12 Interesting Dogs With the Best Hearing (With Pictures)

We all know that dogs have a sense of smell that vastly exceeds our human capabilities. Lesser-understood is how well their other senses, like hearing, compare to ours. The answer depends on the specifics: certain sounds are registered at the same level by humans and their canine companions alike.

The notable difference is in high-pitched sounds. The average adult human cannot hear sounds above 20,000 Hertz. While dogs, conversely, can hear sounds as high as 47,000 to 65,000 Hertz! You may be wondering, which breeds excel in this regard? Who are the dogs with the best hearing?

In the following, we identify which dogs can count advanced auditory perception amongst their attributes.

Dogs With the Best Hearing

It is important to be aware of your dog’s ear-cleaning needs. Several breeds on this list have long or furry ears that make them susceptible to ear infections.

1. Cocker Spaniel

Cocker spaniel sitting
Cocker spaniel sitting | image by localpups via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Average Lifespan: 10-14 years
Average Size: 20-30 pounds
Coat: long, silky, double

The famous ears of the Cocker Spaniel are long and feathered, giving the charming appearance of two face-framing pigtails. Few things are more delightful than a Cocker Spaniel at play, ears wildly bouncing around.

Cockers Spaniels have an exceptional sense of hearing due to their breeding as hunting dogs of small game, such as squirrels. However, their ears are prone to infection, often due to dragging on the ground and picking up bacteria or moisture being trapped by a lack of airflow. Regular cleaning is essential.

2. German Shepherd

german shepherd | image by: dendoktoor

Average Lifespan: 7-10 years
Average Size: 50-90 pounds
Coat: medium, double

The erect, pointed ears of the German Shepherd are a substantial component of their elegant beauty, but the breed is also one of the most proficient dogs with the best hearing. Their sense of hearing was refined through generations of breeding and employment as guard dogs.

Coupled with their innate intelligence and unwavering loyalty to their preferred humans, they are highly coveted canines as pets and protectors alike.

3. Schnauzer

Schnauzer in the backyard
Schnauzer in the backyard | image by Laura Fernández Sueiro via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Average Size: 35-45 pounds
Coat: medium, wiry, double

The Schnauzer is famous for its ‘grumpy old man’s appearance. With long hair covering their muzzle and hanging below their chin, they appear to possess a beard, and they have wiry eyebrow hair which gives them a permanent expression of wizened concern.

As endearing as their features are, the hearing of the Schnauzer is what makes them truly outstanding. This sense is what makes them excellent guard dogs despite their diminutive size, as the snap of a twig can be enough to send them into a barking frenzy!

4. Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso
Lhasa Apso | image by John via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Average Size: 12-18 pounds
Coat: long, medium, silky

The regal Lhasa Apso earned the moniker ‘Bark Lion Sentinel Dog’ way back in their native Tibet, where they were bred to guard monasteries. A small and dainty-looking breed, their advanced sense of hearing was their main qualifier for such positions.

In addition to the regular grooming of their masses of gorgeous hair, the Lhasa Apso requires regular ear cleaning as they have a lot of hair in their ear canals. Thorough care will keep them feeling and hearing their absolute best.

5. Labrador Retriever

Labrador retriever
Labrador retriever | image by Kevin Rodriguez Ortiz via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Average Lifespan: 10-12 years
Average Size: 55-80 pounds
Coat: short, double

The Labrador is the world’s most popular dog breed for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is their remarkable sense of hearing. Sweet-faced, affectionate, and friendly with other dogs and humans alike, the Labrador is such a universal charmer it’s easy to forget that they were bred to hunt.

Their hearing developed to assist them in duck and bird retrieving, making them sensitive to the slightest rustle in the undergrowth, or the gentlest splash of water on the lake.

6. Poodle

Poodle | image by Dorian Wallender via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Average Lifespan: 10-18 years
Average Size: 40-70 pounds
Coat: long, curly

One of the more high-maintenance of the dogs with the best hearing, the keen sense of the poodle is worth the fuss of the fur.

