Can Dogs Hear Higher Pitches than Humans?

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Introduction

Dogs are such amazing animals. They give so much love to their humans, it melts hearts all over the world. Without dogs, there's no way humans would be as happy. Dogs make the world go 'round and they provide so much comfort and fun every day. 

Dogs are able to navigate their world expertly well by using their amazing senses. They are able to respond to us depending on our mood, and even react differently to different sounds. How do dogs hear things that we cannot hear? Can dogs hear higher pitches than humans can? 

Signs that a Dog is Hearing Something

There are a number of indicators that your dog is hearing something you cannot hear. Dogs can hear at much higher frequencies than humans, which causes them to react for reasons that we don't always understand. 

For example, you may notice your dog barks when he hears a sound that catches his attention. If there is an incoming sound that worries your dog, he may react in fear. You'll be able to tell if your dog is scared based on his body language. If he runs behind you for protection or cowers, he's probably scared.

Some dogs react to unknown sounds in defensiveness. Their objective is to protect you, even though you may know that there is no immediate threat. You'll know your dog is ready to protect when he begins growling, barking, or running in the direction of the incoming sound. 

Most dogs recognize the voice of their owners. So, when your dog hears the sound of your voice he will probably perk up or wag his tail. Pleasant sounds make dogs happy. There are some sounds that dogs deem unworthy of their attention.  

The best way to tell when a dog is hearing something is by observing his ears. Dogs have amazing ears. When they are perked up and at attention, your dog probably hears something. You'll notice his ears moving depending on where the sound is. Dogs can move the position of their ears depending on the source of the sound. This helps them better locate the object they are searching for. 

Dogs can hear much higher pitches than humans. There are dog whistles that blow at such a high frequency that humans cannot hear it at all. However, dogs respond immediately to these whistles because they are able to hear the sound clearly. 

Body Language

Here are some signs you might notice when your dog is hearing something:
  • Barking
  • Listening
  • Raise ears
  • Ears up

Other Signs

These are some other signs you might notice when your dog is hearing something:
  • Nudging You
  • Walking Around You in Circles
  • Acting Fearful

History of Dogs Hearing

The dogs we know and love today are a result of a friendship between man and wolf that blossomed thousands and thousands of years ago. It was a lonely world for both humans and wolves. They were two different packs with one goal: thrive. The two species learned that they could help each other. 

Wolves helped humans hunt and provided protection for the community. Humans gave wolves shelter and leftover food. It was a wonderful exchange. Over time, the two species grew closer and closer. As the years flew by, wolves began looking and acting much more like dogs. 

According to the needs of their owners, different dogs were bred to complete different tasks. Some dogs are more cuddly and some are better hunters. All sorts of breeds and combinations of breeds have different personalities. Today, there are countless breeds. However, there's one thing they all have in common. 

Dogs have a great sense of hearing. They can hear over four times the distance that humans can! This amazing ability to pick out specific sounds is a trait that dogs inherited from their wolf ancestor. This trait was originally helpful in hunting and preparing for danger. Now, they still use this trait to protect their humans. They also use it in more ways than wolves can. Dogs use their sense of hearing to communicate with their humans. 

The Science of Dog Hearing

Dogs have an interesting hearing ability that actually develops after they are born. For the first few weeks of their lives, dogs are deaf. This is because mothers have such short gestation periods, which evolved from a need to go back to hunting quickly. So, dogs do some of their developing outside of the womb. 

By the time they are about a month old, dogs can hear better than their humans. Humans can hear between 20 and 20,000 hertz. Dogs, on the other hand, can hear up to 45,000 hertz. This amazing ability means that they can detect higher pitches than humans. 

Dogs also have 18 muscles in their ears which all aid in their hearing. Because of these muscular ears, they are able to move their ears around in order to tell where a sound is coming from. Dog breeds with naturally upright ears tend to be better at picking up foreign sounds than dogs with naturally folded ears. 

Training a Dog to Respond to Sounds

Training your dog has so many benefits. Training helps stimulate dogs intellectually. This strengthens your relationships because it helps you and your dog bond, and it helps you have a more obedient and calm companion. 

You can train your dog to hear and react to a wide variety of different noises. Your dog will repeat or stop behavior based on your reaction. When you provide positive praise and attention for good behavior, they will feel motivated to continue that good behavior. Be careful not to raise your voice or punish your dog. When you punish your dog, the behavior will not improve and your dog may begin to fear you. 

The best way to train your dog is with praise and treats. Be sure to use both methods. When you give your dog treats every single time they do something correctly, they may only obey you when they are in the mood for a treat. If you give them a command but they are not hungry, they are less likely to obey. So, be sure to give your dog plenty of praise, too. Dogs love the sound of happy voices. 

When you train your dog to react to a sound, show them how to do it with praise and treats when they successfully complete a task. For example, you can teach your dog to sit every time you ring a bell. To do this, begin by ringing the bell and showing them how to sit. Then, reward them when they obey. With regular and consistent practice, your dog will be able to respond to many different sound cues. 

Some dogs can be specifically trained to hear certain sounds. Service dogs for hearing are able to recognize a wide range of noises. They can respond to the sound of a crosswalk by signaling to their owner to stop walking. Some dogs can even be trained to recognize specific types of cars! 

The key to training is regular practice and rewards for positive behavior. 

How to React When Your Dog Responds to a Sound

  • Give them a treat.
  • Do an enjoyable activity.
  • Give them positive praise.
  • Continue to train them in sound recognition.

Tell Us About Your Pooch Hearing High Pitched Sounds!