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Are you deaf, dog?Featured science projectScience project video


This science fair project was conducted to study the effect of aging on a dog's hearing ability. The science project experiment involved the participation of the following breeds of dogs - the German Shepherd, Labrador, Terrier, Golden Retriever and Poodle.


Dogs become more deaf as they grow older.

Scientific Terms

Hearing ability, breed, muscles, life expectancy


Dog’s hearing

The hearing ability of a dog depends on its breed and age. Dogs normally can are able to hear sounds in the range of 40Hz to 60,000Hz. They will prick their ears towards the source of the sound in order to maximize reception of the sound. The dog’s ear has up to 19 muscles that helpo rotate and tilt the ears. The shape of a dog’s ears also allows sound to be heard more accurately.

Dogs are able to hear sounds that are of a higher frequency range than humans are able to detect. Just like humans, the hearing ability of a dog diminishes with its age. This is especially true for certain breeds of dogs such as German shepherds, Poodles and Terriers. The life expectancy of a dog depends on its breed and size. Large sized dogs typically live between 7 to 13 years while smaller dogs can live up to 16 years.

Ultrasonic whistles are normally used in the training of dogs. Our human ears are unable to hear these high pitched ultrasonic sounds but dogs are in fact, able to respond better to sounds at these levels.

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 day to prepare, 1 day for the science project experiment
Material availability:
High frequency sound generators may be obtained from a physics lab or purchased. They are fairly inexpensive. The participation of many different breeds of dogs, of different ages, is required. Try asking friends and family if they have dogs that fit the p
Safety concerns:

Ensure that the dogs are handled at all times by a qualified dog trainer, to avoid being bitten/injury. It is possible that the dogs may become agitated by the high frequency sounds.