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There’s all kinds of reasons why people love large dogs with long ears. For some, it’s the sheer cuteness of a beautiful floppy-eared bloodhound. For others, it’s the way one-of-a-kind breeds like the adorable Afghan Hound wear their ears like long-flowing locks, creating a striking appearance that’s sure to turn heads everywhere you go.
For you, it might be the practical implication. Most large, long-eared dog breeds tend to be tracker dogs (not to be confused with dog trackers) and that can have just as much appeal as can the fact that many of these breeds tend to make warm, loveable companions.
Whatever the case may be for you, allow us to introduce you to just some of our favorite floppy-eared friends.
Large Dogs With Long Ears
1. Afghan Hound
At first glance, you’d be forgiven for not even realizing the Afghan Hound was a large dog with long ears as those ears are covered in the same soft, luxurious fur as the rest of their coat. This looks more like long, lavish locks of hair than your average set of lug holes, a feature that only enhances the Afghan’s reputation as the world’s most glamorous dog breed.
Also known as Baluchi hounds or Tazi, these dogs may look like they belong on the next season of America’s Next Top Model, but they’ve actually been around for thousands of years, so long in fact that the legend has it they were one of the animals that went two-by-two onto Noah’s ark.
Such is their ancient and noble pedigree that Afghan Hounds were often considered symbolic of royal status, a reputation that only adds to their most regal and debonair appearance.
Seriously, couldn’t you just imagine one of these long-haired lovelies lavishing all majestic-like on a high-end dog couch?
As far as owning one as a pet goes, beware that although they are highly intelligent, Afghan Hounds are true divas and their fiercely independent nature may make them tough to train.
Typical Height: 25″ – 30″ (females) / 26 – 36″ (males)
Typical Weight: 45 lbs – 55 lbs (females) / 55 lbs – 65 lbs (males)
Typical Lifespan: 12 to 15 years.
2. Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs may not have the longest ears of any large dog breed, but they’re certainly long enough to be noticeable.
Besides, including them in this list gives us a great excuse to talk about one of our favorite cuddly breeds.
Cute, fluffy, and fun-loving, Berns (or Bernies, if you prefer) have a wonderfully playful spirit and generally get on well with everyone, including children and even other animals.
However, since they were originally bred as working dogs, they thrive best in active environments, which is why they remain a popular pet choice for families living on working farms, ranches, and similar settings.
If you’re looking for a large dog that’s suitable for apartment living, this is one you’re going to have to look past, but if you’ve got all the space they need to run around in and the energy to keep up with them, you won’t find a more wonderful companion than the Bernese Mountain Dog.
Typical Height: 30″ – 36″
Typical Weight: 70 lbs – 115 lbs
Typical Lifespan: 7 – 10 years.
When you think of long-eared dogs, the bloodhound is no doubt one of the first breeds that come to mind.
That might be because you grew up with famous fictional bloodhounds like Bruno from Disney’s Cinderella or Buford from the 70s cartoon series Buford and the Galloping Ghost, or it might just be because, well, those big ol’ floppy ears are one of the bloodhound’s most prominent and defining features.
Yet while it may be the ears that they’re best known for, it was originally their noses that this descendent of the St. Hubert’s Hound was first bred for, putting their keen sense of smell to work on royal hunting trips and tracking down wild animals throughout Europe.
Despite being more known as a domestic breed these days, bloodhounds do retain that abundance of energy that was required for their original role as tracker dogs, meaning plenty of exercises will be required to keep them happy and healthy.
This really is important as hounds that don’t get enough physical activity quickly become bored and restless which can lead to destructive behavior and incessant barking.
Care for them well with lots of long walks, however, and you’ll find the bloodhound to be a gentle soul that gets on well with children and most other animals, making them an ideal family pet.
Typical Height: 23.5″ – 28″
Typical Weight: 80 lbs -110 lbs
Typical Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
There are a number of different types of coonhound, and though they all share different physical and personality traits, the one thing they all definitely have in common is their long, floppy ears.
Like most of the breeds on this list, coonhounds were originally bred as hunting companions, using their strong and powerful scent detection skills to lead hunters right to their prey.
Today, these playful pups can still become a little boisterous and determined if they catch the scent of an animal while out for a walk, but most coonhound types are far happier snuggling up on the sofa with you.
On the one hand, this is a good thing. They’re friendly, loveable dogs who make friends easy and form strong bonds. On the other hand, coonhounds are also known to suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for too long, and that may rule them out as an option for a pet if you’re likely to be out of the house all day.
Typical Height: 22″ – 28″
Typical Weight: 45 lbs – 80 lbs
Typical Lifespan: 10 – 12 years.
