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How well do Dogs hear?

Apr 26, 2023
Dogs Hearing


How well do Dogs hear?


Have you ever thought, 'well, they must not have heard me, I'll just shout louder'. Turns out they heard you perfectly well the first 10 times you asked them to sit, stay, etc.

Dogs have an incredible sense of hearing and are able to hear sounds at much higher frequencies and volumes than humans. The range of sounds that dogs can hear is between 40 Hz and 60,000 Hz, while humans can only hear sounds between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz.

They can hear sounds that are much quieter than what humans can hear and detect sounds at a distance of up to four times that of a human's hearing range. 

Most are aware that they can distinguish the sound of YOUR car when you arrive home, your footsteps approaching the front door, perhaps even the neighbours dog a few doors up being let out in the back garden (and you wonder why they sit up alert for no apparent reason).

Dogs have a highly developed inner ear that contains three times as many sensory cells as humans do, designed to capture and funnel sound waves into their ear canal, allowing them to detect even the faintest of sounds.

These cells are responsible for converting sound waves into electrical signals that can be sent to the brain for processing. This increased number of sensory cells allows dogs to hear a wider range of frequencies and to detect much quieter sounds than humans can.


How well they can hear compared to us


Frequency range

Dogs can hear frequencies ranging from 40 Hz to 60,000 Hz, while humans can only hear frequencies between 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz.

Loudness range

Dogs can hear sounds at much lower volumes than humans can. They can detect sounds that are 4 times quieter than the quietest sounds that humans can hear.


Dogs have the ability to locate the source of a sound with much greater accuracy than humans. They can do this by using the time delay between when a sound reaches each ear, as well as differences in volume and frequency between the two ears.


Dogs are able to focus their attention on specific sounds, filtering out background noise. They can also distinguish between sounds that are very similar to each other.

Sensitivity to high-pitched sounds

Dogs are particularly sensitive to high-pitched sounds, which is why they often react strongly to sounds that humans can't even hear.

Sensitivity to low-frequency vibrations

Dogs can also pick up on low-frequency vibrations that are beyond the range of human hearing. This ability allows them to detect earthquakes, storms, and other natural phenomena that humans may not be aware of.


This all makes them well-suited for activities such as hunting, tracking, and search and rescue operations.

It's amazing to give some thought to how well developed out dogs are and gives us a chance to look at things from their perspective which on turn will help us understand them better and train them easier.