20 Incredible Facts About Your Dog’s Hearing

20 Incredible Facts About Your Dog’s Hearing

Dogs have amazing senses, which explains the many abilities they have, and in last week’s blog, we discussed their amazing vision and facts about their eyes. In part two, we’ll focus on the incredible facts about your dog’s hearing and ears, so keep scrolling to learn things you may have never known before. 

A Dog’s Ears

Floppy, droppy, small, big, straight, curled, fluffy, and all-around adorable is how you describe a dog’s ears. However, you could also describe them as our alert system. When your pup’s ears perk up or twitch, it could mean various things, including:

  • Danger
  • Curiosity
  • Excitement
  • Anxiety
  • Pain

If you can distinguish between these alert signals, you will better understand your dog. Remember, dogs have been an integral part of the human experience for centuries. Their senses are used throughout the day, especially their hearing. If you’ve ever wondered about your dog’s ears in general, this is the blog for you.

20 Facts About Your Dog’s Ears and Hearing Ability

Without further ado, here are 20 incredible facts about your dog’s ears and hearing.

  1. Dog’s ears are quite sensitive. Did you know their ears contain one of the highest concentrations of nerve endings in their entire body? This is from the American Kennel Club Gazette and includes the only other place more sensitive, which is their bellies and the nooks between their toes. Amazing huh?

  2. They love their ears massaged. Come to think about it, so do men! Dogs love their ears rubbed because, neurologically speaking, it calms the vagus nerve — a large part of the mid-portion of the ear. Stimulating this nerve helps dogs calm down since it controls vegetative, restorative functions. It also helps with anxiety and the fight and flight response associated with the sympathetic nervous system. Doing this in a bath may also calm his fears and help him enjoy the bathing experience.

  3. Dogs like a variety of music. Just like us, it appears that dogs like different kinds of music. Some like a more relaxing type than others, and according to one study from ScienceDirect, reggae, and soft rock showed the highest positive change with dogs acting more relaxed. The more you know.

  4. Dogs tilt their heads as a response to certain words. The process is known as discrimination, and through this, a dog can distinguish certain words from others. For example, if you were to say, “What a beautiful day to take a walk,” the only word your dog hears is “walk.” Everything else is blah, blah, blah to him. If the word used is always associated with the leash being put on, he will give you that adorable tilt and even run to where his leash is, knowing it’s that time again.

  5. Famous Artist Francis Barraud was inspired by a dog’s tilt. The famous logo “His Master’s Voice” was created by the artist, depicting a terrier named Nipper, who originally belonged to the artist’s brother Mark. Following his death, Nipper was given to Barraud, along with a cylinder phonograph and a series of his Mark’s voice. Whenever Nipper heard his master’s voice emanating from the horn, he would cock his head. Intrigued, Barraud made a painting of the scene. It became one of the world’s most loved and recognized trademarks.

  6. Floppy ears a trademark of domestication. Speaking of trademarks, floppy ears are associated with the domestication of dogs. Many wild animals display erect, pointed ears because they always needed to pay attention to dangers around them. The theory is that domesticated animals dropped their ears due to the disuse of their ears' muscles and not needing to be so alarmed by danger. Fascinating, right? 

  7. Puppies are born with their ears closed. As newborns, their ears and eyes are not entirely developed, and therefore, any exposure to loud noise could harm them, resulting in permanent damage. Around two weeks of age, their ears and eyes begin to open when they are more developed, and their ears can capture sounds, and eyes can see more light without being harmed.

  8. Dog’s ears release pheromones. Have you ever thought it odd that every time dogs meet, they often sniff their mouth and ear areas? The reason is that your fur baby’s ears have special ceruminous and sebaceous glands which contain pheromones. These chemicals trigger a social reaction in members of the same species. Similar to what the mother dog emits as appeasing pheromones, the chemicals applied to a broader base for social purposes suggest Dr. Cam Day, a veterinary behaviorist. 

  9. Pigmentation genes influence a dog’s hearing. The merle and the piebald gene have been associated with a congenital or inherited deafness in dogs. This type of deafness typically develops within the first few weeks of life when the pup’s ears are still shut. A part of the blood supply often causes deafness to the cochlea — the inner ear's spiral cavity. 

  10. Dalmations with patches are less likely to develop deafness. Usually, they have a high incidence of congenital deafness, due to an extreme piebald gene, which causes the whiteness that covers most of their coat. However, those Dalmations with a darker patch of fur than the usual spots are less affected by deafness. Sadly, these patches are frowned upon by the breed standard.

  11. Dog ears are prone to infection. Since a dog’s ear canal is shaped like an “L” to protect the ear from injury, it can be a double-edged sword. The length and the simple act of gravity make it the perfect place for the accumulation of wax, debris, water, and foreign material, which can’t be shaken out of the ears. This leads to infections.

  12. Eardrums offer protection. The tympanic membrane, a thin membrane that’s stretched tight like a drum, helps keep bacteria and fungi from getting into the middle ear and causing an infection.

  13. Some medications can affect a dog’s ears; these include gentamycin, streptomycin, tobramycin, and neomycin. The drops can cause what’s known as an ototoxic effect (toxic to ears) to those dogs with compromised eardrums; therefore, a vet must examine your dog before you apply any ear drops.

  14. Dogs can develop ear swelling that looks like a small balloon, called ear flap hematomas or aural hematomas. The disorder is caused by too much head shaking, excessive ear scratching, and ear traumas that cause blood vessels to leak blood, resulting in the formation of a hematoma. (pocket filled with blood)

  15. Dogs have various-shaped ears. Many types of shapes include bat ears, drop ears, semi-pricked ears, butterfly and button ears, candle-flame ears, folded and filbert ears, and more! Pretty interesting.

  16. Dog ears have lots of muscles. Did you know that dogs have more than 18 muscles in their ears? These muscles enable dogs to swivel their ears in various directions, like a satellite, so they can efficiently orient and locate sounds. In comparison, we only have 6 muscles with limited mobility, unless you’re one of the lucky ones that can wiggle their ears!

  17. Dogs can hear ultrasonic sounds. According to the book by Stanley Coren, Do Dogs Dream? Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know, this particular ability derives from a dog’s hunting trait. Before they became domesticated, a dog’s ancestors relied heavily on hunting down a variety of critters for dinner, including voles, mice, and rats. Because these prey would emit high-pitched squeaks with a rather high, crackly sound, this allowed dogs to find them easily in dry leaves and grass.

  18. Dogs have better hearing than humans. We can hear from about 20 feet, but a dog hears about 80 feet, which made them a cherished companion for ancient times when dogs alerted humans of potential dangers that humans couldn’t detect.

  19. Dogs do pretty well in noisy environments as spelled out in a study by the Royal Society Journal. Dogs do quite well in recognizing their names in noisy environments, even with background noise made by people talking simultaneously. (cocktail party effect)

  20. Dogs have a hard time distinguishing sounds. Similar sounding words are hard for a dog to comprehend, whereas humans are verbal beings and are better equipped in identifying similar sounds, a skill we had to learn to decode speech.

Take Care of Your Pup’s Ears

What a fantastic set of facts about your dog’s hearing, right? To protect their precious ears and eyes, we invite you to visit our store for our premium supplements. Our products are high-quality and are chosen for the maximum health effect. For all our products, including premium seat covers, contact us to learn more! 

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