How Far Can Dogs Hear? (Distance & Frequency)

  • By: Kind Of Pets
  • Date: September 24, 2021
  • Time to read: 8 min.

Did you know that just like us, dogs also possess the primary five senses of their body? But compared to humans, our four-legged friends depend on varying senses than we do. The two main senses for dogs are hearing and smell while the other ones only act as extra.

Scientific research states that in contrast to our sense of smell, a dog’s sense is about 100,000 times stronger than ours. The other strong sense that a dog is equipped with is his powerful sense of hearing. Where we can hear only from 50 to 100 feet away, dogs can sense as far as a mile.

Their ears are constructed in such a layout that they aid in receiving sound waves more effectively than us. So, if your dog is barking at a strange time of the day or the night, it may be necessary to pay attention.

While you may not be aware of how far can dogs hear, they may be trying to warn you of any sound they are hearing, which you cannot sense.

How Much Distance Can A Dog Hear?

The dog’s ears allow them to keep up their physical balance, and express their emotions. Their positions can help us understand what he might be thinking. Nevertheless, they have a brilliant range of hearing.

When a dog is born they gradually develop their sense of hearing on the basis of the sounds they get to hear around. Once their hearing sense is completely developed, they can hear things in a much better way than us.

The ears of dogs can be divided into three parts and the outer part comprises the pinna which is responsible for amplifying sounds and transferring them into the ear canal. Then comes the middle part consisting of three miniature bones, the Eustachian tube, and the eardrum.

The Eustachian tube aids in connecting the middle part to the rear part of their nose.

The last one is their inner ear which contains the cochlea or the hearing organ along with the vestibular system. In this part, there are 18 muscles controlling the movement as well as the direction of their outer ear. Through this, a dog can alter the shape of its outer ears for capturing sound.

As the hearing sense of dogs is much powerful in comparison to human beings, on average, a dog can hear sounds from up to 80 feet to even a mile.

Dogs Frequency Hearing Range

When it comes to answering how far can dogs hear, it’s important to acknowledge the role of pitch in their ability to hear sounds. Every sound contains a pitch that can be understood by the frequency wavelength.

This frequency is measured in the unit of Hertz or Hz. When the pitch of a sound is low, the Hertz measurement will also be lowered. One cycle of wavelength is measured at 1Hz.

For a human ear, it is possible to hear sounds ranging from 20Hz to 20,000 Hz. On the flip side, an average dog can hear much higher pitches ranging from 40Hz to 45,000 Hz, and this can be attributed to why dogs are able to hear a pitch that human beings can never detect.

How Far Can Dogs Hear Crackers And Fireworks?

We are all aware that a dog is extremely sensitive to the sound of crackers and fireworks owing to the high pitch of the sound. There are places across the globe that has banned the use of crackers due to the negative impact it casts on their behavior.

Needless to say, a dog can better hear the frequency of firework than us.

If you consider the human range of hearing, it’s true that the sounds produced by fireworks are loud even to our hearing. This itself testifies to the amount of trauma it causes to our pooch’s ears.

The terrific high pitch wailing that starts with the ignition of fireworks finally transforms into very loud bangs when the crackers explode midway threatens the dogs to a great extent. As a result, their fight or flight response is triggered instantly and they become highly traumatized.

Some dogs also undergo stress and anxiety and it’s reflected in their behavior of hiding under the bed or some other piece of furniture. There are dogs that get terrified as the fireworks go off a large distance. This is because they can hear fireworks up to 80 feet up to a mile.

How Far Can Dogs Hear The Thunder?

You will notice that some dogs get frightened by the sound of thunder since they are not sure about the source of the sound and assume it to be a threat.

According to experts, the reason why dogs get afraid of the sound of thunder is due to the combined thunder, lightning, static electricity, wind, and barometric pressure coupled with low-frequency rumbling that we are not able to hear.

According to a theory, the static build-up prior to a thunderstorm causes a shock-like feeling in dogs. If you notice that your dog is strangely stressed before a storm hits, it’s crucial that you adopt means of calming them.

Owing to their impeccable sense of hearing, dogs can hear the advent of a storm at least 5 to 10 minutes before it takes place. Moreover, coupled with their unique sense of smell dogs can also understand precisely when the storm will hit by sensing the smell of rain.

There is no particular distance determined yet with respect to how far can dogs hear rain and storms.

How Can Dogs Hear Whistles Designed For Them?

