Listen Up!

Taken from ‘What Dogs Want’ by Mat Ward and Rupert Fawcett (Bloomsbury, 2021)

There’s nothing better than stroking the velvety ear of a dog while they snuggle into you, but those ears aren’t just there for fun. They are serious pieces of equipment.

A dog’s hearing is top notch, beating humans hands down in most respects. It is estimated to be four times as sensitive as ours – if you can hear the noise of a pin dropping on a wooden floor, your dog can hear it on a carpet…

Dogs are also able to hear sounds at much higher frequencies than we can – they can hear frequencies of 45kHz compared to our 20kHz max. Going ultrasonic is no problem at all for your average dog!

Furry satellite dishes:  Dogs excel at identifying exactly where noises are coming from. Their independently moving outer-ears (pinnae) are able to rotate like a radar to locate the source of a sound.

Designer ears: Over the centuries, as humans bred dogs for different purposes, the erect ear that is typical of the dog’s ancestors evolved into many new shapes and sizes.



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