updated 09/02/2011 AT 4:00 PM ET
•originally published 09/06/2011 AT 6:00 AM ET
He’s all ears – really! “He was born with long ears,” says Jennifer Wert of her dog, Harbor.
As a puppy, the black and tan coonhound tripped over the flaps on his head, falling over himself or rolling down the stairs as a result.
Now that he’s 8 years old, Harbor has grown into his very long ears, which measure 12¼ on the left and 13½ inches on the right. He’s also earned some major recognition: Harbor has officially been granted the title by Guinness World Records for “Longest Ears on a Living Dog.”
While many people who stop and ask Wert about Harbor guess that the dog’s hearing must be extraordinary, his ears actually help him smell better. Black and tan coonhounds and other scent hounds sweep scents into their noses with help from their ears.
“I’ve had garbage trucks pull over, and the garbage man will get out of the driver’s seat to jump down and pet him,” Wert says. “I don’t even see his ears anymore; most days I forget how oddly long they are. But he’s a phenomenon in the world, and he creates smiles no matter where we are.”
To learn more about Harbor and other record-breaking animals, check out Guinness World Records 2012, available in the U.S. on Sept. 15th.
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