Dogs’ Hearing: How Do They Hear? How Sharp Is Their Hearing?



How sharp is a dog’s hearing? They hear between 35,000 and 40,000 Hertz.

After the sense of smell, the most developed one in dogs is the sense of hearing. The dog’s ear is four times more developed than the human ear. It hears sounds up to 40,000 Hertz, while the human ear does not even come close to 20,000 Hertz in a young man and 12,000 Hertz in an older person.

Dog’s hearing is highly developed. Auditory acuity in dogs relies on its ability to hear ultrasound.

Dogs’ Hearing: Low-pitched Sounds

Dogs and humans are familiar with each other and have been living together for 15,000 years. So it is not surprising that dogs hear noises and sounds in the same way we do. While more scientists investigate differences between human and dog hearing senses, their similarities become clearer and clearer. Dogs process sounds and emotions in the same way. They have similar limits of perception of low-pitched sounds.

Dogs’ Hearing: High-pitched Sounds

Ultrasound is sound waves with frequencies greater than 20 Hertz. Not everyone can hear these sounds; they are not audible to the human ear. Dogs can hear 35,000-40,000 Hertz. This is thanks not only to the parts that make up their ears but, above all, to their shape. In fact, the larger and higher the ear auricles are, the better dogs will be able to hear sounds.

Dog ear movement resembles that of radars that detect sound and move towards its source, identifying exactly where the noise is coming from. In addition, they are able to select from hundreds of sounds that provoke curiosity and interest them the most.

For this reason, close observation of your dog is a good idea, especially when it suddenly raises its ears, because it may have sensed the arrival or presence of a person or animal.

Dogs’ Hearing: An Essential Sense

Hearing is essential for dogs, as they can hear messages sent to them by other dogs through barking and howling, even from a great distance.

The dog may tilt its head slightly when it raises its ears. This occurs when it has detected an unusual and seemingly completely new sound. This reaction is more common when dogs are still puppies, as they have little experience, and every new sound calls their attention.

The dog’s hearing has undergone many changes over the centuries. It has become increasingly refined and developed to hear individual sounds better, so that the dog could more easily spot the prey it was going to hunt in order to survive.

Dogs’ Hearing: Deafness or Hearing Loss

As with humans, dogs also lose their hearing as they get older. At ten years of age, tests can be done to check if their hearing is still good.

One of these tests consists of standing behind your dog and clapping your hands to see if it reacts quickly to the sound of your hands. If this is not the case, you can ask your family veterinarian for help. He will be able to provide you with better advice on appropriate treatments and behaviors when dealing with a dog that is losing its hearing.

Hearing loss can be recognized by some important signs, for example, when the dog moves away from where the noise is coming from, when it does not react if it hears the usual sounds or noises, such as the bell or the barking of the neighbors’ dog, or when you call your dog and it does not come to you.

Deafness in dogs can also derive from some problems and disorders that can affect their auditory system, like:

  • Wax plugs,
  • Severe ear infections that are not treated timely or appropriately,
  • Accidents,
  • Traumatic injuries to the tympanic membrane.

In other words, all these problems and other conditions may eventually cause total or partial deafness in the dog. Dalmatians, for example, are the most likely breed to suffer from deafness.

If in doubt, consult a professional who will give you good assistance and answer all your questions.

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