Digital Media Center
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Gate 61
920 Paul Bryant Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0370
(800) 654-4262

© 2023 Alabama Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Dog with the Longest Ears

Lou - dog with longest ears (Facebook - Guinness World Records).jpg
Guinness World Records, Facebook
Most black-and-tan Coonhounds have long silky ears, but as you might guess, some are longer than others. As it turns out, Paige Olsen’s Coonhound, “Lou,” has ears that are so long, Guinness World Records has added her to their new World Records Book for having the longest ears of any living dog!

You may have heard of a dog whistle, usually a small whistle that emits a sound in the ultrasonic range; the sound of a dog whistle cannot be heard by most people but can definitely be heard by our canine friends.  That’s because a dog can hear sounds in a range more than twice as high as a normal human ear.  And, while you might hear something from fifty to a hundred feet away, a dog might hear that sound as far as a quarter-mile away. 

When you combine its ability to hear with its sense of smell, a dog makes a pretty good detective.  A great example is the Bloodhound, the number one breed for tracking.  For more than two centuries, bloodhounds have helped law enforcement agents track criminals, missing persons and lost children.

     A Bloodhound has an added advantage, thanks to its long floppy ears that act as “scent sweepers”.  With its nose to the ground, the dog’s ears drag along the surface, “sweeping” scents toward its sensitive nose.  Some Bloodhounds used for hunting purposes are called Coonhounds.

     Just last week, a 3-year-old Black-and-tan Coonhound named Lou made the news, not for her hunting or tracking ability but for her ears.  Lou has such long ears that she is the new Guinness World Recordholder.  Her ears measure an amazing 13.38 inches each, officially the longest on any living dog.  It’s even more impressive when you consider that, at the shoulders, Lou is just over two feet tall.  Her owner, Paige Olsen, said she always knew Lou’s ears were really long, but she didn’t get around to measuring them until she and her four-footed buddy were sheltering in place during COVID.  And since Paige is a veterinary technician, she makes sure Lou doesn’t have any ear problems.

     You can see a picture of Lou’s amazing “wingspan” on the Facebook page for Guinness World Records, which says she is all ears!  And of course, we are all paying attention, when we’re speaking of pets.

Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.