Types of Dogs With Pointy Ears

By Betty Lewis

There's no denying that a dog's ears are one of his cutest, most useful features. Even a dog with droopy ears can manipulate and adjust his furry flaps, thanks to more than a dozen muscles working in concert to move that ear around. If you're keen on a dog with pointy ears, the first thing to know is the proper term for that type of ear is prick or upright.

Pointed Purpose

Siberian Husky in a winter snowfield

Maria Itina/iStock/Getty Images

Many domestic dogs have retained the prick ear shape of their ancestors, a key survival feature for wild members of the family Canidae. Typically, pricked or upright ears are upturned and pointed, enhancing a dog's ability to capture sound. The ear's muscles allow a dog to rotate his ear for maximum hearing without moving his head, as well as communicate what he's thinking, such as keen interest in moving prey. Many Nordic breed dogs, such as the Siberian husky, Samoyed, malamute, Norwegian elkhound and keeshond, sport pointy ears.

Herders and Toys

Three Australian cattle dogs

Carmelka/iStock/Getty Images

The American Kennel Club's herding group is chock full of prick-eared dogs. The Canaan dog, German shepherd, Belgian Malinois, and Australian cattle dog all have upright, pointy ears. The collie and Shetland sheepdog have pointy ears that stand upright, though they have a hint of a fold at the tip. The silky terrier, Chihuahua, Manchester terrier, Brussels griffon and Chinese crested represent pointy-eared dogs in the toy group.

The Terriers

Face of a miniature schnauzer

HU-JUN/iStock/Getty Images

Terriers are well-represented in the upright ear department. The Australian terrier, Cairn terrier, Norwich terrier, Manchester terrier, miniature schnauzer and rat terrier have perky, pointy ears. Depending on grooming style, fur may obscure the finer points of the Skye terrier and West Highland white terrier's ears, but a closer look will reveal pointy ears.

Recognizable Ears on Unrecognized Dogs

A owner carries Portuguese podengo puppies

Scott Barbour/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Unusual dogs sport these not-so-unusual ears. The Portuguese podengo, Peruvian Inca orchid, and berger Picard are part of the AKC's miscellaneous class -- dogs who aren't fully recognized by the organization. The Norrbottenspets and the American hairless terrier are also pointy-eared dogs in this group.

Other Uprights

French bulldog on a blanket

Allan_Glanfield/iStock/Getty Images

The Great Dane, Doberman pinscher, and boxer can all tell you that though they weren't born with prick ears, some among them sport them. Cropping a dog's ear can create an upright ear, though they're usually referred to as cropped ears when they've been surgically enhanced.

Some dogs have prick ears but instead of showing a pointy tip they show a rounded finish, such as the French bulldog. The basenji's prick ears are hooded, meaning his medium-sized ears curve in on both sides to insinuate a hood.