Dogs hear with their ears – and listen with their hearts

Lately I’ve noticed that my voice is changing.  It’s raspy.  It’s lower.  I don’t recover from non-stop talking at events as quickly as I used to.  Some days I don’t even sound like me.  It’s one of those things about getting older that nobody tells you,  It sneaks up on you and you don’t realize it til it’s here.

But no matter what, Luna knows my voice.  From anywhere.  She knows my lowest whisper and my loudest most obnoxious “stop that now dogs” bellow.  She knows my morning voice and my evening voice and she still hears me when I’m so hoarse I can only force a bit of noise out.  

So why is this?  There are some mechanical answers.  A dogs hearing is over twice the range of ours.  Dogs can hear sounds from a low of 40 hz to as high as 60,000 Hz, while humans hear at a much smaller scale of 20 hz to 20,000 (

In other words, what you can hear at 20 feet your dog can hear at 80 feet.  A mutter or whisper to us is normal conversation tone to a dog. A pounding rock concert where we are shouting to hear each other but otherwise bopping along with the music can send a dog into a hearing overdose. And we all know what thunder and lightning and fireworks can do to a dog.   

Then let’s talk about that incredible canine ear structure. A dog’s outer ear has 18 muscles!  Now our precious poodles can’t get as exotic, but have you ever seen a chihuahua rotate their ears in two different directions like you could with the old rabbit ears on tv sets?  I have and it’s amazing.  

Each ear also hears independently – they can bring in sounds from either side of them, pinpointing the location of the sound with an uncanny accuracy.   

Compared to dogs, we’re practically deaf.   

But it’s not just hearing.  Luna knows my voice no matter what range or pitch it is. And she responds to that voice whenever I ask something of her.  Whether it is a simple sit, a come or a “let’s go” she responds.  Every time, 

My voice is not always attractive.  It is not always melodious.  It is sometimes sharp or raspy and it’s definitely a southern twang; but Luna hears me and comes running just the same.  To me.  To no one else.   

Why is that I wondered?  And the answer came to me simply – it’s because when Luna hears me, she isn’t hearing me with her ears.  She’s listening to me with her heart. 

Here is to hoping you find the dog that listens to you with their heart.