Better to Hear You With, My Dear: What Shape are My Dog’s Ears?

Dogs throughout history have had all kinds of ears. Cropped, folded, and even cropped and folded. Ear shape is different from breed to breed, but can also vary inside breeds based on your pup’s family tree. If you’ve ever wondered what to call your dog’s ear shape, here are the fancy classifications of dog ears to add to your dog facts arsenal!

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Prick or Erect Ears

This type of dog ear is the one that was inherited from the very first ancestors of all dogs: wolves. This is when the ear sticks straight up. They stand tall at all times and have a triangular, sharp-point. The breeds who have this kind of ear include Huskies, Malamutes, and many Terriers.

Drop Ears

These ears are just as it sounds. Dogs with Drop ears have ears that fold over. They can be surgically treated to become a form of Prick ear, but most dogs that are not show dogs will live their lives with their natural-born Drop ears. Dogs with natural Drop ears include Basset Hounds, Beagles, Labrador Retrievers, and more.

Cropped Ears

Cropped ears actually fall under the Prick ear family. Cropped ears are surgically created from dogs with Drop ears, making their ears manmade Prick ears. Doberman Pinschers, Boxers, and Great Danes are some of the most common breeds that undergo this process. It has become the norm for these breeds to have their ears cropped at birth. Many people who purchase these dogs from breeders expect Cropped ears over their natural Drop ears.

Bat Ears

Ears that are large in comparison to the dog’s head and that remain upright are called Bat ears. Most dogs that have Bat ears have a large space between their ears that looks like a V. This shape gives impression that the dog’s ears are shaped like bat wings, hence the name Bat ears. Dogs that are known to have Bat ears include: Corgis, French Bulldogs, and Chihuahuas.

Rose Ears

Dogs with Rose ears are unique in that they are folded and erect ears. Because of this the inner ear will be exposed creating folds that look a lot like a rose. Dogs that were made for running and tend to have streamlined bodies usually have this kind of ear shape. For example, Whippets and Greyhounds often have this rose-eared look making them ready to run at any time.

What is the norm for a certain breed’s ears will not always occur in all dogs of that breed. Dogs that are mixed breeds often have many of these ear-shape characteristics and it can be hard to determine what specific classification they fall under. Regardless of ear shape, there is no ear better than the other. Your dog might stand out from the pack, but he can still hear you just fine.

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