Top 10 Dog Breeds with Pointy Ears [ Hear Them Out! ]

There’s something inexplicably captivating about dogs with pointy ears. From their alertness to the charming twitch at every sound, these dogs carry a unique aura that makes them stand out.

This blog post is a comprehensive guide designed to provide insight into the world of pointy-eared dogs, their unique traits, and what to expect if you welcome one into your family.

Key Takeaways

  • Pointy ears in dogs are a result of genetics, and they trace back to their ancestral lineage with wild wolves.
  • Pointy-eared breeds, like German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, and Alaskan Malamutes, have enhanced hearing acuity and expressive communication due to their ears’ functionality.
  • Pointy-eared dogs may be more susceptible to ear infections and frostbite, but with proper care and attention, these risks can be managed.
  • The article profiles ten popular dog breeds with pointy ears, such as German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, Akita, and Shiba Inu, highlighting their characteristics and care needs.
  • When considering adopting a pointy-eared breed, it’s essential to choose one that aligns with your lifestyle, activity level, and temperament.
  • Regular ear care, including routine checks, cleaning, and protection from extreme weather, is crucial for pointy-eared dogs.
  • Early training and socialization are important for breeds known for their independent or reserved nature, to ensure they grow into well-rounded and confident adults.
  • Owners of pointy-eared dogs enjoy their active and alert nature, expressive communication, and unique and beautiful appearance.
  • Challenges of owning pointy-eared dogs include dealing with high energy levels, regular ear care, and training requirements.
  • Owning a pointy-eared dog is a long-term commitment, and finding the right match for your lifestyle is essential for a successful and fulfilling companionship.

Dog Breeds with Pointy Ears Profile

Understanding the specific breed characteristics, personality traits, and care needs is essential when considering adoption. Here’s a closer look at ten popular breeds with pointy ears:

1. German Shepherds

Miniature German Shepherd in the forest


Known for their intelligence and versatility, German Shepherds have a robust and muscular build. Their pointy ears stand upright, enhancing their alert and watchful expressions.

Personality Traits

They are protective, confident, and extremely loyal, making them excellent family dogs. German Shepherds excel in various roles, from service dogs to police dogs, due to their high trainability.

Care Needs

They require regular exercise and mental stimulation. Early socialization and obedience training are recommended.

2. Siberian Huskies

siberian husky in the woods


Siberian Huskies possess a thick coat and stunning blue or multicolored eyes, complemented by their tall, pointy ears.

Personality Traits

They are friendly, outgoing, and mischievous. These dogs enjoy the company of humans and other dogs.

Care Needs

Huskies need extensive exercise and are prone to escaping, so a secure yard is vital. Their thick coat requires frequent grooming.

3. Alaskan Malamutes

Alaskan Malamute on white background


Alaskan Malamutes are large, sturdy dogs built for strength and endurance. Their pointy ears contribute to their alert and friendly expressions.

Personality Traits

Malamutes are affectionate, loyal, and love to be part of a family. However, they can be stubborn at times.

Care Needs

They require ample daily exercise to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Their thick coats need regular brushing.

4. Belgian Malinois

belgian malinois sitting at the park


Belgian Malinois are well-balanced, square dogs known for their agility and speed. Their pointy ears sit high on their head, giving them a continually alert look.

Personality Traits

They are energetic, intelligent, and hardworking, making them excellent working dogs.

Care Needs

These dogs thrive on rigorous exercise and mental stimulation. They also need early socialization and consistent training.

5. Shiba Inu

shiba inu on the lawn


Shiba Inus are small, agile dogs resembling plush toys with thick coats and pointy ears.

Personality Traits

Shiba Inus are bold, independent, and can be a bit reserved. They are generally good with kids and make excellent watchdogs.

Care Needs

Daily exercise is necessary, and their thick double coat needs frequent grooming. Training should start early due to their stubborn nature.

6. Akita Inu

akita inu at the park


Akitas are large, powerful dogs, often seen as a symbol of health and well-being in Japan. Their pointy ears enhance their bear-like face.

Personality Traits

Akitas are loyal, quiet, and dignified, but can be aggressive towards other dogs if not socialized properly.

Care Needs

Regular exercise and mental stimulation are essential. Their thick coat requires regular brushing to prevent matting.

7. Samoyed

Samoyed standing at the park during autumn


Samoyeds are known for their friendly “smiling” face, fluffy white coat, and pointy ears.

Personality Traits

They are friendly, adaptable, and love being part of family activities.

Care Needs

Regular exercise and grooming are musts for this breed. Socialization from a young age can prevent them from being overly suspicious of strangers.

8. Basenji

Basenji at the park


Often known as the “barkless dog,” Basenjis are small, elegant dogs with high-set, pointy ears.

Personality Traits

Basenjis are intelligent, independent, and can be reserved with strangers.

