Dogs are known for having extraordinary vision and an acute sense of smell, dogs have remarkable hearing. The domestic dog can think its incredible senses to its wild cousins.
Domestic dogs have the same ability to pinpoint tiny sounds at great distances. Before dogs became domesticated, their wolf-like ancestors relied on acute hearing to catch prey and avoid its predators. Nowadays we have trained domestic dogs to help people with visual and hearing impairments.
Dogs can hear a far wider range of sound frequencies than us. Not only can they hear better, but they also hear more sounds than we ever could. You have most likely you seen a dog-whistle that is often used in training? It's often called a "silent whistle" and only dogs can hear them!
Dogs have access to a soundscape that we are unable to hear. On the lower part of the scale, their hearing is much the same. Dogs and us alike can detect distant thunder rumbling, for example. That would be around 67 Hz, but it's in the higher ranges that dogs hear well in. At up to 45,000 Hz in the higher range compared to a mere 23,000 Hz for us. Even when dogs are sleeping they can pick up and respond to sounds inaudible to people.
A dogs sound-response reflex is much faster than most. That's because of their ears that move independently. Dogs can locate, isolate and react to any sound, for example opening a food tin, in 0.06 of a second.
A sound you might be able to hear from 20 yards away would be audible to a dog from a distance of 200 yards, those movable ears allow dogs to pinpoint sounds within that range.
Dog's mobile ears are a wonder in themselves, iIt takes 18 specialized muscles to lift, lower, turn, twist, and to tilt. But these muscles are not only important in motility, they also contribute to the dog's extraordinary powers of hearing. Deep in the middle area of the ear structure is a network of unique muscle fibers. These fibers can contract and relax quickly, responding to tiny fluctuations in vibration. The complex structure of the dog's ear contributes to its ability to hear such an astonishing range of frequencies.
We have many reasons to be grateful to dogs and their auditory power is one of many reasons. Most dog owners are familiar with seeing their dogs ear twitching and pivoting, and then a few minutes later a visitor arrives at your door. The same super-sensitive hearing makes dogs such helpful aids to the disabled, and such fine guardians of our homes.
If you are interested in reading about cats and their hearing click here to learn more.
0800 740 8706
Monday - Friday: 08:30-17:00
Our hearing centre locator will quickly show you a choice of clinics in your area
Find a hearing centre