If you crave a droopy-eared dog, you can choose from numerous breeds. Most long-eared canines are found in the hound or spaniel breeds. The American Kennel Club, the governing body of canine breeding and sports, classifies every breed within one of seven groups. You won't find many long-eared dogs in the terrier, nonsporting or herding groups, but there are examples in the four remaining groups. That's where you can start your search for the right long-eared dog for you.
While many hounds make good pets, remember they were bred to hunt. This means their noses rule their lives, so walking them while off-leash is always risky. Most of them don't bark, but bay. Large hounds with long ears include the bloodhound and various types of coonhound -- black and tan, bluetick or redbone. Small and medium sized hounds include the beagle, basset hound and dachshund. While most hounds sport short, easy care coats, there are exceptions. If you're looking for an elegant, long-eared, long-haired canine, consider the Afghan hound.
The Sporting Group
Spaniels and setters also were bred to hunt. However, they're generally easier to train and less likely to roam than hounds, although that's not true of every breed in the AKC sporting group. Especially long-eared examples include the American cocker and English cocker spaniels, the Irish setter, the Sussex spaniel, the English and Welsh springer spaniels, the Irish water spaniel, the Boykin spaniel and the Gordon setter. Although technically in the toy group, small spaniels with long ears include the Cavalier King Charles and the English toy spaniel.
Working and Toy Dogs
Most members of the AKC's working group don't have long ears, but there are some exceptions. These are canines originally bred to guard livestock or homes, or were used as draft dogs, pulling carts and sleighs. The long-eared contingent includes the large, calm Bernese Mountain dog. The toy group consists of small dogs bred for companionship. Long-eared toys include the Japanese chin, the Maltese and the Pekingese. Toy poodles have long ears, and so do their larger counterparts, the miniature and standard poodles.
If you have a long-eared dog, regular ear care is a must to prevent ear infections. Those long ears make a great habitat for bacteria, resulting in infections that easily become chronic if untreated. Ear infection symptoms include head shaking, foul smells emanating from the ears, ear discharge or any sign that your dog's ear hurts. Your vet can recommend a good ear wash for regular ear cleaning. Take your dog to the vet if you suspect an ear infection.