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Can You Hear Me? Your Dog's Amazing Ears!

Feb 25, 2008
A dog has such keen hearing that they can tell the difference in the foot steps of each family member. A dog's ears are amazing in their range of hearing as well as distinction of sound. Dog's ears have a variety of shapes giving each dog a unique look.

When you watch your dog's reaction to sounds in the yard and about the house you can see its unique ability to localize sound by moving its ears around to locate sound and identify it. A dog's range of hearing is a lot like a human's in the low range, but at the higher range sounds the dog's hearing is amazing. Dogs can hear the high pitched squeak of a burrowing rodent and other prey. Wild dogs seem to have an even higher range of hearing than domestic dogs.

Amazingly a dog can distinguish between nearly identical sounds. When your dog hears your foot steps he knows it is you. If he hears a foot step that is not familiar he goes on alert and if he is a guard dog he is ready to encounter a stranger and decide if they are friend or foe. Dogs can move each ear independently to help identify the direction and the cause of the sound.

Your dog's ears also help them maintain balance similar to the way human ears work only on a much finer scale. A dog ear has tiny hairs that are filled with fluid and crystals that help detect the slightest change in the position of the dog's head which allows the animal to move its head as needed to best hear the sounds. You will notice this as you watch your dog cock its head to one side to hear a sound more clearly or catch the sound better.

In domestic dogs the ears shapes vary greatly. You can find a German Shepherd with pricked ears and a Basset Hound with pendant ears or a Pug with Rose ears and an Airedale with Button ears. The dogs with pricked ears look much more like their wild cousins while selective breeding has helped bring into popularity the other ear styles we find today. The pendant ears that hang long down the side of the dog's head. The button ears have tips that hang over the ear in a V-shape and partially cover the ear opening. Rose ears hang over the ear opening but fold inward along the back edge and curves over to partially expose the ear opening.

Each kind of ear gives the dog a distinctive look but all ears are equally amazing in the way they give the dog the information it needs to interpret the sounds around it. Watching your dog will give you more insight into its ears and how it hears the world. Remember when you are listening to music that if you are playing too loud it might affect your dog's ability to hear as well, so protect your dog's hearing as well as your own and keep that stereo at a reasonable level.
About the Author
Annette Phillips

Annette owns ACE Barkery which makes and ships a variety of healthy dog treats nationwide. They also offer a FREE Newsletter with dog health and training tips. Visit them at: ACE Barkery
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