Are Dog's Ear Canals Acoustic Filters?

I was just cleaning my dog’s ears, and notice the complex shape of the ear canal-ridges and projections, stiffening points-very compex? Does the shape provide any acoustic filtering?
One observation: dog’s hearing is acute-I can walk by a house up the street (with my dog ona leash)-and the dog inside immediately barks-how does he hear us?

I can’t explain how it works, but they do indeed have senses beyond our own. Animal Planet once was addressing myths about animals, and determining which were true or false; the myth “Dogs have extra-sensory perception,” they suprisingly answered “Essentially yes – although it’s “sensory” in the true sense, dog senses are so much more effective than human senses that they might as well be ESP by comparison.” They’re certainly “extra” (outside) OUR sensory boundaries. The show claimed that when you see a dog staring at the wall, he’s not “seeing ghosts,” but probably following the tiny scratchings of an insect inside the wall that you’ll never hear.


Your dog has ridges in his ear canal? Are you sure? The canal should just be a smooth tube with a right angle bend.

If you are referring to the ridges of the external ear, a dog’s ear isn’t any more complex than a human’s

No. The ridges exist to enable an animal to detect the direction and distance that sound is coming from. It’s not a filter, it’s just designed to produce refractions that vary depending on pitch, volume and direction.

Dogs have more sensitive hearing that operates over a slightly broader range than human hearing. They also have more of their brain devoted to interpreting sound so they are better able to process sound.

Slight hijack…

Have there been any studies on different shapes of dog ears and how they compare when it comes to how well the dogs can hear? For example, the difference between a doberman pincher and a basset hound’s outer ears are tremendous. Do they hear differently?

My brother’s dog has boxer-like ears and my dog is a golden retriever. The boxer-like dog seems to be on edge all the time. Is she just nervous by nature or is she hearing more stuff?

I’d say Dobermans, Bassets, Boxers, and Retrievers all have similar ears, except for longer pinna. If you’re referring to the pointy ears on Dobermans and other dogs, those aren’t their natural ears. They are often docked slightly after birth.