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Dog Ear Shapes and Types

By Paige

There are a variety of different ear shapes and sizes in the canine world. Here are some of the basics with brief descriptions and examples of breeds with each ear shape.

Bat Ear

Bat ear dog

Image from sarah…

Large in proportion to the head & upright.

Example of breeds with bat ears: Chihuahua & Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Blunt-Tipped or Round-Tipped Ears

Blunt-tipped ear dog

Image from Stijn Hosdez

Large, upright ears with blunted or rounded tips.

Example of breeds with blunt-tipped ears: Chow Chow & French Bulldog

Button Ear

Button ear dog

Image from Alicia Nijdam

A small semi-erect ear with a front flap that folds forward nearly to the skull obscuring most of the ear canal.

Example of breeds with button ears: Jack Russell Terrier & Fox Terrier

Candle Flame Ear

Candle flame ear dog

Image from huskypup

Specific ear type of the English Toy Terrier breed.

Cocked or Semi-Cropped or Semi-Prick Ear

Cocked ear dog

Image from r4n

An upright prick ear that folds over slightly at the tip.

Examples of breeds with semiprick ears: Rough Collie & Pitbull

Cropped Ear

Cropped ear dog

Image from sduffy

Created by surgically cropping them shortly after birth so they stand up straight. (This is cosmetic surgery)

Example of breeds often found with cropped ears: Doberman & Great Dane

Drop or Pendant Ear

Drop ear dog

Image from Contadini

Can be expressed in a variety of shapes & lengths and specifies only that the ear hang down from their junction with the side of the head.

Examples of breeds with drop ears: Basset Hound & Skye Terrier

Filbert-Shaped Ear

Filbert-shaped ear dog

Image from SheltieBoy

An unusual shape to find and named because the ears have the shape of a hazel nut or filbert.

Examples of breeds with filbert-shaped ears: Almost exclusively found in the Bedlington Terrier

Folded Ear

Folded ear dog

Image from juliebee

Pendant ears that hang in folds rather than hanging flat.

Examples of breeds with folded ears: Bloodhound & Field Spaniel

Hooded Ear

Hooded ear dog

Image from kanonn

Small ears that curve inwards from both edges.

Examples of breeds with hooded ears: Basenji

Prick or Erect Ear

Prick ear dog

Image from xXXF14YanksXXx

Sharp and pointed ears that stand erect. Can be natural or done by cropping.

Examples of breeds with prick ears: German Shepherd & Pomeranian

Rose Ear

Rose ear dog

Image from oceanfrog

A small drop ear that folds backwards.

Examples of breeds with rose ears: Greyhound & Bulldog

V-Shaped Ear

V-shaped ear dog

Image from tkerugger

Longer, triangular shaped ears that are usually (but not always) dropped.

Examples of breeds with v-shaped ears: Bullmastiff & Hungarian Vizla

Feedback Is Always Welcome

There is quite a bit of conflicting info when it comes to dog ear types and shapes. We did our research, and took what we could from available info. Be sure to check out the ear shape cheat sheet & feedback is always welcome from readers in the know.

53 Responses to “Dog Ear Shapes and Types”

  1. Robin says:

    Pointy eared dogs are the best, in my opinion. :-) Tee hee.

  2. Aurora says:

    I like the type of ear that erect on one side and floppy on the other. I think thats the cutest! This helped alot though, thanks!

  3. hayli says:

    these dogs are so cute i was looking for a dog that did not have floppy ears because my dog holly has an ear infection and floppy ears can cause that

  4. erika says:

    thanks so much i need help with describing what kind of ears this dog has thanks :)

  5. Ward says:

    I’m scared that the Pit bull requires a particular sort of operator…these pet dogs, no matter how ‘trusting’ nevertheless have teeth, are still animals not having moral principles and once they DO bite, won’t let go. As in all animals…some often be a lot more suseptable to instinctual habits and time and time again, this breed tends to accomplish just that.

  6. Wolf says:

    I love pointy eared dogs the best!

  7. Susan says:

    Rose ears are by far the superior type of ear. This is well known.

