11 Dog Breeds With Big Ears You Can’t Help but Swoon Over

Dogs With Big Ears

If you’ve never seen a dog with ears so big you could land a plane on them, you’re missing out. There’s something about dogs with big ears that makes them especially cute. 

Chihuahuas, beagles, and basset hounds all have ears that would make King Charles jealous. But does it help them hear better? Do they get in the way? We’ll answer those questions and more as we get into these Dumbo lookalikes.

Some ears stand straight up, and some hang down to the ground, but either way, they make us smile. We’re all about giving you the scoop on dogs and everything about them, so come along as we discuss dogs and the huge ears God gave them. 

Dogs With Big Ears

Dogs with big ears are distinctive, memorable, and recognized immediately. How could you miss them? Breeds like bloodhounds (scent hounds) have huge, long ears to help sweep odors up from the ground. They were bred to hunt, so it comes in handy.

You wouldn’t think a dog’s smelling abilities would need any help, but with selective breeding, just about any trait can be improved upon.

Their ears certainly don’t get in the way since that’s like asking a human with a big nose if it impedes them. It’s just how they were made. So, let’s get to it. Here are some of the dogs with adorably enormous ears.  

1. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

dog with big ears breed

At 10”-12” and only up to 30 pounds, these Welsh wonders need something on them to help give them an edge. Corgi puppies are born with large, floppy ears that eventually grow upright. Those big ears help them hear herds and predators better as herding dogs.

Their ears also help them communicate. It’s easier to show alertness or fear with two satellites on your head. They can also just be bred this way as a physical feature to highlight the corgi’s breed standard. Pembroke Welsh corgis have ears similar to those of a fox.   

The Pembroke is intelligent, easily trained, and loves to be around their human families. They remain at the ready, and vigilant and make excellent watchdogs. Built long and low, similar to Dachshunds, they’re also fast and agile. “Independent” is their middle name, so make sure they know who’s boss with positive reinforcement training.

They’re powerful when they’re propelled into short bursts of energy, but they shouldn’t be exercised excessively due to their short stature. Daily moderate walks, outdoor playtime, and puzzle games will keep them fit physically and mentally.

The corgi’s ancestors have been around since the 1100s when Belgian weavers used them to herd their sheep and cattle. Since the 1800s, the Pembroke and their cousins, the Cardigan Welsh corgi, have been two separate breeds.

However, they intermingled in the old Welsh breeding centers of Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). 

2. French Bulldog

dog breeds with big ears

I hate to play favorites, but I’m going to. One of the cutest dogs I’ve ever seen is one I dog-sit for named Ted. When I look into those big brown eyes, his huge erect ears have a hypnotizing effect on me. I can’t look away and fall in love with him all over again.

Frenchies have bat-like ears and a pronounced underbite that just adds to their cuteness. Those traits, along with the wrinkles/folds on their faces and necks, make them irresistible.  

This breed is brachycephalic, which means they don’t function well (find it hard to breathe) in heat or humidity due to their flat faces. Their condition can be fatal, and their movements need to be watched carefully to make sure they don’t become overheated. Playful and intelligent, they still enjoy a good romp in the backyard or a short walk in cool weather. 

French bulldogs can also suffer from many inherited ailments like cataracts and ear issues, so you should be forewarned. Clean their ears monthly, if not more often, with special canine ear cleaners you can usually obtain through your veterinarian.

Surprisingly, this breed originated in Nottingham, England, in the 19th century but was developed further by the French. If you find a Frenchie, you’ll find a best friend that is affectionate and loving. Okay, I might be a bit biased. 

3. Boston Terrier

big eared dogs

You might mistake a Boston for a Frenchie, but they’re two separate and distinctive breeds. Unfortunately, this terrier is also brachycephalic due to its physical traits and needs to be closely watched. 

Their ears are somewhat more pointed than the Frenchies’, but their temperaments are similar. The Boston terriers will be a child’s best buddy and a family’s dream dog. They’re a bully breed which is just a generic term for a variety of terrier-type dogs like the bull terrier and the boxer.

They’re charmers, albeit somewhat stubborn, and are a cross between the English terrier and the English bulldog. They love attention, and with that face, it will be easy to give it, and they want to be part of the action. 

