3 min read


What Sound Range Can Dogs Hear?



3 min read


What Sound Range Can Dogs Hear?


Have you ever been sitting with your pup and they begin to react to something that you can't hear? Their ears perk up and they begin a barking fit, and you still don't know what they hear.

Our furry babies' sense of hearing is extraordinary. Compared to us, they can hear something about four times further than we can! In addition to hearing things at a farther range than us, they can also pick up sounds at a much higher frequency than we can. 

Our doggo's sense of hearing does depend on their breed and age, however. There are some signs you can look for to know if your fur baby's hearing is getting worse or if it's totally gone. Scroll down to learn more! 


Signs Your Dog Is Having Hearing Problems

We all love our dogs so much and want to keep them as safe and healthy as possible. One of the ways we can do this is just by paying attention to our pups! If something is wrong, there are tell-tale signs we can always see, if we know what we're looking for. Like us, our pups are subject to hearing loss as they grow older. You may want to start watching for signs that this is happening to your pup.

One of the first things you may see is that your pup doesn't get startled by loud noises anymore when at one time, these sounds really would bother them. Your pooch may also stop responding to your vocal cues.

Dogs who are experiencing hearing trouble will also rub their ears and appear to be in pain. It is not out of the ordinary to see your pup shaking their head because of this. Don't be alarmed if your dog also starts to engage in excessive barking. Physical cues that something is wrong may manifest as smelly discharge oozing out from your canine's ear canal.

If your pup is exhibiting any of these signs, bring them to their vet for a checkup! 

Body Language

If you are worried that your pooch no longer hears as much range of sound as they once did, watch for:

  • Barking
  • Shaking
  • Scratching
  • Head Turning

Other Signs

Other signs to look out for are:

  • Discharge From The Ear
  • Ignoring Your Commands
  • Only Being Startled By Touch
  • Looking Confused


Science of Your Dog's Hearing Abilities


Sound is created when air vibrates. When the air vibrates more per second, it has a higher sound and higher frequency. So, the fewer vibrations per second, the lower the sound and frequency. Vibrations per second are measured by Hz. Humans can only hear sounds up to 20,000Hz, whereas dogs can hear sounds up to 50,000Hz. 

How does your pup have this unique ability? Their ears contain 18 muscles as opposed to a human's 6 ear muscles. Because of this, dog's have more control and mobility with their ears. This allows sound to reach them quicker and more effectively. These muscles can help your doggo to funnel more localized sound from further away as well. 

Next time you're petting your pup's ears, remember how awesome and efficient they are! 

Training Your Dog Using Sound Range


The best way to work on your dog's sound range is by using a whistle. Dog whistles, although unable to be heard by humans, are very apparent to dogs. This is because they generally sit above 20,000 Hz, which is out of the human hearing range. 

Now, just because dogs are able to hear this range doesn't mean that they are honed into it or paying attention to it. Your doggo might be distracted by anything and everything around them, totally unaware that this sound is blaring. 

This is where training comes in! You can train your pupper to be able to concentrate on a faraway sound, and thus, in a sense, to hear that far away sound when they might not have otherwise. There are a few steps to training your doggo on this. 

First, you have to establish some whistle commands that you will use for the training. Once you've done that, pair each command with a verbal command. Examples of this to start with would be "sit," "stay," and basic commands of that nature. There are also different whistles that sit at different ranges to help train a dog that is harder of hearing. 

Have questions or concerns about your pet?

Chat with a veterinary professional in the Wag! app 24/7.

Get Vet Chat

Safety Tips While Training Your Pup:

  1. Be careful how much you use the whistles during training because they can harm human hearing if used too often

By Kelsey Bullis

Published: 04/06/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

Wag! Specialist
Does your pet have a supplement plan?

Learn more in the Wag! app

Five starsFive starsFive starsFive starsFive stars

43k+ reviews


© 2023 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.