Let's start this one off bluntly - your dog can definitely hear a mouse. We know what you're thinking - mice are so tiny and quiet. With their little feet, light bodies, and agile builds, how can my dog possibly hear a mouse running around the house?
We've got news for you - your dog's ears are so much more powerful than you realize. In fact, your dog's ears can hear frequencies of about 40-60,000 Hz, and, to put that in perspective, humans can only hear somewhere between 20 and 20,000 Hz. So, it's safe to say your dog has supersonic hearing - AKA, you better believe they can hear little mice feet scurrying around your house.
Looking for some signs your dog might be hearing mice or other rodents running around your home? Do you want to learn how to train your pooch to capitalize on those ears? We've got you covered! Read on for more info!
Signs Your Dog Hears a Mouse in Your House
Dogs are interesting creatures. They have insane senses of smell as well as highly capable ears that allow them to sense things we couldn't possibly sense.
For example, a mouse running loose in the house is something your dog definitely is aware of. While it might take you weeks to spot the poor, little mouse that's running around, your doggo certainly won't take that long. In fact, as soon as they hear the tip-tap of little mouse feet in the house, they'll be trying to let you know about it.
So, how can you tell when your dog is aware of something loose in the house? They'll tell you about it! Look for things like barking and growling at - what appears to be - nothing. Your dog also might chase, run after, or lunge at things you can't see! It's also possible that, if the mouse is under the floor or in the wall, your dog will try to scratch, sniff, and lick the spot where they hear or smell the mouse.
The History of Dogs' Magnificent Hearing
Dogs' ears are notoriously talented, and lots of people have realized that and capitalized on it through the centuries. Due to their exceptional range, antennae-like movements, and ability to hear with both ears independently, pups make great first responders and search-and-rescuers.
People first realized that dogs could be great search and rescue pups in the 17th century in Switzerland because they were able to both smell and hear people moving around underneath avalanche snow! Dogs were even used in the London blitz to locate those buried under the rubble. Dogs have been famously used since these events to help locate people, hear cries for help, and save lives!
Science Behind Dogs Hearing Mice
If you're wondering how it's possible that dogs can hear so much better than us - you're not alone. Dogs have about 18 muscles in their ears that allow them to rotate, tilt, or raise and lower them like little antennae. This movement, along with their ability to hear from about 40 to 60,000 Hz allows your dog to hear hundreds of times better than you can.
Dogs can even hear sound independently with each ear. This means that your pup can hear you give him or her a command in one ear, and listen to a little mouse friend run along the hallways with another. Pups can selectively pay attention toward whatever sound they need to, as well.
Training Your Pup to Use Their Ears
While we definitely recommend getting professional help to get your dog search-and-rescue trained (you'll have to if you'd like your dog certified), there are still a few tricks you can teach your pup that will allow them to help you hear intruders, locate rodents, and do other helpful things around the house.
Start by making sure your dog understands positive rewards as reinforcement for good behavior. Teach your pup that if he or she does something well, they'll get affection, attention, and a treat.
Next, consider working with a trainer to help your dog develop the acute ear tricks they need to understand what you want them to locate. Try doing this with things that can move, but that your dog can't hurt. Finally, train your dog to look for movement and keep their ears perked up to help you locate something with a particular command.
By a Great Dane lover Hanna Marcus
Published: 04/25/2018, edited: 04/06/2020