Care Needs

These dogs need ample physical and mental stimulation. Their short coat is easy to care for, but their high prey drive requires a secure yard.

9. Pharaoh Hound

Pharaoh Hounds sitting on a white background


The Pharaoh Hound is a sleek, powerful dog known for its agility and pointy ears.

Personality Traits

They are active, intelligent, and playful. These dogs form strong bonds with their families but can be aloof with strangers.

Care Needs

They require a good amount of daily exercise. Their short coat is low maintenance but sensitive to cold temperatures.

10. Rat Terrier

Rat Terrier with leash standing on the lawn


Rat Terriers are small to medium-sized dogs known for their agility and pointy ears.

Personality Traits

They are intelligent, active, and good-natured. These dogs enjoy being around their human family members.

Care Needs

Rat Terriers are an energetic breed requiring daily exercise. Their short coat is easy to maintain with occasional brushing. Early socialization is necessary to prevent them from becoming overly cautious around strangers.

The Genetics Behind Pointy Ears

dog with pointed ears close up rear view photo

The world of canine genetics is fascinating, and the shape, size, and position of a dog’s ears are all products of this complex system.

A dog’s genes, which it inherits from its parents, dictate the physical characteristics it develops, much like our human genes influence our physical features.

Let’s turn back time to understand the origin of pointy ears in dogs. The ancestral lineage of all modern dog breeds traces back to wild wolves.

These creatures, known for their pricked or pointed ears, are the forefathers of our beloved pets. Hence, it’s safe to infer that the first domesticated dogs also likely had pointy ears.

However, with the advent of selective breeding, a myriad of dog ear shapes began to surface.

Some breeds maintained their ancestral pointy ears, particularly useful for hunting and guard dogs, enhancing their hearing understanding and giving them a constantly alert appearance.

On the other hand, floppy or droopy ears were cultivated in other breeds, often contributing to a softer, friendlier aesthetic.

It’s crucial to remember that while the shape of a dog’s ears may influence its directional hearing capabilities, it doesn’t necessarily define overall hearing ability.

Whether they possess pointy, floppy, or folded ears, dogs across the board have an exceptional sense of hearing compared to humans.

As time passed, certain breeds gained recognition for their unique pointy ears, and breeders purposefully selected and propagated this trait.

This led to the strengthening of the association between these breeds and their sharp, erect ears. In these breeds, the gene responsible for pointy ears is dominant, typically overriding the recessive gene for floppy ears.

This genetic dominance is why purebred dogs of these breeds almost always sport pointy ears.

Benefits and Health Implications of Pointy Ears

mixed dog breed with pointed ears close up photo

Pointy ears in dogs serve more than an aesthetic purpose; they also have functional roles and health implications. Here’s a look at the advantages and potential health issues associated with pointy ears in dogs:


  • Enhanced Hearing Acuity: Pointy ears can quickly catch sound waves and direct them toward the ear canal. This leads to superior hearing abilities, enabling dogs to hear even faint sounds from considerable distances. It’s particularly beneficial for working breeds involved in tasks like search-and-rescue or guarding.
  • Expressive Communication: Dogs with pointy ears can express a broader range of emotions and signals. The erect ears’ independent movement and directional capability allow dogs to communicate their feelings and attention effectively. This feature makes it easier for owners to understand their pets’ moods.

Potential Health Concerns

  • Prone to Ear Infections: Dogs with pointy ears might be more susceptible to ear infections, as their open ear structure can easily enter bacteria, yeast, or parasites. Regular checks and proper cleaning can help mitigate this risk.
  • Risk of Frostbite: The skin on pointy ears is exposed and can be vulnerable to frostbite in colder climates. Owners of pointy-eared dogs living in cold environments should closely monitor their pets’ ears and provide suitable protection during winter.

Despite these potential health issues, most can be effectively managed with regular ear care, prompt attention to changes, and appropriate veterinary care. Ensuring these steps will keep your pointy-eared friend in good health.

Adoption and Care Tips for Dogs with Pointy Ears

akita mixed dog breed with pointed ears close up photo

When choosing a pointy-eared dog breed, selecting one that aligns with your lifestyle and understanding the care needs specific to these breeds is important. Here are some tips to guide you through the process:

Choosing the Right Breed for Your Lifestyle

  • Activity Level: Some breeds, like Siberian Huskies and Belgian Malinois, are high-energy dogs requiring plenty of physical activity, making them a good match for active individuals or families. On the other hand, breeds like the Shiba Inu and Basenji have more moderate energy levels.
  • Size: From the small and agile Shiba Inu to the large and powerful Akita, pointy-eared dogs come in all sizes. Consider your living situation and the amount of space you have before deciding on a breed.
  • Temperament: Some breeds are known for their independence (Shiba Inu, Akita), while others are renowned for their loyalty and friendliness (German Shepherd, Alaskan Malamute). Choose a breed whose temperament fits well with your personality and family dynamics.