Initially bred for duck-hunting in Germany, although they have since become the national dog of France, the Poodle’s hearing is about four times stronger than the average human ear. A poodle in its original environment can detect the faintest quack across a vast lake, while an urban poodle makes a very elegant watchdog indeed.

7. Chihuahua

Chihuahua on the bed
Chihuahua on the bed | Image par Aaron_H de Pixabay

Average Lifespan: 14-16 years
Average Size: Under 6 pounds
Coat: Short, medium, smooth

The Chihuahua is the national dog of Mexico and is as lively and spirited as its homeland. A preternatural charmer, part of their endearing appeal is a set of rather big ears on a tiny round head.

As cute as they are, the Chihuahua’s ears are incredibly well-developed. It has been said that they can hear termites in a wall or even their owners’ heartbeat from across the room! No doubt this acute sense has helped them endure as a species despite their tiny stature.

8. French Bulldog

French bulldog
French bulldog | image by stanze via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Average Lifespan: 10-12 years
Average Size: Under 28 pounds
Coat: Short, smooth

One of the most coveted small-dog breeds in the world, the French Bulldog is popular amongst celebrities and image-conscious urbanites for its blatant adorability.

A ‘smooshed’ face and wide-eyed expression make them the picture of innocence, but their signature feature is their large, upstanding ‘bat ears’.

Not just loveable, the ears of the French Bulldog evolved to help them hear sounds without even turning their heads. You know a Frenchie is listening intently when its ears change direction or suddenly ‘perk’ in response to something that may not even be discernible to the human ear.

9. American Eskimo

American Eskimo
American Eskimo | image by Mitch via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Average Lifespan: 13-15 years
Average Size: 6-35 pounds
Coat: medium, double

The gorgeous, fluffy American Eskimo dog resembles a miniature Samoyed. Descended from the German Spitz, the Eskies beauty and high trainability made it a popular circus dog when it was introduced to the US during the nineteenth century.

Intelligent and agile, the Eskies were able to develop their alertness and keen sense of hearing through generations of responding to commands, to the delight of audiences across the country. Circus Eskies were especially adept at keeping time to music and dancing!

10. Norwegian Elkhound

Norwegian elkhound in river bank
Norwegian elkhound in river bank | image by atomtetsuwan2002 via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Average Size: 48-55 pounds
Coat: medium, double

Dignified, stately, intelligent and formidably wolfish, the Norwegian Elkhound is a natural guard dog. Amongst Europe’s oldest dog breeds, they are a fixture in Norse legend, art, and history. Consider them true nobility amongst the dogs with the best hearing.

During their long and storied history as a shipmate of the Vikings, a guardian of livestock, and a defender against wolves and bears, Norwegian Elkhounds honed an exceptional sense of hearing, as well as a profound sense of loyalty to their preferred humans.

11. Pomeranian

Pomeranian | image by Stephen Poole via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Average Lifespan: 12-16 years
Average Size: 3-7 pounds
Coat: long, double

Beloved for their appearance which resembles a smiling pom-pom, the inherent adorability of the Pomeranian belies a keen intellect. Pomeranians are easily trained, alert and sharp, making them fine watch dogs despite being far from physically intimidating.

They are a perceptive breed whose observation skills and acute hearing provides a defense mechanism against any creature who underestimates them.

12. Golden Retriever

Golden retriever at dog's park
Golden retriever at dog’s park | image by Aidan Mak via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0

Average Lifespan: 10-12 years
Average Size: 55-75 pounds
Coat: medium, double

The Golden Retriever is sunshine in canine form. One of the most popular breeds in existence, they possess an exuberant disposition, a playful spirit, and a love of life that seems to emanate from every fiber of their being.

The quintessential all-arounder, they also have a long working history as hunting and service dogs. Naturally, they also round out the list of dogs with the best hearing.

They are often employed to aid the hearing-impaired, using their exceptional abilities to help their owners recognize important sounds like doorbells, oven timers, fire or security alarms, telephone rings, and car horns.