Dog ears, no matter their shape or size, are undeniably adorable, but there’s something about a dog with long ears that really turns heads. Maybe it’s the way they sway to and fro, or the “flap, flap, flap” sound they make with the shake of the head, but either way, long ears on dogs create a serious cuteness factor.
Long ears aren’t just adorable, however; they also serve an important purpose. Long ears that touch the ground help stir up a lot of different smells, making it easier for dogs to follow a scent. In fact, it’s the reason that tracking breeds like Bloodhounds, Beagles, and Dachshunds all have long ears.
Read on to discover some of the best dog breeds with floppy ears.
12 Dog Breeds With Long Ears
Love dogs with long, floppy ears? These 12 breeds fit the bill.
Equal parts affectionate and athletic, these sighthounds were bred to hunt, making them skilled at running and jumping in pursuit of their prey. Afghan Hounds weigh up to 60 pounds, and their looks (including their long ears) definitely turn heads.
“Afghans have thick, silky, flowing coats that may look glamorous but [were also] practical, as [they] served as protection from the harsh climate in the mountainous regions where Afghans originated,” explains Jerry Klein, DVM, chief veterinary officer for the American Kennel Club.
Although their coats require regular grooming to keep them tangle- and mat-free, Afghan Hounds have the distinction of being both long-haired and low dander, making them a good choice for pet parents with allergies.
With their long ears and lumbering gait, Basset Hounds are among the most “awww” inspiring breeds. The low-riders were bred to track scents over rough terrain but have become a breed more apt to follow their owners to the couch. Dr. Klein likens their appearance to “a sad clown with long, velvety ears, mournful eyes, and a wrinkled brow.”
Basset Hounds have short coats but are known for profuse shedding, so be sure to break out the brush and indulge them in regular grooming sessions to remove excess hair. In exchange for attention, affection, and lots of pampering, Basset Hounds will be your best buddies. “Basset Hounds can be stubborn,” Dr. Klein notes, “but make for loyal and agreeable companions.”
The compact hunting dogs are equal parts a working breed and amiable companion. Beagles are outgoing, smart, curious, and athletic, and pet parents must devote time to exercise and training to ensure the dogs receive enough physical and mental stimulation.
In addition to their floppy ears, Beagles are known for their white coat that may have patches of brown, tan, or lemon, as well as the white tip of their tail (which indicates that they are purebred).
Their hunting instincts remain strong, so secure fencing that prevents Beagles from climbing over or tunneling under to follow their noses is a must. Thanks to their strong work ethic and serious smarts, Beagles excel in agility, tracking and other dog sports.
Black and Tan Coonhound
Like other hound dog breeds, the Black and Tan Coonhound excels at following their noses. The breed originated on the American frontier, where it helped the earliest settlers hunt raccoons for meat and fur.
These long-eared pups are still a prized hunting breed, but their social natures and easygoing personalities make them favorite companions for active pet parents.
Black and Tan Coonhounds are large dogs who can weigh more than 100 pounds. They have an independent streak and a desire to follow their noses, which can make them stubborn.
The breed might be best known for their unique appearance, but there is more to a Bloodhound than drooping ears and a wrinkled face.
Bloodhounds are intense, focused, skilled working dogs that excel in search and rescue missions, thanks to their abilities to trace scents over vast and difficult terrain. They also need lots of exercise and training to keep their stubborn tendencies in check.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Named for the British monarchs who fancied the black and tan Toy Spaniels, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is small enough to be a lap dog and athletic enough to keep up with other sporting breeds. Dr. Klein calls the breed “the best of two worlds.”
“Cavaliers are adaptable and do equally well with active owners and homebodies,” he adds.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels come in four color patterns: white with chestnut markings, white with black markings, black and tan, and ruby. Their medium-length silky coats require regular brushing, but the effort is worth it to keep your Cavalier looking their best. Plus, their wavy-haired, floppy ears are just too cute!
With a temperament that Dr. Klein describes as “gentle, happy, and smart,” it’s no surprise that the Cocker Spaniel is hailed as one of the best-loved breeds in the world.
“The word often used to describe Cocker Spaniels is ‘merry,’” Dr. Klein says. “They are great companions with loving personalities.”