5. Gordon Setter
Like the coonhound, there are many different types of setter dog, but it’s the gorgeous Gordon Setter that is by the largest, and the one with the longest ears.
A native of Scotland, their large stature originally served them well for roaming the Highlands as a hunting companion. Once they made their way across to the United States, this dashing breed was first recognized as the “black and tan setter” after the distinguishing color of their lavish coat before being renamed as the Gordon Setter by the American Kennel Club in 1892.
Like most long-eared dog breeds, setters tend to be loving and loyal towards their family but this can sometimes manifest in them being over-protective against strangers.
As such, you’ll want to ensure they receive early training and socialization if you’re thinking of adopting a Gordon Setter as a pet.
It’s also worth noting that that lustrous coat will require plenty of TLC, so be sure to keep a good quality dog grooming brush on standby.
Typical Height: 23″ – 27″
Typical Weight: 45 lbs – 80 lbs
Typical lifespan: 10 – 12 years.
6. Great Dane
The gentle giants of the canine world, everything about a Great Dane is pretty large, so it’s no surprise to find that along with their enormous bodies and lofty legs, they also have long ears.
Great Danes are truly remarkable dogs that can grow to over 3ft in height. In fact, the largest dog in the world-a Great Dane named Zeus- measured an amazing 7ft 4″ when stood on hind legs.
This alone can make the breed an attractive proposition for pet owners who want the uniqueness of owning an extra-large dog breed, but keep in mind that they do require a lot of work.
It’s not uncommon for this breed to try and use their size to dominate and set themselves up as the head of the pack, so you’ll need to start training early and ensure that it’s done properly.
You’ll also want to invest in a good no-pull harness to reduce the risk of these giant beauties pulling you off your feet when it comes time for a walk.
As long as you keep those two things in mind and you’ll find the Great Dane to be a loyal, kind companion.
Typical Height: 28″ – 38″
Typical Weight: 120 lbs – 200 lbs
Typical Lifespan: 8 – 10 years
The very definition of a shaggy dog, there’s certainly no mistaking the unique appearance of the playful and cuddly Komondor, whose large, fluffy ears fall over their face to give them a somewhat goofy but nonetheless adorable look.
The Komondor’s distinctive coat is no accident. They were bred that way to help them gain acceptance among the herds of sheep they were designed to guard and protect in the 16th and 17th centuries.
It was this original role as a guard dog and protector that means this big breed can be wary around strangers and are always on the lookout for potential threats to your safety.
While this level of loyalty is no doubt admirable, it can also make owning one a bit of a challenge, especially for first-time owners.
As such, early socialization and training is essential, but even then you may find that this loyal protector doesn’t get on well with other animals, making it a better choice for a one-pet household.
Typical Height: 25″ – 28″
Typical Weight: 75 lbs – 100 lbs
Typical Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
8. Standard Poodle
Standard Poodles may be better known for their frou-frou hairdos and an undeniable sense of elegance, but there’s no denying those long, flappy ears.
As you might remember from our complete guide to the standard poodle, the breed comes to us from Western Europe and were bred for hunting water-based creatures like ducks, with their name said to come from “pudelin,” a German word meaning to splash about in the water.
Today, it’s hard to imagine these ever-so-refined pooches pouncing into ponds and messing up their immaculately-groomed coats, but they still have much of the same energy levels that were required for hunting, meaning you’ll need to take them out for daily exercise.
It also means that they maintain the same high levels of intelligence. In fact, poodles are often recognized as the second smartest dog breed in the world behind only the brainy border collie. That’s good in the sense that it makes them easy to train, but it also means you’re going to have to provide them with as much mental stimulation as physical activity in order to keep them healthy and happy and avoid them becoming restless.
Typical Height: 18″ – 24″
Typical Weight: 45 lbs – 70 lbs
Typical Lifespan: 10 – years
Large Dogs With Long Ears: Our Final Thoughts
From the glamorous Afghan Hound to the ever-so-elegant Standard Poodle via all manner of wonderful hounds, it’s fair to say that each long-eared, large dog we’ve met today has its own distinctive appearance and character traits, yet the ears alone are far from the only things these breeds have in common.
Since most dogs with long ears were originally bred for hunting, you’ll find that many of them have a high level of energy which means that if you are thinking of adopting one, it’s best to do so only if you’re confident that you’ll have the time and energy to keep up with their exercise needs.
Like us humans, our furry friends need physical activity to keep them healthy not only in their bodies but in their minds as well, as idle dogs -especially those who prefer to be active- can soon become irritable, if not outright destructive.
That said, if you are able to offer these floppy-eared beauties all the care and attention they deserve, they’ll reward you with admirable loyalty, a playful personality, and, of course, all the cuddles you could ever ask for.