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How Do Dogs Hear Differently From Us?

Generally speaking, our dogs' hearing isn't much different from our hearing. The main difference is that our dogs are able to hear much higher frequencies.

Throughout history, a dog's excellent sense of hearing has been appreciated by their owners. The dogs alert their owners of any potential dangers that they may not be aware of.

Photograph by Getty Images/Flickr RF

Many people believe that dogs are able to hear noises from miles away. This is a popular myth. Dogs and humans can actually hear noises from the same distance, but as I've already shared with you above, dogs can hear much higher frequencies than we can.

Has your dog ever tilted his head when he hears a new noise? Mine does all the time. He does this because he's trying to absorb the noise so he can detect it better.

The difference in the way we hear frequencies compared to the way our dogs hear frequencies is that our dogs can hear sounds approximately within the frequencies of 40 Hz to 60,000 Hz, whereas we can only hear sounds approximately within the frequencies of 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz. That's quite a big difference!

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Have you ever wondered why a dog can hear a dog whistle, but we can't? This is because the sound of the whistle is a higher frequency.

Regarding their hearing, an advantage that dogs have over their owners is that they're able to change the position of their outer ears. The shape of our dogs' ear canal and the shape of its outer ear help increase the sound, and this helps our pets to identify exactly where the sound is coming from.

Most dogs are terrified of thunderstorms. Mine sure is! Every time my dog hears the claps of thunder, he usually scurries off to his safe place. The noise of course scares him, but I also believe the change in weather pressure is a major contributor to his fear. After all, just like the change in weather pressure can affect the way our ears feel, it can also affect the way our dogs' ears feel.

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Keep in mind that if you do have a noise-sensitive dog, playing a soothing CD won't help. CDs sound very different to our dogs than they do to us. The best thing you can do for your dog if he's upset due to the scary noises that surround him is to get down on the floor and play with him. That'll help distract your dog from the stressful situation.

So, in conclusion, dogs do hear the same as we do. They just happen to be on a different "wavelength" so to speak.

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