Have you ever wondered why dog’s ears prick up and seem to hear something even when you hear nothing? Or, why dogs start barking at the door minutes before the doorbell rings?
Dogs have much more sensitive hearing than humans, hearing sounds four times farther away than we can. They can hear higher frequency sounds, can more easily differentiate sounds (e.g. they may recognise the sound of your car) and they can pinpoint the exact location of the sound.
Sound is caused by air vibrations. The more vibrations per second, the higher the sound and the higher the frequency. For example, a double bass makes low-frequency booming sounds while a tin whistle makes high-frequency piercing sounds. Humans cannot hear sounds that vibrate at greater than 20,000 vibrations per second (20,000Hz). Our hearing decreases with age, so babies can hear higher frequencies than their parents, but still not as well as dogs.
Dogs can hear sounds of up to 50,000 vibrations per second (50,000Hz). A dog whistle usually creates a sound at greater than 20,000 Hz which explains why dogs respond to a dog whistle while it appears silent to us.
So, why do dogs hear better than humans? The ears of dogs are controlled by up to 18 muscles while humans are equipped with only six and can only move their ears slightly, if at all. Thus dogs can tilt and rotate their ears to funnel the sound into the inner ear more efficiently. In addition, the shape of some dog breeds ears are such that they amplify the sound. The canine ear canal is considerably longer than in humans. Muscles allow it to finely tune the position of this ear canal so that it can localise a sound, hear it more accurately and from farther away.
But, before you get carried away in awe of your canine friend, a cat’s hearing is even better. Cats are equipped with 30 ear muscles and are especially adapted to differentiate different sounds. So yes, they do know when you have opened the cupboard door which contains their food even if they’re in the sitting room at the time. And, this explains how you can summon a cat just by shaking their treat bag, even if they’re three doors down hanging out in your neighbour’s backyard.
While we can’t promise to make our clients hearing as good as a dog or cat, we do go above and beyond to help our clients hear better. Hearing Sense is independently owned which means we offer FREE trials on ALL brands of hearing aids, including the Lyric. We aim to improve our clients hearing, and also their quality of life.
If you suspect you are suffering from hearing loss, or are interested in trialling hearing aids, give us a call on 8331 8047 to book a FREE appointment.