Boston terriers were developed in Massachusetts, US, to be companion dogs in 1870. In 1893, they were the first American breed to be recognized by the AKC.

Be sure to socialize them early (introduce them to new places, situations, and animals) to have a dog that gets along well with dogs and people. Their average lifespan is 11-13 years which makes for a long relationship with a “good boy.” 

They’re known as the “American Gentleman” probably due to their tuxedo-like markings and even personalities.  

4. Dachshund

long eared dogs

Who doesn’t know the “hotdog?” Their drop (hanging) ears make them look like they’re ready to take flight. These dogs with big ears are low to the ground, and their long bodies are famous. 

As scent hounds, used to hunt badgers, rabbits, and other burrowing prey, their floppy ears catch scents that may otherwise escape them. They also have a fantastic sense of smell that works well with the scents that envelop them.

Through selective breeding, their ears are purposefully kept long rather than erect so they can focus on the hunt and not on sounds in the distance. 

They were originally developed in Germany (Dachshund meaning “badger dog” in German) in the 17th century to be hunting dogs. Although they were introduced to America in the 1880s, they only became popular in the 1930s and 1940s.

In the UK and US, the standard (16-32 pounds) and miniature (11 pounds and under) dachshund sizes are recognized. They’re playful and affectionate and might be too vocal for apartment living.

They have three coat types: Smooth, wirehaired, and longhaired. Having been equipped with short legs, they don’t need to be vigorously exercised, but they should be given a couple of moderate walks a day to keep them physically and mentally fit.  

5. Beagle

dog with long ears

Snoopy is probably the world’s most recognizable beagle. These dogs with big ears are highly popular, partially due to their calm temperaments and happy demeanors. They have floppy drop ears, and their eyes are especially expressive. 

Beagles are in the Hound group and love to have their nose to the ground to hunt prey. You may not want to have pet birds, rodents, and the like around for their own safety if you have a beagle. They’ll also need a secure, fenced-in yard so they won’t escape to follow their nose. 

Other than that, they adore young children and even other dogs. They’ve been bred to hunt in packs, so having other family dogs is favored. Scent games are one of their favorites, so hide their favorite plushie every so often. They’re high energy and need at least an hour of exercise every day, so go for a hike or short jog, and they’ll be right by your side.   

6. Bloodhound

dogs with long ears

The star of the scent world, bloodhounds can smell scents better than any other dog. (Those ears move everything to their noses.) Not only can their sniffers win a prize for finding humans, but they’re accurate. A bloodhound’s scent results are so reliable they can be used in court. 

Physical traits of the bloodhound you might recognize the most:

And they’re not small, weighing 80-110 pounds. A not-so-lovely trait is they slobber all the time and everywhere, so be prepared. They’re also persistent, which is in their DNA. They can follow a scent all day and won’t give up until they finish the task at hand. 

Daily, long walks are a must. They’ll pick up countless scents but try to keep moving so they can get their exercise in. Enroll them in canine-tracking sports, too, and they’ll be thrilled. 

These dogs with big ears are famous for their bay (howl), so hopefully, you’ll have neighbors who understand.

7. Basset Hound

long eared dog

About a year ago, I started wanting a basset hound. Their velvety ears, sweet countenance, and gentle demeanor are three of the reasons why. With those endearing qualities comes a drawback: They’re going to drool. You can’t have everything, right?

Those short, powerful legs make it easier to chase rabbits or other prey down holes, and they use their huge paws to dig. In France and England, the sport of pack hunting is alive and well, and bassets are often used.

The breed was developed in 6th-century France, largely by the Friars of the French Abbey of St. Hubert, and refined in England in the 1800s. “Bas” means “low-set” in French. They appeared at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1885.

Bassets are bi- or tri-colored and can come in 17 different color combinations. Their cousin is the bloodhound, and they can be seen as its mini-me.     

8. Afghan Hound

dogs with long hair on ears

What a specimen. They live to be 12-18 years old and have long, flowing hair like a supermodel’s. They’re a little goofy-looking with their incredibly long snout and big, perky ears, but their innate beauty offsets things.

These are the dogs in conformation/dog shows that everyone gets excited about. To see them bound around the ring with their hair moving like a carwash makes everyone happy.

