Why are dogs' ears so sensitive?

11 December 2019, 12:04 | Updated: 11 December 2019, 13:19

A dog's ears being examined
A dog's ears being examined. Picture: PA

Why are dogs' ears so much more sensitive than ours? And why do they love having their ears rubbed much more than (some) of us?

Mystery Hour Question

Why do dogs like their ears rubbed more than humans? 
Melissa, Edinburgh



Name: Vieri
Qualification: Animal Behaviourist 
Answer: There's a number of reasons dogs' ears are so sensitive. One is that they hear much higher pitches than we can and the spectrum of what they hear is much broader than ours. Another is that dogs have eighteen muscles in each ear and can turn their ears in different directions, whereas humans have two. The more muscles you have in your ears, the more nerves you have to turn them. They also have a lot more fur in their ears, which is why they will feel them being touched, even lightly.