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What’s Special About Dogs with Pointy Ears?

At A Glance

Dogs with pointy ears are known to be assertive and independent by nature. They are also speculated to hear better than breeds that don’t have pointy ears, although the difference is minor.

  • Pointy ears are not atypical to the size of the breed: large to medium and even small sized dogs can have pointy ears.
  • Some of the most popular dog breeds with pointy ears include the Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Australian Cattle Dog, Yorkshire Terrier, and others.

Last Updated on: Aug 18, 2022

Did you know that there are 12 different types of dog ears currently known to us?

Bat ears, folded ears, button ears, candle flame ears, and of course, pointy ears—the list goes on.

But what’s so special about pointy ears? Let’s get to know all about dog breeds with pointy ears today.

custom oil-painted dog portraits by Poshtraits

dogs with pointy ears infographic

The Science Behind Pointy Ears in Dogs

Prick ears or erect ears are also known as pointy ears. They are often found in Nordic breeds or dogs that live in colder regions.

As puppies, the ear cartilage of these dogs is fragile and soft, and their ears are droopy. This gives them the typical puppy look that people adore.

These differences arise due to selective breeding practices. Although all dog ears share the same anatomy, each type of dog ear serves different functions and helps them fulfill the purpose they were originally bred for.

According to research, dogs with long and hanging ear flaps are more likely to contract ear infections than dogs with pointy ears.

However, some people prefer dogs with floppy ears, as they look adorable.

However, Claire Lindsell, Sydney-based veterinarian and owner, warns, “This results in issues for the dogs, such as an increased risk of ear infections.”

There may also be other reasons why people prefer dogs with floppy ears. According to research, people perceive floppy-eared dogs as more agreeable and emotionally stable than pointy-eared dogs.

Yet others prefer dog breeds with pointy ears. So let’s take a look at some popular ones.

alaskan malamute

Alaskan Malamute

This large dog breed once served as a sled and hound dog. Known for their stamina and power, Alaskan Malamutes can pull heavy loads.

This arctic dog breed has a lifespan of about 10 to 12 years.

The female dogs usually weigh up to 75 pounds, while male adult dogs can weigh up to 85 pounds.

The Alaskan Malamute has a double coat and relatively small but distinctly pointy ears compared to its body. The typical coat hues are different tones and combinations of gray, white, seal, sable, and red.

These dogs do not get along well with other dogs, birds, or smaller animals. They are typically quite friendly with people, but it is important to use caution when they are around children.

Anne Agard, an experienced dog parent, advises, “Breeds with pointed ears tend to be more dominant and assertive in their behaviors than breeds with floppy ears.”

That said, remember this is only the case with some dogs and may not apply to all dogs with pointy ears.

Malamutes often make perfect house dogs as long as you ensure they get adequate exercise. Interestingly, they even work as therapy dogs, visiting and cheering up patients in hospitals.

Siberian Husky SittingSiberian Husky

The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized dog with exceptional tenacity. These dogs have a thick coat that helps them pull sleds through icy terrain. They are one of the more popular dog breeds with pointy ears.

Elegant, diligent, and amiable, these pack dogs enjoy living in households with their humans and other pets.

They are sociable and friendly and do not make for the best guard dogs out there! They always tend to have an endearing but cheeky expression on their faces.

Adult Siberian Huskies are light and only weigh up to 60 pounds. They can handle grooming themselves, and you’ll simply need to clean their pointy ears once a month.

What the Fact! A husky’s ears may hang when it is calm, yet they may perk up when it is keenly listening.

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog

This is a medium-sized and intelligent working dog bred to herd cattle. It performed the task mainly by gently nipping the cattle’s heels.

Also known as a Blue Heeler, this breed’s small to medium-sized pointed ears are set wide apart, with a layer of fur lining the insides. These dogs enjoy challenging training.

These dogs are loyal, devoted, and protective of their owners. But they may nip at children running around, owing to their original herding traits.

Their pointy ears remain floppy until they turn about six months old. They turn straight over a year, provided their ear cartilage is in excellent health.

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Basenji, or the “African Barkless Dog” is small and muscular, with upright ears. Owing to the structure of their larynx, these dogs cannot make the typical bark sound that other breeds can.

Basenjis are known for being dogs with long, pointy ears.

Their ears stand erect at the top of their head and point upwards. The positioning of their ears are thought to help them hunt. As the ears are quite large, they may also help them release heat.

This breed is smart, playful, loyal, and affectionate.

However, due to their hunting instincts, they may lunge at children and smaller creatures.

These dogs are prone to developing ticks, flicks, and ear mites. Always ensure your Basenji’s ears are squeaky clean. Use a cotton ball and an ear cleaning solution to keep them free of diseases.

Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois, like other pointy-eared dog breeds, are born with floppy ears. The ears become erect over time as they grow up.

According to the breed standards, their ears should be stiff and upright. When their ears are healthy, they appear clean without a foul odor or redness.

This exceptional dog breed is often employed to herd and detect drugs and bombs. These dogs with long pointy ears are also used as service dogs.

They may not make the best family dogs as they need challenging tasks to work on, lots of exercise, ample mental stimulation, and activity. Without this, they could become hard to handle.

