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Can Dogs Really Hear You Think?

I love dogs, and for the most part, they love me. It a mutual admiration that goes back to when I was 5 years old. My father had a superbly trained bird dog, an Irish setter named Timothy Kirkpatrick. My mother told me that at precisely 3 P.M. each afternoon Tim would get up and walk down to the end of the block, not cross the street, but sit at the corner and wait for me to come walking home from kindergarten. This was of course many decades ago, when allowing your child to walk home from school was not considered child abuse.

But I digress. Can dogs really hear you think? It’s surprising they can hear at all when you consider that every puppy is born stone deaf and can’t hear at all until they are two to three weeks old!

Just like their sense of smell, a dog’s hearing is phenomenal compared to a human’s. While humans can hear in a range of 20 to 20,000 hertz a dog can hear in a range of 40 to 40,000 hertz. Both can hear low tones fairly well but dogs are off the chart when it comes to high frequencies. That’s why trainers like to use silent whistles that only dogs can hear. There is no interference with competing noises.

Not only do dogs hear the range of tones better than we do, they hear volume four times better than humans. A good example would be you hearing a train whistle a mile away, your canine buddy can hear it four miles away. That explains why dogs hate the vacuum cleaner and the Fourth of July. Can you imagine what it sounds like to them?

How and why can they do this? The how is explained mostly because dogs have eighteen different ear muscles and we have only six. Ears can be fine-tuned to locate and identify sound, and each ear is independent from the other. The why is only a guess. Most think it goes back to when all dogs were wolves and exceptional hearing was a necessity for survival.

Someone or somewhere I read or was told about a philosophy that pertains to dogs that I personally believe is totally true. A dog is the only mammal on earth that will meet its God before it dies.

This is my beloved dog Chase. He is a pointing lab retriever. He and I have had many joyous pheasant hunting trips, mostly in Kansas and North Dakota. His amazing instincts come into play and make the sport far more fun, interesting, and productive. The rest of the year, his loving and loyal instincts provide for a wonderful companion. Constantly by my side, he notices my moods, listens to my every word, usually agrees with me, and is always ready for a good, vigorous walk. And yes, I believe my dog can hear me think!