Your Dog’s Ears: Amazing Facts You Need To Know

 Amazing Facts About Your Dog's EarsDogs’ ears give them so much personality! Whether they’re long and floppy ones that plop in the water bowl like Jem’s, or they have tall, stiff, pointy ones that give them a permanent expression of surprise, all dogs’ ears are adorable! But do you really know anything about them? Dogs are known for their superior sense of smell, but what makes their ears exceptionally unique and amazing? These cool facts about your dog’s ears will have you tilting your head! 

Muscle Power

IMG_9039Did you know that at least 18 muscles are going to work to tilt, raise, and rotate your dog’s ears? Try moving your’s even slightly… not too easy, right? These muscles are amazing for capturing sounds from all different directions.

IMG_9021Ever notice your dog’s ability to hear the quietest crunch of a potato chip bag and perk up from a dead sleep to come running for a taste? Yet I can’t sleep through anything!

Listening? Dogs’ Ears Are A Dead Giveaway

IMG_9043Do you ever wonder if your dog is “listening” to you? Or have you ever been passionately telling your friend a story and you look over at your dog to see her intently zoned in and hanging on every word you say? It’s true that your dog’s ears and expression tell whether or not she’s listening to you. It’s pretty obvious when she’s trying to ignore your words as if to say, “can’t you tell I’m trying to ignore you?”

IMG_9022Erect ears facing forward indicate that your dog is engaged in what you have to say or the noises she hears around her.

IMG_9036Ears that are slightly pulled back indicate that she’s in a friendly, relaxed mood with her guard down. 

IMG_9018Ears laid tightly against back against the head show that your dog is fearful, timid, uncomfortable, or feeling aggressive. 

To “Ear” Their Own

IMG_9019Each ear moves independently of the other. I love when Jem and Zoey hear a noise and I can see them trying to figure out which direction the sound is coming from. One ear perks up towards the back of the house, the other jolting forward to the front door. I wish I could multitask so well! 

“What Was That?!”

We’ve all seen our dogs having a “what was that?!” moment. One minute they’re laying down relaxing, the next they perk up as if they heard a knock on the front door. Yet you swear the dog is crazy because you haven’t heard a peep. 

IMG_9030But did you know that the world is a much noisier place for dogs than for you? Dogs can hear the high-frequency pulse of the crystal resonator use in digital alarm clocks and the bodily vibrations of termites in the walls. 

IMG_9046It’s truly amazing when you put into perspective how keen their sense of hearing truly is. Imagine having such a strong sense that you could detect a termite invasion in the walls. Scientists estimate that dogs can hear approximately 4 times better than we do. 

Sensitive To The Elements

A well-oiled machine runs smoothly. Your dog’s ears are extremely sensitive and can easily contract yeast infections and parasites.

dog_diagram-1

A dog’s ear canal is L-shaped. It’s vertical toward the jaw and takes a 45 degree turn horizontally toward the ear drum. This makes it very hard to examine a dog’s ear which means that ear problems are common. 

Which Breeds Have The Best and Worst?

The best hearing? That one goes to dogs with big square heads and large ears, like St Bernards.

SaintBernard_heroThe worst hearing? Unfortunately dogs with floppy ears don’t have as keen hearing because the flaps can block the vibrations of sound. 

Afraid of Thunderstorms?

When your dog is shaking and hiding because there’s a crazy thunderstorm outside, you may not know exactly where her fear is coming from. 

You might not know that your dog could actually be in pain during a thunderstorm because they have sound frequencies that can hurt dog’s ears.

Your dog doesn’t want to go outside in the rain? It’s not necessarily because she doesn’t want to get her pretty fur wet. The sound of the rain drops on the roof, gutters, and other loud surfaces can be amplified for dogs hurts their ears. 

A Balancing Act

IMG_9017Your dog’s ears are essential for balance. Inner ear infections are a frequent cause for dogs losing their balance. If your dog seems wobbly and unable to balance, head to the vet to see if she has an ear infection. 

Are Dogs Better Than Cats?

After reading these facts, you must be thinking that dogs have the best hearing in the world! It sure seems like it when you compare it to ours. But cats have even BETTER hearing than dogs! Cats can hear a higher frequency than dogs can. 

What About Puppies?

Puppies are actually deaf when they’re born, but they can generally hear within a few weeks. 

Guinness Record For Biggest Ears?

alg-harbor2-jpgWe get comments on how long Jem’s ears are everywhere we go. People love them! But her 6.5 inch floppers are nothing compared to a coonhound named Harbor who hold the record for world’s largest ears. They measure in at 13.5″ for the right ear and 12.25″ for the right ear!