15 Cute Dog Breeds With Pointy Ears

Dogs With Pointy Ears

Have you ever wondered why some dogs have pointy ears and others don’t? One biological theory is that dog domestication caused the adrenal glands to produce less adrenaline, which resulted in fewer stem cells (also known as neural crest cells), and those cells determine traits like ears.

More cells make upright ears and less cells create floppy ears. Meaning that dogs with pointy ears have more wild DNA.

Wolves with pointy ears survived because they could hear predators (including humans) sneaking up on them. In most cases, the pointy-eared dogs are more closely descended from wolves, and many are ancient breeds.

Although both are really cute, floppy ears are more prone to infection, and pointed ears are at a bigger risk of being injured because they are more three-dimensional and stick out all over the place. Some floppy-eared dogs need their ears cleaned regularly.

Ear shape can also be related to a dog’s original job. Breeds with erect, pointy ears were bred to hunt, flush out game, or herd. Of course, guard dogs, watchdogs, and service dogs need excellent hearing as well.

Dogs with pointed ears can hear better because there’s nothing covering their hearing receptors. That helps them to find prey quickly or guard their herd. Dogs with pointy ears look perky and alert, too!

Dogs with Pointy Ears

How adorable are dogs with pointy ears?! Some dog breeds have pointy ears, different dog breeds have rounded pointy ears, and others have floppy ears. There are also semi-pointy ears that are half upright, but the top folds down.

Let’s take a look at dogs with pointy ears that are born with them, not the ones whose ears are docked to stand up — which is painful and not healthy.

1. German Shepherd

dogs with pointy ears

The gorgeous German shepherd breed needed pointy ears to protect their flock. When German shepherds began working for the police and military and as guide canines, their excellent sense of hearing was vital to their duties.

The German shepherd is an intelligent breed that’s courageous, protective, extremely loyal, confident, loving, good with kids, playful, very trainable, and energetic. If you love German shepherds (and who can resist them?!), here are more beautiful Types of German shepherd breeds, each with a nice temperament.

German shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds (without or with pointy ears). German shepherds are great pets and, as working dogs, do many professional jobs well. Their reputation is the perfect working dog due to their work ethic and strength.

2. Chihuahua 

dogs with ears that stand up

The charming Chihuahua breed is energetic, sassy, graceful, playful, protective, and quite vocal. Chihuahuas don’t seem to be closely related to wolves. Perhaps this is one of the dog breeds with pointy ears because Chihuahuas are an ancient breed.

They could be lap dogs, but they also like to move around all the time. They can be short or long-haired and have a lot of personality.

When the Aztecs conquered the Toltecs in the 12th century, they found the Techichi, which was a larger version of the Chi Chis that also had pointy ears. They bred the Techichi down to be small, but Chi Chis still have a big dog attitude. Here are the seven types of Chihuahuas with big personalities and little bodies.

3. Australian Cattle Dog

pointy eared dogs

The adorable Australian cattle dog is a herding dog with ancient roots because they were bred from collies and Australian dingos — whose history goes back to early breeds of domestic canines in southeast Asia. Dingos and Collies are both dogs with pointy ears.

The Australian cattle dog needed superior hearing to ensure their cows were safe. The Australian cattle dog nips at cows’ ankles to herd cattle. Australian cattle dogs, also known as Blue Heelers, are intelligent, stubborn, loyal, very trainable, protective, energetic, and need mental stimulation.

This breed loves training sessions because they have a very focused temperament. They can work in warm temperatures and rough terrain across long distances. Here are other Australian dog breeds if you’d like to take a look.

4. Belgian Malinois

pointy dog

The beautiful Belgian Malinois is confident, smart, hardworking, protective, intelligent, confident, very trainable, energetic, and needs mental stimulus. Belgian Malinois is the name for Tervuren, Laekenois, and Belgian Shepherd (aka Groenendael).

Belgian Malinois are all excellent herding dogs, and their big pointy ears help them to be great K-9s as well. Belgian Malinois are versatile and extremely loyal.

The Malinois was originally bred for herding but is very versatile and has even skydived with the military. They are lighter than German Shepherds, so they are more portable for skydiving and other missions requiring lighter dogs. A Malinois named Cairo was on the Navy Seal team that found Osama Bin Laden. Take a look at these types of Belgian Malinois.

5. Boston Terrier

pointy ears

Bubbly Boston terriers, which are believed to date back to the 13th century, were bred down from Bulldogs. These little cuties with big bat ears are playful, friendly, amusing, loving, intelligent, very trainable, high energy, and good with other dogs and children.

We have lots of info about the adorable Boston terrier. Their pointy ears are practically as big as their bodies. Boston Terriers are silly, sturdy (less fragile than Chi Chis, Pommies, and other Toy group canines), snorers, and snorters — both due to their muzzle shape.

