
Cropped ears are pricked ears that have been tapered into different styles so as to expose the ear rather than hide it.
The cropped ears are prevalently seen with the Doberman Pinschers, but other breeds with cropped ears include the great dane, boxers, cane Corso, the American pit bull terrier, among other breeds.
Further Reading:Doberman Ear Cropping Styles
Blunt or Round Ears
Another variation to the pricked ears is a blunt ear. Also called the round ear, its yet another variation to the pricked ear.
Mostly seen on the french bulldog, the ears are predominantly erect but have a smooth curve at the tip, that’s where the name comes in.
As the name suggests, this ear type has the ear of the dog looking like a hood or a cowl; the priest’s headcover. From the pricked ears of the wolf, these ears are medium shaped and the ears curve on both sides.
A breed prevalently seen with this type of ears is the basenji. However, other Basenjis have longer ears leaving them under the pricked ear category.
Pendant or Drop Ears
Pendant ears hang over the dog’s head completely covering the hearing section. Seen in many hound breeds, the drop ears have the tips folding over to the sides coating the opening to the ear with a v-shape design.
Examples of dog breeds with drop ears include the Basset Hound and a variety of retrievers such ad the Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, and Chesapeake Bay retrievers.
Since these dogs are hunting dogs, psychologists explain that the drop-ear is actually a helpful characteristic. The dog’s ear will block out sound to some degree using that skin covering the ear opening to the ear canal. In return, the dog can now focus on hunting by using their sense of smell.
Further Reading: Dog with Huge and Long Floppy Ears
This is the extended version of the pendant ear. The ears drop down like curtains lying flat on their face. It’s very common on the hound breed, most especially the bloodhound and also seen on the field spaniel.
Another characteristic of this ear type is that you could see the ears actually touching the ground. This is why this breed is excellent for tracking purposes.
Candle Flame Ear
Known to have this particular ear shape is the English Toy Terrier for most terriers, they have a button ear, but this one is unique.
The ears appear to be slightly curved inwards at the base section with a slight opening around the edges.
Therefore, the inner ear has a brighter and lighter ear color. Its erect ears are however long and narrow.
Common to many terriers, the button ears have tipped ears facing forward. About three-quarter of its ears is folded to the front as a way of protecting the breed from insects getting in their ear canal while hunting in the tunnels.
Common breeds with the button ears include the Jack Person terrier, fox terrier, some Shetland sheepdogs, and a couple of others in the terrier hunting family.
While ears grow naturally for these dogs, other breeds like the Shetlands have to be trained from puppyhood so the ears tip forward. Otherwise, the ears remain pricked.
The flapped ear is a very helpful feature because such breeds do an excellent job in tracking and picking of sounds even long distance, in the process, you wouldn’t want dirt, bugs, and insects getting inside their ears.
Further Reading: Button-Eared Dog Breeds, Names + Pictures
Very similar to the button ears is the rose ear shape. A unique style found in bulldogs and pugs. This is also another variation of the drop ears, however, this style has the ears folding inwards along the back edge.
A rose shape is formed when the tip of its pinna curves over and back to the ears opening like when a bud grows into a flower.
Rose ears are also erect ears since the opening to the canal is clean, however, the skin folds backward causing the ears to also fall to the side a bit.
Other breeds you would see with the rose ears include whippets, greyhounds, and bull terriers. For all these breeds, this ear shape played a crucial role in their roles.
Further Reading: Rose-eared Dog Breeds
For example, the greyhound’s ear shape was a way to aid the dog move faster, the shape would streamline its head giving them faster speeds and momentum.
For the terriers, the ears have that shape to aid them during the fighting. As you know biting of ears is very common in fights. In this case, the rose shape gives the ears a hidden shape, therefore, protecting them in the long run.
The ears are upright and they are large in size as compared to its head, hence the name bat ears. With a v shape similar to when the bat unveils its wings, the ears are actually quite large.
There is a space in between the ears causing the tip to include outwards in the direction of the face. You will see bat ears on Corgis and Chihuahuas.
Last, but not least, is the filbert ear type. As unique as the name is, so is the breed itself. Derived from the filbert tree, the ear is shaped liked the leaf of a hazelnut. It’s triangular and has rounded tips like those with blunt ears above.
The ear is also smooth to touch with velvet to silk texture, most especially at the tassel found at its tip. The one breed with the filbert ear is none other than the sheep-like looking Bedlington Terrier.
Dogs with Large and Long Ears
You now know the different shapes and styles that a dog’s ears can have. Now take a look at the different lengths they can have ranging from small to large.
- Basset hound – a very unique dog breed that’s well known for its smelling abilities. It has one of the largest ears but also one of the smallest bodies. Because their ears are long, they would drag on the floor every time.
- Beagle – what’s commonly known as the Queen’s favorite as it originates from the UK. It’s a medium-sized dog with short legs and very long ears as well. They are excellent at hunting and retrievals.
- American cocker spaniel – its ears are very large probably because they are also very hairy.
- Bloodhounds – these are the guru hunters who are said to have the most impeccable sense of smell; they can follow a trail for up to 15 days. The large ears that fall to their sides also help them to focus on tracking.
- Great Danes – these are the apollo dogs from Germany. Very huge and tall dogs with equally long and large ears. In the past, however, many had their ears cropped.
Small Eared Dog Breeds
Many small animals will have small ears like the chihuahua, Shih Pooh, Shih Tzu, and the likes. Other dog breeds with small ears include;
- Jack Russell terrier
- Shiba Inu – a Japanese breed with short and rounded ears.
- Scottish deerhound
- Airedale terrier
- Smooth fox terrier
- Border terrier