7 Dog Breeds With Hairy Ears

Photo by Tim Wilson on Flickr

Are you the proud parent of a canine with hairy ears? Or perhaps you are looking to get one? If yes, then you probably have a lot of questions about your pet. 

Just as dogs come in different breeds, they have different features. For dogs with hairy ears, there’s a lot to love about them. There’s also a lot to watch out for when caring for them.

Read on as we discuss several popular dog breeds with hairy ears, answer some most frequently asked questions, and help you to understand and care for your dog better.

Are hairy eared dogs more prone to ear infections?

Yes. Dog breeds with hairy or floppy ears like Spaniel, Schnauzers, Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apso, and Papillon could be more prone to ear infections. Such is the case because their excessive hairy ears can encourage bacteria and yeast growth. 

The shape of these dog breeds’ ears alongside their texture often blocks airflow from the ear. They can trap heat and moisture inside your pet’s ears, which can cause ear infections.

Sometimes, tumors and other foreign objects can stay stuck in your dog’s ear, which can cause infections, especially in a single ear.

However, ear infections can occur in any dog breed, even those without hairy ears.

Should hairy-eared dogs have their ears plucked?

Most veterinarians largely recommend that hairy eared dogs have their hair plucked out periodically.

Have your groomer pluck out your dog’s hair every 4 to 6 weeks to keep their ears free from infection and dirt.

When you pluck out hair from hairy-eared dogs, it allows airflow into the canal, keeps it dry, and allows you to thoroughly clean any debris or wax lying around.

It is common to notice some micro-inflammation when you pluck your dog’s hair for the first few times. Not to worry, because the follicles will get used to it quickly, and the inflammation will stop.

What is the best way to clean your dog’s ears?

Here’s how to clean your dog’s ears in a few steps.

Begin by sourcing for supplies including, a veterinarian-approved dog ear-cleaning solution, a towel, and a gauze or cotton ball.

Keep your dog calm and fill your pet’s ear canal with the ear-cleaning solution. 

Massage the base of your pet’s ear for a few seconds and listen for sounds that follow the breakdown of foreign bodies and debris in the ear.

Make your dog shake his head so that the solution comes out. Wipe his face with the towel after he finishes shaking. Then, wipe the ear canal outwards using a cotton ball. Be careful to avoid going over one knuckle deep and take note of signs of discomfort.

7 dog breeds with hairy ears

Let’s get to know the dogs with hairy ears better and examine some of the features that make them stand out.

1. Papillon

Photo by Andrea Arden on Flickr

This dog breed gets its name from the nature of its ears. Papillon means ‘butterfly,’ describing the dog’s hairy, upright ears, resembling the wings of a butterfly when they are spread out.

Some of these breeds are drop-eared, and they are called the Phalene, meaning ‘moth.’ They’re not as common as the Papillon, which is the more popular and recognized variety.

Paps have a long and silky coat that comes in several combinations of colors, with white as the base color. Due to their single-coated fur, these dogs are sensitive to cold. However, they handle heat well.

These dog breeds are highly alert, which makes them excellent watchdogs. They are perfect companion dogs, especially for active families. 

These dogs are very agile and have high energy levels that make them require augmented exercises. Despite being toy dogs, Paps are great at sports and are often contest winners, even competing with the average companion breed. 

2. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are canine royalties sporting hairy floppy ears that drop downwards as you would find on Maltese and Beagles. Their ears are heavily coated with hair, both externally and internally. They are so hairy that they sometimes need to be tied with elastic bands.

This dog breed comes in several every-growing coat colors, which emphasize their large eyes, short snout, and stout posture.

With coats that often need a lot of grooming, these breeds look the prettiest when they are well-groomed, appearing every inch the royal history mentions them to be.

You can find people calling this dog the Chrysanthemum Dog because of the hair that grows out on their face in all angles. The hair makes them resemble flowers with their nose sitting in the center.

Shih Tzus are low-to-medium energy breeds that find pleasure in sitting on your laps all day or meeting new friends. They are friendly, good-natured, and very adaptable. They get along well with kids and other animals.

3. Schnauzers

All Schnauzer breeds, whether Miniature, Standard, or Giant, have floppy, medium-sized ears that are loose when relaxed and perked up when trying to pick sounds.

You might find some dogs with cropped ears that have undergone surgeries to trim out excess tissues, especially in Germany where all dogs of this breed have their ears cropped, leaving them standing erect.

