Do your ears hang low? Yours probably don’t, but these dogs with floppy ears certainly have low-hanging ears—they even wobble to and fro! Besides being an endearing characteristic that makes your pup simply more adorable (if that’s even possible), floppy ears actually do have a purpose. Some dogs have droopy ears from years of crossbreeding, but scent hounds (such as Basset hounds) use their long ears to help them smell. The long ears help them stimulate trapped scent particles so the dogs can continue to hunt for long distances.
Generally, owners of dogs with floppy ears don’t have to deal with any negative health consequences—although they will have to do some extra cleaning as dogs with long ears are more prone to ear infections. And contrary to popular belief, ears that droop downwards actually don’t have any impact on the dogs hearing, even though it may seem like the sound would be muffled. So your droopy eared dog can hear just as well as dogs with pointy ears. Dogs have hyper-sensitive hearing, so your pup should have no problem hearing you if you call (they’re likely just ignoring you.)
These cuties will make you want to run to the shelter ASAP for a floppy-eared companion. You may even find some of these guys on our list of the most popular dog breeds—and for good reason.
1. Basset Hound
You probably immediately thought of a basset hound when you heard “floppy ears.” Their ears look even lengthier because of the dog’s long face and tiny legs. Basset hounds are stellar scent trackers and easily recognizable by most people. While they can be pretty stubborn, they are generally a low-maintenance dog and will remain loyal no matter what.
Beagles have a ton of energy, which is funny since they are close cousins to the very tame and chill basset hound. Beagles are also scent dogs, but unlike the hounds, they love to bark. Beagles were bred to hunt in packs, so they love to be around others and require a lot of playtime. Sometimes their energy can be a bit much for the average family to handle.
These little hot dogs are surprisingly tough small guys. Dachshunds are actually part scent hound, so they have a strong nose with some hunting instincts. They have a pretty bold personality and make great watchdogs despite their size. While they aren’t built for long-distance running or jumping, dachshunds have a ton of energy and will be up for any games, especially ones that offer a good challenge.
Also known as a “sleuth hound,” bloodhounds are the best dogs for sniffing out a missing person. Their strong noses can sometimes lead to trouble when it comes to walks, as they are prone to sniffing everything. Besides just long, droopy ears (which should be checked daily for ear infections), these hounds love to sing. They love to howl at everything, which is why they may not be the best choice for living in close quarters.
5. Cocker spaniel
Cocker spaniels have big ears, big hearts, and big brains. They are typically sensitive but are always up for a good challenge. Cocker spaniels are easily trainable as companions and love to play around with children. They do require some extra grooming time for that silky coat, but it’s a small price to pay for being the most beautiful creature in the room.
6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
These little cuties have become a popular choice for dog owners and rightfully so. Aside from just being adorable with their floppy ears and fluffy fur, they are extremely affectionate and loving. You’ll get the best of both worlds with the Cavalier. They have the gentle and fun-loving qualities of a toy breed while also embodying the athleticism of a spaniel.
Weimaraners are elegant pups that are always ready to adventure. They need plenty of exercise and love to play around with their humans. This breed is incredibly loving and easy to train, making them great family dogs as long as they get enough physical activity.
8. Afghan Hound
How stunning is this dog with floppy ears? This breed has nicer hair than most humans we know if we’re being frank. The Afghan hound is a unique breed with a long extravagant coat that embellishes their ears to make them even more droopy looking. These pups tend to be pretty sensitive emotionally but are an extremely loyal breed to the humans with whom they have created a bond.
RELATED: 8 Signs Your Dog Trusts You
These exotic-looking dogs look as if they wear pigtails. Slim yet strong saluki dogs are known for being nimble sprinters and love a good run. They are hunting hounds and have been used to hunt for thousands of years. Despite their athletic demeanor, salukis are quite gentle and loyal dogs. Many saluki owners actually use a snood to keep the dog’s ears out of their food bowl.
RELATED: How to Know When Your Dog Is Bored
10. Golden Retriever
The golden retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, and for good reason. They are a dog of inordinate beauty and are used for a variety of different reasons including doing field work, guiding for the blind, helping in search-and-rescues, and being man’s (and woman’s) best friend. Golden retrievers are loyal, playful, and super easy to train.
These cheerful little fluffballs are full of joy and life. Havanese are actually native to Cuba. In addition to their floppy ears, they also have a lavish coat that needs grooming more often than other dog breeds. Make sure to check their ears often to remove wax and wipe the inside of their ear flap with a paper towel every so often.
RELATED: How to Groom Your Dog at Home
There are a few different types of setter breeds out there including the Irish setter, Gordon setter, and English setter—all with floppy ears. Setters are native to the United Kingdom and Ireland and are perfect for pet owners with easy access to the outdoors. They make great companions for those who love to go camping and hiking. If your heart hasn’t melted into a puddle of warmth already, check out these adorable puppy pictures that will definitely do the trick.
The post 12 Dogs with Floppy Ears That Are Irresistibly Cute appeared first on Reader's Digest.