What Kind of Ears Does Your Dog Have?

September 4, 2019

dog ear types in one photo

There are three main dog ear types. Sticky Uppy, Floppy, and Half Floppy. Each dog breed has different types of ears depending on what they have been bred for. Sticky up ears are great for hearing long distances. Especially the ears specifically shaped to funnel in the sound. Many breeds with upright ears will turn their ears toward the sound to get a better idea of where it is coming from. Bloodhounds have long ears, that when they are sniffing, help waft scent into their nose enabling them to smell more than a lot of other breeds. Button ears protect the ear canals of dogs that were bred to hunt in tunnels. The unique shape provides the dog with the ability to hear well but the inner ear is covered by the flap of the ear.

Chihuahua bulldog mix stares at the camera with sweater onSticky Uppy (Pricked or Upright Ears)

There are a lot of breeds with ears that stick straight up naturally including, but not limited to:

  • Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  • Chihuahua
  • West Highland White Terrier
  • Siberian Husky
  • Samoyed
  • German Shepherd
  • Australian Cattle Dog
  • Border Collie
  • Chow Chow


There are also breeds that commonly have their ears altered by their owners. This is a surgical alteration called cropping. Some critics say cropping a dog’s ears is cruel, whereas some believe it prevents certain canal infections. Bottom line, if you are considering cropping your dog’s ears; make sure to do extensive research and/or talk to an animal expert. The list of common breeds with cropped ears include, but are not limited to:

  • Boxer
  • Great Dane
  • Boston Terrier
  • Doberman

Golden Retriever at the beach staring to the right of the frameFloppy

There are quite a few dogs with naturally floppy ears. Here is a small sampling of them:

  • Golden Retriever
  • Dalmatian
  • Saint Bernard
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Doberman (Commonly Cropped)
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Bloodhound
  • Pointer
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Beagle
  • Basset Hound
  • Dachshund


According to Darwin, in 1868, the floppy ear trait has been developed over years of domestication of dogs. This was proven to be true by a Russian geneticist Dmitry Belyayev in the 20th century. He took foxes and bred the calmest and human friendly ones together for several generations. After a few dozen generations the foxes were tame and their ears were distinctly floppier.

Australian shepherd lays in pile of leaves with tongue outHalf Floppy (Button or Semi Erect Ears)

Personally I am partial to the floppy and the half floppy eared breeds. Since my first dog Slash (golden retriever) and my dog Lily (Australian Shepherd) fall into these categories. Some button eared dog breeds include, but are not limited to:

  • Australian Shepherd
  • Airedale Terrier
  • Shetland Sheepdog



There are several other dog ear shapes that can be included within the categories above but have a more distinct description including:

  • Rose shaped-Upright ears that fall to the side.
    • Greyhound
    • Whippet
  • Drop Ears-Floppy ears that fall downward from where they connect to a dog’s head.
    • Vizsla
    • Bullmastiff
    • Bloodhound
    • Field Spaniel

I hope next time you see a dog walking down the street you can identify what kind of ears he or she has! Have a wonderful week!


Jess & Lily

Girl standing in a field holding up an Australian shepherd in her arms







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  1. H. Elizabeth says:

    Cute!!!!! Our dog has half floppy ears 🙂 thanks for the info