Dogs have been bred for years to serve specific purposes, and each breed is further separated into a group--the sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, non-sporting and herding group--based upon what function the dog was produced to carry out. A large number of long-eared dogs are categorised as hound dogs, a group of dog breeds used primarily for hunting.
The basset hound is a breed of hunting dog that originated in France and is ideal for hunters on foot. The short, heavy dog is typically a combination of colours--black, brown, red, tan and white--and has exceptionally long ears. The basset hound has a very keen sense of smell and a gentle disposition, making the breed a very practical hunting dog either alone or in a pack.
The bloodhound is another long-eared dog breed within the hound group. Despite rumours to the contrary, the bloodhound is not named for its ability to follow the scent of blood, but was actually named for the breed's status as aristocratic and royal; great lengths were taken to keep the breed pure. Unlike the basset hound, bloodhounds are tall dogs that can weigh between 40.8 and 49.9 Kilogram.
The beagle is one of the most popular dog breeds in America, according to American Kennel Club registration statistics. The beagle, bred to be either 13 inches or 15 inches tall, is another hunting dog belonging to the hound group. Hunters often used a pack of the small, sturdy dogs to track and hunt rabbits, while taller, weightier hound breeds were produced specifically to track larger game such as deer. Due to their history as pack hunters, beagles tend to prefer the company of other dogs and humans.
Black-and-tan coonhounds are named for their colouring and their impeccable ability to track and tree raccoons. Known for their persistence, black-and-tan coonhounds are capable of withstanding the rigours of a hot summer, a painfully rough terrain or a viciously cold winter. The dog breed, also in the hound group, is one of the few genuinely American breeds and was originally bred by Indian fighters in the 1700s.
Caring for Your Long-Eared dog
Dogs with long ears are prone to ear infections. The ear canal is covered by the outer ear, prohibiting adequate ventilation to the inner parts of the ear. Moisture is easily accumulated, which can lead to rapid bacteria growth and infection. Regularly cleaning the dog's ears, inserting cotton balls into your pet's ears during a bath to keep them dry, and trimming the fur surrounding the ear area can help prevent infection in your floppy-eared friend.