Are you a dog lover who’s captivated by unique ear shapes? Button eared dogs are not only incredibly adorable, but they also exhibit a fascinating variety of breed characteristics.

In this article, we’ll explore everything there is to know about button eared dog breeds, including their history, personality traits, and ear-related health and care tips.

From the energetic Parson Russell Terrier to the intelligent Australian Shepherd, we’ll delve into the world of these lovable breeds. So, let’s begin our journey into the world of button eared dogs and discover what makes them so special!

Key Takeaways

  • Explore 8 unique button eared breeds, from Parson Russell Terrier to Border Terrier.
  • Learn the science behind why these dogs have button ears & how to care for them properly.
  • Adopting a pup? Get ready with research, finding a breeder, and getting prepped!

8 Button Eared Breeds

A button eared dog breed.

Button eared dog breeds mainly belong to the terrier family, with a few exceptions such as the Australian Shepherd. These breeds have unique ear shapes that not only make them stand out from other dogs, but also serve a practical purpose in their original roles as hunters, herders, or guardians. Among the various types of dog ears, button ears are a distinct characteristic of these particular breeds.

Let’s take a closer look at eight popular button eared breeds. Each of these breeds has its distinct characteristics, making them an excellent choice for dog lovers looking for a unique companion.

1. Parson Russell Terrier

Parson Russell Terrier

The Parson Russell Terrier, a small yet energetic breed, originated in Britain as a vermin hunter both above and below ground. With its strong, muscular body and long, pointed muzzle, this breed is known for its fearlessness and determination.

Their folded earlobes play a crucial role in tracking scent trails during their hunting escapades. Plus, in my opinion, the Parson Russell Terrier’s ears are just absolutely adorable to look at!

A well-rounded Parson Russell Terrier is confident, charming, and perhaps a bit scrappy, making them an endearing addition to any household.

2. Smooth Fox Terrier

Smooth Fox Terrier

Smooth Fox Terriers are small, energetic pups with short, smooth coats, and strong bodies. Their button-shaped ears play an essential role in their original purpose as livestock herders and property protectors.

These lively dogs are known for their huge personalities and strong connection to their owners, rooted in trust and loyalty. When it comes to Smooth Fox Terriers, their work ethic and love for their families make them a popular choice among dog enthusiasts.

3. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terriers are small, active, and energetic dogs with strong, muscular bodies and long, pointed muzzles. Bred to be working dogs, their button ears provide them with an advantage when tracking prey both above and below ground.

I see these little terriers a lot when I’m out walking my dogs and they are always full of energy, friendly, and cute!

These intelligent and energetic dogs are known for their zest for life. Early socialization and positive reinforcement are essential for Jack Russell Terriers to ensure they grow up to be well-behaved and obedient pets.

4. Manchester Terrier

Manchester Terrier

The Manchester Terrier is a lively, energetic small dog with a short and smooth coat. Originally bred to keep Manchester Inns and other establishments free of vermin, this breed boasts a rich history.

Keep in mind that they have a tenacious, stubborn, and vocal temperament. So, I’d recommend them for owners who are willing to put the work into training!

Their button-shaped ears contribute to their unique appearance and work to their advantage during their vermin-hunting endeavors. As a fun-loving companion, the Manchester Terrier’s distinctive charm and character make them a popular choice among dog lovers.

5. Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier is the largest terrier breed. They’re a lively and energetic dog with a short, wiry coat. Their button ears give them an edge when hunting and guarding, making them a valuable working breed in their original roles.

Airedale Terriers are known for their fearless nature and strong work ethic. With early socialization and training, these dogs can be well-rounded, obedient pets, making them a great choice for families who appreciate their unique appearance and history.

6. Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd, a medium-sized, active, and energetic breed, is characterized by its medium-length, wavy coat, and button ears. Despite its name, this breed was developed in the United States with influences from collies and sheepdogs.

Intelligent and obedient, Australian Shepherds are known for their beautiful coats and unique ears. Their button ears contribute to their distinct appearance and play a role in their original purpose as herding dogs.

I’d definitely say that these dogs are best suited to experienced owners. With proper training and socialization, Australian Shepherds make excellent companions.

7. American Hairless Terrier

American Hairless Terrier

The American Hairless Terrier is a small, active, and energetic breed with a unique hairless coat. With strong, muscular bodies and long, pointed muzzles, these dogs are quite the character. Their button ears not only add to their distinctive appearance, but also serve a practical purpose in their role as vermin hunters.

These dogs are known for their intelligence, alertness, and adaptability. As a breed that produces fewer allergens, they are an excellent choice for allergy sufferers. If you like an interesting-looking dog, this breed could be for you!

8. Border Terrier

Border Terrier

These little dogs are one of my favorite breeds! Border Terriers are small, active, and energetic dogs that are known for their short, wiry coats and distinctive otter heads. With the longest legs of all terrier breeds, these dogs excel in their original roles as hunters and guardians.

Their button ears provide them with an advantage when tracking prey, and their friendly and playful nature makes them great with kids. With regular exercise and early socialization, Border Terriers can be a terrific household companion for families and dog enthusiasts alike.

