Dog's Unique, Unheard of Hearing

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Ever wonder why dog's have better hearing than humans? Most of us have witnessed someone blow a dog whistle, but never heard it ourselves. Why is that? Well, it's pretty simple actually. It turns out dogs can hearing ranges from 40Hz-60,000Hz. They are able to do this because of their extremely unique ears. When dog's hear something they immediately move their ears towards the sound wave to increase reception. How are they so successful in doing this? Dog's have a whopping 18 muscles in their ears which allows them to tilt and rotate their ears towards the sound. In addition, dog's are able to amplify the sounds they hear because of their uniquely shaped ears- most times upright and curved.

Another interesting facet to dog hearing is the fact that a large majority of dog's become deaf when they age. It is usually due to a degenaration of the nerves that are reliable for sensing sounds. Deafness usually occurs gradually over time as the dog continues to age. Interestingly most dogs with hearing loss can still hear the high pitched sound whistle or siren that human's are unable to hear.

Many people believe a dog typically howls when it hears a sound that hurts it ears, however Laura Hungerford of the University of Nebraska claims that they may relate the sound to a past event. Dog's ability to hear is a very interesting topic that can seen through this video:

http://videos.howstuffworks.com/discovery/29037-a-dogs-life-dogs-hearing-video.htm


Sources:
http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Dog-Health-Center/Ear-and-Eye-Disorders/Deafness/Overview.aspx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearing_range
http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/vet00/vet00003.htm

3 Comments

I've never seen this whistle used in real life. I saw it only in movies. Is it true if they hear this whistle they jump at you or bite you or something?

While reading this, I wondered about how the anatomy of a dogs' ears affected hearing. Do dogs with pointed, upright ears (like a Corgi for example) have better hearing than dogs with large floppy ears (a Bassett Hound)? Its very interesting that a dog with hearing loss can still hear the higher range of pitches as this is the first thing that goes in human hearing loss usually.

Do some dogs have better hearing than others? Like for police work they use blog hounds and german shepherds to trace scents and smells. I have a pug and sometimes it seems like she is not listening to what i tell her. She is pretty smart though so its possible she could just be ignoring me!

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This page contains a single entry by mahad015 published on February 16, 2012 7:22 PM.

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