Ear Care Tips for Pointy-eared Breeds

  • Routine Checks: Regularly check your dog’s ears for any signs of infection or parasites. These can include redness, swelling, unusual discharge, or a strong odor.
  • Cleaning: Use a vet-approved cleaner to clean your dog’s ears. Avoid using cotton swabs as they can damage the ear canal. Instead, use a soft cloth or cotton ball.
  • Protection: Pointy-eared dogs’ ears are more exposed and more susceptible to cold weather and sunburn. During extreme weather conditions, protect your dog’s ears with suitable gear or limit their exposure to the elements.

Training and Socialization Tips

  • Start Early: Training and socialization should start from a young age, particularly with breeds known for their independent or reserved nature, such as the Shiba Inu and Akita.
  • Consistency: Consistent and positive reinforcement methods work best for training. Establish a routine and stick to it.
  • Socialization: Expose your dog to various people, environments, and other animals to ensure they grow into well-rounded and confident adults. Socialization is vital for breeds known to be reserved or aloof with strangers, like the Pharaoh Hound and Basenji.

Dog Breeds with Pointy Ears Joys and Challenges

young siberian husky dog breed with pointed ears close up photo


Many owners revel in the active and alert nature of their pointy-eared dogs. They love the expressiveness that comes from those ears, whether perked up in attention or twitching in response to an exciting sound.

Plus, the added joy of having a dog that turns heads wherever it goes due to its unique and beautiful look.


Some challenges owners of pointy-eared dogs have shared include dealing with their high energy levels, the need for regular ear care, and a tendency towards independence that can make training more challenging in some breeds.

But most owners agree: the rewards far outweigh the challenges, and every day brings new joys with these stunning companions.

Final Thoughts

belgian malinois close up side view photo

With their distinct and appealing looks, dogs with pointy ears make for excellent companions.

Their heightened senses and expressive features are just some of the advantages of owning these breeds.

However, knowing the specific care requirements and potential health concerns is essential to ensure your furry friend stays healthy and happy.

The ten breeds we explored, from the loyal German Shepherd to the vivacious Rat Terrier, each offer unique personality traits and care needs.

Whether you’re interested in the robust Alaskan Malamute or the quiet and cat-like Basenji, each breed is exceptional and rewarding in its own right.

Choosing the right breed for your lifestyle and ensuring you’re prepared to take on the ear care needs of these dogs are vital steps in your journey.

With the right approach, the experience of owning these breeds can be joyful and fulfilling, as attested by the owners’ shared stories.

Remember, owning a dog is a long-term commitment, and ensuring you’re the right match for your breed of choice is essential for a successful and happy companionship.

The pointy-eared companions we’ve discussed here offer diverse options to suit various lifestyles and preferences, making it easier to find your perfect match.

We hope this blog post has been informative and enjoyable and brought you closer to choosing your perfect pointy-eared companion.

Join the Pointy-Eared Community: Share Your Stories and Tips

2 dogs with share your story sign

Now that you’ve explored the world of pointy-eared dogs with us, we invite you to join the conversation.

Do you have a story to share about your pointy-eared companion?

Have these breeds caught your eye, or are you a proud owner of one?

We would love to hear about your experiences.

Perhaps you have adorable pictures of your pointy-eared friend that you’d like to share. We encourage you to post them in the comments below.

Seeing these breeds in action is always a joy, showcasing their unique personality traits.

Your knowledge is most welcome if you have tips or insights that would benefit other dog lovers considering adopting a pointy-eared breed.

Sharing your experiences can help prospective owners make informed decisions and provide better care for their pets.

We’re also open to suggestions for future blog posts. If there’s a specific topic you’d like us to cover, or if you have questions about any aspects of dog care and adoption, please let us know.

Remember, being part of a community of dog lovers means learning from each other, sharing experiences, and celebrating the joy these loyal companions bring to our lives. We look forward to hearing from you!


Do all shepherds have pointy ears?

While some shepherd breeds, like the German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois, have pointy ears, others, like the Australian Shepherd or English Shepherd, may have floppy or semi-floppy ears. The presence of pointy ears is specific to certain shepherd breeds.

Do dog ears naturally point up?

The natural position of dog ears differs among breeds. Some breeds, like the German Shepherd and Siberian Husky, have ears that naturally point up, while others, such as the Beagle or Basset Hound, have naturally floppy ears.

Are pointed ears dominant or recessive in dogs?

The genetics of ear shape in dogs can be complex. In many cases, pointed ears are dominant traits, meaning they are more likely to be expressed in offspring. However, there are exceptions, and some breeds may have recessive genes for floppy ears.