Many dog breeds have pointy, or pricked, ears that stand upright on their own. Most terrier's ears stand up, while only a few hounds' do. Many working and herding breeds, and those from cold climates in the spitz family also have erect ears. Some are pointed, while others are rounded on the top. Upright ears are less prone to infections, but are more apt to attract biting bugs.
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Some small breeds have ears that stand up and out, and seem oversized for the dog's body, like the chihuahua. The papillon's ears look large because of the long hair that hangs from them like plumes. Other small dogs such as the basenji, schipperke, Chinese crested, Pomeranian, Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh corgis, shiba inu, Finnish spitz and French bulldog have upright ears that add to their alert look.
Since most terriers were bred for hunting vermin above or below ground, the pointy ears on the majority of them aid locating prey. Terriers with erect ears include the Australian, Boston, bull, cairn, rat, Norwich, silky, Skye, Scottish, West Highland and Yorkshire.
Northern and Spitz Breeds
Northern and spitz breeds raised for cold weather such as the Akita, Alaskan malamute, chow, Norwegian elkhound, American Eskimo, keeshond, Samoyed and Siberian husky have pointed ears. There are many dog breeds in other countries that also fall into this category, including the Karelian bear dog, Norwegian buhund and Icelandic sheepdog.
Working & Herding
The keen sense of hearing in working and herding dogs such as the Australian cattle dog, Belgian malinois, Belgian sheepdog and German shepherd can be largely attributed to their upright ears.
Nearly all hounds have long, drooping ears, but Pharoah and Ibizan hounds have large, upright ears. The Cirneco dell'Etna, an Italian breed that resembles the Pharoah hound, also has large, pointed ears.
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