Every single dog is unique. Some like to offer everyone a paw, while others prefer to ask for a belly rub or do a spin. Some dogs have a unique fluffy tail, while others have a long snout or one ear that sticks up.
But did you know that some dogs are bred to have big ears? Whether it’s, as many scientists believe, a by-product of the canine species being bred for domesticity, or for protection from insects, or to help them hear better, many dog breeds have enormous ears.
So, what are the dog breeds with the biggest ears? Well, in this article, we’ll be detailing some of these dogs.
The dogs with the largest ears in this article are:
- Cocker Spaniel
- Welsh Corgi
- Irish Setter
- Afghan Hound
- The Italian Spinone
- Basset Hound
First up is the Cocker Spaniel. With those long, silky-soft ears, it’s not hard to see why the Cocker Spaniel is such a favored dog! A medium-sized breed, the Cocker Spaniel was first bred as a bird-hunting dog. This is a role that the breed sometimes still cherishes to this day, so take care with a Cocker Spaniel around other pets!
The Cocker Spaniel’s favorite thing is to spend time with you, whether you’re out doing yard work together or snuggling up on the couch. An obedient dog, you should have no trouble training your Cocker Spaniel.
Then there’s the Corgi. This short pooch has some huge ‘bat ears’, which usually stand upright all by themselves! Their ears are disproportionally large compared to their head, making them look more prominent than ever.
Actually first bred as a sheepdog of all things, the Corgi would round up large cattle by nipping at their heels! This is why the Corgi is called a “heeler” dog. Being so small, the Corgi can avoid injury if the cattle decide to kick.
There are actually two different types of Corgi – the Pembroke and the Cardigan. The main difference is that the Pembroke has its tail short and docked, while the Cardigan has a longer tail.
The Corgi is a descendent of the Spitz group of dogs, which is undoubtedly where the breed got its large ears.
The Irish Setter is a dog with a long head and neck and equally long and droopy ears. The breed also has unique, beautiful, deep red fur, with longer feathering along their chest and legs and their tail. Groomers typically leave long hair on an Irish Setter’s ears, too, to match.
An enthusiastic and effective bird dog, the Irish Setter is also a fun and playful pooch and a great family dog. They can be mischievous, yes. There’s many a story of an unsupervised Irish Setter raiding an underwear drawer, for example. But all in all, the friendly, outgoing Irish Setter is a pretty obedient people person and loves to play in the yard or in the house with kids and adults alike.
The Irish Setter gets such features as its large, long ears and its feathering from the English Setter it is descended from.
With long, silky, droopy ears, the Afghan Hound almost resembles a long-haired woman! With equally silky, long and human-like fur all over the Afghan Hound’s body, you can imagine how much brushing they need.
With this dog’s ears being so long, the breed is pretty prone to ear infections. Because of this, it’s essential to keep the Afghan Hound’s ears dry and clean. Have a cloth on hand to wipe out your Afghan Hound’s ears daily, and dry their ears after walks or baths.
With the Saluki the Afghan Hound’s closest relative, it is not clear where this ancient breed got its long ears. Did you know the Afghan Hound is one of the fastest dog breeds? Read our full post The fastest dog breeds that are built for speed here.
The German Weimaraner is another breed with long, soft, velvety ears; the German Weimaraner showcases a unique silvery gray coat. In fact, it is nicknamed the “Gray Ghost” of Germany. With a big personality, the Weimaraner can be somewhat tough to train, but it can be obedient and loyal with proper training.
The Weimaraner is thought to descend from either the Chien-gris or the Bloodhound, two very long-eared pooches.
The Italian Spinone
The Italian Spinone is a big dog with a thick, wiry coat and a loyal, friendly personality. The Spinone has long floppy ears that perfectly match with the rest of the breed’s scruffy look. However, being first bred as a gun dog, the Spinone is also powerful and very muscular. Still, you’d be hard-pressed to find a dog with a more happy and loyal demeanor.
The breed’s true origins are unknown. However, similar floppy-eared dogs have been depicted in Italian paintings for centuries.
With their short legs, the Basset Hound’s long ears are known to famously trip them up. Many a cartoon shows the iconic Basset Hound tripping over their ears, and who can forget that nursery rhyme, “Do your ears hang low, do they wobble to and fro…’”? The Basset Hound is also the face of the global shoe brand Hush Puppy!
First bred for hunting small game-like rabbits, the Basset Hound retains this tendency, even when living as a pet. So, be careful if you plan to bring a Basset Hound into a multi-pet household.
Though the Basset Hound can sometimes be stubborn, they make a great family dog. Yes, they do need a moderate amount of exercise every day, which means taking them for a short walk. But the Basset Hound’s sheer affection and personality will win you over.
If they are a large breed, how come the Basset Hound’s body is so low? Well, the Basset Hound has a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia. This essentially causes the Basset Hound’s legs to stop growing earlier. But, it does not cause any defects or pain.
The Basset Hound’s long ears and wrinkly face come from the breed’s ancestor, the Bloodhound.
The Coonhound has long, velvety ears, similar to the Weimaraner. The breed also has unique, unbelievably expressive eyes. The Coonhound’s ears are actually so long that they can touch the tip of the breed’s nose. In fact, the breed practically ties with the Bloodhound for the world record of longest ears in a dog.
First bred as a hunters’ dog, the Coonhound is smart, brave, and a laid-back companion. They possess an incredibly loud bark, which harks back to their hunting days. However, this history also makes the Coonhound an obedient and easy dog to train.
As the name suggests, the Coonhound was first bred to hunt raccoons. They would follow their prey by tracking its scent. Coonhounds were one of the first dog breeds able to track animals independently, without so much need for a human’s command. Unlike other Hounds, they would stand at the bottom of a tree and bark at animals such as raccoons, rather than losing the scent and becoming confused.
The Coonhound comes from a long line of Foxhounds, all of which could have possibly given the breed its long ears.