Roll up, roll up!
Have I got a show for you today.
Welcome to my weird and wonderful collection of small dogs with big ears.
Did you know that there is a world record for the longest ears on a dog?
It is in the Guiness Book of World Records and it is held by a Coonhound.
Now, I cannot promise you anything as big as those but I have some beauties for you.
I have included big ears of any shape or style in this list.
And so there are dogs with long floppy ears and dogs with pointy ears.
In other words, a real mixture.
 Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Standing tall at around 30 cm or 12” and weighing approximately 12 kg or 26 lbs, these were originally bred to herd cattle.
I kid you not.
Another startling fact is that they are the chosen breed of Queen Elizabeth II, who has owned around thirty during her reign.
I guess that their larger than life ears helped them to listen for incoming cows that might step on them!
Despite their popularity with the Queen, their numbers in the U.K. are very, very low.
They are more popular in the U.S.- thank goodness.
 Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Like their near neighbours, they are cattle and sheep herders.
And the reason that they are bred to be so small when herding much larger animals, is so that they can avoid being kicked!
Less well known than the Pembrokeshire, the Cardigan Corgi actually has larger (and more rounded) ears!
Cardigans are bigger in that they weigh more than a Pembroke, averaging around 15 kg or 34 lbs.
And Cardigans have a longer tail and Pembrokes tend to have their tails docked.
And as a breed Cardigans are much older, maybe by 2000 years.
And now for another small breed of dog that like a Corgi has a long body.
Also called the Sausage dog, a Dachshund comes in two sizes: standard and miniature.
A standard Dachshund stands about 20 cm or 8” tall and weighing up to 15 kg or 32 lbs
A miniature variety stands about 14 cm or 5.5” tall and weighing up to 5 kg or 11 lbs.
And three types of coat: smooth, long haired or wired.
Every variety has those big ears that are folded over.
Dachshunds were originally bred to catch badgers and other burrowing animals.
In those circumstances, their sense of smell was more important than their hearing.
This might explain why their ears “fold over” (to muffle the sound) and not stand up (in order to catch any sound.)
 French Bulldogs
As well as a squashed face, this breed is defined by its bat ears.
Standing tall at about an average height of 30 cm or 12” and weighing around 11 kg or 26 lbs.
French Bulldogs were originally developed in the early 19th century.
They were bred as companion dogs and so the large upright ears serve no purpose apart from adding to “how they look”!
These dogs are just so friendly.
My step daughter has one and it seems to be that they are a breed that never lose that gregariousness of being a puppy!
And if you want to read more about French Bulldogs, they appear in my list about small dogs that don’t shed or bark.
And now for the first of our Spaniels.
Is the only dog to be named after its ears?!
Papillon is French for “butterfly”, referring to the hairs on the ears that give them a butterfly shape.
Ranging in height from 20cm or 8” to 28cm or 11” and weighing up to 4.5 kg (10 lbs), these dogs are as delicate as a butterfly.
These dogs are generally very confident little “units”, affectionate and warm to their family and slightly wary of strangers.
But they do need lots of socialisation and training in order to stop them becoming fearful and overly aggressive.
 Cavalier King Charles
Another dog with such strong Royal connections that it is named after a seventeenth century English King!
Coming in four colours: chestnut and white, black and tan, tricolour and ruby.
Their ears start at the top of their head and flow down to their withers (or top of their shoulders) and have a teardrop shape.
They can stand as tall as 33 cm (13”) and weigh up to 8 kg or just over 17 lbs.
These are real people dogs and more than most breeds, they shouldn’t be left alone for long periods.
 Russkiy Toy
Our final variety of Toy Spaniel was originally bred to fight rats.
Yes, you have read that right- not to catch them but to fight them.
It was developed in Russia and little was known about it outside of Russia until the 1990s.
It gives the Chihuahua a run for its money in the competition for smallest dog breed.
These Russian Terriers should not grow taller than 28 cm (11”) but will often be much shorter and they can weigh as little as 2 kg or 4.4 lbs.
The ears are very large, triangular and stand up straight.
If their ears are surprisingly large, their bark is surprisingly loud (and frequent.)
As well as fighting rats, they were also bred as watch dogs and so barking is buried deep in their DNA!
 Miniature Pinscher
This breed of dog is often mistaken for a mini Doberman.
It is thought that they were developed using Italian Greyhounds and Dachshunds.
The ears are very distinctive- although they are created via a controversial veterinary procedure called “cropping”.
Min Pins with uncropped ears are much more common now.
Which is the same procedure used on Dobermans (and they appear on my list about black dogs with pointy ears.)
Standing no taller than 32 cm (13”) and weighing between 3.5- 4.5 kg (8- 10 lbs.)
But these dogs are no push over and aren’t suitable for wishy washy owners.
They are incredibly intelligent and need lots of stimulation and exercise.
And your garden needs to be more secure than Fort Knox!
 Chinese Crested Dog
Growing weary? Can’t see another photo of a small dog with big ears?!
I have one more to show you.
And he is something special.
How about a small dog with big ears that doesn’t shed?
Have I got your attention now?
The Chinese Crested Dog comes in two varieties.
With hair and without.
Well the hairless variety has hair on its head, ankles and tail.
A dog that is dressed in its underwear if you will.
A fully grown male can be as tall as 33 cm (13”) and weigh in the region of around 5 kg (11 lbs.)
And those ears. Long triangles stuck on the side of the dog’s head instead of the top.
They look a bit like a Mr Potato Head version of a dog.
But they are great companions and will be more than happy with either an active or a slovenly lifestyle- as long as it is being done “together”!
Hopefully amongst my list you have found a couple of breeds that have tickled your fancy and got you thinking, “you know what..?”
I think my favourite (apart from the French Bulldog who is one of the family) is the Dachshund.
When I am out and about I’m seeing more of them and I love that look- the long body, the elegant neck and those ears.
And they have a real presence about them- a real canine swagger.
But if you M.O. is to hunt badgers then you will need a bit of confidence, I guess..
What is your favourite?
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