Why Do Some Dogs Have a Pocket in Their Ears?

Dogs are amazing, and if you’ve ever owned one, you know that you spend a lot of time studying their adorable parts. The longer you own a dog the more often you give them a rub down, a bath, clip nails, and you become super familiar with what makes your dog unique.

You might have noticed, then, that some dogs’ ears have a sort of “pocket” in them, while others don’t – but why?

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The small pocket is called a cutaneous marginal pouch but is more commonly known as a Henry’s pocket, and there are a few reasons your dog may or may not have one.

Experts think the pouch could help with hearing, allowing dogs to pick up on higher-pitched sounds by attenuating lower pitches.

They also posit that it could assist with their hearing in a more general manner, opening up as dogs angle their ears in a certain direction and perhaps helping to block sounds if they move in a different way.

Image Credit: iStock

A third option could be more mechanical, allowing dogs to more easily flatten their ears completely against their heads.

Dogs are effective protectors and predators, and their expert hearing is a big part of that work – as is the ability to move their ears independently of each other to essentially listen to two things at once.

Short-haired breeds with erect ears, like chihuahuas, pugs, and corgis, are more likely to have the ear pockets. If you own one, you’ll want to make sure you check every so often and make sure they’re clean and free of bugs.

Image Credit: Public Domain

Fun fact: cats, foxes, and many bats also own a Henry’s pocket.

Fun fact #2: We don’t know who Henry is, but we like him.

Now you know! Keep scratching those pups and asking questions, people – we love it!