How well can dogs hear compared to people?

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Dogs can hear a much broader range than humans, making their overall hearing better than their owners. The anatomy of a dog’s ear is very similar to a human’s, except for the outermost part. A dog’s ear is made up of an outer ear, a middle ear and an inner ear. The outer ear collects the sounds, which are heard as vibrations in the middle ear, and then turned into interpretable sounds within the inner ear.

A dog has the ability to move its ears because, unlike humans, a dog’s ears are shaped differently and made to collect sounds. Some dogs have floppy ears, while others have ears that stand erect. A dog’s ear shape is paramount to sound collection, and works much better than a human’s ears, which sit closely to the head and are unmovable.

The range of sound that a typical human can hear is between 20 hertz and 20,000 hertz. A dog can hear between 40 hertz and around 60,000 hertz. Dogs are able to hear much higher frequencies of sounds, and therefore, are more sensitive to sounds than humans are. Dogs are also able to discriminate between sounds, blocking out common noise that they don’t see as important, and targeting sounds that they deem essential.

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