Ever wonder why your dog’s ears prick up when, to you, it seems it is totally quiet? That’s because they can pick up a wider range of frequencies than you can. You might have heard that dogs have far better hearing than humans, and that’s true. What frequency can dogs hear? Well, Dogs can hear sounds four times farther than we can, and they can also detect sounds in the frequency range of 40 Hertz (Hz) to 60,000Hz.
In contrast, humans can only detect sounds between 20Hz and 20,000Hz.
What is a frequency? And, what does it have to do with hearing:
- Sound waves travel to the eardrums.
- The eardrum vibrates to 3 tiny bones (malleus, incus, and stapes) in the middle ear.
- The bones amplify sound vibrations and send them to the cochlea.
- The vibrations cause the cochlea fluid to ripple, and through a process allows the hearing of high- and low-pitched sounds.
What Frequency Can Dogs Hear – Let’s Learn Some More
Why Do Dogs Have Such Great Hearing?
Now that you know that your dog can pick up frequencies outside the range of human perception, you’re probably wondering why they’re blessed with such sensitive hearing. The reason is not far-fetched… Dogs can hear these sounds because of the way they evolved.
Thousands of years ago, wild dogs hunted for a living and their excellent hearing made it possible for them to detect high-pitched sounds, allowing them to prey on small rodents such as mice. Additionally, their keen sense of hearing historically helped them to sense distant danger and avoid potential predators.
How Dogs Use Hearing For Precise Accuracy
This explains why dogs can pick up lower range sounds while also having the ability to pin-point the exact location of the sound. It is also the reason why your pooch can cup their ears to move sound in and move it around to hone in on sounds from different locations.
What Frequency Can Dogs Hear – Ultrasounds
The inner ear connects to the brain and this is where the nerves for balance and hearing are situated.
The Goal – For When You Are Learning How To Clean Dogs Ears
Sounds from 23,000Hz to 25,000Hz are inaudible to humans but tolerable to dogs. Sounds around this frequency range, and even higher, are called “ultrasounds.” Ultrasounds are the vibrations that are used for medical imaging.
Ultrasounds use a transducer that sends a beam of sound waves into a body. The sound waves are reflected back to the transducer by boundaries between tissues in the path of the beam.
Soft Sounds Too
Also, dogs can detect much softer sounds than humans, even when they are less than 0dB, the average intensity of sound that humans can pick up. For instance, the dog whistle produces sound around 20,000Hz and the dB rating is negative. Other dogs can hear the whistle and even respond but humans cannot hear because it is high-pitched.
18 Muscles Work Together To Create Amazing Hearing
Physiologically speaking, dogs have 18 muscles in their ears that can turn in every direction to capture sounds while humans have only six (6) muscles with a range of movement that comes nowhere close to that of dogs.
Therefore, it really makes no sense to compare a dog’s hearing abilities with that of a humans’.
Intense Frequency Hearing Requires Dog Hearing Protection
Because dogs have a better hearing range than humans, sounds of upper frequencies can cause discomfort. Although dogs can capture sounds more than 25,000Hz, they can be traumatizing for your dog. Your dog may whimper, whine and run away if confronted with a high frequency sound. Similarly, sounds that are too loud can be irritating and it is recommended that dog owners keep noises at acceptable levels and/or insert proper in-ear hearing protection (like CrittEar dog earplugs).
Take Care Of Your Dog’s Precious Hearing
Preventing and/or protecting your dog’s exposure to sharp, unexpected noise can help prevent a potential noise anxiety, as well as decrease the risk of hearing loss. Also, experts recommend hearing protection for dogs, especially when you know that they will be exposed to loud noises. Hearing protection can help make such sounds tolerable while preserving your precious dog’s hearing.