Whether a dog’s ears are long and floppy, or tall and pointy, we love them all. But, just how many dogs are there that are born with naturally pointy ears? There are 35!
Let’s take a look at what makes each of the pointy-eared dogs unique. Keep in mind, this isn’t a best-of article, as all of these types of dogs are great in their own way. In this article we will take a quick look at each and every one of these canines listed, starting with…
The West Highland Terrier
Most people call them by their nickname, the Westie. It just seems to fit this small and immediately recognizable breed. They might look like a plush toy, but West Highland Terriers were bred to hunt down pests like rats, mice, gophers, and other underground vermin. While most Westies these days spend their days lounging on sofas and barking squirrels up trees, their ancestors were perfectly engineered pest-eliminators.
They are an alert and energetic breed and can even be a bit stubborn, which can make training a Westie an uphill battle. It is important to get to training early in their lives and instill discipline and obedience. With proper work, they will become a truly intelligent and loving companion.
It is easy to see the Siberian Huskies wolf ancestry immediately upon looking at them, if you can ignore the commonly doofy expression they seem to like to wear. This breed is a medium-sized working dog that comes from an ancient line of sled dogs bred in Asia. They’re now known for natural cleanliness, low doggy-odor, and bizarre antics and shenanigans. They have a lot of energy to burn so they require a good routine of activities.
Also, the pack mentality is alive and well in Siberian Huskies, and it is really a rather good idea that they have another dog friend in the family. That’s to say, they are not the best breed for small apartment living, especially if your neighbors have to tolerate their yelling.
Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Heeler, Blue Heeler, and Queensland Heeler – they’re all the same dog. They just have many names. They are a breed of boundless energy and with a determined and intense drive to work. They were bred to hunt and herd livestock. Both of which they will do until they run themselves ragged if they get the chance.
The Australian Cattle Dog is a great choice for someone looking for a companion to get in shape with as they love to exercise, and they require a lot of it to stay in great health.
Though, nowadays, they mostly live to be pampered and protective members of many families. They fit in just as well as working police officers as they do loving and loyal members of large families.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
What they lack in height, they make up in personality. And don’t let their diminutive stature fool you, these dogs are squat, and muscular with a thick, deep chest, bred for the working life. They are herding dogs through and through.
Corgis are well known for their receptiveness when it comes to training, making them easy picks for stage and screen. If you’re looking for a dog that can learn every trick in the book, herd your livestock and guard your home with their “big dog” bark, you needn’t look any further.
Known for their little vibrations and their penchant for mexican fast food, the Chihuahua is one of the most popular small dog breeds around. They are well known for their big-dog attitude that leads them to be loyal protectors, even if it is mostly show.
This small breed of dog will easily take their place at the head of a household full of much bigger animals. And they will not be dethroned easily despite topping out at around 6 pounds.
Samoyed is known for his high intelligence and his distinctive smile. They may have been bred for hard labor pulling sleds, but they managed to swerve their career path into Instagram stardom. Just like their cousins the Siberian Husky, they are famous for their mischievousness and personality.
Samoyeds require firm training early on and at least one friend to spend their time with. They are not a dog for the lazy pet parent.
Try to say that five-times-fast. The Portuguese Podengo comes in medium and large sizes and the fans of the breed refer to them as “primitive.” They are an ancient breed from the Iberian Peninsula where they have been bred without any of the frills of modern breeding for ages.
They make excellent watchdogs and a great source of entertainment as they love to play. It should be noted that since they are so watchful, it can be said they can find smaller animals to be prey. But, with their high intelligence, proper training can net you a very lovely and loyal dog that loves to please its family.
They might not look it at first glance, but these dogs are Vikings…or they were once. They are long and squat, like their cousin the Corgi, and are driven and loyal herders as well.
But the Swedish Vallhound did once sail the seas aboard Viking long ships around 1,200 years ago. These days they don’t get out to sea as much. They enjoy a good snuggle, a run in the park with their friends, and are known for their unique vocalizations.
The Akita Inu, when given good training and socialization makes a great family dog, but even a well trained and obedient Akita tends to be wary of small animals, cats, and strangers whether they be human or dog.
Because of this, they make great guard dogs. Just like their cousins, the Shiba Inu, they look like big fluffy foxes, hence their popularity. The right home for an Akita Inu needs to have plenty of space and preferably not have any shared space where they can be surprised by outsiders.
