20 Precious Dogs with Pointy Ears You Need to See

Dogs with pointy ears look like they're paying close attention—and it turns out this feature does, in fact, help them hear better.

Who can resist a dog with pointy ears? In addition to the loveable traits that every dog possesses—sweet puppy eyes, boop-able noses or long skinny ones, and waggy tails—pointy-eared pups have an extra way of communicating with you. Ever notice how your dog’s ears perk up when she’s excited? That’s even more pronounced in dogs with pointy ears.

But pointy ears exist for reasons beyond providing optimal cuteness. They also give your dog a better sense of hearing, and therefore, keep them safe. A pointy ear offers more surface area to collect sound waves and bounce them into the ear canal for processing, which is why wild dogs evolved to have them. Floppy ears are a deformity that evolved as dogs became domesticated. Today, many working breeds and guard dogs have pointy ears that allow them to pick up on far-off sounds and perform their jobs as best as possible reports the American Kennel Club.

It’s important to clarify that pointy ears are different from cropped ears. While pointy ears are something a dog is born with, cropped ears are the result of a surgical alteration. Some breeds, including the Doberman pinscher, the great Dane, and the schnauzer, are altered so frequently that many people believe that’s how they look naturally. Animal activists opposed the practice of ear cropping, and the alteration is banned in many European countries.

However, not all dogs with pointy ears have ears that have been cropped. For many, it’s just an adorable characteristic of their breed. Ahead, find the cutest dogs with pointy ears, such as chihuahuas, Siberian huskies, Basenjis, and more. And for more precious pups, don’t miss the cutest dogs as puppies.

A chihuahua standing on top of a wooden fence against a diffuse background of flowers and greenery.Purple Collar Pet Photography/Getty Images

1. Chihuahua

Chihuahuas might be one of the smallest dog breeds, but they’ve certainly got big ears. The sassy pups have a reputation for being loyal and alert with a “big-dog” attitude—and have staked their claim as pop-culture icons thanks to appearances in movies and TV shows. Chihuahua’s are born with floppy ears that become pointier as they grow.

Close-Up Of Shiba Inu Dog Looking Away, Krakw, PolandIza Łysoń/Getty Images

2. Shiba Inu

The pointy ears on these playful pups give them a mischievous fox-like appearance. An ancient Japanese dog breed, the Shiba Inu is the most popular companion dog in Japan and growing in popularity in the West. They’re known for their attentive, alert, and bold personalities, as well as their fluffy triangular ears.

Portrait Of Siberian Husky.brown Siberian Husky On Nature In The Autumn Park On A Background.Taisuke Harada/Getty Images

3. Siberian husky

The Siberian husky wears its heart on its ears. These expressive pups are popular due to their loyal and outgoing personalities and their adorable wolf-like appearance. Originally used as speedy sled dogs, they love vigorous exercise and romps in the snow. A husky’s ears should be triangular in shape, thick, and strongly erect.

Pomeranian looking at camera with tongue sticking out.More nature and animals images:Tsuji/Getty Images

4. Pomeranian

Two things come to mind when you think of Pomeranians: pointy ears and fluffy white tails. These lively lapdogs have smiling faces and a double coat that’s often seen in orange and red. They make fantastic companions and can even be trained into adept watchdogs.

Yorkshire Terrier Dog on the green grassAttila Fodemesi/Getty Images

5. Yorkshire terrier

One of the top ten most popular dog breeds in the country, Yorkshire terriers are spunky pups that are known for their small size and affectionate nature. These dogs were originally used to hunt rats in mines and mills, and have since made their way into the upper echelons of society thanks to their glossy coats and “purse dog” status. They originally used their incredible hearing to listen for and locate rats.

Chow Chow standing outside on grassGoodLifeStudio/Getty Images

6. Chow Chow

Chow Chows are a serious-minded breed from ancient China. While they have a fascinating history as hunting dogs and companions to Chinese nobles, they’re best known for their fluffy coats. They have fuzzy ears that give them a teddy bear-like appearance and a reputation for being aloof, dignified, and aristocratic. Chow Chows are also one of our favorite dog breeds that look like lions.

Closeup image of a Boston terrier dog sitting on grass in backyardStefan Cristian Cioata/Getty Images

7. Boston terrier

With their tuxedo coats and impeccable manners, Boston terriers have earned the nickname “The American Gentleman.” These happy guys are one of the top 25 most popular dog breeds in America thanks to their friendly nature and ability to make themselves at home in urban and rural environments. Their pointy ears are small and always erect.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Running Over FieldTara Gregg/Getty Images

8. Corgi

The corgi—aka, everyone’s favorite short-legged pup—is one of the most recognizable dogs with pointy ears. Beloved by Queen Elizabeth II, these dogs have been favored by the kings, queens, and other members of the nobility for centuries. The Queen received her first corgi, Dookie, in 1933, and has owned one ever since. These cute corgi pictures will brighten your day.

German Shepherd standing outside with tongue outPaulo Hoeper/Getty Images

9. German shepherd

These large work dogs can stand as tall as 26 inches and weigh up to 90 pounds. They’re courageous, agile, and intelligent, and love having a job to do. Originally bred as herding dogs, the GSD can be found in police and military units around the world. You can identify them by their muscular stature and pointy ears.