This state dog of Massachusetts is often confused with the French bulldog, but Frenchies have rounded ears, while Boston terriers’ ears are pointy. These cuties’ personalities are as fun as they look.

6. Rat Terrier

dog with pointy ears

Rat Terriers had several roles on the farm, from chasing away rats to being a hunting dog, watchdog, and hen house guardians. Rat terriers’ pointy ears were helpful for all of their duties.

In addition, they are friendly, curious, lovable, intuitive, quick, vigilant, playful, affectionate, protective, very trainable, energetic, good with children, and need mental stimulus. They still have a strong prey drive. In the US, the Rat Terrier was common on farms in the 1910s and 1920s.

These feisty little cuties love to dig and are escape artists. They can be stubborn but make great pets. President Theodore Roosevelt called his Rat Terrier, Skip, “the ultimate farm dog.” Skip kept the White House rat-free. It’s too bad that they are saddled with a vermin name, though.

7. West Highland Terrier

black dogs with pointy ears

The wonderful West Highland white terrier breed is the third consecutive terrier in this article with pointy ears. They are happy, loving, loyal, amusing, protective, friendly, playful, energetic, loyal, need mental stimulus, and good with children and other pets.

These spunky cuties with a white coat were also ratters in England. They can be stubborn. These very popular little dogs enjoy a long walk.

The precious Westie makes a great pet. They were also ratters, but didn’t have the word rat attached to their name till the end of time. They also worked as hunting canines, and their color was helpful because they were visible to their people in the field.

8. French Bulldog

dog with big ears breed

The precious French bulldog was originally bred down from the English bulldog. French bulldogs are affectionate, intelligent, playful, alert, very trainable, friendly, good with children and other dogs, and have a sweet personality.

Frenchies are very people-oriented and can suffer from separation anxiety when alone. French bulldogs are excellent companion animals that are famous for their pointy ears.

They love everyone but may be afraid of children unless they have proper socialization with them. As descendants of bulldogs, their genes contain instincts for guarding the home, catching livestock, herding, and hunting feral pigs. There are actually many types of French bulldogs, all with adorable pointy ears.

9. Papillon

dog that ears stand up

The elegant Papillon dates back to the Renaissance when toy dogs with pointy ears were bred with spaniels. The Papillon’s most distinctive feature is their upright ears. These dogs with pointy ears were named after their ear shape, as Papillon means “butterfly” in French.

Papillons are alert, happy, playful, friendly, happy, affectionate, protective, very trainable, energetic, and need mental stimulus.

These lap dogs tend to bark a lot, perhaps because they hear everything due to being dogs with pointy ears.

10. Alaskan Malamute

dogs with ears up

Awesome Alaskan Malamutes are one of the oldest sled dog breeds of the Arctic and are wolf-like, so they have pointy ears. The Alaskan Malamute is protective, loving, loyal, playful, energetic, muscular, friendly, gentle, and very trainable.

Malamutes need to know that they aren’t the alpha because their pack animal instinct is strong, having pulled sleds with other pointy-eared dogs. The Malamute is a huge size and sports a very fluffy coat that requires grooming multiple times a week. The Alaskan Malamute is a gorgeous, big beast that likes to dig holes.

They are larger and stronger than their husky cousins. Huskies are agile and fast and pull sleds quickly, while Malamutes pull larger loads slowly. Huskies are more energetic than Mals because they were bred for fast sled pulling. Mals have a prey drive. Rather than barking, they howl or make a woo-woo sound.

11. Pharaoh Hound

dog with bat ears

The fantastic Pharaoh Hound is an ancient breed that traveled from Egypt around the ancient world 2,500 years ago on Phoenician ships. They are affectionate, intelligent, friendly, energetic, very trainable, and quick scent hounds.

Their big, pointy ears give them excellent hearing abilities, and they are scent hounds, so their olfactory sense is also exceptional. That’s two super senses! They have a high prey drive as they hunted rabbits in Malta. Early socialization and training can help calm the prey drive. Socializing and training help these hound dogs feel confident and help eliminate potential fear.

The Pharaoh hound has very unique ears. As puppies, their ears are droopy. The ears magically become pointy as they grow.

12. Siberian Husky

dog with big ears

The spectacular Siberian husky lived in Asia 9,500 years ago! They were companion animals and sled pullers for the Chukchi people. The Siberian husky is an ancient breed whose DNA is not too far removed from a wolf’s, hence the big, pointy ears.

Though these working dogs weren’t used for hunting, Siberian huskies have a significant prey drive, so they may not do well with other pets.