  8. Vicki says:

    Thank you for putting this up! I have been trying to find what my dog’s ear type was- Button/V-shaped.

  9. Celine says:

    Different ears for different dog breeds–they’re all so cute n’est-ce-pas?

  10. Sarah says:

    Rose ears are the cutest!

  11. Liz says:

    I love all the pointy ears!!

  12. Becky says:

    Excellent site showing and explaining dog ear types! Thank you.

  13. Neil says:

    That Vizsla picture is the cutest!!

  14. Jadee says:

    Soo… How do u tell the difference between the candle flame, prick, and hooded ear?

  15. sg says:

    Button ears are the cutest by far. And so are the wire-haired long legged Terriers.

  16. Chris Miller says:

    My dog has button ears that are a little longer than the Jack. But the thing is they can pop up straight, prick, like the corgi, and each ear can rotate, probably 90 degrees independently. Do corgis’ do that? I saw her standing next to a corgi and both had one ear up–they looked like cousins, although the face is the only part of Lucy that is at all like that breed. I am just trying to get to the bottom of her background, and it seems like the ears are a feature of something unique.

  17. Anonymous says:

    @ward yes pitbulls do require a particular handler. A owner who is not in to this breed for fighting or being the toughest guy on the block. They are animal aggressive NOT HUMAN AGGRESSIVE. The owner who beats the dog makes the dog that way. I hate the stigmatism with this breed they are great dogs I leave my to play with my nieces and have no worry at all. Ya they are a powerful brees but are a very loyal breed. Little dogs bite too and everyone clumps any dog the looks like a pit as pit. Thought; how did dog fighters handle their dog amd cleaned his wounds if it was human aggressive. Please everyone stop the witch hunt

  18. Suzanne says:

    Thank you for taking your time to publish this. It has been a great help.
    Although I don’t have favourites as such I do like Button Ears on pugs.


  19. kim says:

    Well Ward, you are scared alright. Have you ever been bitten by a Pitbull? By ANY dog? Do you know somebody who has been? Most likely not. Try Educating yourself. Responsible Pet ownership is the key to a society that lives in harmony. The Pitbull breeds are gentle and playful dogs. Please take a look at all the thousands of Pitbulls who are severely neglected and abused, starved, beaten and have earned every right to bite, yet they do not. You never hear of these dogs. They suffer and die without their sad stories all over the media. Do a search for Patrick on Google. Educate yourself, your fears will go away. This is a very good article on ears, by the way.

  20. Rudy's Mom says:

    You might want to rethink the Bat Ear and Blunt Ear pics and example dogs, since French Bulldogs are well known for their Bat Ears. Yes, bat ears are a subset of blunt ears, but the AKC describes Frenchies as having “trademark” bat ears. I’ve never heard Chihuahuas or Corgies described as having bat ears, and Chihuahuas generally have pointed upright ears.

  21. Sylvie says:

    So, can’t quite work out if my Beagle is meant to be Dropped Ear or V shaped ear. He’s still the best dog ever no matter what his ears are called!

    Also, why oh why do people still crop the ears of some breeds? It’s unnecessary and adds nothing to their appearance.

  22. Theresa says:

    My dog has upright ears but they sometimes cross at the tips. Any idea what kind of dog she is? She has some shepherd but I think she might be some kind of terrier as well.

  23. Ed says:

    I’m a drop ear man myself!

  24. DEB says:

    this was a big help. i rescued a dog from the pound and have no idea what he is except he looks like he might be part cairn (brindle and coat texture) scnauser (build and slight underbite) and those ears…!!! he has ROSE EARS so now i know he may be part bulldog or greyhound/whippet…sweetest little boy!

  25. michael says:

    thank you this will help me find who my mongrels family is

  26. Taylorcat says:

    I keep seeing a small dog on TV that has a kind of furry, round face and very round ears set close to head. Any idea what breed he is?