The Afghan is one of the oldest domestic dog breeds, dating back to 4000 BC. They were developed in the mountains of Afghanistan, where there are 13 different types. The breed made its way to Britain in the 1920s and to the US in 1926.

Natural hunters and nomads in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan used them to hunt large game. These dogs are formidable at 25”-27” and 50-60 pounds.  

9. German Shepherd

long eared dog

Ah, the quintessential guard dog. German shepherds are loyal, strong, and courageous. Easily trained, it would be easier to talk about what they can’t do than what they can. But I’ll try:

German shepherds are eerily intelligent and so eager to please; they’ll do just about whatever you ask of them. Coming in at 50-90 pounds, they can live to be 7-10 years old. Many of us know them for their black and tan colors, but they can come in 10 other colors or color combinations.

They have smooth curves, big dog ears, and are well-balanced. Perfect for their main job of herding. It was in the late 1800s, when Max Emil Friedrich von Stephanitz was studying at the Berlin Veterinary School, that his interest was peaked in herding dogs. 

He started breeding to develop a sturdy, quick, smart farm/herding dog. In the early 1900s, the goal was reached, and the German shepherd came to fruition. Fanciers admired their big ears, and through selective breeding, they have remained.

Today, the breed is bred for conformation shows, herding, farm work, appearance, and temperament. These dogs will love your children and be the best friend you’ve ever had.  

10. Chihuahua

small dog with large ears

These little guys are so tiny (5”-8” and not exceeding 6 pounds) that they’re just about all ears. Their coats can be long or short but either way, they don’t flourish in cold weather. (Get those dog sweaters ready.) They were developed in the Mexican state of Chihuahua and are considered to be their national symbol.

A common mistake made by Chihuahua guardians is to give them little training due, in part, to their small size. But as dogs, they need obedience training and early socialization just like any other. If not, you’ll have an untrained Chi ruling your household.

These dogs with big ears can live in the country or the city since they’re highly adaptable. Here’s where the training and socialization come in, too, so you won’t have a Chi who incessantly barks.

They love their people and will chill out with you wherever you choose. Take them with you when you’re out and about to help them become accustomed to other sights, smells, and people.

11. Cocker Spaniel

dog with long ear hair

Good with other dogs, young kids, cats, and strangers, the Cocker spaniel loves everyone. Well, if you have a pet bird, you may want to choose a different breed since Spaniels have strong hunting instincts. 

Their gentle temperament and quiet nature make them a favorite choice for a family dog. Just be aware that those big ears need to be kept safe from water so they don’t become infected. The breed is prone to chronic ear infections. Try narrow, deep bowls for food and water to keep them dry.

Cocker Spaniels also require almost constant grooming, so you might become great friends with your groomer or learn to do it on your own.

The cocker spaniel was developed in Spain in the 14th century, and by the 1800s, they were divided into toys for companionship and hunting dogs. They’re named due to their proficiency in hunting the woodcock. 


What Breed of Dog Has Ears That Stick Straight Up?

  1. German shepherd
  2. Chihuahua
  3. French bulldog
  4. Akita
  5. Corgi

And many more.

What Is the Huge Dog With Pointed Ears?

  1. German shepherd
  2. Siberian husky
  3. Alaskan malamute

And more. 

What Hound Dog Has Really Long Ears?

  1. Bloodhound
  2. Basset hound
  3. Afghan hound
  4. American English coonhound
  5. Beagle

And more.


Don’t forget to consistently check for debris or water in a dog with big ears so they don’t become infected. It’s far easier to prevent ear problems than it is to fix them. Whether their ears are long floppy ears or straight up, big-eared dogs are precious. And you’ll find out their hearts are as big as their ears.

Jen Flatt Osborn
Born with a pen in her hand and a deadline (and probably a tail), Jen considers writing a vocation, an art, and a release. She’s a freelance copy/content writer who specializes in the pet industry. Previously, she was the founder/director of an animal sanctuary for 12 years, taught classes to middle school students about dog behavior, and has lived a life full of devotion to animals and their welfare. As a vegetarian, Jen advocates for the humane treatment of every living creature. She currently lives with one delightful canine who encourages her to put her head out the car window more often.

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