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5 Surprising Reasons Why Dog Ears Are So Soft (2023 Guide)

Why Are Dog Ears Soft

Have you ever touched a dog’s ears? 

If you haven’t…

I’ll tell you that it feels like touching heaven.


Fido’s ears are soft as a cloud.

Oh, why are their ears like that? 

Find out the truth now.

Continue reading to learn:

  • 15 dog breeds with the softest ears.
  • 3 fun facts and trivia about Fido’s fluffy ears.
  • 5 surprising reasons why dog ears are so soft (#3 and #5 are amazing).
  • And many, many more…

Why dog ears are soft – 5 reasons

#1: Cartilage bone

First, let’s talk about Fido’s ear anatomy. 

The reason why it’s so soft…

Is due to the cartilage bone

“What’s that?” 

It’s the same type of bone you’d find on your nose. 

Try pressing it a bit. 

Isn’t it so soft? 

Compared to other bones, the cartilage is bendable. 

That’s the same structure inside your dog’s ears. 

And this is why they can be very soft to touch. 

“But does it hurt when I rub my dog’s ears?” 

The good news is…

No, it won’t hurt Fido at all.

In fact, most dogs love having their ears rubbed.


There might be a few exceptions. 

And that’s when your pooch has an ear infection. 

“How does that happen to my dog?” 

Experts say an ear infection can be caused by: 

  • Allergies.
  • Moisture.
  • Ear injury.
  • Wax buildup.
  • Thyroid disease.
  • Ear hair plucking.
  • Too much cleaning.
  • Autoimmune disorders.
  • Objects getting into their ears.

From this list… 

One of the top reasons is wax buildup. 

And it occurs when your dog’s ears don’t get cleaned at all.

“What happens if my pooch has an infection?” 

You’ll notice symptoms, such as: 

Warning: This infection can lead to severe problems like deafness. So if you notice these signs, see a vet ASAP. 

Moreover, you can also learn how to prevent this issue in your pooch. 


This vet can guide you with cleaning Fido’s ears: 

Check out also: 11 Alarming Reasons Why Dogs Scratch Their Ears + 5 Tips

#2: The inner fur is softer 

Most dogs are covered in fur.

And they all come in many types. 

But what about the hair inside their ears? 

Apparently, it’s a different kind of fur. Specifically, it’s called downy hair.

And it’s the same type of strands found in newborns. 

So if you’ve held a baby before…

You’d know how soft they can be.

But not only does it make your pup’s ears so fluffy…

Downy hair is also: 

  • Shorter.
  • Silky in texture.
  • Growing in single strands. 

Though, some dogs could have long inner hair in their ears. 

A few examples would be: 

Now, these are some breeds you might know of. 

But are you familiar with the Papillon? 

Fun fact: They’re a small pooch with ears shaped like a butterfly. 

If you meet one… 

You’d want to touch the long, silky, downy hair in their ears. 


This might make you think: 

“Should I pluck the hair inside my dog’s ears?” 

The answer to that depends on your pup’s health. 

After all, there are only a few benefits when it comes to plucking. And I’ve listed them down for you:

  • Promotes better airflow.
  • Makes it easier to clean the ears. 
  • Looks more visually pleasing for some fur parents.

You see, many vets find plucking ear hair unnecessary. 

But if you think your pooch might need it… 

It’s best if you consult a professional first.

Reading tip: Vet Check: Does Plucking Dog Ear Hair Hurt? Is It Safe?

#3: For better hearing 

Now, let’s go back a bit to reason #1.

Doesn’t it make you wonder:

“Why do dogs have soft bones in their ears?” 

And I get your curiosity. 

So let me explain the truth…

Dogs have cartilage in their ears for a good reason. 

For one, it helps them hear better. 

How so? 

With soft bones, Fidos can move their ears at will. 

Try to pay attention to your pooch. 

When they’re listening to a sound… 

Don’t their ears move in the direction of the noise? 

Canines do this to focus their hearing in one place. 

And to surprise you even more… 

Fun fact: Dogs have a hearing range of 67 to 45,000 Hz. 

That’s based on a study.

“What’s Hz?” 

It stands for Hertz. And it’s the unit used to measure frequency or sound.

Now, comparing it to humans… 

You and I only have 64 to 23,000 Hz.

With this, your furry friend’s sense of hearing is 4 times better than humans. 

It’s no wonder why their ears keep moving when Fido hears something.

Not to mention…

Some dogs were intentionally bred for their soft ears

Beagles Were Intentionally Bred For Their Soft Ears

For example, I’m referring to breeds such as: 

  • Beagles.
  • Dachshunds.
  • Bloodhounds.

You might’ve already noticed…

That these dogs all have floppy ears. 

And they’re often used as trackers who work with the police. 

Why, you asked?

Not only do these canines have a great sense of smell

But their big, soft ears also help enhance their tracking skills.

How so? 

A hound’s big ears act as a filter for these dogs. 

To explain further…

The AKC says their soft ears help push the scent into Fido’s nose.

And this makes them more efficient at their tracking job.

#4: It keeps them warm

Other than their downy fur…

Fido’s ears are also soft due to their floppy shape. 

And since they’re longer and bigger…

Their ears can help keep your pooch warm. 

You know what that reminds me of?

Ear muffs. The ones you’d wear during winter to keep warm. 

So when it’s cold outside…

Fidos with droopy ears can protect them a bit from the cold.

And a good example would be St. Bernard dogs. 

Have you seen one of those giant furry pals? These Fidos have floppy ears. 


St. Bernards often work in the cold. They rescue humans who got lost in the snow. 

But thanks to their big, droopy ears…

St. Bernards can keep themselves warm.

#5: Due to domestication

Did you know dogs have soft ears because of us, humans?

“Wait, how?” 

Basically, Fidos evolved to look tamer than their wolf ancestors

As most people know…

Canines came from wolves.

With this, you can say they traded their pointy ears for soft, droopy ones.

And that’s because of domestication syndrome. 

Let me explain what it means.

Since dogs have been around humans for too long…

They realized that the cuter ones tend to gain more favor from most people. 

And in human standards…

Having droopy ears meant that the dog is less likely to bite.

So as years passed… 

The shape of canine ears has changed

Don’t believe me? 

Well, there’s one research to prove this: 

An expert named Dmitry Belyayev raised 130 foxes. From there, he started an experiment. 

Belyayev only picked the tamest Fidos. The ones who appear to be friendlier or calmer around humans. 

Then, he kept breeding the tame foxes through their generations… 

The result? 

The fox’s ears turned softer and floppier. 

And this ties back to Dr. Charles Darwin’s: Theory of Evolution.

How so? 

The foxes from Belyayev’s experiments evolved to suit the human environment. 

And the same thing applies to dogs. 

After thousands of years of domestication… 

Some Fidos began to have soft, droopy ears. But others still kept their wolf-like features.

Which dog has the softest ears?

Many dog breeds have the softest ears. 

To make it easy, I’ve listed the most popular ones for you:

  • Vizslas.
  • Poodles.
  • Beagles.
  • Havanese.
  • Shih Tzus.
  • Samoyeds.
  • Keeshonds.
  • Irish Setters.
  • Dachshunds.
  • Lhasa Apsos.
  • Weimaraners.
  • Bichon Frises.
  • Hound breeds.
  • English Cocker Spaniel.
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs.

These Fidos have the softest floppy ears you could ever find.