How dogs hear all those things we don't

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- What’s up with those dog ears?

The secrets behind a dog's uncanny hearing

It's no secret that dogs have excellent hearing and a big reason for that is the architecture of their ears themselves.

While some humans can (sort of) wiggle their ears, human ears generally don't move independently or with much motion. But dogs have more than a dozen muscles in their ears, allowing them to tilt, turn, raise and lower their ears.

But ear movement isn't just for hearing. It also expresses emotion. For example: you know when your dog is attentive and eager his ears prick up and forward. When he's a bit apprehensive, they go down and back.

A dog’s ears, like ours, are essential for balance. In fact inner ear infections are a frequent cause of our dogs losing balance. Head to the vet if your dog is wobbly.

Scientists generally contend that dogs hear about four times better than we do. Cocking their heads might help dogs hone in on distant sounds - or it could just be an exercise in being cute.

Dogs are also able to filter out certain sounds and tune into others. For example, a dog might sleep through loud conversation but wake up instantly when he hears the refrigerator open or his food dish being filled.

Ear lessons aside, if you’re looking for a fun event to do with your incredible canine, the Humane Society’s Walk for the Animals is Sunday, September 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you haven't registered it's just $10 at the door for adults. Tents will be filled with sponsors and fun things to do with your dog, including the walk along the Keystone Trail, a Kids Zone and a Beer Garden.