How is Your Dog’s Hearing?

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happy dog - basset hound withHere’s another Tale of Tails, Tino edition. A few weeks ago we talked about his sense of hearing and smell when he tracked us down in Big Bear. Today I have another story about his sense of hearing and I bet many of you can relate to this skill.
We live in a gated community (believe me, it’s not as fancy as it sounds).  Our house sits almost parallel to the entrance street, with one house in between, if all the bushes were gone, you could see the community gate from our backyard.
As I’ve said before Tino would spend most of his day in the backyard, usually sleeping in some odd location.
Whenever I came home Tino would greet me at our family room door. That’s not the special part – you have to understand what that means. Here’s the steps he would have to go through to get from his napping spot in the backyard to that door:

  1. Wake up.


  3. Recognize it was MY car vs. the many other cars that might be going through the gate.
  4. Make his way (at high speed) from wherever he was in the yard to the back door and the dog door.
  5. Push through the dog door and then make a left turn down the hallway.
  6. Make another left turn down another hallway.
  7. Navigate two steps up to the dining room.
  8. Make a right turn and get thru the dining room into the kitchen (without running into the table).
  9. Make another right turn to the family room landing.
  10. Go down two steps into the family room.
  11. Cross the family room to the door.
  12. Stand there waiting – all before I pulled into the driveway.
  13. Oh, and be blind while doing all of this.

And he was there – every. single. time. Did I say he was amazing?

Dogs hearing is far superior to humans. Although they are born deaf, when fully developed, their sense of hearing is at least 4 times better than humans. They are more sensitive to high pitched noises. They detect noises in the range of 40,000 – 60,000 Hz, while humans is only 20,000 – 23,000 Hz. What’s a Hz?
Wikipedia states: The hertz (symbol Hz) is the unit of frequency in the International System of Units (SI). It is defined as one cycle per second.[1] A better description from InformedHealthOnline is: The frequency is how many vibrations there are per second. For instance, 20 hertz means 20 vibrations per second. This very slow vibration can barely be heard and as a very low tone. The higher the frequency, the higher the pitch.
Dogs also have more muscles in their ears than humans and may be able to turn their ears in the direction of a sound to improve their ability to hear it. Dogs with perked ears tend to have slightly better hearing than dogs with hanging ears.
The simple answer is YES, dogs can hear better than humans and Tino was sure proof of that.

Do your dogs always greet you at the door? Can they identify different cars and know which one is yours?
Additional Resources:
Hearing in Dogs
How Do Dogs Hear Differently From Us?


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  1. We know lots of what is going on by sound. One of Mom’s favorites is early morning. If she is going running, I stay in my window bed, but if she is upstairs putting on her walking shorts, the moment she zips the fly, I fly upstairs because I know we are walking that morning.
    Emma recently posted…A Bronze Bonus PeanutMy Profile

  2. I have five rescued Treeing Walker Coonhounds, one of who was born deaf (my girl, Ran) and one who is almost completely deaf from old age (my senior girl, Suki). Since Ran has never been able to hear, she didn’t have to adjust going from hearing to non-hearing. She’s amazing, though, and when I take her on walks or to places like PetSmart, people don’t even realize she’s deaf unless I tell them. My senior girl, Suki, has lost most of her hearing, but the funny thing is, she’s never been bothered by it or changed her behavior otherwise. Of course, she’s also become a bit senile but really isn’t bothered by the fact that she can no longer hear. Of course, my other three can hear my daughter’s car coming home long before I can. Being hounds, the only thing stronger than their hearing is their sense of smell!

    • Dogs adapt or adjust so much better than humans – it helps that their sense are much stronger, but still – adversity doesn’t phase them does it.
      mkob recently posted…How is Your Dog’s Hearing?My Profile

      • Oh, most definitely. I’ve seen many rescue dogs who have been abused or neglected. Just a few weekends ago I had a dog on a transport I drive for who was missing one back leg, missing fur, and was nearly blind (although the vets have hopes he’ll get at least some of his eyesight back after having entropion surgery on both eyes and having medicated drops put into both eyes several times a day). Little Black Jack was one of the sweetest and most loving dogs I’ve ever met. Look at a dog like Patrick, who was near death from starvation yet is still a sweet, loving dog. I’ve worked with dogs that had been used for fighting, as bait dogs, and bred over and over, and yet despite what they had gone through, those tails wagged and they had plenty of doggie kisses to give. If only people could learn how to move on from adversity the way dogs do.

  3. And don’t forget that their sense of smell is even better than their hearing. They know your car by its odor — or scent if you prefer — as well.

    Callie and Shadow both still have excellent hearing, although at times I swear they are very selective about it. They both used to greet us at the door whenever we came home; but now that their arthritis is so bothersome at times, it takes them longer to get up.

