No wonder why Dogs have such great hearing

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By looking at the image above, as well as the title of this post, you may assume that the larger the dog's ears, the better their hearing is. This correlation has no relation, I chose this picture solely because it's funny to look at.

Below are some facts on the difference between Human and Dog hearing:

- Humans can hear sounds approximately within the frequencies of 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz.
- Anything below 20 Hz, typically cannot be heard although it can be felt.
(this can be experienced to when you feel the bass of a song)
- Frequency range of dog hearing = approximately 40 Hz to 60,000 Hz.
(of course depending on the breed of dog as well as its age)
- Like humans, dogs can begin to go deaf as they become older.
- When dogs become aware of a sound they've heard their ears will prick up and move around.
- Part of the reason why dogs can hear better than humans is that their ears have more mobility which enable it to maximize its ability to ear.
- The shape of a dog's ear also helps it hear more proficiently.
- As we cup our ears, some dogs ears are already in that position.

My story:

I have a pet dog, named Putter, who is an adorable Yorkshire Terrior. He is in love with my mother and follows her everywhere, watching her every move. He will listen to my mother's voice whenever she may call him to her bedroom or wherever she might be, and he will immediately flee the area to crawl next to her. On the other hand, I have a father, two sisters, and a brother, and Putter rarely listens to any of us. Of course this isn't a display of Putter's hearing, it is more so that my dog has chosen a favorite, which isn't fair! He is completely obsessed with my mom and it's too the point where if my parents leave for vacation, Putter will lay by the back door, mope around the house, sit with his head down, looking adorable as ever, but feeling so sad. He has such a strong emotional attachment to my mother, and I, to say the least, am jealous. You're probably wondering where I am going with this story, but, trust me, I have a point!

This is where the hearing part comes into play...

Let's say my parents had gone to dinner with a few other couples. Putter would be fine in that case because he somehow knows they will be coming back later that night (he doesn't see any luggage, so that is how he knows). In this case, he doesn't lay by the back door or sulk around the house. Instead, he wanders happily, and if I'm lucky he'll come watch TV with me.

A few hours pass, and Putter has fallen asleep. All of the sudden, he jolts up and races downstairs to the back door. At this point I am confused, wondering if there is an intruder in our home. Putter, being 7 pounds, couldn't really hold off an intruder, so I then got up and went downstairs after him. Lo and behold, my parents walk in. Putter had heard the garage door opening as my parents pulled into the driveway. I didn't hear a thing. It's crazy how good of hearing dogs have.


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I love your topic and your story. Actually, I have a dog too and she is over 10 years old right now. I think I can totally prove the idea you presented above that they could go deaf when they are older. My dog's name is Six. She lives with my grandparents. She can always get very excited when my dad's car was driving close to my grandparent's store.However, you can feel that she cannot hear the sound anymore. She could sit at the front door even before my dad's car arrive. She could tell from the sound of the car whether it's my parents or not. However, she don't walk out her little house until my parents step into the store right now.
Also, I'm curious about why dogs can hear higher frequency than human. Why different creatures have different range of hearing ability? Is it because certain structure in the ear is different or it's the effect of different environment?

I never knew that the size of a dogs ear had no correlation to its ability to hear any better or worse than of other dogs! I have a chihuahua and he is also about 7 pounds, but with HUGE ears, double the size of his head. And like your story, although he is small and probably couldn't protect anyone, much less himself, he is pretty convinced he can. Hence, even before the garage door opens, he knows when someone has come near the house (and near in this case, is NOT very near at all). Then within seconds, by hearing HOW they walk towards the house, he knows who is a stranger and who isn't. I am still today amazed by it, because I am completely unable hear an ounce of what he does! I am wondering if the shape of their ear (as mentioned above) is the ONLY factor in their "top of the line" hearing abilities. Imagine if we were all born with the ear shape of dogs? Haha!

This was a great post with lots of great info about hearing. It is pretty cool how dogs can hear all those high frequencies that we are unable to. It must serve a great purpose in finding and tracking prey.

Your post brings up an interesting thought in my mind. I've often heard people say that their dog knows the exact time they come home (some say their dog waits by the door too). Obviously people usually come home around the same time from work each day, so a dog can certainly know a schedule. However, what exactly tells them that their owner is about to arrive? Certainly they can't be watching the clock. Is it the position of the sun that alerts them? Is it the noise of the traffic outside? Or can they really hear their owner's car coming from a mile or more off? Or is it some other environmental clue that alerts them to this?

Included is a link to a video (I hope it works!) of a vet who explains hearing screening in dogs. There’s also a cute little dog that kind of looks like the one in your picture. This test examines the response of the central auditory system to a sound introduced into the dog’s ear. It would be quite hard to get behavioral test data from a dog (unlike humans who can push a button or raise their hand in a sound booth), so they are forced to measure the hearing system in a more objective manner. This test measures the electrical response of the brainstem as the message passes from the dog’s ear to its temporal lobe. Pretty neat; hope you enjoy it!

Here is a nonHTML version of the tag. Sorry the first one didn't work.

Great post! My dogs do the same thing! Except one of them is a lot more jumpy and always hears anything and everything around the house. I never knew why, though. I just thought she was more paranoid. I guess she must have better hearing than my other dog. Thanks for the new knowledge. Oh, and my dogs also follow my mom around the house, but only because she spoils them.

I dont think you should be jealous of the dog.....your Dad should. This dog is making moves hard on your mum. Anyways, I think the dog choosing a "favorite" could be associated more with how it was raised and who feeds it, versus the dog randomly just picking someone. Who mainly takes care of the dog in the family?

This is really interesting! At my house, we also have a dog that is obsessed with my mom. He does the same thing where he will lay at the back door and wait for her to come home. Also, whenever I am at home and my dogs start to bark, my initial reaction is always that someone just came home because they all run to our door to welcome whoever is coming home. It is interesting how they can hear so much better than humans. Great post!

This post reminds me the dog I owned when I was in high school, everyday before I entered home, my mom said he rushed out of the room and then waited at the door. Of course because of his great hearing and he knew I would come home beforehand.

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