Fun Facts About and Photos of Our Dogs’ Ears
We saved the best photo for last…so be sure to read to the end! I take a lot of action photos of the dogs, and one of the funnest things about them is the way their ears are flopping around in so many of them. I thought it would be fun to look up a few facts about dogs’ ears that you may or may not know to go with some of those photos.
- Dogs ears have up to 18 different muscles that let them move their ears in many different ways, and their ears move independently of each other (see Luke below, bottom right).
- That same photo of Luke also illustrates one of the different ear positions that can indicate a dogs’ mood. His one ear is moving backwards…indicating he is worried or fearful. He was listening for something – perhaps afraid one of the other dogs was coming to steal that toy! When a dog is feeling especially fearful or timid, their ears go very tightly back. When they are just slightly pulled back, that indicates friendliness. When they are forward and erect, they are engaged. You can see that position in the photo of Cricket below, bottom left. She is interested in something going on outside the room.
- Dogs can hear at high frequencies, higher than humans, but lower than what cats can hear. That is why dog whistles are used, and can be heard by dogs but not humans.
- Supposedly dogs cock their heads to hear distant sounds, but I also think they do it when they are listening to us. Or is it just to be cute?
- Puppies are born deaf but gain their hearing in just a few weeks.
- We always accuse our dogs of it, but they really do have “selective hearing.”. They might tune out voices when they’re sleeping, but they can hear that bag crinkle! We always accused our beagles of “shutting their ears off” when they are smelling something, or doing something they don’t want to be interrupted from. Maybe they really are?
- The reason many dogs like having their ears rubbed is that they have many, many nerves in their ears, and rubbing them releases endorphins which helps them to relax. Our beagle Kobi loved a good ear rub, but if you pulled his ear just wrong, he would yelp (it didn’t have to be a hard pull at all – because we wouldn’t do that!). That might have been because he had some especially sensitive nerves in there. Those nerves also connect to other parts of their bodies.
- The reason dogs are so prone to ear infections is that their ear canal bends and curves very sharply. That’s why it’s important to keep their ears clean. I find it interesting that some dogs’ ears seem far dirtier than others, but I did not turn up why that might be. I have to clean Sheba’s ears far more often than the other dogs, and our beagle Kobi also had very dirty ears.
- What do we love most about our dogs’s ears? The fact that they make them look so darn cute! In our household, Cricket by far has the most expressive ears.
Today we are joining the Thursday Barks & Bytes blog hop. Thank you to our hosts 2 Brown Dawgs blog, and Heart Like a Dog. Please visit other blogs through the links below!
Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom says
Cricket’s Yoda ears are GREAT! Sometimes Ducky’s ears stick out like that, too, but not as much as Cricket’s ears. I love the way Ducky sleeps with one ear sticking out as straight as a ruler and the other one any which way. All my girls have always loved ear rubs. The fact that ears are so sensitive makes Callie’s having loved it especially during thunderstorms so understandable.
Sand Spring Chesapeakes says
What a great fun post! The pictures are great and loved reading the facts about ears!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I was originally just going to share the photos, then had a brainstorm about sharing the fun facts too. I thought it worked out well too!
Dolly the Doxie says
Great ear pictures! Love Dolly
Yoda! I love all the pieces and parts that make up dogs!
I agree! I did a post on paws in the past which was fun, and now after this one, I might do a few more on other parts!
Oh my gosh, she looks like Yoda in that last picture! I love that.
Sampson has always loved having his ears rubbed and loves it when you stick your finger in there too. His ears are always pink and clean.
Delilah has learned to like ear rubs, she didn’t when she first came to us, but she does have the dirtiest ears I’ve ever seen and trying to clean them is like trying to wrestle a toddler into a snowsuit! I use the stuff you squirt in there and you’ve just reminded me I need to do that.
I learned a lot about ears on this post and I thank you for that and for joining the blog hop!
