Woof Wednesday: Canine Sound Sense & Ear Problems

Magic9.5wks, face

“Say, what?”

Ain’t he a cuty? That’s the Magical-Dawg shortly after he came home at about 9-and-a-half weeks. Yes, he’s a German Shepherd, but you wouldn’t know it based on those ears. Canine ears help give our dogs their fine looks, breed characteristics (in some cases), and of course their acute sense of hearing. With Magic, his ears furled and unfurled for a couple of weeks, getting droopy when he was tired–that was a great puppy barometer of mood, too!


“I used to be cute…what happened?”

Seems like in some dogs the ears outgrow the rest of the body for a period of time. Magic’s ears took on giNORmous proportions. Scary picture here–if he grows into those airplane wings, he’ll be a monster-dawg!

My canine hero in my LOST & FOUND thriller is about this age–right around 9 months old–so still a wee bit growing into big paws and dumbo ears. Those ears, though, help Shadow (the hero pup) stay several paw-steps ahead of the bad guys. 🙂

Magic face 1 (2)

Thankfully Magic grew into those bat-ears to become that handsome fellow above. Today he has the auditory acuity of a high-flying bat. Like the famous Snoopy, he can hear you munch marshmallow and detect the stirrings of an imminent kitty hairball in time to “help.” (urk).

All these fun pictures serve as introduction to the topic, really. Doggy hearing is extraordinary, and it can serve them well or get them in trouble–and even cause doggy angst when the thunder rumbles. Dogs hear with the same mechanisms that people have, and can suffer from some of the same ear problems as people. You wouldn’t want to be prone to ear mites, though, I promise! Ew!  I’ve just posted some new articles about how dogs hear, and a second article listing the signs of the most common ear infections.

What are some of the extraordinary things your dog can detect with his/her hearing? If you have an older pet, has the hearing faded over the years?  (that’s normal, actually). Has your dog ever had ear problems? I have to be careful with Magic because he loves water so much he could develop “swimmers ears.” How do you keep your pets’ ears healthy? Do you have to groom them? I know some cockers and poodles need to be “plucked” (poor dears!). Please share your tips and experiences!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with excerpts from the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND, and pet book give-aways!


Woof Wednesday: Canine Sound Sense & Ear Problems — 7 Comments

  1. Amazing. I had no idea they were born deaf!
    Love the pictures of Magic – adorable!
    Thankfully Tess has never had any ear problems and at nearly 11, her hearing still seems fine but I watch for it closely.
    There’s nothing like watching her run towards me with those gorgeous little ears flopping in the wind….awwww!!!

    • The ears really are such expressions of personality, aren’t they? And at birth the pups do detect/react to vibration, and the “righting mechanism” can make them want to struggle when they fall over to get back upright. So some of that ear function works from birth.

  2. Great info, Amy. Didn’t know the deaf part.
    Do you have any past posts on kidney problems and cats? Could you send me the links? Dealing with that now and could use advice in addy to the vet help. hugs..

  3. Pingback: Woof Wednesday: Dealing With Deaf Dogs « Amy Shojai's Blog

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