Do American Pit Bull Terriers Have Pointed Ears?

American Pitbull Terriers naturally do not have fully erect pointed ears. As a breed, American Pitbull has a lot of variety due to its ancestry, so many dogs look different than the others in physique and facial features.

American Pitbulls get excited, and their ears get erect, but it’s not entirely pointy. Today we will talk about all the types of American Pit Bull Terriers’ ears.

Ear Types in American Pit Bulls

The American Pit Bull doe not have one good official look; some are lean, and others are more muscular.

The same applies to the ears of the breed, as they vary in shape and size. The main defining feature of Pitbulls is not their ears but their broad, strong, and muscular jaw.

American Pit Bulls Puppies

As puppies, the Pitbull often has drop ears, similar to a young Labrador Retriever.

The drop ears are soft, folding flaps of skin that gently folds over like the shape of a “rosebud.” In young puppies, it often gives them a curious, confused, and prying look that is just so adorable.

Additionally, the American Pitbull Terrier puppy’s ears often appear disproportionate to their head size. But do not worry, as the dog will grow and fill in those ears that will look just right on them.

Adult American Pit Bull Terriers

American Pitbulls have these different shapes of ears in them:


Cropped ear type is an alteration resulting from aesthetic surgery. The ears appear smaller than average and stand fully erect and pointed.

Half-Prick Ears

Half-Prick ears are natural and look like pointed ears with a small skin flap folded over at the top.

Rosebud Ears

Rosebud ears are similar to half-pricked ears, except they fold slightly backward, revealing the inner fleshy part of the ear.

Full Prick Ears

Full Prick ears stand erect naturally without surgical alteration and often appear pointed.

No matter the type of ear your adult Pitbull Terrier has, they are likely to be of small to medium size and set high on top of the head.

Do American Pit Bulls Have Pointed Ears?

Yes, American Pitbulls sometimes have pointed ears, but it is in some rare cases and most of the mix breeding. If your American Pitbull has pointy ears, it has genes from a few different breeds.

Several factors affect the final shape of the ears of the American Pitbull terrier.

Factors Influencing Ear Shape in American Pit Bulls

No matter what type of ear shape you like in American Pitbulls, it will all come down to these factors why they have a particular ear shape. So, before you get an American Pitbull, make sure you know these things:


The main reason a Pitbull’s ears will stand up is genetics. Some Pitbulls are born with perky ears even without any physical modification.

Still, the ears’ firmness and “pointiness” will vary across the Pitbull breed. It is because some Pit Bulls have more hard ear cartilage than others in the same bloodline.

Do note that Pit Bulls were bred initially for bullbaiting, so they have stocky bodies, low strides, and upright ears. This same physical appearance has been passed on to generations of Pitbulls long after the ban on bullbaiting.

Aside from that, many breeders intentionally produce Pit Bulls with pointy ears. They do so by cross-breeding two Pit Bulls with the desirable physical traits.

Ear Cropping

The most common reason a Pitbull’s ears stand up is ear cropping. This procedure is done by cropping or clipping a portion of a dog’s ear lobes.

Reducing the ear lobe’s size makes it less likely to become floppy. It will also allow the Pitbull to hear better and reduce its risk of developing ear infections.

However, there are divides on the safety of ear cropping. Some dog owners argue that ear cropping is unnecessary and inhumane. On the other hand, ear-cropping supporters counter that by stating that ear-cropping is necessary for the breed’s look.

Overall, ear cropping is widely done by breeders, and it’s a staple for dog shows, but it is not a requirement.

Ear Taping

Another practice done to keep the Pitbull’s ears upright is ear tapping. This is usually done after ear cropping but can also be a standalone solution.

In this method, medical tape and cardboard pieces are used to post the dog’s ears and left for some time. It is done for several weeks until the Pitbull’s ears are upright.

Furthermore, replacing the posting every week prevents infection risk and checks whether the taping is working.

American Pit Bull Terrier Ears and Canine Communication

Every dog, even the American Pit Bull Terrier, may change the position of their ears based on their feelings. When your puppy feels alert, dominant, or submissive, the look of its ears may change.


Your American Pitbull Terrier may prick his ears high if he sees, hears, or smells a person, car, animal, or object of interest. If you watch closely, you will notice the ears rotating toward the source of the sound.

Additionally, they may slightly tilt, with a look of curiosity or concern on your American Pitbull Terrier’s face. This indicates that he is confused about his senses and is trying to gain more information.


Excitement can also make your Pit Bull’s ears stand up. Your Pitbull can get excited if you call his name, offer it a treat, or do anything that will cause anticipation.

In this case, the ears are straight up and not pointing in a specific direction as an alert. You will also notice them wiggle their tail out of happiness.

Establishing Dominance

American Pitbull Terriers are not naturally submissive animals. They are strong-willed and sure of themselves, so it takes a firm, calm, assertive owner to handle one.

If you notice your American Pitbull Terrier pricking up his ears while standing still with his body slightly forward while maintaining eye contact, it’s trying to show dominance.

Dominance establishing body language makes the dog appear larger; thus, it attempts to intimidate the other animal or a person.

Showing Submission

Whether your American Pitbull Terrier has cropped, complete prick, rosebud, or half-pricked ears, if they are submissive, the ears will move backward and lie flat against the head.

Such a gesture may also indicate worry, fear, or even aggression, depending on the overall body language.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Do Bull Terriers Have Naturally Pointy Ears?

Yes, in some cases, bull terriers have pointy ears thanks to genetics and years of selective breeding.

What Breed of Dog Has Pointy Ears?

Many dog breeds have pointy ears, a prevalent trait in dogs. Here are some of the breeds known for their pointy ears.

  • Swedish Vallhund
  • Siberian husky
  • Pembroke Welsh corgi
  • Australian cattle dog
  • German shepherd
  • Portuguese Podengo
  • Chihuahua
  • Samoyed
  • West Highland white terrier (Westie)


American Pitbull are an old breed modified to meet the desires of humans, so they are bred and sometimes surgically altered to meet those requirements. No matter what Amerian Pitbull you get, and whatever the shape of the ears, they will forever be beautiful.

Not all American Pitbulls are the same, and if your Pitbull does not have pointy ears, it does not mean it is inferior in any way or that you should crop his ears. Just love him the way he is, and enjoy your time together.

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