In certain moments, our dogs feel so human—they respond to us emotionally, their faces look so expressive and knowing. In other respects, they seem totally alien, like visitors from another dimension. Especially when wearing striking, unusual, and marvelous physical features—a kinky tail, marbled eyes, or, in this case, long, flowing ears!
Some breeds wear long ears like a fashion statement. At great speeds, their ears become exalted wings. And few things are more soft and luscious than a long, velvety dog ear. From a practical perspective, long ears help dogs track the scent of their prey. Like a bonnet, hefty ears funnel odors closer to a dog’s nose, which explains why most long-eared dogs are hounds, bred to track prey for hunters over long distances.
On top of their impressive work ethic, these breeds are loved for their warm personalities and great companionship. We just wanted to offer a big hooray for all the dogs whose ears make a big, bold statement!
The beagle is one of the most popular breeds in the US. They’re known for their strong noses—they’ll tirelessly track prey for miles—but they’re also known for their big mouths. Beagles love to vocalize, and beagle is actually French for ‘loudmouth.’ Ironically, the most famous cartoon beagle, Snoopy, never spoke on screen, but he was full of sophisticated thoughts and observations!
2. Basset Hound
Ah, the Great-Grandfather of floppy ears, the Basset Hound! These long-and-low hunting machines boast the second-best sense of smell (after the bloodhound), and they’re built to track and find prey. They’re sturdy, and their large paws help them root out burrowing animals. But they’re also seriously laid-back, loving, and hilarious to watch when they’re feeling goofy.
3. Black and Tan Coonhound
Originally bred in the US in the 1900s, these hardworking hunting companions are highly skilled at tracking raccoons and possums. They’re super friendly, so forget about using them as a security system—one belly rub, and you’re friends for life!
These droopy, wrinkled, sad-looking sweetie pies can sing the blues like nobody’s business! And they possess the most powerful nose in the dog world. A trained bloodhound can track scent for up to 130 miles and follow a trail that’s 300 hours old!
5. Afghan Hound
This glamorous breed is known as the ‘King of dogs.’ You can see it in their regal posture—could any dog look more diva on a high-end sofa?! Unlike other hounds with ample ears, the Afghan hunts primarily by sight, and they perform well on racing courses. They’re highly intelligent but possess a more independent nature, making them more challenging to train. And they demand plenty of attention on the grooming front as well. The Afghan hound demands nothing but the utmost admiration!
6. English Cocker Spaniel
English Cocker Spaniel owners can’t say enough about this breed. This smaller breed is extremely intelligent, agile, playful, and adorable. They’re also great with children and exceptionally loyal to their humans. Plus, their long ears are covered in lovely curls!
These high-intensity pointers are great for owners with easy access to wilderness! Setters love to keep watch over their environment, looking out for interlopers, and they love taking that same approach on patrol. Setters thrive when bounding through the woods and fields, up and down hillsides. They’ll roam and explore tirelessly. And their gorgeous coats and dignified ears make them a sight to behold!