American Eskimo standingAmerican Eskimo

American Eskimo dogs have small, triangular ears that stand upright. The “Eskie” is from the Spitz family and has a beautiful white coat with dark eyes.

These small dogs with pointy ears weigh only between 10 and 30 pounds. Entertaining and energetic, Eskies enjoy being part of family activities. They are gregarious with close ones but wary of strangers.

Check your American Eskimo’s ears once a week for any signs of redness, inflammation, or infection.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

This terrier with pointy ears is the 34th smartest dog in the world. They excel at obedience training and can read human emotions well.

Yorkshire Terriers are born with floppy ears that straighten up as the muscles develop. Their ears usually stand upright between 3 and 6 months.

The average lifespan of a Yorkie is between 12 and 15 years. It is a popular toy dog breed known for its friendly nature and active disposition.

You may need to clean your Yorkie’s ears once a month or more often, as this varies from one Yorkie to another.

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Chihuahua often look vigilant due to the shape, placement, and positioning of their ears. Although the breed standard requires these dogs to have large, erect ears, several Chihuahuas have floppy ears too.

These dogs have an incredible sense of hearing, detecting high-frequency sounds and picking up even the faintest noises from their surroundings.

Your Chihuahua’s ears may assume different positions when it is relaxed, friendly, defensive, worried, or scared. As a result, you may easily read their emotions and figure out what’s going on in their heads.

Also Read: Does Your Chihuahua Shake a Lot? Here’s What You Didn’t Know

Corgi dog


Corgis have wide, upright ears that resemble a fox’s ears.

These short, strong, and muscular dogs are one of the most widely used herding breeds in the world. Though these dogs seem small at just about 30 pounds, they are very powerful and athletic.

If their ears do not stand by eight weeks of age, the breeders tend to tape their ears to make them turn upright.

They make for delightful house pets, as they are naturally loving and amiable.

Border Collie runningBorder Collie

The Border Collie is a medium-sized herding dog breed from Britain.

It is intelligent, easily trainable, obedient, and agile. The breed excels at herding. These dogs are mainly used as working dogs to watch over livestock.

Border Collies are terrific family companions as they are vivacious, easygoing, and eager to please. As long as you socialize them well early, they get along well with kids and other animals.

The Border Collie’s ears are medium-sized and pointy at the ends. Owners and breeders may tape their Collie’s ears at about 7 ½ months if they don’t rise by then. This is primarily to ensure they are eligible for shows.

Your Border Collie puppy’s grooming regimen must include regularly cleaning its ears. Be wary of wax buildup to avoid infection and damage.

Papillon dog


Papillon dogs take their name from the French word for butterfly, because the shape of their pointed ears and facial fringe is meant to resemble a butterfly’s wings, explains Haggard Hawks on Twitter.

Also called the Continental Toy Spaniel or the Dwarf Spaniel, the Papillon is a small dog with dark eyes and a small head. It has distinctive upright ears.

Although many of these dogs have the typical butterfly-wing-shaped ears, some don’t have extremely large ones.

The huge ears tend to have curved tips, and the portion of the head between the ears is somewhat rounded. They tend to have long and fringed hair on the ears too.

German Shepherd sittingGerman Shepherd

German Shepherds are guard dogs with big pointy ears. Their ears are medium-sized, pointed, and straight. The ears begin to stand upright at about 5 months of age.

The accepted standard for the breed includes pricked ears that are proportionate to the skull. Dog shows often look for large ears in German Shepherds.

While upright ears are the norm for German Shepherds, they can occasionally have droopy or partially erect ears.

Ensure your German Shepherd pup’s ears are free of dirt and wax, as this may also affect their ability to rise.

Samoyed dog


This breed is renowned for its lovely, upright ears. If your Samoyed’s ears do not stand, it may be due to several reasons.

As with other dog breeds with pointy ears, their ears begin to stand up at around 6 to 10 weeks of age. If they don’t rise by 15 weeks, you may not have a purebred Samoyed, or your pup may have health issues.

West Highland Terrier sitting on sofaWest Highland Terrier

This adorable dog breed from Scotland is lovingly called a Westie. A Westies’ ears are pointed, stand upright, and evenly spaced. The fur on the ears is usually short.

You should refrain from trimming or cutting a West Highland Terrier’s hair.

Westies may take anywhere between eight weeks and six months to achieve perfectly standing ears.

Although inquisitive by nature, Westies are incredibly affectionate and fun-loving dogs that make for excellent family pets. But they’re not the most friendly with other dogs or small pets, like rabbits or cats.

German Shepherd

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dogs With Pointy Ears Hear Better?

Dog with pointy ears may have been bred to develop this characteristic. It could mean that they hear better and can move them around to pick up sounds better. But the difference, in all likelihood, may be minor. The shape of the ear and its large size may help capture more sounds.

Are Dogs With Pointy Ears More Aggressive?

Dogs with pointed ears generally exhibit more assertive behaviors. Despite this, triangle-eared dogs like German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, and others are just as well-behaved and gentle as other breeds.

What Are Different Pointy Ear Groups In Dogs?

Dogs with pointy ears may have bat ears, hooded ears, candle flame ears, blunt-tipped ears, or prick ears.



Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.