Can Dogs Hear the Radio?

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Introduction

There's nothing quite like rocking out to your favorite tunes on the radio! Radios have been a vital part of communication and entertainment for quite some time now, but while you're rocking out, does your pooch know what's going on? In fact, can they even hear the radio? 

The answer is yes, they probably can, so long as their hearing is still good. It’s important to keep their hearing healthy by not playing your music too loudly, though.

Signs Your Dog Can Hear Something

How do we know this? Well, you can't expect to ask a dog if they can hear something and get a response you'll understand. However, we do know how a dog will react when they hear something. 

So, if you turn on the radio and your pooch isn't used to it or it's too loud, you'll probably notice their body stiffening a bit while they put their ears up and listen intently. Your pup might also start sniffing the air and looking like they are deep in thought. Dogs have phenomenal hearing that can't be stopped if a new sound is introduced.

If your dog doesn't seem to like the sound they are hearing, they are most likely scared or the noise is hurting their ears. If this is the case, your dog will probably start barking, growling, or whining when you turn on the radio. They might even leave the room or take off running depending on the situation. If this happens, be sensitive and turn down or turn off the radio. You don't want to hurt your pooch's ears or upset them.

Body Language

Here are some signs you might notice if your dog hears something:
  • Listening
  • Sniffing
  • Ears up
  • Stiff tail

Other Signs

Here are some signs you might notice if your dog is bothered by a sound:
  • Barking
  • Growling
  • Whining
  • Leaving the room
  • Running away

History of Dogs and Radios

According to several sources, the radio came about because of the telephone and the telegraph. They were trying to come up with a way to do "wireless telegraphy" according to Thoughtco.com. One thing is for sure, though. The discovery of radio waves and transmitting data or music through them has changed the world. 

Many people worked to discover radio waves, but it wasn't until Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi came along that people were using the waves for communication. In 1859, he sent the first radio signal. In 1902, he sent the first radiotelegraph message across the Atlantic. Others dabbled in radio communication as well, and it quickly became a way for ships to communicate. 

Since then, it has continued to evolve for other uses, and the world has never been the same. As for dogs and radios, there isn't much history. However, you can bet if there was a radio making noise and a dog was around, they could hear it! Dogs probably aren’t the only animals that can hear radios, too. Cats and birds might be able to as well.

Science Behind Dogs and Radios

So, why do we think dogs can hear the radio, since a dog can't tell you if they can hear a radio or not? The science behind dogs and their phenomenal hearing tells us. 

Did you know that your pooch can hear between 67-45,000 Hz? You can only hear sounds between 64-23,000. Your dog's ears are also designed and much more efficient at catching sounds. So, chances are really, really good that if you can hear something, they can too. Again, be mindful of this and be very careful with your dog’s hearing.

What we don't know is what noises a radio may give off that are too high for us to hear, but that may bother our pooches. If you have a dog that heads for the hills each time someone turns on the radio, they could be being bothered by high-frequency noise.

Training Your Dog to Hear the Radio

So, can you train your dog to hear the radio? No, but as mentioned, it's important to keep your pup comfortable and their hearing sharp. So, if they show signs of disliking the volume or tone of your radio, you need to turn the radio off immediately, or at least lower the volume. 

Hearing is one of your pooch's most valuable and most sensitive senses. So, be considerate of that. Radio can also be helpful to your dog. Some people like to leave the radio on while they're gone to help keep their dog company. Others have mentioned turning on the radio to drown out or distract from other loud noises that might scare their dogs like fireworks. No matter what you do, though, just be sensitive to how your pooch is feeling. You don't want to hurt their hearing or cause them to try to run away.

So, can a dog hear the radio? If you can hear it, most likely they can too!

Safety Tips for Using Radios Around Dogs:

  • Keep volumes reasonable to avoid hurting their ears.
  • Be aware that your radio could be transmitting high-frequency noise.
  • Consider not listening to the radio around your dog if they always try to run away or whimper when you turn it on.