How do dogs hear?

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The anatomy of a dog’s ear is surprisingly similar to that of a human’s. Dogs can hear very well, and rely on their sense of hearing to listen to cues from their owners and hear a wide range of sounds. The largest difference between a human ear and a dog ear is the outer appearance and anatomy. A human ear is closely attached to the head and is hard to move. A dog ear is shaped differently, often in a way to help the dog collect sound and increase audibility. For this reason, some dogs’ ears are floppy, while others’ stand erect. A dog can also move each of his ears independently or together.

A dog’s ear contains an external auditory canal that leads down from the base of the outer part of the ear. This canal is called the pinna. Sound travels towards the eardrum, where vibrations are picked up by the auditory ossicles bones. The vibrations then move on to the inner ear, where they are turned into nerve impulses by the cochlea.

Dogs can hear a much bigger range of sounds than humans can. While humans can normally hear up to 20,000 hertz, a dog can hear at least up to 35,000 hertz and possibly much higher. Because of this, dogs are very sensitive to sounds, and pick up on many that are inaudible to humans. Dogs are known to awake from a deep sleep after noticing minute sounds, because their sense of hearing is so sharp.

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