No, your pup isn't losing their mind, they simply have much better hearing than humans do. From the number of muscles in a dog's ear to the added control they have over their ears, there are many factors that contribute to why dogs hear better than humans.
Sure, humans are able to detect specific sounds and the direction they are coming from, but dogs are able to use their ears independently in order to more efficiently process where the sounds are coming from. Pretty cool, if you ask us!
Signs Your Dog Can Hear Better Than You
Your dog will likely display a handful of specific signs that will indicate not only that can they hear you, but they can hear better than you. These may include perked ears, a tilted head, wagging tail, and the fur on their back may become ruffled. Every dog is different, so it's important to observe your pooch and learn their specific behavioral traits. This will not only help you bond with your dog, but it will give you insight as to when they sense something (whether another person or animal) and are on alert.
So, next time you think your dog is barking at 'nothing', remember just how excellent their hearing is and consider they fact they may be picking up on something you could only dream of hearing.
- Head tilting
- Head turning
- Back hair on edge
- Tail up
- Ears up
- Stiff body language
History of Dogs Hearing Better Than Humans
Along with their sense of smell, a dog's ability to hear is what allows them to adapt to different environments and stay in-tune with their surroundings. We've also come to learn that dogs interpret sound much differently than we do at times.
They have an associative memory, which means they may howl or bark at a specific sound (such as your keys jingling) because they know it means you are leaving or have just arrived home.
Science Behind Dogs Hearing Better Than Humans
One of the reasons dogs can hear so well - and much better than humans - at a high pitch is because they have 18 muscles in their ears, all of which work together and allow them to hear sounds coming from all different directions. Humans, on the other hand, only have six muscles in their ears and most of us can't move our ears more than a little bit.
Dogs have the ability to tilt and rotate their ears in order to pick up on certain sounds, funneling it into the inner ear to dissect. It is also important to point out that dogs with perky ears (think German Shepherds, Chihuahuas, and Terriers) typically have significantly better hearing than breeds with floppy ears.
Training Your Dog to Hear Well
Providing your pup with proper stimulation on a daily basis, making sure they get enough exercise, and feeding them a well-balanced diet are all things that will contribute to their hearing. This is especially important for older dogs, as hearing is often one of the first things to go.
You should also check your dog's ears from time to time and make sure they aren't infected or suffering from another potentially harmful ailment. With time, dogs will begin to lose some of their ability to hear, and this is completely normal. You can help your dog by grooming them, keeping tabs on their overall health, and making sure they are leading a happy and fulfilled life. Sounds easy enough, right?
How to React When Your Dog Hears Something You Don't:
Try to calm them down.
Observe their behavior - do they seem scared or on edge?
Support them the best you can.
Safety Tips for When Your Dog Hears Something You Don't:
Observe your surroundings and look for anything that may pose a threat.
Stay with your dog.