Oh those ears
Dog ears, keep your eye on them because they hold a great deal of information in them. Having just had our little Granddog for four days the subject of ears comes up a lot. She has big huge upright ears that are in constant motion. Every thought she has moves her ears, it is quite adorable as she is an emotional little thing. She is tough and durable but sensitive as well. After two days I had mastered her "bad" ears; the ones she got on before she did something she shouldn't do. They were held high, only slightly turned outward and it was a second before she was hurling herself onto the counter after the fresh meatloaf I'd made.
As you all know I'm a watcher and ears deserve a great deal of our watch time. Much is said about tails but ears can give just as much information as a tail. A tail is more simple, ears say all sorts of things can change what a tail is saying completely. To know what is going on you must look at the whole package, tail, ears and body posture. If you watch the ears closely you will be amazed at how much they move. Of course it is easier to see the movement in the upright smooth haired ears versus big furry, floppy ones.
Yesterday I had just come home as my husband pulled into the driveway. I went into the house first and greeted the dogs, telling them that Dad was coming. I left the front door open for Elsa to see him coming up the walkway. I kept my eye on her as I listened to my husband get of his truck and close the door. I knew immediately when he appeared on the scene. Elsa's ears dropped straight down, she trembled and they dropped down even lower, a submissive but happy greeting signal to her Dad.
If you happen to spend time with a bunch of dogs, watch their ears. It is fascinating to learn the ins and outs of ear movement. Like anything else with dogs, there is a difference in all; so get to know your own dog's ears. Some use them more than others but all use them. I am constantly asking Luke "what sort of ears are those" when he has "ears on." Many times when it is around the hour of his Dad's arrival after work, Luke has his backwards ears on. He gets quite the face on as well as he listens. He is listening for the slightest sound that means that his Dad has arrived. His ears are turned as far back as they can go and they stay there until Dad arrives.
There are happy, sad, attentive, aggressive, dominant, submissive, irritated, listening, upset and everything in between ears. Get to know them, it is another important factor in truly reading our dogs.