Dogs have an amazing ability to hear noises that are much quieter than any human can hear. In fact, they can hear up to 4 times the distance of a human and can detect much higher pitch sounds than humans can. A fun fact about dogs with hearing - dogs are completely deaf until 21 days old when their hearing begins to develop. How cool is that! But, if you have a pup who has the best sense of hearing, here are a few activities you can play with them to take full advantage of this awesome skill.
Since dogs have such reliably great hearing, they can be trained to help "hear" for people who are deaf. Not only is this an outstanding service to offer people who have a disability, but it is a great activity for a dog. Typically, people who are deaf will adopt their hearing dog however you can train your dog to be a substitute hearing dog or temporary hearing dog for a deaf person to use when their own pup is unavailable. Even if you don't plan on having your dog work full time as a hearing dog, you can still train them as a fun activity and exercise in utilizing their best sense of hearing.
While most people train their dogs to understand certain word commands (for example, telling your pup to "sit" or "lie down" using your voice), you can try training your dog with different sounds or sound sequences instead. Your pup really does have the best sense of hearing which means that they can easily pick up on any sound and learn to associate noises with behaviors. A simple click can mean "sit" and a high pitched whistle may mean "come". Try out a few sounds and see which your dog reacts to best. This is also a great way to train dogs who may not respond well to verbal commands - maybe they just need a new sound to help them learn!
Since your dog has the best sense of hearing, they may be especially sensitive to some sounds. Loud noises, high pitched sounds or just abrupt noises all may spook your dog. While this fear of sounds may never go away completely, there are things you can do to help your pup cope better with certain sounds. The main idea behind all of these tricks is to provide your dog with comfort and reassurance that it is okay - sounds won't hurt them! Also keep in mind that if possible, shield your dog from any sounds that may scare them - sometimes avoidance is the best answer!
Since your dog has a great sense of hearing, you can easily train them to do various skills with verbal commands. Your pup will recognize lots of words and inflection in your voice as well.
A dog with a great sense of hearing is super fun to cater to when thinking of games and activities for your pup. Their hearing ability is quite the gift! This sensitivity can be tough on your pup at times so always make sure your dog is happy and safe especially when they are confronted with loud, scary noises. Teach your dog that sounds are fun by playing music, training your dog with sounds and giving them treats after specific sounds occur. There are millions of sounds in the world and your dog is tuned in to all of them!