Alaskan Malamute dogs in Khao Kho District, Thailandwichianduangsri/Getty Images

10. Alaskan Malamute

Did someone say wolf? The cold-weather-loving Alaskan Malamute has been used to pull sleds for centuries. Experts believe they are descendants of the domesticated wolves that accompanied Paleolithic hunters across the land bridges of the Bering Strait into North America around 4,000 years ago. Their ears are slightly rounded at the tips and small in relation to the breed’s sturdy stature.

Close-Up Of Japanese Akita Licking NoseJulian Popov/Getty Images

11. Akita

The Akita is of ancient Japanese origin and regarded as a symbol of good health, happiness, and long life in its home country. The working-group dog was originally bred to hunt in packs for big game such as wild boar, deer, and bear. Their ears have a wide base and slightly curved tip.

Beautiful Basenji portrait outdoors against a wooden backdrop.ktatarka/Getty Images

12. Basenji

Basenjis are recognizable by their expressive eyes and ears—meaning these cuties are the ultimate communicators. Depicted in ancient Egyptian artifacts, the Basenji is an old breed, and paleontologists say that the first domesticated dogs looked a lot like the Basenji. There’s something else that’s notable about these pups: they don’t bark. Instead, they make a unique yodeling noise.

white bull terrier dog portrait24K-Production/Getty Images

13. Bull terrier

The bull terrier is a sturdy breed with sturdy ears to match. The dog was originally bred for bull baiting, a gruesome blood sport in which dogs were set loose on a staked bull as onlookers bet on the outcome. However, once blood sports were banned, they became the companions of choice for young British gentlemen in the mid-1800s. They are dignified, playful, and mischievous, and make wonderful family dogs.

Portrait Of A Papillon Purebreed Dog With Wall BehindAnna Maloverjan/Getty Images

14. Papillon

These ears are elite: A papillon’s ears are both pointy and furry, which lands them a top spot on our list of cutest dogs with pointy ears. These posh pups weigh in at about five to ten pounds and are known for their upbeat, friendly, and athletic nature as well as for being one of the most intelligent dog breeds. They were originally bred as companions for noblewomen and have been included in paintings by renowned European artists such as Rembrandt, Goya, and Toulouse-Lautrec. Read up on more French dogs that make the best pets.

Cute male black tricolor purebred Rat Terrier dog standing in black harness on green grass in a parksjallenphotography/Getty Images

15. Rat terrier

These 10- to 25-pound pups might be tiny, but they have a tough personality. Their V-shaped ears are pointed at the tip and match their pointed noses and tails. It is said the rat terrier breed name was originally coined by Teddy Roosevelt—and we’ve got to say he did a spot-on job. Rat terriers were initially used to exterminate rats.

samoyed outside standing by flowerszhao hui/Getty Images

16. Samoyed

Obsessed with big, fluffy dogs? You’ll love the Samoyed. These gentle pups that look like bears stand anywhere from 19 to 23 inches and have an easygoing graceful gait. Their perpetual smile stops them from drooling, which prevents these Siberian-bred dogs from developing icicles on their faces. They’ve got thick, triangular ears and sparkly, animated eyes to match.

Happy West Highland White Terrier dog lying outdoors on tiles with its paws crossed in a city park in summerEudyptula/Getty Images

17. West Highland white terrier

These charming white pups have velvety soft ears and happy personalities. Initially bred in the hills of Scotland, the Westie’s primary job was to find and scatter rats away from farmland. Today, these dogs will chase anything that moves, which means you’ll want to provide them with a fenced-in yard and lots of toys to play with.

Belgian Malinois laying down by the woodsSue Zellers/Getty Images

18.Belgian Malinois

A hard-working member of the herding group, the Belgian Malinois builds an unbreakable bond with its owner. These dignified dogs hold their heads—and their ears—high. The one thing you need to know before you adopt one? Belgian Malinois loves to move and think. They’re frequently used as police and military K-9s and require vigorous exercise and training to keep them happy.

Close-Up Of Australian Cattle Dog Panting While Standing On FieldTara Gregg/Getty Images

19. Australian cattle dog

The Australian cattle dog is another member of the herding group. The breed is so adept at its job that it’s made vital contributions to Australia’s modern beef industry, an important part of the country’s economy. These dogs have large, pointy ears and coats in both black and red varieties. Learn more about these other Australian dog breeds before you bring one home.

Close-Up Of Swedish VallhundTara Gregg/Getty Images

20. Swedish Vallhund

These energetic hunting dogs have big pointy ears with tons of personality. Vallhunds are built low to the ground to make it easier for them to nip at the heels of cattle while avoiding kicks to the head. They’re cheerful and sociable dogs with a deep, intimidating bark. Next, check out these service dogs that aid people in need.

Juliana LaBianca
Juliana is a lifestyle writer for RD.com covering home, holidays, fashion, and beauty. She is based in New York City and spends most of her time trying new yoga classes and rearranging her tiny apartment.