Thursday, April 7, 2011

THE SHAPES OF DOGGY EARS

If you have looked at very many dogs, which I hope you have, you may have noticed that their ears come in lots of different shapes and sizes.  There are lots of ways to talk about dog ears, and if you just want to keep things simple, you can describe ears as ones that stick up, ones that fold over, or ones that hang down.  But I am going to tell you what all these ear shapes are really called, and then if you want to impress your friends with how smart you are, you can use all these fancy names to do that.
BAT EARS look like they are almost too big for the dog.  They stand up, and they nice and wide at the bottom.  Chihuahuas have ears like this, and so do Cardigan Welsh Corgis.
BLUNT-TIPPED EARS are sometimes called TULIP EARS, except in Europe, where tulip ears might mean the same as bat ears.  Or tulip ears might mean ears that are supposed to be folded over, but which stand up and look funny.  In a show dog, this is a no-no, but in a pet dog, it is just cute.  Anyway, some breeds with blunt-tipped ears are Chow-Chows and French Bulldogs.
BUTTON EARS fold over in the middle, so that the top part of the ear hides the opening to the ear.  Jack Russell Terriers have button ears, and so do Fox Terriers and Lakeland terriers.
CANDLE FLAME EARS are shaped like, well, candle flames.  The only breed that has them is the English Toy Terrier.
The COCKED EAR is also called a SEMI-CROPPED or SEMI-PRICK EAR.  It's sort of like a button ear, except that it doesn't fold over halfway, like a button ear does.  It just folds over a little bit at the tip.  Breeds with this kind of ear include shelties, collies, and pitbulls.

DROP or PENDANT EARS look kind of different in different breeds.  This sort of ear hangs down from the spot where it is attached to the side of the dog's head.  Sometimes these ears make a full drop, and sometimes they are folded.  So Basset Hounds and Skye Terriers both have drop ears, even though they don't look very much alike.


FILBERT-SHAPED EARS are mostly only found in Bedlington Terriers.  Supposedly their ears are shaped like filbert nuts, but they don't look much like filberts if you ask me.

FOLDED EARS or ROLLED EARS are long, pendant ears that sort of fold over along the edges.  Bloodhounds and Field Spaniels have ears like this.
HOODED EARS are what basenjis have, and I can tell you from personal experience that they are an excellent kind of ear to have!  In a hooded ear, both sides of the ear curve forward, so the ears are shaped like a hood.

PRICK or ERECT EARS stand up stiffly.  They might be this way naturally, or they might stand up because they were cropped.  Examples of breeds with prick ears are German Shepherds and Pomeranians.  But one thing that's confusing to me is that when you look at a German Shepherd from the side, the ears look pretty much hooded, like a basenji's, so I'm not sure why they are called "prick ears" and not "hooded ears."
TRIANGULAR EARS are prick ears that form a triangle with all the sides the same length.  Mom says this is called an equilateral triangle, and she knows this because long ago, at the dawn of time, she took a geometry class.  Anyway, some breeds with triangular ears are the Siberian Husky, the Norwegian Buhund, and the Pyrenean Mountain Dog.
ROSE EARS are small drop ears that fold over and then backwards.  Greyhounds have them, and so do Italian Greyhounds, Whippets, and Bulldogs.  My brother Mel has them, which is one things that makes him look like he might be a whippet mix.  Also Nicky has them, of course.
V-SHAPED EARS are longer, triangular ears and are usually also drop ears.  Examples of breeds with V-shaped ears are Hungarian Vizslas and Bullmastiffs.
HEART-SHAPED EARS are the kind of ears that breeds like Portuguese Water Dogs and Pekingese have, except it's hard to tell what shape ears they have because their ears are so hairy.
LOBE-SHAPED EARS are required by the breed standards of dogs like English Springers, Irish Water Spaniels, and Cocker Spaniels.

Well, that's pretty much all the ear shapes I could find names for.  Now you just need to study them, and we will have a quiz tomorrow!

5 comments:

  1. Dear PIper,
    I never really payed attention to ear formations. I never really thought of them, but now I find them very intresting! Ears add to the cute quality of dogs! I mostly like the button ears, cocked ears, triangular ears, heart shaped ears...Ect. I like a lot of them but there are so many! Anyway, what kind of ears do you have?
    Love,
    Your # 1 fan, Tas

    ReplyDelete
  2. My ears are Hooded Ears, which are good to have because they catch all the sounds nicely so I can hear everything that is going on. Maybe basenjis are the only kind of dogs with hooded ears. At least they are the only example given in the stuff I read about ear shapes.
    Love, Piper

    ReplyDelete
  3. YES!! on the Vizsla photo!! Thank you!
    Love, AP

    ReplyDelete
  4. I put the vizsla photo in just to make you happy, Aunt Patty! I'm glad you liked it!

    Love, Piper

    ReplyDelete