12 Adorable Small Dogs with Floppy Ears (With Pictures)

Dogs’ faces are extremely expressive and can mirror our own. Because of this, we often believe we can understand our dogs simply by studying their facial expressions. It is through these expressions and their appearances that dogs affect our own mood. Their ears may be one of their most expressive features, and one that many people find most endearing. Here we’ll discuss some small dogs with floppy ears and outline some of their characteristics.

The dogs we include in our list are varied and diverse, covering a wide range of breeds that differ greatly in terms of disposition and the requirements of their care.

The 12 Types of Small Dogs with Floppy Ears

While going through this list keep in mind that these breeds should have their ears cleaned regularly. Floppy ears are known to trap detritus and accumulate wax, and cleaning them is a great way to help your dog avoid unnecessary infections.

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier king charles spaniel
Cavalier king charles spaniel | image by Petful via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Average Lifespan: 9-14 years
Average Size: 13-18 pounds
Coat: medium

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a toy spaniel breed originally bred in the United Kingdom as a companion and support animal.

Known for their especially long and floppy ears, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a shorter face then other spaniel breeds, having been crossbred with short faced dogs to encourage the breed’s babyish look.

A popular support animal, this breed is good with seniors and children and is known to play gently. Having some of the longest ears of the small dogs with floppy ears on this list, it is highly recommended that their ears be cleaned on a regular basis.

2. Dachshund

Dachshund | image by rabbit_akra via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Average Size: 16-32 pounds
Coat: short or long

Perhaps one of the most recognizable breeds on this list, the Dachshund’s elongated body and shorter legs create its signature look. While you may not think of the Dachshund as a working breed, it was originally developed in Germany as a hunting dog capable of chasing small prey into tight spaces.

This breed remains one of the most popular small breeds in the US and is known for being a loyal companion. The Dachshund can be wary of strangers, but quickly warms up to new people when introduced.

3. Cocker Spaniel

Cocker spaniel walking
Cocker spaniel walking | image by Tamsin Cooper via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Average Size: 29-32 pounds
Coat: medium, silky

The second spaniel on this list, the Cocker Spaniel can also trace its origins to England where it was bred for hunting wild fowl. Interestingly, the Cocker Spaniel developed into three distinct lineages, each with their specific purpose and aptitudes. These lines are identified as working, field, and household.

Its silky coat and oftentimes dopy expression make it a popular household pet that is gentle with children and is charming in appearance. Like the Cavalier Spaniel, the Cocker Spaniel also requires regular cleaning of its ears.

4. Beagle

beagle | image by: Edy Rung

Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Average Size: 20-25 pounds
Coat: short

One of the most popular breeds in the US, the Beagle is a foxhound originally developed in England to assist on hunts with tracking a hunter’s quarry.

Known for its particularly strong sense of small and distinctive howl, the Beagle is an especially vocal breed that will lead with its nose when on walks, oftentimes becoming subsumed by a scent trail and pulling its owner off course.

Although still used as a hunting and working breed, the Beagle is well suited to family life and is known to be exceptional around children, which are known to play with the breed’s floppy ears.

Surprisingly tolerant of this behavior, many beagles are known to show restraint and will refrain from nipping or withdrawing from such play.

5. Pug

Pug playing in the yard
Pug playing in the yard | image by DaPuglet via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Average Size: 14-18 pounds
Coat: short, coarse

The Pug originally hails from China where it was bred as a lapdog and household pet that has since become popular across the globe. Its truncated snout and smushed features means the breed is poorly suited for work and excessive play, requiring only a moderate amount of exercise.

Because of its smushed face, you should be aware that pugs can suffer from breathing issues and other health problems. Out of all the small dogs with floppy ears on this list, its floppy ears are perhaps the smallest, a feature which many owners find endearing.

6. Havanese

Havanese | image by Hemlit 🙂 via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Average Lifespan: 9-14 years
Average Size: 10-16
Coat: long

Named after the city of Havana, the Havanese is a Cuban breed of small dog developed as a companion animal. Known for its extremely long and silky coat, this breed remains a popular lap dog. The Havanese is renowned for its loyalty to its owners and only requires moderate exercise.