Cocker Spaniels are among the smallest sporting spaniel breeds, standing fewer than 15 inches and weighing less than 30 pounds. The dogs come in multiple colors and markings, including black, black and tan, buff, red, buff and white, and brown and tan, but their long ears and medium-length (sometimes wavy) coats are part of their classic appearance.
With short legs, long bodies, and drooping ears, Dachshunds are among the most recognizable dog breeds. The “low riders” were bred to dig into badger burrows in pursuit of the fierce little weasels.
Dachshunds are small dogs with long ears. The breed comes in two sizes (standard and miniature) and three coat types (smooth, wirehaired, or longhaired). Regardless of their appearances, Dachshunds are curious and stubborn and known for being tireless barkers who love to listen to the sound of their own voices.
The large breed stands up to 32 inches tall and can tip the scales at 175 pounds, but Great Danes are true gentle giants (with large, floppy ears to match!). They are outgoing, playful, affectionate, and eager to earn lap dog status.
In addition to being laid back and sweet, Great Danes also make great guardians due to their protective nature and desire to watch over their families…plus, their imposing size and big bark help them seem fierce.
Great Danes come in several colors and patterns, including black, brindle, fawn, harlequin, and merle; their short, smooth coats are low maintenance, but regular brushing can help remove excess hair.
It’s hard to imagine a more skilled hunting dog than the floppy-eared Irish Setter. The dogs work alongside hunters, moving across vast terrain, sniffing out birds, and “setting” down on their bellies to alert hunters that their target is near. Pet parents need to provide lots of exercise and mental stimulation to keep Irish Setters happy.
Irish Setters are attractive, athletic dogs with long, fine hair in shades of chestnut, mahogany, and red. Their sweet personalities make them excellent companions who enjoy meeting strangers, tagging along on outings, or hanging out at home with children and other dogs.
Whether their curly, coarse coats are black, white, or apricot and styled in a puppy cut, sporting clip, or teddy bear cut, Poodles have an unmistakable look.
Poodles are the aristocrats of the dog world and hold the distinction of being the National Dog of France. Standard, miniature, and toy poodles all have muscular bodies, square builds, and long ears; their coats require regular grooming, and keeping them clipped in a short or distinctive cut requires the help of a pro. Despite the effort, the hypoallergenic breed has a lot of fans thanks to their superior intelligence and athleticism (not to mention their pedigreed good looks).
The large breed dogs might be best known for their long ears and distinctive silver-colored coats, but it wasn’t their coloring that made the Weimaraner popular. This breed, which dates back to the 1800s, was developed as a big game hunter that took down bears and mountain lions during hunting expeditions with noblemen.
The Weimaraner remains a fearless hunting dog, but traits like playfulness, adaptability, and trainability have made them beloved companions who are affectionate with their families and great with kids.
Caring for Dogs With Long Ears
It’s hard to resist the adorable appearance of a long-eared dog, but it’s important to note that some can require extra care.
Long-eared dogs like the Basset Hound, Beagle, and Poodle are more prone to ear infections than other breeds.  Ear infections are painful (not to mention smelly) and can cause serious damage if they aren’t treated.
To reduce the risk of infection, Dr. Klein advises thoroughly drying your dog’s ears after bathing or swimming and paying special attention if your dog is shaking their head more often, which could be a sign of pain or irritation.
“The most basic recommendation I give to all owners of dogs, but especially for owners of dogs with long ears, is to look at them on a regular basis,” he says. “Their ears should not be extremely red or irritated and should not have any discharge; ears should smell fresh, not fetid or musty.”
You should also be on the lookout for other abnormalities such as a swollen ear flap, which could indicate an aural hematoma or collection of blood – similar to a blood blister – that can affect the ear. In long-haired dogs, brush the hair on their ears to prevent painful matting.
If you notice any ear-related symptoms in your long-eared dog, make an appointment with your veterinarian.
- “Now listen ear: New RVC research reveals the dog breeds most affected by ear infections.” Royal Veterinary College. (2021, September) Retrieved from: https://www.rvc.ac.uk/vetcompass/news/now-listen-ear-new-rvc-research-reveals-the-dog-breeds-most-affected-by-ear-infections