The more laid back of these two pointy-eared, Japanese breeds, the Shiba Inu has become a meme. They are long-lived, intelligent, and well known for their stubborn nature. Even though the Shiba gets along better with other animals and strangers better than the Akita, they both require a strong hand in their obedience training to truly flourish and fit in within their family structure.
It is easy to see why, despite their stubbornness, they are so popular. Just look at that smiley little fox face. They’re incredibly cute, right?
You might have seen two Belgian Malinois chomping down on bad guys alongside Halle Berry and Keanu Reeves in John Wick 3. If you did, you know just what feets these dogs are capable of. They’re strong, sleek frames are made for hard work and speed. We shouldn’t have to tell you that this powerhouse of a canine is not a good dog choice for those who aren’t willing to put in some serious time with training, obedience, and very regular exercise.
A Malinois without daily exercise and entertainment can slip into depression and destructive habits fast. However, if you are in the market for a supremely loyal, energetic working dog, they are among the best and brightest breeds available. As long as you’re not a bad guy.
Like a cross between a Siberian husky and an Akita Inu, the Alaskan Malamute is a big, fluffy dog. This breed is yet another that was bred to pull heavy sleds across ice and snow for long distances. They are highly affectionate animals and after a long day of hard work, they do enjoy a good snuggle, often forgetting that they are a little too big to be lap dogs.
They require a firm hand as far as training and obedience go. They also need their human to be their alpha, otherwise, they can walk all over an owner who is less-than-intrepid. Though they can be quite a handful in their training and stubborn to boot, they make great family dogs and are surprisingly gentle with everyone including children.
American Eskimo Dog
At first glance, you might think you’re looking at another Samoyed, but the American Eskimo Dog they are two entirely different breeds. While the Samoyed is yet another sled dog, the American Eskimo Dog was bred to be a well-rounded farm dog.
During the 1900s the breed was famous for appearing in traveling circuses where they performed tricks and entertained the crowds. Eskimo Dogs are a bit slighter in body than Samoyeds and they can actually come in three sizes, standard, miniature, and toy.
They are astoundingly loyal and are well known for following their owners from room to room like glistening white shadows. It is almost as if they were bred to be family dogs. They crave attention and require a lot of time spent with their humans and other dogs.
Contenders for one of the oldest AKC dog breeds, the Basenji has been around for a long time. Apparently, the first domesticated dogs looked a lot like modern Basenjis. The breed is small to medium in size and they have a unique graceful gait about them, some calling it horse-like. And, if you thought a dog could not get anymore unique, you’d be wrong. They don’t bark! That’s not to say that they are entirely silent, they definitely like to communicate how they feel, but they do it by yodelling or chortling. Seriously, check it out. To top it off, they groom themselves very frequently, like cats. Definitely a breed worth checking out if you like to stray from the norm.
The name sort of makes us hungry for a hamburger in space…just us? The Berger Picard is a supremely recognizable look that really turns heads at the park. Their trademark wavy coat just begs to be petted. And if that wasn’t enough, they also have trademark shaggy beards, moustaches, and eyebrows. We can’t tell if they are distinguished, or adorable, so we’ll go with both.
They are an old herding breed and their well-muscled and sleek bodies demand a good daily dose of exercise and play. They are a perfect companion for those who are looking for a dog that doubles as an exercise partner. They are an athletic breed and they should be able to keep up with even the most dedicated runners.
Known for their tuxedo coat and their pug-ish face, the Boston Terrier has earned the nickname, “The American Gentleman.” Alert and inquisitive, Boston Terriers are always ready for action or play and they love to show off their prancy stride on any occasion.
They make for one of the best urban breeds, doing well in small apartments and fit right into the hustle and bustle of city life. But that’s not to say that they don’t do well in the country. Wherever there are people and fun, this dog is there.
Bostons are an easy going, lower maintenance dogs that are great for families and first time dog owners. They need their daily walks, but they also need their daily couch time. Sometimes one more than the other.
Bouvier De Flandres
Once called “vuilbaar” which translates to “dirty beard,” it is apparent why. They might not always be dirty but they certainly cut a silhouette with their trademark shaggy beard, and shaggy…everything else.
