Can Dogs Hear High Pitched Sounds?

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There are many things a dog can do, and it often seems like they know humans better than we know ourselves. In order to better understand our dogs, we need to know more about how they work and all of the amazing things they are capable of. 

Do you ever wonder what the range of your dog's hearing might be? When your dog barks, maybe they are hearing something that you are not capable of hearing, or maybe they just saw a squirrel. What do dogs hear when they hear a dog whistle? Can dogs hear high pitched sounds? 

Signs that a Dog is Hearing High Pitched Sounds

Dogs are capable of hearing to a much higher extent than humans. They can hear higher pitches by far. So, if your dog is hearing a higher pitch than you are capable of hearing, how could you possibly tell? 

There are a couple of key signs you will notice when your dog is hearing something that you cannot hear. If your dog is hearing something that is out of your hearing range, they will probably excitedly respond to it. All dog breeds and personalities are different, so reactions can always vary. 

However, many dogs have similar reactions to similar situations. If your dog perks their ears up and raises their head, they are probably noticing something peculiar. 

If your dog starts barking at something that isn't there, you might want to pay attention, especially if they don't usually bark. If you aren't paying attention when your dog starts barking, they might start jumping up to get your attention. 

Jumping up and barking are common responses to things that you may not be aware of. If your dog starts trying to escape or going in a specific direction, they might be hearing something that you cannot hear. 

Body Language

Here are some signs you might notice when your dog is hearing something that you can't:
  • Alert
  • Barking
  • Panting
  • Jumping up
  • Raise ears

Other Signs

These are some other signs you might notice when your dog is hearing something that you can't:
  • Trying to Escape
  • Trying to Get Your Attention
  • Re-Positioning Ears

The History of Dogs' Hearing

Dogs did not always look or act the way they do today. In fact, dogs evolved from wolves over 15,000 years ago. The thousands of years of evolution refined dogs to be intuitive and accommodating of humans. The dogs who were more cooperative, loving, and attentive were given more attention, shelter, and food. 

These dogs evolved into the dogs we know and love today. Wolves have a much stronger ability to hear than dogs do. This is because wolves heavily rely on their hearing in order to capture prey. Wolves can hear up to 7 miles in the woods, and they can hear at higher pitches than dogs can. 

Docs can hear from much further distances than humans - over 4 times further!. Some dogs have been even further refined by being bred to be service dogs. 

In order to better understand and serve humans, dogs strengthen their ability to hear throughout their lives, especially at an early age. As with humans, a dogs' hearing can diminish with age. However, dogs do not always need to rely on their ability to hear in order to succeed in life. 

The Science of Dogs' Hearing

When a new puppy is born, they are blind for the first couple of weeks of their lives. That's because their ears are born closed and need just a little bit more time developing before they are ready to hear. Once their hearing is developed within the first months of their lives, dogs use their ears to help them navigate their world. 

The biggest thing to know about a dog's ability to hear is that dogs have at least 18 muscles in their ear. All of these muscles play a critical role to assist the hearing of your dog. 

Dogs hear a broader range of pitches than humans. The frequency range for humans is 20 hertz - 20,000 hertz. That may seem like a broad range, but dogs can hear from 40 hertz to 60,000 hertz. In order to strengthen their ability to hear, dogs are observant of their surroundings and they take in everything that they can. 

Training a Dog to Hear Better

While a dog's sense of hearing is fully developed at an early age, they are able to pick up on a variety of different sounds over time as they experience more and more new things. Dogs learn new things every day as they go on adventures with their humans. 

The best way to help your dog develop their sense of hearing is by exposing them to different sounds. Over time, your dog will come to know new sounds and make connections to what they mean. For example, when your dog hears the food being rattled, they probably get pretty excited. 

You can train your dog to make different associations with different sounds depending on what you want to communicate to them. 

In order to better communicate with their dogs, some people use dog whistles. This helps to train dogs and get to know them on a new level. Using a dog whistles gives them a unique command that stands out from other verbal commands. It also helps their ability to hear higher pitches by exposing them to sounds in a variety of frequencies. 

Dogs have an especially keen ability to tell how humans are feeling based on their tone of voice. They pick up on changes in tone in order to determine how they should behave with their humans. You can train your dog to understand different tones of voice by exposing them to many different people with different voices. This will make your dog more attune to the emotions of others. 

If your dog does not have a strong sense of hearing, there are plenty of solutions that you can count on to continue communication with your dog. You can use nonverbal cues with your dog in order to make sure you are in sync. 

How to React When Your Dog Hears Something

  • Pay attention to where they look.
  • Praise them for alerting you.

Tell Us About Your Dog Hearing in High Pitches!