Activities For Dogs With Best Sense Of Hearing

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Introduction

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. 

Hearing Dog

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Any Day
Free
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Treats
Activity description

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. 

Step
1
Training center
Find a center that will help you train your dog to be an official hearing dog. These centers will offer specialized training classes for you and your pup to learn how to guide the blind. If you are looking to train your pup as a hearing dog as more of a recreational activity, then you can find training techniques and lessons online or in books instead.
Step
2
Learn sounds
Train your pup to respond to the sounds that all hearing dogs need to recognize and react to. Fire alarms, telephones, oven timers, doorbells and alarm clocks are all sounds that a hearing dog should be familiar with. When they hear these sounds, your dog should be trained to alert you but nudging your hand or getting your attention in another hands-on (or paws-on) way.
Step
3
Day to day
Once your dog has been trained to recognize specific sounds, working on incorporating this training into your everyday life. Set an alarm and make sure your dog properly alerts you when it goes off (and then reward them of course). Have someone knock at your door and again make sure your pup lets you know. Being a hearing dog is an everyday job after all!
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Sound Training

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Sonic Frequency Emitter
Treats
Dog Clicker
Dog Whistle
Activity description

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!

Step
1
Clicker
Clickers are a perfect tool to help your dog learn. A clicker is usually just a simple button which lays on top of a small piece of metal. When you press the button, the metal clicks. Most people use a clicker to teach a dog not to bark. When your pup barks, click once and when your dog immediately stops and their ears perk up at the new sound, give them a reward. Do this clicking every time your dog barks and soon they will hear the sound and immediately know to be quiet!
Step
2
Whistle
While you may not be able to hear a dog whistle, your pooch definitely can! Dog whistles are so high pitched that human ears cannot hear them so as you blow in the whistle, you will hear silence while your dog hears a clear ringing sound. Blow the whistle, call your dog to you and reward them when they come. Soon, you can just blow the whistle and your dog will come running!
Step
3
Sonic frequency
Sonic frequency training tools are used to help train a dog to stop an unwanted behavior. The sound emitted from one of these tools actually hurts the dog's ears which will make them stop in their tracks, no matter what they are doing. While some people do not like using sonic frequency as it will cause your dog slight discomfort (think about when you hear nails on a chalkboard - it just sounds awful!), it has been proven to work well!
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Sound Fears

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Any Day
Free
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Treats
Activity description

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!

Step
1
Thundershirt
If you have a dog who is so sensitive to sound that even a thunderstorm makes them shake like crazy, try getting your dog a thundershirt. These dog "jackets" are snug fitting which makes your pup feel as though they are being squeezed and hugged. This pressure makes them feel safe so slip on a thundershirt next time there is a storm and your dog will feel much better with all the loud sounds.
Step
2
Safe zone
Create a safe place for your dog to go when they feel nervous from loud noises. A small, enclosed space is actually best so that your dog will feel cozy and secure. Place a dog bed, blankets or towels in a closet or crate to make a place your dog feels happy in, and they can run to this spot whenever a sound bothers them.
Step
3
Behavior modification
Try to help your dog work through their fear of a certain sound by modifying their behavior. Get a recording of the sound they are afraid of and play it then immediately turn it off and give your dog a special treat or toy to play with. Play the sound again and reward your pup once it is over one more time. Repeat this until your dog is no longer afraid but instead, excited at the sound as it means they get a special treat!
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More Fun Ideas...

Music

Play different types of music for your dog and see which general or specific songs get them really excited. Even a dog can have a favorite song!

Lots of Commands

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.

Conclusion

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!