Huskies are playful, friendly, energetic, loyal, loving, intelligent, mischievous, good with children and other dogs, and need mental stimulus. They bark a lot, but they are too friendly to be watchdogs. Huskies are also fast and enthusiastic hard workers. Huskies can be a bit stubborn and need early training.

13. Shiba Inu

dogs with cat ears

The splendid Shiba Inu is loving, protective, alert, attentive, muscular, bold, and needs mental stimulus. They existed in 300 BC, so they certainly have ancient canine genes. They were hunting dogs, so a powerful sense of hearing (in their pointy ears) was useful.

Now, it serves them well when someone goes into the kitchen for a snack because they hear them immediately and can run in there for one. Shibas are known for their fox-like appearance and as dogs with pointy noses and ears. They can escape yards, so keep an eye on them.

Shibas are independent, can be impatient and dominant, and do more yodeling than barking. They also have a high-pitched “happy” (or stressed or discomfort) scream. Why settle for a dog that barks when you can have one that screams?

14. German Spitz

dogs with pointy ears and short hair

The fluffy German Spitz descended from the oldest dog breed in Central Europe, the Spitz, which dates back 6,000 years. Many dog breeds with a foxy face, curled tail, and thick coat have Spitz ancestry. The German Spitz is intelligent, affectionate, devoted, active, very trainable, playful, and needs mental stimulus. They bark a lot, probably because they hear every sound with their large pointy ears.

The German Spitz has a lush coat and has the appearance of an oversized Pomeranian. They look really cuddly, but they want to run around and play, so you have to wear them out before getting hugs. They began as farm dogs and then worked as companion dogs and watchdogs. In the 18th century, the German Spitz became popular with royalty, including King George I of England and his German wife.

Dating back to the mid-1400s, Spitzes come in five varieties — which other countries recognize as separate breeds: Giant spitz, Wolfsspitz (Keeshond in other countries), Mittel spitz (medium), Klein spitz (miniature), and Zwergspitz (toy, which is the Pommie in other countries). Who knew that Keeshonds and Pommies are spitzes?

15. Corgi 

dog breeds with pointy ears

The captivating Corgi is intelligent, alert, affectionate, friendly, playful, good with other dogs, very trainable, sweet, energetic, needs mental stimulus, and bark a lot. Corgis are herding dogs with pointy ears that are independent, fearless, athletic, and a bit stubborn.

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is heavier and taller than the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Cardigan Corgis also have larger and more rounded ears.

The two types of Corgis biggest difference is that Pembroke Corgis don’t have tails, but they both have — you guessed it — pointy ears! Both of these little, adorable herders love their humans. Corgis are known for having short legs, a sturdy body, a thick coat, and a sweet personality, as well as being dogs with pointy ears. They enjoy a long walk.


What Are Pointy Dog Ears Called?

Pointy ears on canines are called prick ears.

What Is the Breed of Dogs With Pointy Ears?

  • German Shepherd
  • Chihuahua 
  • Australian Cattle Dog
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Boston Terrier
  • Rat Terrier
  • West Highland Terrier
  • French Bulldog
  • Papillon           
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Pharaoh Hound
  • Siberian Husky
  • Shiba Inu
  • German Spitz
  • Corgi

What Is a German Pointy-Eared Dog?

The German shepherd dog has pointy ears.

Are Pointy Dog Ears Natural?

Some are natural, and some are docked — which isn’t humane. It involves cutting the floppy parts of the ear off. Ear and tail docking are less popular now that dog owners understand it’s painful and can cause health issues.

Final Thoughts  

Dogs with pointy ears have better hearing than those with floppy ears. Many are more directly related to wolves than floppy-eared dogs. These dogs are also protective, alert (maybe because their auditory sense is heightened), and energetic. Pointy ear dogs look very perky.

Evolution played a part in the dogs with pointy ears development because wolves that had the best hearing were able to stay alive and reproduce.

All dogs are gorgeous and wonderful, so the shape of their ears isn’t important. However, those with floppies are more prone to infection, and the dogs with pointy ears are more likely to injure them.

If you’re inspired to go shopping for dogs with pointy ears, please check Petfinder to see local dogs looking for homes in your area.

Elise Margulis
Elise Margulis is a talented animal writer and a devoted pet parent residing near Manhattan in a cozy suburb. With a Chow mix and a rescued Siamese as her loyal companions, she's been animal-obsessed since childhood. Penning informative articles on pet nutrition, health, and animal welfare, she's also an avid advocate for adoption and animal rights. When she's not writing, she serves as the editor of two local online news sites. Working from home with her fur babies, she advocates adoption and animal welfare through volunteering and social media. A true animal lover and vegetarian for over 31 years, she's on a mission to raise awareness and make the world a better place for all creatures.

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