Dog’s sense of hearing vs humans

This post may contain references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products.


Alison Mcdermott


Have you ever marveled at your dog’s ability to perk and swivel their ears like tiny radar dishes, capturing every rustle and chirp in the vicinity? 

We’re going to embark on an eardrum-tingling adventure into the world of your dog’s extraordinary sense of hearing!

In this paw-some journey, we’ll unravel the secrets behind those adorable floppy ears. From how far they can hear versus humans to ear mobility, get ready to be amazed by just how finely-tuned your dog’s auditory system truly is!

Dog hearing versus humans

We humans are not able to hear sounds over 20,000 Hz( Hertz ), while dogs can hear frequencies ranging from a low 40 Hz all the way up to an astounding 65,000 Hz.

This allows dogs to detect sounds at a distance 4 times greater than what the human ear can pick up!

Dogs can hear sounds that are not loud enough for humans

Dogs are predatory animals, and this means they use their heightened sense of hearing to capture subtle sounds of movement made by potential prey. 

This includes rustling in grass, the scurrying of small animals, or the flapping of wings. 

Their incredible sense of hearing is a powerful tool that has been honed over generations for survival.

Dogs can move their ears to pinpoint where the sound is coming from

When a dog is interested in a particular sound, they have an amazing ability to turn their ears towards that direction. 

They can even move each ear independently and can also rotate, tilt, and swivel them which makes them great hunters as they can pinpoint the source of sound more accurately. 

Why do dogs howl when hearing an ambulance siren?

Dogs howl when they hear ambulance sirens (or other high-pitched sounds) primarily due to their ancestral instincts and their acute sense of hearing. 

Howling is a form of communication for dogs. In the wild, wolves use howling to communicate with their pack members over long distances.

When a dog hears a siren, which is a high-pitched and far-carrying sound, they might interpret it as a form of distant communication and feel compelled to howl too!

Sensitivity to loud noises

Dogs can become scared of thunderstorms and fireworks due to having much more acute hearing than humans. Thunderstorms and fireworks produce loud, sudden, and unpredictable noises that can be overwhelming for dogs, causing them distress.

In the wild, sudden loud noises could signal danger to them, such as a predator approaching, a large tree falling close by or thunder causing fire in the area.

Dogs have retained some of these instincts, and it’s perfectly normal for them to react with fear or anxiety with loud noises. 


Well, there you have it, fellow dog enthusiasts! We’ve taken a tour through the incredible world of a dog’s extraordinary sense of hearing.

From how much their sense of hearing is compared to humans to their ears that swivel like radar dishes, our dogs are equipped with truly paw-inspiring instruments designed for adventure.!

Leave a Comment