Everyone can agree that dogs have an incredible sense of hearing (among other amazing qualities that make dogs man's best friend). Whether there's an ambulance in the distance or someone simply walking up to the front door, your dog knows what's up.
Because of dogs' sense of hearing (and smell) dogs are frequently superheroes and used for search and rescue missions. For instance, if a human is trapped inside a building, dogs may be able to pick up on that noise while a human cannot. People have continued to wonder how far this superhero hearing can go - so what about the idea that dogs can hear that their human is expecting?
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Signs Your Dog Can Hear Your Baby Inside the Womb
Many women report that their canine companion knew almost before they did that they were expecting. This points towards chemical changes inside the body, but by the time a baby is kicking and punching up a storm in utero, if your pup is laying on your belly, they likely hear what's going on!
Most likely, they would react to this as they would any unfamiliar noise. Look for their ears perked up and their heads cocked to the side as they try to place exactly what just happened.
- Head tilting
- Ears up
- Extreme Focus
- Following You Around
- Becoming Protective
- Acting Agitated
History of Dogs Hearing Babies in the Womb
Dogs tend to hear better than humans because their ears have more mobility. Your pup has 18 muscles in each ear, allowing them to be tilted in several directions and maximize the ability to hear. Humans, on the other hand, have 6 muscles in each ear and lack the ability to rotate or tilt their ears in the direction of a sound.
The shape of a dog's ear also helps. For instance, humans will sometimes cup their ears to hear better, while some dogs' ears are already shaped in that position!
The bottom line is that your dog can hear up to four times what you can hear!
Science Behind Dogs Hearing Babies in the Womb
People can hear sounds approximately within the frequencies of 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz. Anything below 20 Hz, typically cannot be heard. On the other end of the spectrum, humans normally cannot hear any sounds above the frequency of 20,000 Hz. Dogs have a wider range of sounds of which they can hear. The frequency range of dog hearing is approximately 40 Hz to 60,000 Hz. This is why dogs can hear dog whistles, but humans cannot.
Babies may begin crying inside the womb, as early as the 28th week of pregnancy. Research tends to show that in utero crying can begin in response to loud noises and that your pup may be able to hear the crying in utero. Because your baby can also hear outside noises from inside the womb, it is possible that your pup and your baby can communicate! How cool!
Whether your pup hears the baby crying in utero or has detected a hormonal scent change, it is very unlikely your dog understands what any of this means. Your furry friend may be a little confused when you bring a new member of the family home, so make sure to give your pup some extra lovin'.
Training Your Dog to Adjust to a Baby in the Womb
Your dog's reaction to pregnancy really depends on the dog's personality. And while there is no way to predict how your pup will act, there are some ways to help your pup prepare for the changes to come.
1. Obedience Training
Teaching or refreshing simple commands is a great way to reinforce structure and let your pup know everything is secure and you're still in charge.
Once your baby is born, you will be on the baby's schedule. There are a few tricks you can do to introduce your pup to a more flexible schedule: vary feeding time just a bit so your pup is more flexible when the baby's feeding schedule takes precedence; exercise your pup at different times so that changes won't have your dog feeling blue; and if possible, use a doggie door so your pup can go outside when needed.
3. Baby Scents
Dogs rely heavily on their sense of smell, so try washing your pup's bedding using the baby's laundry detergent or get your dog familiar with your baby's shampoo so new scents aren't surprising.
Most importantly, your pup will need to get used to having someone else around. People have practiced holding baby dolls in their laps while cuddling with their dog. This will help assure your pup that everyone can be close and cuddle together.
How to React to Your Dog Hearing Your Baby in the Womb:
Make it a positive experience! Reward the interaction with praise or a treat.
Discourage your dog from jumping on your or getting overly excited.
Include your dog in baby preparation tasks.