The Bouvier De Flandres is a hard working herding dog that is built like a doggy powerlifter. They may be hard workers but they are also big sweethearts. They do a great job of balancing work and play and will do best with an owner that can as well. Rough and tumble activities and vigorous exercise need to be balanced with love and affection and a good amount of snuggle time.
They need a decent amount of space and a lot of time with their humans, making them a dog for a discerning gentleman, or gentlewoman.
The Bull Terrier has a hallmark appearance that has landed its jobs as a spokes-dog on multiple occasions. They just have so much personality in their oddly egg-shaped head of theirs. Bulls have strong, thick boned bodies with plenty of muscle that makes them powerful specimens.
Though they are powerfully built they are very big fans of their people and their animals. Their need for exercise is the same as their need for love and affection. They might have a hard time deciding on going for a walk or cuddling up to watch a movie if their humans give them the choice. Personality is the crown that the Bull Terrier wears and few dogs can compete with them for the title of “Personality Champ.”
Purple tongue, check. Lion’s mane, check. Curly tail and fluffy coat, check. It is almost as if the Chow Chow was custom designed for a very specific clientele. Chow Chows can appear to be intimidating and even a little fierce, but they are usually very noble and dignified in their personalities.
They are quiet dogs with a penchant for keeping themselves very clean and well groomed. Owners report that Chow Chows tend to not smell very doggy at all, making them great for smaller homes and apartment living. They are possibly one of the oldest breeds, dating back to around 206 b.c. during the Han Dynasty in China. They have been found in ancient carvings and art for thousands of years, but nowadays they can be seen frequently alongside Martha Stewart on her television shows.
Finnish Lapphunds are a breed made for herding reindeer in the arctic circle, but their luxurious coat looks almost too majestic for a mere laborer. Though they are fairly small, standing only 20 inches at the shoulder they are a surprisingly strong and resilient dog.
Lappies, their well deserved nickname, need constant companionship and don’t do well when left to their own devices. They are also famous for their high shedding coats and propensity for barking. But, if you need some reindeer herded, they are the right Lappie for the job.
Another popular urban dog, the Frenchie is right at home on your couch in your small uptown apartment. Though they are well known for the ability to jabber and make a litany fo gross noises with their snouts and mouths, they are not notorious for barking. Making them even more well suited to apartment life.
Frenchies love everyone, human, animal, complete stranger making them great for any family situation. Though they will warm up to people quickly, they still make great watchdogs when the safety of their family is concerned. It might not surprise you, but French Bulldogs cannot swim. Thanks to their smushed faces, heavy apple head, and short,stout bodies, they tend to sink like rocks. So, keep them out of that apartment pool unless they have a good floatie.
The Keeshond looks like what you’d get if you combined a Samoyed and a raccoon. They have trademark spectacle markings that immediately distinguish them amongst the pack at the dog park.
Keeshonds are fluffy, intelligent and loving and though they have historically lived as farm dogs, their exercise demands are not too high, making them a good choice for more casual dog owners. All they demand from their owners is some walks and play and quality time. They make great watchdogs and even better companions. Keeshonds are truly a people pleasing breed.
Another spitz type dog, like the Samoyed, Husky and Shib that shares another ancient job title with the Swedish Vallhund. The Norwegian Buhund might have spent just as much time on the ancient Viking warships as its short, long cousin.
They also come in many sizes, from medium to miniature to toy, all with the trademark curly tail and affectionate face. They are great family dogs who value their family and will go out of their way to make sure they are safe, be the intruder a burglar or a squirrel.
This small breed was bred to hunt varmints. They have all the appearance of a stuffed animal but deep down they are professional ratters at heart. But, this doesn’t mean that they are non-stop blood-thirsters. They are actually very affectionate dogs that love to be laid out on their favorite lap.
They are energetic and need their daily dose of exercise, but they are nearly just as comfortable being little couch potatoes all day if it is allowed. They can be stubborn, so a good training regimen should be started early and continued with routine. All in all, the Norwich Terrier is a wiry little scamp that demands to sit on your lap, now.
Papillon means butterfly in French, and you can tell why this dog got its name with one look. They have very distinctive, wing-shaped ears that crown a small , adorable head. They might not always have their upright ears, either. Some Papillon have ears that lay down, some stand erect.
