The “Burr” in Your Dog’s Ear

We have created so many names for our dogs’ ear that “prick” or “drop” do an injustice to the variety in which ears come. We have our hooded ears, drop ears, filbert-shaped ears, prick ears, vine ears, heart-shaped ears, folded ears, high set ears, pendent, rolled, button, semi-pricked, propeller, tulip, trowel, round tipped, semi-drop,v-shaped and bat ears……..and there’s still more!

But don’t “rose ears” sound wonderful? These smallish, drop ears with small relatively thin leather folds backwards and over to expose the “burr.”

The burr? What’s a burr?

It’s that bump thing (cartilage, actually) that’s on the inside of a dog’s external ear canal. Bulldogs have high set rose ears, as do some Staffordshire Bull Terriers. In some sighthounds, this type of ear,  when set low, serve the purpose of ‘streamlining’ the dog. Greyhounds and Whippets are such dogs.

Greyhound charcoal head study by Justine Osborne


  1. Melissa Caldwell

    Interesting article. The rose ear is an improper ear type for Manchester terriers, but one of our four has rose ears. She’s more reserved by nature, and occasionally her ears will button like a Manchester’s should. But I like that our princess Manchester usually has rose ears. It’s fitting to her diva nature.

    • National Purebred Dog Day®

      Love the picture, Melissa. Some folks object to the “dog shaming” photos, but we think they’re hilarious and sent in one of our own (the Puli surrounded by dog toys who chose, instead, to chew on a pricey vacuum cleaner attachment). That said, ears ARE fascinating, we think.

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