I’ve always found they hate that squirt in stuff the worst! For the most part I use stuff you just put onto a cotton ball and rub around inside. I save the squirt stuff for when the ears are really bad. Sheba doesn’t love it, but she cooperates. Cricket puts up more of a fuss. And Luke – forget it – we pretty much can’t do anything to him.
2 Brown Dawgs says
What a fun post and I learned a few things. Some dogs who are sensitive to certain proteins will end up with constantly yeasty dirty ears. Our Golden was like that. Thanks for joining the hop!
I’m glad you mentioned that. Sheba’s ears have not been as bad in recent months, and I wondered if it could have to do with her diet. We tend to stick to more novel proteins these days – fish, rabbit, things like that, and occasionally we switch to beef or turkey for a while.
Lauren Miller says
Oh my gosh their ears are adorable! I definitely love that last one of Cricket, too! 😀
Great pic of Cricket’s “yoda” ears.
But I’m partial to Golden Retriever ears. And Siberian Husky ears.
Tenacious Little Terrier says
Mr. N also has expressive ears and he swivels them. They’re not Yoda-esque though! Luckily, they stay pretty clean.
The Island Cats says
Great ear pictures…that last one is the best! Ears are so expressive.
Caren Gittleman says
Ok I am not a fan of Star Wars but she DOES look like Yoda! BOL!
Thanks for these great facts! Unfortunately, Dakota’s ears aren’t floppy 🙁
I wondered if dogs with upright ears have less issues with them staying clean? Every dog we’ve ever had has had floppy ears!
I’m fascinated by the many shapes of dog ears and the way the ears show the personality.Your pictures are great. Thanks for telling us about the endorphins. Did I spell that right?
Love the Yoda impression, Cricket! LOL! I wish my ear muscles would let me put my ears up, but I can’t do it. Mom loves ears, so this was a good post for her!
M. K. Clinton says
I did learn a few fun facts today! Bentley’s ears are a source of enjoyment and aggravation. Long droopy ears are more susceptible to infections and he is living proof of that. It is worse down here because of the constant humidity and heat. They also drag the ground which I love but they do stay pretty dirty and require cleaning several times a week. I’m sure you can relate with Cricket. Pierre can hear a banana being peeled! LOL! Great post ☺
I know you’ve had a lot of trouble with Bentley’s ears, and that it’s been challenging. You’ve found that maybe diet can make a difference too? Surprisingly, Cricket’s ears aren’t too bad, I only clean them about once a month. But her beagle brother Kobi was a whole different story.
Jackie Bouchard says
Very interesting – and such cute pics! Rita LOVES to have her ears rubbed. (And her whole face, for that matter.) When our beagle used to first wake up, her ears would just droop, lifelessly. We’d always say she “had her sleepy ears on.” It would take them a few minutes to “wake up” every day.
Love that last picture! I was thinking Dobby from Harry Potter before I saw your caption (I always make fun of Barley for having dobby ears when she’s relaxed), but Yoda is even better! I almost didn’t get Barley because when she was in the kennel at the shelter, her ears were back and it looked like she didn’t have any because she has such weird little ears! Now, her ears are so expressive that I don’t know how I almost overlooked her. Then, she came to me with a yeast infection in both her ears, so we spent our first days together with regular cleanings and drops and now she doesn’t love for me to mess with her ears. Petting them is fine, but she gets squirmy when I try to look in them or clean them.
I’m not into Harry Potter, so I had to look Dobby up, but I can see why you thought of him too!
Luke doesn’t like his ears messed with either – just because he’s sensitive about everything – luckily so far when I can get a peek in them they’ve looked pretty clean.
Two French Bulldogs says
Interesting! Mom said we have the biggest ears ever
Lily & Edward
Flapping in the wind ears are awesome. And the head tilt. I am powerless to the head tilt. Interesting facts. Cocoa loves having her ears rubbed so I do it every night before bed!!
easy rider says
they can talk with their ears too :o) … and yes, we have that selective hearing problem too…. maybe we just use the wrong words?
Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady says
OMD that last photo is seriously priceless!!!!
I loved learning all about dogs ears, thanks!
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