In America, however, you can find this breed with both natural and cropped ears.

Schnauzers are squarely built with wiry coats that undergo little shedding. This breed is characterized by arched eyebrows, a mustache, and a beard that make it seem somewhat human.

The standard dog breed comes in several shades of pepper and salt colors with gray undercoats, or pure black. 

Schnauzers are high-energy dogs, originally bred as guard dogs, ratters, and farm dogs. They often need over 30 minutes of exercise daily because of their high energy levels.

4. Maltese

Photo by Liceth Celis on Flickr

The Maltese are a breed of toy dogs with drop ears that are heavily feathered (mostly by long hair) and hung-down. 

The dog has a long, silky, pure white coat that grows downwards and hangs near the ground or sweeps it. Its head is adorned with long hair that you can leave hanging or tie in a knot. 

These dogs don’t shed, which makes them easier to manage, and great for persons with allergies.

This breed is characterized by brown eyes and a black button nose that can fade into blown or light pink due to inadequate sun exposure.

These features sit on a skull that is slightly rounded and a head that is proportionate to the body.

Despite its small size, the dog is active and full of vigor. It is very energetic and needs at least 20 minutes of exercise daily.

This breed is affectionate, gentle, and makes a great, eager companion.

5. Lhasa Apso

Photo by John on Flickr

Lhasa Apso is a small, furry dog with ears that droop down gracefully like the rest of the hair on its head and body. The dog’s ear is particularly prone to matting because of its thick coats.

 The Lhasa’s coat is long, flowing, dense, and thick, and requires a lot of combing, brushing, and frequent bathing to keep it tangle-free. 

With hair that often covers its eyes and face, trimming the coat or the hair around the face is an option for many owners. 

These dog breeds come in nearly all colors, with leonine shades of honey, or golden merged with black. You can also find white, black, slate, or grizzle.

This breed has high-energy, a sharp bark, and a disposition towards other dogs and people that is below friendly. However, that can be corrected if they are socialized with other dogs and people early. They are affectionate with people they trust.

6.   Springer Spaniel

The Springer Spaniel is a medium-sized dog with long fringes of hair on its drop ears. The show dog variety of this breed has more pendant ears with longer fur, while the field-grown has less pendulousness.

These Spaniels come in two varieties; those bred to be show dogs and those bred to work in fields.

This breed is surrounded by thick, medium-length coats, alongside long fringes of hair on the chest, belly, and legs.

These dogs are high-energy dogs that get their name from the way they spring when hunting. This dog is perfect at sports, but with the right amount of exercise and training, it will also fit comfortably into a family.

Because they were bred as hunting dogs, they need a lot of exercise. It is important to put them on a leash if they’re outdoors so they don’t get into hunting mode without your guidance.

7. Cocker Spaniel 

Photo by blogdnd on Flickr

The cocker spaniel is a small sporting spaniel with long, lush, feathered floppy ears, with hair canal openings.  

The dog has a notable coat that is long and silky, with featherings on the chest, legs, and bottom, alongside the ears. The sloped back that extends toward the tail makes the dog look regal.

Dogs in this breed come in varying colors, including black, tan, red, or a mixture of two or three colors. You can easily find a black and white mix, with or without tans. The dogs with full coats require frequent grooming.

These spaniels are active, high-energy breeds, which makes them enjoy a variety of exercises, love to play, and take brisk walks.

They can be trained like athletes, companions, or playmates for your kids. The dogs are divergent because they can be companions or sporty animals.

Cocker spaniels were the most popular dog breed in America for many years. 


If you have read up to this point, congratulations! You have learned a lot about dog breeds with hairy ears. You now have enough information to guide you when buying or caring for these dog breeds.

Remember that plucking your pet’s hair periodically will protect it from ear infections. Frequent cleaning with a veterinarian-approved dog ear-cleaning solution will protect your dog’s ears and keep them clean.

Whether you are considering owning a Shih Tzu, Maltese, Cocker Spaniel, or Lhasa Apso, each of the breeds we discussed has its unique features and characteristics that make it stand out.

Finally, remember to love and care for your pet, and give them a good life!

James Grayston

My name is James and I love dogs. have owned four Golden Retrievers in the past 15 years. Currently I own two "Goldies"- a five year old and a seven month old. The photo shows me with our youngest when she was about 7 weeks old!