11 Different Big Dogs With Floppy Ears (With Pictures)

There’s a reason we are so drawn to dogs with floppy ears. In general, dogs with floppy ears appear more passive and affable than their pointy-eared counterparts.

A 2019 news story outlined how the TSA prefer to hire dogs with floppy ears for passenger screening purposes because people feel more at ease around them.

Of course, ear shape has nothing to do with a dog’s temperament, and there are many big dogs with floppy ears who are more formidable than they are friendly (until you get to know them, of course!)

The 11 Big Dogs With Floppy Ears

While floppy ears are undeniably winsome, they do require extra care. Floppy ears that stick close to the head retain moisture, which can lead to bacterial overgrowth and infections.

1. Bernese Mountain Dog

bernese mountain dog | image by Ashley Sheppard via Flickr | CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Average Lifespan: 7-10 years
Average Size: 70-115 pounds
Coat: medium, double

The gorgeous Bernese Mountain Dog is a tough working dog with a sweet and gentle nature.

First bred in Switzerland, the Bernese was employed in the vast agricultural region known as Bern, droving cattle and guarding farmyards. Their affectionate, loyal nature led them to serve double-duty as companion dogs when the day’s work was finished.

A thick, beautiful tricolored coat and soulful brown eyes complement the breed’s adorable floppy ears. Ear care is vital for the Bernese breed, especially those who are utilized on farms, as dust and debris can easily gather inside their ear canal and lead to infection.

2. Bloodhound

bloodhound | image by John Leslie via Wikipedia Commons | CC BY 4.0

Average Lifespan: 10-12 years
Average Size: 80-100 pounds
Coat: short, smooth

The Bloodhound is the greatest scent-tracker of dog-kind and is employed across the world in the noble pursuit of finding lost or missing people and pets.

Once a Bloodhound has the whiff of a scent, it won’t give up until the source is located. A Bloodhound’s sense of smell is so strong that almost every court of law will accept the results of a Bloodhound’s man-trailing as evidence.

Their drooping features give them a charming, hangdog expression, but their ears also aid their ultimate purpose. The act of dragging their ears along the ground stirs up the invisible particles that make up a scent trail, and carries them toward the Bloodhound’s nose!

3. Bullmastiff

bullmastiff | image by Eran Finkle via Flickr | CC BY 4.0

Average Lifespan: 7-9 years
Average Size: 100-130 pounds
Coat: short, smooth

The Bullmastiff is an indomitable guarder and loveable family dog wrapped up in one impressive package.

During the nineteenth century, the Bullmastiff was purposefully bred at a ratio of 60 percent Mastiff and 40 percent Bulldog to guard the game preserves of the English aristocracy from poachers. Swiftness, intelligence and the ability to hold but not necessarily maul a poacher were paramount.

One of the Bullmastiff’s most endearing features is the V-shape of their flopped ears and the slight ‘smooshiness’ of their face, although we recommend not going in for a boop on the nose until you know it’s safe to do so!

4. Dogue de Bordeaux

dogue de bordeaux | image by: 947051

Average Lifespan: 5-8 years
Average Size: 99 pounds and up
Coat: short, smooth

The Dogue de Bordeaux is an ancient breed of mysterious origins, typified by their charmingly wrinkled face and sweet dispositions. Some maintain that the Dogue is an indigenous French breed, others have suggested it is a close relative of the Mastiff variety.

One thing that is certain is their long engagement as hunters, guarders, and livestock drovers. Once practically unknown outside of France, they came to worldwide prominence with their depiction in the 1989 Tom Hanks comedy ‘Turner and Hooch’.

In addition to being one of the big dogs with floppy ears, they also have the largest head of any canine.

5. Hovawart

hovawart | image by Bernard Schep via Flickr | CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Average Lifespan: 10-14 years
Average Size: 65-90 pounds
Coat: medium, double

The Hovawart is a German working dog known for its phenomenal versatility.

Frequently utilized as a watch, guard, tracking, and rescue dog, the Hovawart has earned a reputation as a highly intelligent and dutiful breed when properly trained.

The luxurious double-coat of the Hovawart can be blonde, black, or a black and tan combination, with a blonde-coated Hovawart bearing more than a passing resemblance to a Golden Retriever.

Their open, friendly faces and triangular floppy ears invite further comparisons to the more famous breed, but unlike Goldens, Hovawart’s are not recommended for first-time dog owners due to their innately stubborn nature.

