Golden Retriever Ear Shape & Purpose (Complete Guide)

Have you ever wondered why your Golden Retriever’s ears are shaped the way they are and the health issues that come with them? 

Golden Retrievers have flappy ears that are not good at ventilating, and because of this, many foreign objects build up over time if they are not properly groomed. Special care should be taken when grooming the ears to reduce the risk of any infection; however, they are sometimes prone to get infected regularly due to their ears.

Fortunately, we will discuss the Golden Retriever Ear Shape and anatomy of your Golden Retriever also the various tell signs of a possible ear infection, including preventative measures you as an owner can take to prevent or treat your Golden Retriever’s ear infection.

What Ear Shape Does A Golden Retriever Have?

Golden Retrievers have V-shaped ears with tips dropping on each side of the face and cover the ear canal entrance. Dogs have L-shaped canals, both horizontal and vertical; this leaves them susceptible to the accumulation of debris and wax over time.

GoldenRetriever Ear

Dogs with floppy or V-shaped ears are even more prone to ear infections than other dog breeds. This is because floppy ears do not have a good circulation of air which causes a warm, moist environment which is a perfect recipe for an ear infection. 

What Is The Golden Retriever Puppy Ear Color?

The Golden Retriever Puppy Ear Color is a method owner can use to predict their pup’s fur coat color when growing. Many owners get surprised when their Golden Retrievers fur changes from the one they initially had, which usually occurs around the 12 weeks old mark. 

The best way to know or have a better prediction of the final fur color is by looking at the ear tips of your Golden Retriever puppy. This is similar to how some people can tell which skin tone a baby will have by looking at the back of their ears, which has often proven correct. 

Why Is My Golden Retriever Ear Red And Swollen?

Red and swollen ears are highly sensitive and a good indication of a possible ear infection. Ear infections often cause the ear flap and sometimes the canal to become red as more blood is present in the area. This usually leads to the ear flap or, in worse case scenarios, the ear canal swelling up. 

This swelling is caused by inflammation of the ears or specific spot and, in many cases, is very sensitive. You can often tell if your Golden Retriever has an ear infection by rubbing its ears and head. Your Golden buddy loves being rubbed on the head and especially ears, so if you notice them whine or flinch every time you reach to pat their head or ears, suspect that something may be wrong.

Why Is My Golden Retriever Ear Smelling?

When your Golden Retriever’s ears start to emit an odor, you should regard that as one of the first signs of an ear infection. Golden Retrievers are prone to ear infections due to how their ears and ear canal are shaped, as stated before and more so because of their love for swimming. Swimming often leaves their flappy ears moist. 

Because there is insufficient air circulation and moisture already, this added moisture makes it easier for common ear infections like Yeast and Bacteria to take over. Yeast is responsible for the nasty cheesy/pungent smell that comes from the back of the ears.

Why Is My Golden Retriever Ear Shaking?

Ear infections are frequently responsible for ear/head shaking. When the external ear canal gets infected, it can often cause itchiness and inflammation, and because your Golden Retriever has no fingers like us, shaking their head is its equivalent. 

Many dogs shake their heads because some like the sound of their collars or have something in their ear; however, if you notice a repetitive pattern, then look underneath the ear flap for any bites, buildup of debris or wax, and yeast infections which will make itself know with a strong odor.

Tips To Take Proper Care Of Your Golden Retriever’s Ears

When it’s time for your Golden Retriever’s grooming, you should take care to ensure that their ears are given priority when cleaning. Their ears deserve regular and thorough cleaning to ensure that all dirt is removed to prevent ear infections. 

Tips To Take Proper Care Of Your Golden Retriever’s Ears

The ideal number of times to groom and clean their ears is once a month; however, if your Golden Retriever loves to swim regularly, the perfect amount of grooming should be at least once a week. It is important to note that when you clean your Golden Retriever’s ears, you should avoid using Q-tips or cotton buds as these only push the accumulated dirt further into the ear canal. The best way to get their ears clean is to massage the ears as you use an ear cleaner simultaneously.


Ear infections in Golden Retrievers are a common problem. Golden Retrievers often get ear infections because of their love of outdoor activities and their flappy ears. As previously mentioned, they have V-shaped ears, which often don’t have the best air circulation because the ear canal is closed off by the hanging ear flap. 

This means that your Golden Retriever is vulnerable to the buildup of wax, debris, and moisture, enabling germs and bacteria to thrive. Once this happens, your Golden friend will have an ear infection which is usually painful for them. As an owner, you can find out whether your Golden Retriever has an infection or not by constantly giving their ears priority when they are being groomed.

If you notice any of the above signs, then it is best to take your Golden Retriever to the vet so that they can get treated and get back to being the happy, lovable protector.

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