  27. Holly says:

    I have two pitbull mixes and two toddlers. They couldn’t possibly be better friends! I take mine to the dog park ALL of the time too! They are great with people and dogs of all ages and sizes but that’s what any responsible dog owner does is socialize their dogs. Personally it’s the little dogs that i won’t leave my children with unsupervised since they tend to be so nippy. I do love my dogs ears though! When they want to let them droop, they droop then sometimes they are half prick and some times rose

  28. Ellen says:

    Thank you. This site/article is very helpful. I think my little fox terrier has candle flame ears. I’ve been learning about him everywhere possible because he was an abandoned dog that I rescued three years ago. He has been the most wonderful family member! I had never even heard of the Rat Terrier Breed before “Foley” came into my life. He is the most loving, cutest, quirkiest little rascal. I just adore him.
    Great article. Thank you, again.

  29. Sheri says:

    Ditto what Kim said about pitbulls. There are some wonderful, loving pitbulls out there. I was bitten by an Akita which made me a bit skittish for awhile around all big dogs but I never blame the dog – and I feel for all the pitbulls that are great dogs but are getting banned because of the bad rep. The bad owners who abuse them to make them aggressive should be banned, not the dogs. Our society should have more severe consequences for those owners for the sake of both society & the breed.

  30. Sheri says:

    AND – great article on ears. Loved the pics!

  31. rugbymom says:

    English Mastiff ears, although adorable, are deep caverns and can be really smelly and dirty at times. They are prone to yeast infections. I switched mine to a grain free diet and have on occasion used Monistat 7 to clear up any infections. Works like a charm. Wish there was a way to pin them up for short periods of time so they can get light and air. I do clean his ears frequently too.

  32. P. Ramsey says:

    Want to thank all of the “smart” people standing up for the pitbulls, I have volunteered at countless pounds, sanctuaries,etc with animals, am a certified Vet. Assit. am working with a Vet right now for a vaccine clinic, have 6 rescue dogs all from very bad backgrounds, 2 pitbulls, terrier,chihuahua,min pin,basengi.The greatest myths of pitbulls is they lock jaw when they bite, not true! I have been bit several times by little dogs, love them and are deemed more snippy because they are so small they feel they have to protect them selves more diligently from being stepped on, kicked accidently,etc.If pitbulls were so bad even after being in abused situations, then why did the majority of Michale Vicks pitbulls get adopted out and passed all their behavior tests with flying colors, you can change dogs way more/easier than you can change people,mmmm wonder why I want to work with animals the rest of my life, they atleast aren’t ignorant!One of the best books or pitbulls to educate yourself with would be Oogy the pitbull that was used as a bait dog!!!God put me on this earth to educate humans on how to treat and love his creatures,especially pitbulls,they need us to advocate for them probably more than any other dog!

  33. Lisa says:

    I love the drop ears! Nothing cuter than a Basset, Bloodhound or Black and Tan Coonhound!
    A word about Pitbulls, they are just as sweet as any other dog, it’s all in the way they are brought up. I know many wonderful Pits, and it breaks my heart to see them stereotyped. All they ask for is to be loved.

  34. Justin Connors says:

    my shepherd has BAT EARS! and is super cute heres a link https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/337276_10152156066080122_2029389760_o.jpg

  35. gunner says:

    Ward’s an a@@ who knows nothing about dogs. Yes, the breed is suseptible to particular training, but it’s the human who does the imput. Pit bulls can be the ideal family\watch dogs. I’ve seen them love and protect small children. In other words…garbage in garbage out…love in love out.

  36. Jennifer says:

    My dog has floppy ears and has never had an ear infection in his 4 years of life so far. Floppy-eared dogs are the best!!!

  37. Kate says:

    Wow. That was really helpful! The pendant ear is my favorite, although my two dogs have floppy ears:)

  38. suze says:

    For those who don’t want a flop eared dog due to ear infections – that is easily controlled. First, make sure it’s not a mite. If clear, then buy an ear cleaner made for dogs. Clean the ears well, following the directions. Then keep the ears clean. Also, fold the ears back to make sure they are thoroughly dried after cleaning ears – either with the product or a bath.