Ear Types: Button vs Rose Ears

A pug with rose ears.

While button ears are common in many terrier breeds, other breeds may have rose ears. The main difference between the two is their shape: button ears have a base that stands up, but the pinna folds over to cover the ear canal, while rose ears stand up straight at first, then curve outward like a petal of a rose.

We’ve already discussed examples of breeds with button ears. In contrast, breeds such as Pitbulls, Pugs, and Greyhounds typically have rose ears.

The Science Behind Button Ears

Vet looking inside a dog's ear.

Button ears are commonly found in breeds with shorter ear canals, which is a trait passed down from their parents. In hunting dogs like terriers, the button ear shape helps protect dog ears when they’re digging through tunnels to find prey, as it covers the ear canal and prevents dirt or debris from entering.

Unlike drop ears, button ears provide this unique advantage for these specific breeds, while erect ears are a distinct feature in other breeds. Some breeds may also have folded ears or v-shaped ears, which have their own unique characteristics.

So, when admiring the cute button ears of your favorite terrier, remember that they’re not just for show; they have a functional purpose too!

Health and Care for Button Eared Dogs

A dog receiving a health checkup from a vet

Caring for button eared dogs requires regular grooming and cleaning of the ears to prevent infections and maintain overall health. This is the same as other ear types such as candle flame ears or pricked ears.

If your dogs are like mine and don;’t like having their ear cleaned, you can build up to it in stages. I always offer lots of treats to distract them and teach them that it’s not such a bad experience!

Additionally, it’s essential to provide a balanced diet and address any specific health needs unique to the breed. Some button-eared breeds, like the American Hairless Terrier, may require specialized care due to their unique coat.

Regardless of the breed, proper care and attention will ensure that your button eared companion stays happy and healthy. It’s important to note that ear cropping is not recommended in any breed, with any ear shape. It’s unnecessary and is illegal in many places.

Training and Socialization for Button Eared Breeds

Dog being trained by owner

Training and socialization are crucial for all dog breeds, including button eared breeds. Using positive reinforcement and starting socialization as early as possible, ideally between 3-14 weeks, can help ensure that dogs grow up to be well-rounded and obedient pets.

Each breed may have specific training requirements or challenges, such as the stubborn nature of the Irish Terrier. In these cases, it’s essential to remain patient and consistent with training while addressing any breed-specific concerns.

Some dogs are better suited to experienced owners, while others are easier to train. I always recommend doing plenty of research on any breed you’re considering before you bring them home, so you can ensure you’re equipt to handle their needs.

Adopting a Button Eared Dog

A photo of a cute button eared dog from one of the button eared dog breeds that you can adopt.

When considering adopting any dog, it’s crucial to research the breed, understand its temperament, size, energy level, and grooming needs. Once you’ve chosen a breed, finding a reputable breeder is vital to ensure the health and well-being of your new pet.

Preparing for the arrival of your new pet includes gathering essential items such as food, toys, and a bed, as well as setting up a safe and comfortable space for them.

Introducing your new dog to your family should be done slowly, with lots of positive reinforcement and patience, allowing the dog to adjust to its new home and surroundings. Don’t worry if they’re nervous at first – my Chihuahua took a long time to settle in when we rescued her. Be patient – it will be worth it in the end!


In this article, we’ve explored the world of button eared dog breeds, delving into their unique appearances, characteristics, and roles. We’ve also discussed the importance of proper care, training, and socialization for these breeds.

Whether you’re considering adopting a Parson Russell Terrier, an Australian Shepherd, or any of the other fascinating button eared breeds, we hope this post has provided valuable insights and inspiration for your journey into the captivating world of button eared dogs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What breeds of dog have button ears?

Button ears are common among a variety of breeds, including the Airedale Terrier, the Jack Russell Terrier, the Smooth Fox Terrier, the Manchester Terrier, and the Australian Shepherd. These dogs were originally bred for hunting and herding, and their button-shaped ears offered them protection while performing their jobs.

What breed of dog has ears that fold over?

Dog breeds that have ears that fold over are the Basset Hound, Fox Terrier, Pugs, and Parson Russell Terrier. Basset Hounds are easily recognizable by their long ears, which look even longer due to their long face and small legs. Fox Terriers, Pugs, and Parson Russell Terriers all have two types of ears; button and rose ears.

What is the difference between rose ears and button ears?

Button ears have pinnae that fold forwards, covering the entrance to the ear canal. On the other hand, rose ears have pinnae that fold out to the side, leaving the canal semi-exposed.

So, the main difference between rose ears and button ears is in the way the pinnae fold.

What is a button ear?

Button ears are a type of ear shape in dogs where the base of the ear stands upright, but the top half flops over. This type of ear can be found in breeds such as the Airedale and Jack Russell Terrier.

Button ears should not be confused with drop ears, which hang completely down.

How should I care for my button eared dog’s ears?

To ensure your button-eared dog’s ears stay healthy and clean, make sure to routinely check the inside for any dirt or wax buildup. Gently use an ear cleanser if needed, and then dry them off with a soft towel or cloth.