When you think of lasers, you might think of sci-fi movies or a night out dancing. Lasers have much more serious uses as well, though. Humans are fascinated by light and all of the cool things that can be done with it. However, have you ever thought about the effect lasers might have on your dog? Can they hear lases? It’s a great question.
Signs Your Dog is Hearing Something
Dogs have an amazing sense of hearing, so we're pretty sure if humans can hear something, a dog certainly can too. So, what if you and your pooch found yourselves near a laser? How might they act if they could hear the laser?
We can’t be 100% sure, since there isn’t much recorded about this. However, we do know how a dog acts when they hear something in general. For starters, you might notice them putting their ears up and being very alert to everything around them. This is their way of “catching” sound waves in their ears. You also might notice them listening and even pacing if they want to go seek the sound out and you won’t let them.
It doesn't stop there though. What if the noise upsets your dog? They might start whimpering, whining, or barking, for starters. If this happens, keep a firm hand on your dog’s leash or collar. You never know when they might try to run to investigate the new sound, or if the sound is already by them, they might be trying to get away from the sound. If a sound is upsetting your dog, it could be hurting their ears, so it’s important to get them to safety to not damage their hearing.
History of Dogs and Lasers
Did you know that "laser" is actually is an acronym? It stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. As far as the history of lasers, the idea of lasers has been around for quite a while. Einstein started the ball rolling in 1917, but the first laser was actually created in 1960 by Theodore Maiman.
Since then, lasers have been used for a number of things. Some of these things include medical procedures, communication, surveying, welding, even barcode reading! There are many other ways humans use lasers, as well.
There isn’t much recorded history of dogs and lasers. There aren’t many stories about them from dog owners, either, since dogs probably don’t have interactions with lasers very often.
Science Behind Dogs and Lasers
So, since there isn’t much research in this area, we are left to speculate a bit. As mentioned before, dogs have very, very sensitive hearing. There is some research that suggests that dogs use their hearing much like humans use their sight. A dog can hear between 67-45,000 Hz and humans are only able to hear between 64-23,000 Hz. This is a pretty big difference.
A former dog owner once pointed out there was no doubt in his mind that a dog could hear lasers. When asked why, he said that in college, he had been able to hear a laser during a demonstration, and dogs have much better hearing than him. So, why not?
A study that has to do with dogs being able to see lasers that was explored in an article published by The Huffington Post in 2012. Laser pointers have been popular in the past, and many people have their dogs or cats chase the little beam of light around the floor. However, this could be causing your dog to go crazy.
Apparently, this stimulates dogs’ “prey drives” and when they aren’t able to catch anything, it makes them “loopy” and frustrated. So, it’s actually dangerous to do this to your dog. The article does go on to suggest that if you decide you need to play like this with your pup, and least hide treats they can find that you can point the laser at. This way, they feel like they are catching something at some point, which makes them less prone to problems.
Training Your Dog to Hear Lasers
So, can you train your dog to hear lasers? That would be very, very cool, but it’s really not likely. It may be a better use of your time to teach your dog some cool new tricks instead. The best way to teach a pup a new trick is to use positive reinforcement. How you teach a dog a trick is based on what trick you’re actually teaching, but basically, you help show your pup what you’d like them to do, and you reward them if they get it right with praise and maybe even a treat!
As you train your pup, Better Homes and Gardens suggests only 10 minutes per training session, and to stay calm. Negative behavior won’t help. So, if you feel frustrated, try again later, or another day. It might take a while for your pup to pick up a new trick. You can also find some really cool inspiration on YouTube for cool tricks.
So, can dogs hear lasers? Probably, but no matter if they can hear them or not, it’s important to make sure your pup’s hearing is protected. Be sure to be sensitive to your pups needs if they seem uncomfortable with a sound.
By Katie Anderson
Published: 06/17/2018, edited: 04/06/2020