Have you ever wondered what it was that your dog just heard to prompt that latest eruption of barking? Look to the special sense of hearing to understand your pets super-powers:
The science of canine hearing:
– dogs hear 4 times better than humans
– dogs can hear higher frequency sounds than humans
– dogs can hear ultrasonic noises.
– dogs have radar’s for ears and can swivel those delicate pinnae around to localise the direction of the sound.
Imagine every noise in and around your home amplified 4-fold…..This super-skilled hearing can sometimes exacerbate underlying anxiety based disease and lead to hyper-vigilance. Hyper-vigilance is when your dog is on red-alert such that every noise (which may be inaudible to you) leads to an all-in response accompanied by any number of behaviours including barking, pilo-erection (hairs on the back fluffed up), running away and hiding. Hyper-vigilance may be normal or abnormal, depending on the context (what is happening in the environment). Chronic hyper-vigilance is exhausting and can impact your dogs quality of life. If you think your pet needs help to be calm don’t hesitate to seek help. The earlier behaviour problems are identified the more promising the outcome.
I first met Cornflakes in late 2013. Cornflakes had a rough start but has now fully embraced the warm and loving forever home he now lives in. Among other concerns, Cornflakes presented with severe noise phobia that manifested as hypervigilance and fear-based response to noise. Even a fly making its way passed his delicate little nose was enough sound to frighten Cornflakes. A sound environmental intervention program, behaviour modification program and a number of other strategies were implemented. Cornflakes owners have been very dedicated to his rehabilitation and the results are stunning!