In the canine kingdom, there are dogs with all types of different ear shapes and sizes. From the long, droopy ears of the Basset Hound to the perky, upright ears of the Boston Terrier, no dog ears are the same.
In this article, we’re going to thoroughly explore all of the different dog ear types to help you learn more about your pup’s unique features.
The 13 Different Types of Dog Ears
1. Erect Dog Ears
Commonly seen on dogs that resemble wolves, such as the German Shepherd, Siberian Husky, or Alaskan Malamute, erect dog ears stand upright and point towards the sky. They are typically pointed and sharp. Smaller dog breeds that have rigid ears include Cairn Terriers, Yorkshire Terriers, and West Highland Terriers.
Some people love the look of an erect ear. In some cases, owners or breeders go as far as to crop their dog’s ears in order for them to stand upright. Dobermans, Great Danes, and Boxers are among the breeds that have manufactured erect ears because they are naturally born with floppy ones.
2. Cropped Ears
As previously mentioned, some dog breeds undergo a cosmetic procedure known as “ear cropping” to transform their floppy ears into pointed, pricked ones. The procedure is done when the dog is still a young puppy and involves removing all or part of the ear’s external flaps.
Sometimes, a brace or tape is used to train the ear to point upright.
3. Drop Ears
Drop ears hang down. They are mostly associated with domestic dog breeds. In fact, Max V. Stephanitz, an acclaimed breeder of German Shepherds, made the comment that drop ears are a sure sign that a dog has been domesticated. He believed that dogs who lived in captivity did not need perky ears because they had no need to hunt.
Some breeds commonly associated with drop ears include Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers. Floppy ears on Retrievers can actually be quite functional, as they help to keep water out of the ear canal while the dog is swimming.
4. Rounded or Blunt Dog Ears
Dog breeders have been able to modify the pricked ears of the wolf through selective breeding. This has resulted in an upright ear with a curved tip. This ear type can be found on French Bulldogs.
5. Bat Ears
As the name implies, bat ears are large, V-shaped ears that resemble those of a bat. They are often outwardly inclined and extend beyond the sides of the dog’s head. Breeds with this type of ear design include the Chihuahua and the Corgi.
6. Rose Dog Ears
Rose dog ears are erect ears that fall to the side at the midway point and resemble a rose petal. The American Kennel Club has strict breed standards in place for dogs with this ear type. For example, Whippets must have a small, refined rose ear shape while they are relaxed.
7. Hooded Ears
In the dog world, there are numerous variations of erect ears, including the hooded ear. This elegant variation, which is on the Basenji, features curled sides to give off the appearance of a cowl.
8. Semi-Pricked Dog Ears
The American Kennel Club (AKC) has specific breed standards that state that Border Collies can either have pricked or semi-pricked ears. If they are semi-erect, the ears must fold forward or outwards.
9. Candle Flame Ears
Another variation of erect ears is candle flame ears. This ear type is characterized by ears that curve inward near the base with a slight fold on the outer edge, giving them the appearance of a candle flame. English Toy Terriers typically display this ear type.
10. Button Ears
This doggy ear type is as cute as a button! A type of semi-erect ear, button ears have long skin that covers the majority of the ear. Breeds with this type of ear include Pugs, Jack Parson Terriers, and Fox Terriers.
11. Folded Dog Ears
A folded ear is a drop ear that has folds that hang down, much like a curtain. Bloodhounds have folded ears. Upon close inspection, you can see the difference between a folded ear and a regular drop ear, which hangs flat.
12. Butterfly Ears
Butterfly ears, common in Papillions (papillon actually means butterfly in French), are perked ears that have long fur that is unfurled like butterfly wings and appears to flutter.
13. Filbert Ear
The Filbert ear is an ear shape exclusive to the Bedlington Terrier that closely resembles the leaf on a Filbert tree.
Dog ear types are as extensive as dog breeds themselves. From drop and erect ears to button, butterfly, and bat ears, there is a wide variety of ear variations to choose from. Whatever ear type your dog has, ensure to clean them as needed to promote optimal health.