Hearing and smell are the two most developed senses in dogs and it is precisely for this reason that many of their breeds are trained in multiple fields, both at an amateur and professional level. Among the best-known uses, we mention first aid, the search for lost people, the search for objects and things, assistance/guidance for blind people, and much more.
In this article, we will deal in particular with the hearing of dogs, in order to understand how this sense works in dogs and what are its advantages. Compared to humans, canine hearing is significantly more sensitive and it is important that you remember this every time you are in front of your four-legged friend or your neighbor’s dog.
How do a dog’s ears work?
A dog is able to perceive sound waves of up to 40,000 vibrations per second, which is a much wider range of frequencies than those that can be picked up by the human ear, which barely reaches 20,000 Hz.
This fact alone makes us understand how hearing in dogs is a very powerful tool. This peculiarity is possible thanks to the internal structure and external morphology of the canine ear.
However, it should be pointed out that hearing in dogs varies significantly according to age and breed. The bigger and taller the ears are, the more sounds are picked up by dog’s auricle.
Surely you have happened to notice how dogs tend to continuously move their ears, almost as if they were radio antennas or radars, ready to pick up such particular frequencies, that human hearing would not be able to perceive in the least.
It is exactly in this way that our furry friends are able to receive the various sounds, often also managing to locate the source and understand what it is. A dog’s ear system is a highly developed precision instrument, which allows the animal itself to accurately select hundreds of sounds and to isolate the frequency that most intrigues or frightens the animal.
From this, it is easy to deduce how a breed with a weak or compromised hearing system can be enormously uncomfortable. Canine deafness can depend on various factors such as: old age, pathological disorders, trauma to the eardrum, ear infections, earwax plugs, etc.
Unfortunately, among the various breeds, there are some that naturally tend to suffer from deafness; one of the best known is the Dalmatian.
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Frequencies that dogs can hear
As we have seen, the ears of dogs are able to perceive a much wider range of frequencies than those picked up by the human hearing system. And precisely by virtue of this peculiarity that it is also possible to communicate with dogs by using a particular instrument capable of emitting ultrasounds.
It is not necessary to go in search of the best dog whistle and spend who knows how much money. Even a common model that can be purchased online for a few hundred rupees is enough.
It is a particular whistle, which is capable of emitting imperceptible ultrasounds, which are not audible to the human ear but very clear to dogs.
These sounds can be very useful for calling the dog and training it outdoors, without disturbing anyone around. Ultrasounds are nothing more than acoustic waves with frequencies above 20 kHz (20,000 Hertz), that is the maximum frequency picked up by the human ear; therefore, they are perfectly audible by dogs and not perceptible by people.
Hearing in puppy dogs
The hearing in a puppy dog is already very developed. However, the animal does not yet know how to interpret certain noises and this can give rise to strange behaviors on their part. In fact, when the puppies are intrigued by a new sound, they tend to tilt their head slightly in a funny way.
This attitude seems to indicate an attempt to identify that sound, still unknown to the puppy’s ears. This behavior is easily understood given the little experience of the animal, which has to interpret that new sound for the first time and associate it with a specific meaning or cause.
Hearing in older dogs
Unfortunately, a dog’s hearing loss is physiological with age. However, this is a manageable condition that you have to live with, and try to expose the dog as little as possible to any dangers.
To check the level of efficiency of Fido’s hearing, you can carry out simple tests. For example, you can stand behind the dog, clap your hands hard, and see if he reacts to the noise. Otherwise, you might observe which way the quadruped turns when the doorbell rings or the telephone rings.
Thanks to these little tricks you will be able to check if your four-legged friend has deafness problems. If you suspect that his hearing is decreasing, contact your trusted veterinarian, who will be able to advise you on how to assist the animal in the best possible way. ways.
The highly developed auditory system of dogs is a considerable advantage for humans, who for ages have been aware of this quality and have tried to tame the dog both as a guard animal and as a pet.
The movement of a dog’s ears is an effective wake-up call that can warn us of impending danger, such as a stealthy approaching attacker or an oncoming earthquake.
The relationship that has been created between man and dog over time has transformed into a peaceful cohabitation, in which both parties take care of each other. The dog is fed and has a roof to live under and the man benefits from the animal’s company and from his personal guard services.
Most of the time it is not a simple relationship of convenience but a real happy coexistence, based on a feeling of love and mutual respect.