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10 Things You Didn't Know About Your Dog's Ears

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You probably know that dogs have and excellent hearing range. They are the first to notice a small noise or distant doorbell. But can some dogs hear better than others? And how much better can they hear than us? View the 10 facts below to learn more about a dogs hearing.

1. While some humans do have the unique ability to wiggle their ears, human ears generally don’t move independently and don’t get a lot of motion. Dogs, however, have over a dozen muscles in their ears specifically for movement allowing them to tilt, turn, raise, and lower their ears.

2. Dogs move their ears to hear better, but also to express emotions. The posture/position of a dog’s ears at any given time tells the story of how they’re feeling.

3. Guardian and working breeds such as the Collie or German Shepherd were developed to watch for trouble. It’s not likely their hearing differs much from other breeds, but these breeds certainly may choose to listen more carefully than other breeds. For a Collie protecting a flock from predators, his hearing is his first line of defense.

4. A dog’s ear is essential for balance. In fact, inner ear infections are a frequent cause of our dogs losing balance. Head to the vet if your dog looks wobbly.

5. Dogs can hear at higher frequencies than our range. Some dog whistles take advantage of this range by creating a sound only dogs can hear.

6. While dog’s can hear things we can’t, scientists say dogs only discriminate resolutions of about one third of an octave. We humans can discriminate resolutions as fine as one twelfth of an octave.

7. Scientists generally contend that dogs hear about four times better than we do. Cocking their heads may help dogs hone in a distant sounds – it also may just be cute.

8. Puppies are born deaf, but can generally hear within a few weeks. While this seems dangerous out in the wild, there may be advantages to a shorter gestation period for dogs; perhaps giving birth early allowed mama dogs to get back to hunting sooner.

9. Some breeds such as Dalmatians are prone to hearing issues. Older dogs may also develop hearing loss.

10. As any dog owner will agree, dogs are able to filter out certain sounds and tune in to others. For example, a dog may sleep through loud conversation but wake up instantly when he hears his food dish filled.

All statements and opinions in "10 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Dog’s Ears" are the sole opinions of the I-5 Publishing, publishers of Dog Fancy and Cat Fancy publications and not those of CareCredit. The content is subject to change without notice and offered for informational use only. You are urged to consult with your individual medical provider with respect to any professional advice presented. Your receipt of this material constitutes your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

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