The hearing of our dogs really makes them do almost magical things: our dog is still sleeping deeply and firmly in his basket, he jumps up, remains briefly in his position – his ears up and in searching movement – and walks wagging to the front door. But this does not open immediately. Minutes pass until the master or mistress comes through the door.
We have often observed it with Pixie and have noticed by the stopped time that Pixie jumped up before I entered the staircase. She must have heard me at the front door – but we live on the fifth floor! How is that possible?
“Do dogs have a seventh sense?”
Whether it is the engine of our car or the folding car door: for our dogs these sounds are unique and they store them all. And to learn more about us, they are guided by the noises we make and which keep repeating themselves. They also hear these noises isolated from all the noise and confusion.
Like a favorite sound – because it means that we come home!
They not only hear a “favorite sound” from everything else, but also a rhythm. Like our sequence of steps when we walk up the stairs. Because here, too, everyone has an individual step sequence that they remember. Fascinating, isn’t it?
How can dogs lie in the middle of noise and sleep calmly?
In addition to listening to a single sound selected, our dogs can also completely reverse this ability: they actually have the great knack of completely blanking out all sounds.
This ability means our dogs can completely eliminate all other background noises that are unimportant to them. Even half asleep! But her hearing still does not rest. On the contrary: When you hear a sound, tone or call – a favourite sound – in the middle of the noise, you are immediately wide awake and alert.
For this reason, we can also often observe that the television runs loud and the dog sleeps deeply and firmly. But if we quietly open the tin for his dinner in the kitchen, he suddenly stands next to us.
How do dogs know with 100% accuracy where a noise comes from?
Another difference to us humans is that dog ears are very mobile. Like a satellite dish, they turn it in the direction of the sound they are interested in. Our dogs can always align them perfectly in this way. And this independently of each other!
17 muscles are responsible for this great mobility. We humans can only determine where a noise comes from with a probability of 85 percent. For example, you can hear an ambulance siren in the car. To find out from where the ambulance rushes in so that we can make room for it, we turn our head over and over again until we can locate the direction.
“17 muscles make the dog’s ears move”
Our dogs do these movements only with their ears – the head can remain calm. Pay attention to how fascinatingly flexible the ears are and how your dog can move his ears independently of each other – this is an incredible achievement. This shows that the dog locates and “examines” two different sounds with one ear each.
By the way, you can observe this “art of hearing” while walking your dog: While he is walking a little further in front of you, you can often see that your dog keeps turning one of his ears back to you. To see if we say something – “Treats?!” – or if we’re still walking behind him. Take care of that! As soon as you slow down or dig around in your pockets, he’ll turn around.
It is a very small movement of his ears that shows us that our dog is always focused on us, even when he is not looking at us. We must not forget that their sense of sight is not so important to them. But with the ears and the nose our dog has us “always in view.
Do standing ears have an advantage over floppy ears?
In fact, dogs can move their ears a little better and more precisely than dogs with floppy ears. Makes sense, because a lop ear absorbs part of the sound waves. In addition, floppy ears do not have such a large radius with which they can be adjusted, compared to standing ears.
The hearing of man and dog in comparison
I was really surprised to learn that we hear low sounds as well as dogs and that they hear low frequency sounds as loud as we do. But with the high notes, it looks completely different: here they are far superior to us. In fact, dogs hear 100 million times better than we do. What kind of egg