  4. This will sound silly, but I’m loving the Prius because of the dogs’ hearing. When I pull in, I can hear the dogs barking like CRAZY, waiting for me to come into the house. Sometimes, if the Prius is in stealth mode, it doesn’t make noise when pulling in. The dogs are quiet.
    Flea recently posted…Back to SchoolMy Profile

  5. My dogs suffer from a condition known as Selective Ridgeback Deafness. They are quite good at only hearing the things they want to hear. I could whisper the word “hungry” from about a mile away and they’d come running.

  6. That really is amazing! Our first dog, Kaeto, would do something similar. He could hear the sound of my husband’s car and would run to the front door. He usually sat there for a good 45 seconds before I saw my husband pull into the lot.
    It’s Dog or Nothing recently posted…What Duck?My Profile

  7. I love hearing about Tino. Thanks for sharing.
    And you know….it’s funny…my huskies can hear a piece of food fall on the floor from miles away, but they can’t seem to hear me when I ask them to do something! hahahaha! 😉 hmmmm! BOL!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
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  8. I think another reason dogs hear so well is because they have such amazing attention to what’s important. Your car was important to Tino so he never missed it.

    Honey’s attention and hearing are so good she hears us pull up on our bicycles.
    Pamela recently posted…The Poopy Puppy Pouch of DeathMy Profile

    • Now that’s pretty good hearing, unless you have a little bell on your bike that you ring when you arrive 😉
      mkob recently posted…How is Your Dog’s Hearing?My Profile

  9. Blind dogs are amazing in their resilience!!

    My dog Zack is not blind, but if I am across the house from him when I start to walk in what I think is quiet “stealth mode” (e.g. like I’m about to stalk a fly), he comes running to get in on the action.

  10. It always amazes me when cars drive down our street, Harley might raise his head, but he rarely moves – unless it’s a car he recognizes. He even knows our children’s cars. He will jump up and race to the door sometimes before they pull into the driveway.
    Groovy Goldendoodles recently posted…SCHOOL SAFETY | WORDLESS WEDNESDAYMy Profile

  11. Funny, my cats and my dog hear my husband coming home when I can’t tell if it’s his car or not. I only know because they know. I guess they can distinguish his car coming around the corner vs. all the others. My husband also tells me they do the same when they hear my car.
    Lindsay recently posted…Starting a business running with dogs – best job ever!My Profile

  12. Funny! They are so clever aren’t they! Mom always knows when dad turns onto our street and so does the rest of the neighborhood! BOL!
    Miley recently posted…Celebrating One YearMy Profile

  13. There are times when I think brown dawgs can’t hear at all. I guess that is a training issue…lol. I always love hearing Tino stories. Thanks for joining the hop!
    2 brown dawgs recently posted…Thursday Barks And Bytes–Final Thoughts From The Hunt TestMy Profile

  14. Rita’s hearing is definitely very sensitive! She hears intruders storming the castle ALL. THE. TIME! As for hearing my car…. I dunno – we pull into the garage, so she hears the garage door first probably. Did you ever read ‘Dogs That Know When They’re Owners Are Coming Home”? Very interesting (and heart-warming!) stories. Many cases, it couldn’t be that the dog heard the owner coming, as sometimes the owners came home in a different car!
    Jackie Bouchard recently posted…Why To DNA-Test Your DogMy Profile

  15. What a boy! My dogs can hear my car from a mile away. They get up and go to the patio door when they hear it. They also hear noises I don’t hear and bark their fool heads off.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…FitDog Friday ~ IrondogMy Profile

  16. Tino was amazing!! My hubby has a rather loud sports car which can be heard coming when he is on the street down below us. I am often outside in the yard with the dogs when he comes home, and Luke especially knows the sound of his car and will go running to the gate barking several minutes before he actually pulls in the driveway.
    All of the dogs are often in the door when we get home. I often wondered if they heard us coming, or if they just knew the approximate time we came home from work. When we go other places, they may or may not be there when we pull in the driveway. It may depend on which way we came from whether they could hear us or not.
    Jan K recently posted…Buried TreasureMy Profile

  17. While we were staying at the friends’ farm during our move, I had good opportunity to observe all kinds of things, including how lone before a vehicle actually comes within sight or human ear shot the dogs know it’s coming. Quite amazing.
    Jana Rade recently posted…Veterinary Highlights: Clinical Trial For Dogs With Lymphoma And LeukemiaMy Profile

  18. Our dogs can definitely hear my car when I get home. It’s pretty cool. I’ve thrown them off by driving by a couple times 🙂
    Kimberly Gauthier recently posted…The Health Benefits of Sardines for DogsMy Profile

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