    I’ve had MANY flop eared dogs. In fact, they are my favorites. Out of all those dogs in all these years (talking over 60 years), only one flop eared dog had the issue. I learned from the vet how to care for her ears: End of infections. I’ve now got two more flop eared dogs and fostered many more. She was the exception – not the rule – regarding ear infections.

  39. suze says:

    Regarding pit bulls: They can be VERY loving and sweet natured dogs. Meanwhile, I can also understand people’s fear of them, so I don’t condemn them or judge them harshly.

    We have two pit bull mixes in the family. One is the dog EVERYONE else wants due to his calm demeanor and good behavior. BUT, he was also very well trained by my son in law, who is a good, responsible owner (and a rescuer). Since the dog is pit/boxer and has a boxer face, due to people’s concern, we’ve told them the dog is a boxer mix. It’s interesting response, as it’s the same dog and suddenly they relax.

    They rescued a second dog – who was part Corgi. It was the Corgi-mix that was returned for biting – a bite so bad, my daughter was in the hospital from it!

    The second dog they tried was another pit mix. He looks pure pit, but he’s mixed with some other breed, according to the trainer they use. (In fact, around my town, it’s difficult NOT to get a pit or pit mix, according to my vet) The second dog is a total lover and just wants to be held. (No small feat when he’s 55 pounds!)

    When we’re out, again, due to some people’s reactions, some are told he’s a small great dane mix (funny what people will believe….) It’s interesting to see them relax and accept the dogs. But if pit had been mentioned, I’m sure the police would have been called on sight alone, in some cases.

    Before they adopted these two goofs, I was apprehensive about pits. When I was told what they were adopting, and had a small child, I was scared out of my mind, but kept my mouth shut. I’ve since learned not to judge a book by it’s cover – and regularly now ‘baby’ sit my two grandson pits…and simply adore them as well.

    The point is this: I judge neither the people nor the dog. Until people have up front experiences with a pit who doesn’t bite or isn’t in the news (which most aren’t, by the way), people will have the reaction they have.

    Back when I was a kid, it was the German Shepherd everyone feared. Every guard dog was a shepherd. I was so afraid of shepherds, I avoided them at all cost: Until I adopted one as a puppy (not realizing she was a shepherd mix – mom sure wasn’t shepherd!) Within a few weeks, those ears began to stand up and she took on her German Shepherd form – just in a smaller body. The end of the story: Smartest and best darned dog EVER!

    One thing that has NOT changed is I do NOT like idiot owners who: Don’t take the time to properly TRAIN their dogs; Get a pit (or German Shepherd, Rottie or Dobie) because they want a ‘mean’ dog; Breed without regard to the dog; Let their dogs run loose and poop where ever without regard to the community.

  40. I was making a book for my friends so i was looking for pointed eared dogs and here I am I recommend this website <3 ( also cute photos eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! )

  41. ginger says:

    I just got a puppy, she is supposed to be full bred Chihuahua, but ive had friends tell me she is not a full bred Chihuahua. And in curious as to find out what she is part of. Her ears don’t stand up and she is now about 15 weeks old.

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    I’m actually delighted I came across this posting. It’s well written and the content is excellent. I am hoping to find more like this.

  44. tigerlilly says:

    I have the best of both worlds— my adopted (probable) basenji/ pharaoh hound mix has one up and one down, unless he is very intent on something. Then they both go up?

  45. carol says:

    I have no idea what kind of mix my rescue dog is. But now I know that she has button ears, which are soooooo cute! So, I’m thinking there is some Jack Russell there (she also hunts mice!) Who knew there were so many names for ear shapes! Thanks.

  46. Floppy ears are more prone to infections ( pseumonas bacterias, fungal infections) because air can’t blow safely in floppy hence some bacterias and fungi are anaebes

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  50. Areyanna says:

    Hopefully, these descriptions will allow you to label and identify the shape of your dog’s ears. If not, rest assured that regardless of their shape, most dogs like to be scratched lightly behind their ears, especially if you make loving sounds at the same time.

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