Papillon make great family dogs and do exceedingly well at agility contests and obstacle courses. They are equally at home performing tricks in the park as they are cuddling with their family. Equal parts elegant and cute, the Papillon is truly a toy breed.
Seven pounds, all fluff but filled with the tenacity of a dog several times its size. That’s a Pomeranian. They’re puffy and fluffy and they are in charge, whether you be a dog, a human or feline. They are another toy breed that does well in nearly any environment, except the wild.
They are content in apartments and houses in the country. Pomeranians are easy to train and take very well to learning all manner of tricks, games and activities. This little dog truly is packed with a lot of personality amongst other party favors.
Rat Terriers are a tough, resilient breed that was bred to exterminate their namesake, rats. They come in two sizes, miniature and standard, though they keep things on the small side. There is a wide variety in their silky coats that tend to have large blotches of different colors of white, brown and black, called a pied coat.
Rat Terriers have a serious need to terminate small creatures so they should never be off lead on walks and should always have a secure, supervised yard area to play in. Ratties are very affectionate and sensitive to their people’s emotional states and make great companions for nearly anyone.
Is it a cat, or a dog? Could it be both? No, it can’t. But it’s close. The Schipperke is a little working dog with an angular, almost feline profile. If it weren’t for that long snout and tongue hanging out, it would be even harder to tell the difference.
Also, they are jet black and hunt with a stealthy, cat-like prowling style. Wait…when you look closely at the face it looks like a fox. What is this dog? Some sort of Franken-animal? No, it’s just a unique breed with a lot of personality. In Brussels and Antwerp, the dog earned the nickname of “little captain.”
The Scottie is another popular breed that is easy to spot from a mile away. Their distinctive and distinguished coat combined with their lovely moustache and beard truly give them the look of a nice, little gentleman.
On constant alert, the Scottie is bright and highly intelligent with an urge to hunt. Though they love their human companions they can be a bit of a grump around other dogs, and complete terrors to strange cats that invade their territory. They might embody the attitude of a grumpy old man, but they are loving, loyal companions through and through, so long as you’re not a strange dog or cat.
Yorkshire Terriers truly embody what it means to be a toy dog breed. They are regal, fabulous and elegant all while weighing under seven pounds. Though they may seem like they would have the personality of a dainty flower, they are still terriers.
They were bred to hunt down pests and that hunter’s tenacity is with them to this day. Yorkeis are the most popular breed for urban dwellers in America, and it shows. Chances are good that you know at least one person with a Yorkie in their home. Yorkies may be tiny, but there is a lot of personality packed beneath that luxurious coat.
The Belgian Tervuren is like the German Shepherd’s cool Belgian cousin. Beneath an elegant coat, they sport some seriously athletic musculature that needs some serious exercise on the daily. The breed is not one for owners that aren’t up to the task. Despite the hard working attitude the Belgian Tervuren has mischievous and playful side that craves smart play with their humans and other dogs.
English Toy Terrier
An English Toy Terrier might be easily mistaken for a miniature pinscher, especially if its ears are docked. But the ears on a English Toy Terrier are all natural, baby. Weighing in under seven pounds, this toy breed was bred like most terriers, to eliminate rats and crawl around in holes after their quarry.
They are actually a rare breed in this day and they are on the UK Kennel Club’s list of vulnerable breeds. It is worried that without higher popularity in ownership the breed could soon go extinct. So, do the right thing and get an English Toy Terrier today.
The Alopekis is a non-recognized breed that looks something like an odd Greek relative of the Samoyed and the Eskimo dog. They live in small populations in Northern Greece and might be headed the way of the English Toy Terrier due to unrecognized breeding status and limited information on their populations.
When we think of pointed canine ears, one of the first images that comes to mind is of the Wolf. Did you know that there are people that breed wolf-dog hybrids, just like our ancient ancestors once did? Pretty cool, huh?
A Wolf dog is definitely for a very specific niche of people and should not be adopted by someone without the gumption to handle the primitive nature that dwells within every hybrid animal. To read more on these fascinating animals, check out this article for a deeper dive.
That was a lot of dogs. There are still pointy eared breeds out there to find and even more mixed breeds and hybrids. The sheer amount of possibilities in pointy-ear-edness truly knows no bounds.