Often dog owners use dog whistles to train their pooch and at times, they become frustrated with the fact that the sounds are not audible to them. The curious confusion here is that how can dog’s ears pick up the sound of the whistle when we cannot get any hint about it?

Another concern among dog owners is that since the sound has such a high pitch, is it going to hurt their ears?

The main objective of using a dog whistle is to train the dog for certain types of behavior. When you are making use of it, your dog’s reaction will tell you whether or not he can hear it.

Since a dog’s range of hearing is absolutely different from human beings, the sound produced by these specially crafted whistles is reachable to their ears.

One of the most common signs to watch out for is whether your doggo is tilting his head when you are pressing the button of the whistle. If you see this behavior, it’s indicative of their interest in something they see or hear.

This means, your dog is tilting his head to acknowledge that he could hear the sound. Sometimes they even raise their ears which is quite obvious as they are trying to hear the sound with better clarity.

Your dog will automatically become much alert as he hears the sound and immediately stops what he is doing and stare at you for guidance.

As it is already mentioned that some people are also concerned whether the use of dog whistles causes any painful sensations to our furry friends. But it’s best to consider dog whistles as any other regular whistles that human beings can hear.

When a normal whistle is blown, it is obvious to seek your attention. Unless it is being used for an extended time or very loudly or right next to your ear, you will not feel any pain or irritation from the sound.

The same can be applied to dog whistles as well. With that being said, it’s best to learn the correct use of dog whistles to understand how it works and how to use it properly to maximize its effectiveness in training your pet.

How Far Can Dogs Hear The Barking Of Other Dogs?

The incredible hearing ability of dogs also allows them to hear the barking of other dogs much before the others are in sight. While some dogs may bark because they do not want to socialize, others may use it as a means of socializing.

You may notice your dog whining or wagging its tail along with the display of other exciting behavior because he has spotted another dog through the sound of its barking even when it is not in sight.

Also, your dog may show irritation and excessive barking if it doesn’t wish to socialize but feel the presence of other dogs near. After all, they don’t need to see a member of their species to avoid or greet them by barking!

Can Dogs Recognize The Human Voice?

Recently, in a study published in a journal titled, Biology Letters, it’s pointed by a group of scientists working in the University of Sussex that domesticated dogs can instinctively hear and recognize the words when it comes from different people.

In the study, words were chosen in such a way that they cannot have any relation to the typical commands used at homes to ensure that they cannot give conditioned responses due to home training.

According to the reports of the study, the dogs could understand the same word when it was spoken by different people while also being able to distinguish between the voices of different people and their sounds.

As per the opinion of the scientists, the ability of dogs to understand vowel sounds when they are hearing them from different people is quite similar to the abilities of human beings.

42 dogs took part in the study and it showed that in spite of the previous assumptions that only human beings are able to recognize different sounds, we have come to know that we share this linguistic talent with our furry friends as well.

This is the reason dogs understand the high-pitched voice and have a better ability to hear out a human voice since it has a frequency of 200Hz. Moreover, they can also sense the low and high tone of the human voice and links it with the emotional condition of human beings as well.

Reasons Why A Dog Has Such Amazing Hearing Power

When it comes to any domesticated dog, there may not be much use of their sense of super-hearing unless and until you may specifically enjoy being alert about the delivery personnel much before he knocks on the door. But the scenario of the woods is a completely different ball game together.

Since the dogs are remarkable hearers, they are also incredible predators as they are able to sense their prey in the wild. This is also useful in helping them communicate with the others in the pack across a large distance.

Moreover, their amazing sense of hearing also has its own usage. When you are thinking how far can dogs hear, wild wolves are known to find shelters for themselves much ahead of an oncoming storm.

The fact that wolves are the ancestors of dogs also explains how dogs can recognize the tone of different people. The alpha wolf communicates with the pack with whines and yips while the entire pack easily comprehends his intention.

With the passage of time, human beings have adapted to this and use the special ability of the dogs to give orders. And today, we use our voices to let our pets know how much we adore them.


While we believe that we know our doggo in and out, sometimes we forget that they are entirely different species from us. Though we tend to appreciate the cracking of fireworks and thunder lightning on a romantically rainy day, dogs do not like any kind of loud bangs including fireworks and thunderstorms.

Many of us have seen our dogs getting agitated much before the thunder starts rumbling.

It’s true that dogs’ sense of hearing is incredible and they can hear out sounds from a massive distance while sensing stuff that we are completely unaware about. So, next time you think your dog is barking at nothing, they may have spotted something that’s beyond your range of hearing.