Facts You Didn't Know About Your Dog's Hearing

Dogs have over a dozen muscles in their ears

While some humans do have the unique ability to wiggle their ears, human ears generally don’t move independently. Dogs, however, have over a dozen muscles in their ears specifically for movement, allowing them to tilt, turn, raise and lower their ears.

Dog emotions are expressed with their ears

Dogs move their ears to hear better, but also to express a range of emotions. The posture and position of a dog’s ears at any given time tells the story of how they’re feeling, such as curious, happy, afraid or ill.

Some breeds are trained to listen more carefully than others

Guardian and working breeds, such as the collie or German shepherd, were developed to watch for trouble. It’s not likely their hearing differs much from other dog breeds, but these breeds certainly may choose to listen more carefully than other breeds, either from instinct or training. For a collie protecting a flock from predators, his hearing is his first line of defense.

Dog’s ears are essential for balance

In fact, inner ear infections are a frequent cause for a dog losing balance. Head to the vet if your dog looks wobbly. 

A dog’s hearing frequency is higher than a human’s range

Some dog whistles take advantage of this range by creating a sound that only dogs can hear.

Dogs can hear things humans can’t

However, scientists say dogs only discriminate resolutions of about one-third of an octave. We humans can discriminate resolutions as fine as one-twelfth of an octave.

Dogs hear about four times better than we do

Scientists generally contend that cocking their heads may help dogs hone in on distant sounds. It also may just be cute.

Puppies are born deaf

But they can generally hear within a few weeks. While this seems dangerous out in the wild, there may be advantages to a shorter gestation period for dogs (which results in puppies being born before hearing is developed); perhaps giving birth early allowed mama dogs to get back to hunting sooner.

Some breeds are prone to hearing issues

Certain breeds, such as dalmatians, as well as older dogs, are more likely to develop hearing loss.