Can Dogs Hear Really Well?


If you own a dog, you know how well they can hear. They always seem to appear out of nowhere whenever you open a bag of chips, prepare their food, or get their leash ready for a walk. It’s almost as if they can hear through walls and doors if there’s food or attention involved!

But have you ever wondered just how well dogs can actually hear?

While we know their hearing is better than ours, just how much better is it? It turns out that dogs have an incredibly acute sense of hearing. Their hearing range is about twice the size of ours, and they can hear over four times farther than we can! So, if you want to eat in peace, you may need to leave not just the room, but possibly even the house, unless you want a furry companion to join you!

Signs Your Dog Can Hear Well

Sometimes, you may look at your dog and wonder what they’re doing. They may be standing still, looking in a certain direction, or even barking at seemingly nothing. But because dogs’ hearing is so much better than ours, they may be listening to something that we can’t hear!

When dogs are listening to a sound that we may not have noticed yet, they will perk their ears forward and may tilt or cock their head to the side. This allows them to listen better and try to locate where the sound is coming from. Depending on their breed and ear flexibility, they may even swivel their ears to better understand the source of the sound.

Another sign that dogs exhibit when trying to understand a sound is alertness. Dogs that are checking things out or have detected something interesting or unknown will likely stand still. Their ears will be forward and may even twitch as they try to hear the sound. Their eyes will be wide, and their mouth will be closed in comparison.

Depending on whether your dog associates the noise with a threat, their tail may either wag slowly or appear horizontal or stiff. If they perceive the sound as a threat to themselves or you, they may bark, growl, or show their teeth. Some breeds may also raise their hackles or hairs when feeling aggressive or protective.

Body Language

Watch for the following signs to know when your dog hears something:

– Staring
– Alertness
– Barking
– Head tilting
– Guarding
– Head turning
– Dilated pupils
– Ears up
– Stiff tail

Other Signs

Other signs that your dog may be hearing something include:

– Stiff, bushy, or wagging tail
– Staring at something you can’t see
– Freezing or standing still
– Adjusting their ears
– Smooth forehead with a closed mouth
– Wide eyes

The History Behind Hearing in Dogs

Dogs have such good hearing due to their evolution from wolves thousands of years ago. Before dogs relied on humans for food, their wolf ancestors had to track and hunt their own food sources in the wild. These sources, such as mice and deer, were relatively quiet animals.

As a result, wolves’ hearing evolved to enable them to hear their prey from a considerable distance, making them better hunters. While dogs may have lost some of their hearing ability compared to wolves, they still have impressive hearing capabilities.

The Science Behind a Dog’s Hearing

There are several reasons why dogs have better hearing than humans. Firstly, human ears usually lay flat against their heads, while dog ears are typically on top of their heads, larger, and sometimes stand straight up. This gives dogs a larger surface area to capture sounds.

Dogs also have more muscles in their ears than humans. They can wiggle their ears more than we can, allowing them to rotate, tilt, and raise or lower their ears. This gives their ears the ability to act like antennas or radar, honing in on sounds.

Additionally, dogs have a greater range in frequency that they can hear. Dogs can hear frequencies between 40 and 60,000 Hz, while humans can hear between 20 and 20,000 Hz. This means that dogs can hear sounds that our ears are simply incapable of detecting.

Training Your Dog to Hear Better

There isn’t much you can do to train your dog to hear better. Just like humans, dogs are born with their hearing abilities, and there are no tricks to improve it. However, you can alter your dog’s response to certain sounds.

For example, many dogs are afraid of vacuum cleaners. They may bark, growl, or even attack the machine due to its loud noise. If your dog reacts poorly to a specific sound, try exposing them to it more frequently in a safe environment. Place objects that produce the sound they dislike within their reach, so they can sniff and explore them at their own pace.

Eventually, you can start making the sound yourself, but be careful not to overdo it. Your dog will gradually become accustomed to the noise’s presence and what causes it. Just remember to be patient, as it will take time for your dog to get used to things that scare them, just like people.

“Dogs have a super acute sense of hearing, with a range that is more than 4 times farther than humans.”

Tips & Things to Know

1️⃣ Dogs have a much better sense of hearing than humans. Their hearing range is about 2 times larger than ours, and they can hear sounds that are more than 4 times farther away than we can. So, be mindful that your dog can hear things that you may not even notice.

2️⃣ When your dog is trying to listen to something, they may exhibit certain body language cues. They may perk their ears forward, tilt or cock their head, and even swivel their ears to better locate the source of the sound. They may also stand still, have wide eyes, and a closed mouth. Pay attention to these signs to know if your dog is hearing something interesting or unknown.

3️⃣ You can’t train your dog to hear better, as their hearing ability is innate. However, you can help them adjust their response to certain sounds. If your dog is afraid of a particular noise, gradually expose them to it in a safe environment and allow them to explore and get used to it at their own pace. With patience and gradual exposure, your dog can learn to be less reactive to sounds that scare them.

Frequently Asked Questions, Answered ✅

1. How much better is a dog’s hearing compared to humans?
– Dogs have a hearing range that is about 2 times the size of ours and can hear more than 4 times farther than we can.

2. What are some signs that indicate a dog is listening or hearing something?
– Dogs may perk their ears forward, tilt or cock their head to the side, swivel their ears, and exhibit alertness. Their eyes will be wide, mouth closed, and tail may wag slowly or be horizontal/stiff depending on the perceived threat.

3. What are some body language signs that indicate a dog hears something?
– Staring, alertness, barking, head tilting, guarding, head turning, dilated pupils, ears up, and a stiff tail.

4. Why do dogs have such good hearing?
– Dogs evolved from wolves, who had to rely on their hearing to track down and hunt food sources in the wild. Hearing their prey from a considerable distance enabled wolves to be better hunters. Dogs have evolved from wolves and retained their good hearing abilities.

5. What factors contribute to a dog’s superior hearing?
– Dog ears are usually on top of their heads, larger in size, and can be raised, lowered, tilted, or rotated. Dogs have more muscles in their ears, allowing for greater movement and ability to hone in on sounds. Dogs also have a wider frequency range, hearing sounds between 40 and 60,000 Hz compared to humans’ range of 20 to 20,000 Hz.

Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy is a seasoned writer and an enthusiast of dog breed expertise. Having dedicated over 5 years to studying the intricacies of different dog breeds and their unique characteristics. His profound insights and love for our four-legged friends have made him an invaluable part of our team.

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