6. Leonberger

leonberger | image by: haraldheuser

Average Lifespan: 7 years
Average Size: 90-170 pounds
Coat: long, double

A gentle giant, the Leonberger breed was developed by Heinrich Essig, a 19th-century politician from Leonberg, Germany.

Essig allegedly had the goal of wanting to breed a dog who resembled the lion on the town’s crest, and after the selective breeding of Saint Bernard and Newfoundland varieties, the noble Leonberger was born.

A revered breed among aristocrats and artists for centuries, the Leonberger possesses a lush coat with a lion mane-like scruff around the neck and chest. A dramatic black face-mask, and large floppy ears that reach the corners of the mouth, add to their striking beauty.

7. Weimaraner

weimaraner | image by Andrew Causer via Flickr | CC BY-NC 4.0

Average Lifespan: 10-13 years
Average Size: 55-90 pounds
Coat: short, smooth

A lean, nimble hunting dog with a striking silvery-grey coat, the Weimaraner is colloquially known as the ‘Grey Ghost’.

Developed in the 1800s as a mix of Bloodhounds and various European hunting dogs, the Weimaraner attained popularity as an intrepid big game hunter of bears, mountain lions, andwolves.

When the first Weimaraner arrived in the United States in the twentieth century, their expressive faces, light-colored eyes, and long, velvety ears endeared them to such luminaries as Grace Kelly and President Eisenhower.

In the 1970s, the breed became a muse for artist William Wegman, who created many surreal portraits using his own Weimaraner dogs (definitely worth a Google if you haven’t seen them!)

8. Boerboel

boerboel | image by Han van Hoof via Flickr | CC BY-NC 4.0

Average Lifespan: 9-11 years
Average Size: 150-200 pounds
Coat: short, smooth

The Boerboel, meaning ‘farmer’s dog’, is a South African-raised guarder who frequently faces off against the most frightening big game on the planet.

Bred to tangle with big cats and baboons, the Boerboel has developed remarkable instincts. They are the most agile of the mastiff types, their swiftness honed from generations of wild clashes with larger and more powerful animals.

With their broad head and powerful jaws, they are a physically imposing breed who have a lot of love in their hearts for their preferred humans, although early training and socialization are imperative. They’re not so intimidating when they’re puppies, especially with those delightfully floppy ears!

9. Saint Bernard

saint bernard | image by ATIS547 via Flickr | CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Average Lifespan: 8-10 years
Average Size: 120-180 pounds
Coat: short, rough, smooth, double

One of the most recognizable big dogs with floppy ears, the Saint Bernard was the slobbering centerpiece of the 1992 movie Beethoven. Before attaining international movie stardom, however, Saint Bernard’s were best known for their work in the year 1050, at the Saint Bernard Pass.

The Pass was a thoroughfare for pilgrims journeying to Rome from the Swiss Alps, and Saint Bernard’s were employed to locate and rescue travelers stranded by the treacherous conditions. Their powerful physicality and intelligence made them perfect for the role.

Their long, floppy ears are certainly part of their charm, but they require close attention. Large ears that lie flat against the head can be a breeding ground for bacteria and infection, and Saint Bernard’s are especially susceptible to this.

10. Slovensky Cuvac

slovensky cuvac | image by Elisabeth Maus Pisula via Flickr | CC BY-SA 4.0

Average Lifespan: 11-13 years
Average Size: 68-97 pounds
Coat: medium, double

The Slovensky Cuvac is a blazingly-white beauty derived from Arctic wolves.

Bred in the seventeenth century for the rugged, inhospitable conditions of alpine farming in Slovakia, they acted as watchdogs and guides for shepherds. In order to be easily distinguished from the bears and wolves of their native territory, they were exclusively bred as white.

With their thick, snow-white coats, brown eyes, and those floppy ears, they are as gorgeous as they are courageous and make excellent pets for experienced owners.

11. Black Russian Terrier

black russian terrier | image by Petful via Petful | CC BY 4.0

Average Lifespan: 10-12 years
Average Size: 80-130 pounds
Coat: medium, long, double

The Black Russian Terrier is known as the Black Pearl of Russia, and the breed has the most compelling backstory of any of the big dogs with floppy ears.

Immensely powerful, they were selectively bred in the 1930s as a super-dog for the Russian Army. A formidable combination of the best traits of seventeen different breeds, the Black Russian Terrier was put to work at border crossings, prisons, and military installations.

Courageous and perceptive, they are still employed as guard dogs, although their singular sense of loyalty to their preferred humans makes them a rewarding pet for the right owner.