Despite being a small breed, the Havanese is sturdy and robust, capable of handling a moderate amount of rough play. This makes the breed especially well suited to family life and being around small children.

7. Maltese

Maltese | image by kitty.green66 via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Average Lifespan: 12-16
Average Size: 3-10 pounds
Coat: long, silky

The Maltese is an ancient breed with unclear origins, although it was likely first bred in the Mediterranean Basin and may be a relative of spitz-type breeds.

Ancient texts from the Greek and Romans refer to dogs resembling the Maltese as beloved household companions. These ancient dogs are thought to have been the ancestors of the modern Maltese.

Known for being a loving and subdued pet, the breed’s laidback nature have made it a popular support animal. Despite not being its most prominent feature, the Maltese does possess floppy ears.

8. Toy Poodle

Toy poodle running
Toy poodle running | Image by FROGGYTUFF from Pixabay

Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Average Size: 5-10 pounds
Coat: curly

As with all poodles, the Toy Poodle is a curly haired, hypoallergenic breed originally developed in central Europe.

While poodles in general were originally bred as hunting dogs to retrieve waterfowl, the toy poodle is not a working breed and was bred specifically as a companion animal that possessed the signature features of its regularly sized counterpart.

For those with mild allergies to dogs who are looking for a breed of small dogs with floppy ears, the Toy Poodle may be an ideal  option, as its hypoallergenic coat is less likely to trigger an autoimmune response.

9. Shih Tzu

Shih tzu on the floor
Shih tzu on the floor | image by Robert Nunnally via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Average Lifespan: 10-16 years
Average Size: 8-16 pounds
Coat: long, silky

The Shih Tzu is a toy breed originally bred in Tibet where it was developed as a companion. The breed was prized by Chinese royalty for its playful demeanor and amiable disposition.

In Tibetan mythology the Shih Tzu appears as a brave guardian sent to protect Buddhist temples. It is thought the stone lions often found at the gates of Buddhist temples were in part modeled after the Shih Tzu.

Although the breed does have floppy ears, you should be aware that its lengthy coat may disguise this fact.

10. Tibetan Spaniel

Tibetan spaniel in the field
Tibetan spaniel in the field | image by Rob Moroto via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0

Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Average Size: 10-15 pounds
Coat: medium-long

Another of the small dogs with floppy ears from Tibet, the Tibetan Spaniel was common to Buddhist monasteries and known to dutifully trail their Lama masters across the monastery grounds.

Despite its name, the Tibetan Spaniel is unrelated to the European spaniels, which were bred as hunting and retrieving breeds. By contrast, the Tibetan Spaniel was developed solely as a companion animal.

Remarkably leonin in appearance, this breed, like the Shih Tzu, is considered a brave and loyal breed, especially considering its small size.

11. Norfolk Terrier

Norfolk terrier
Norfolk terrier | image by tanakawho via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Average Size: 11-12 pounds
Coat: medium

The Norfolk Terrier is a British breed of terrier originally employed on farms to hunt and control rodent populations. Notably, the Norfolk Terrier is closely related to the Norwich Terrier, and is considered a floppy eared alternative to its pointy eared cousin.

A stocky and robust small dog, this breed requires moderate exercise and can handle itself well around small children, making it a terrific family pet.

12. Lowchen

lowchen | image by: chili71

Average Lifespan: 12-14 years
Average Size: 8-18 pounds
Coat: long, silky

The third breed on our list that has been described as leonin in appearance, the Lowchen originally hails from central Europe. In fact, Europeans believed this dog to be so lion-like in appearance that its name literally means “little lion” in German.

Known for being an excellent companion breed, the Lowchen’s traditional haircut maintains its hair long in the front while requiring the dog’s rear end to be shaved.

This breed was once one of the rarest breeds in the world, with its breeding population having reached an all time low of around 60 individuals. While the breed has made a slight comeback, it remains incredibly rare and hard to find.