All About Ears— What can your dog hear and What are your dog’s ear telling you??
Dogs can hear much quieter sounds than humans and they can hear things that are four times further away than humans.
Dogs can hear much higher frequency sounds than humans.
Dogs can move their pinna (the ear flap) into many different positions. There are eighteen muscles controlling the pinna. They can move the ears into an alert position to enable them to capture sounds and they can turn the ears into the direction of a sound.
Dogs listen for words when we speak to them, but more importantly they listen to the tone the words are spoken in.
Using MRI technology, researchers scanned the brains of dogs listening to recordings of their trainer’s voices using praise words like ‘well done’ and then neutral words, like ‘however’ and spoke the words in high pitched, ‘good dog’ voice and in a neutral tone. When praise words were spoken with a praising intonation, the reward centre of the brain was activated .It was not activated when praise words were spoken with neutral intonation.
Dogs also use their ear positioning to show expressions. Being able to read your dog’s ear positioning is important for dog to human communication and for dog to dog communication. Flattened ears indicate submission and pricked up and alert ears are an indication of excitement and intention to continue playing.
Understanding how your dog is capable of communicating with you and what they are experiencing from the environment is important for the pet owner to enable you to give your pet the best experiences.