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12 Dog Breeds with the Best Hearing Abilities

Written by: Arlene D.
| Published on November 27, 2023

Dogs are renowned for their keen senses, especially their hearing. Certain breeds stand out for their exceptional auditory abilities, making them invaluable in various roles, from service to search and rescue. This article explores 12 dog breeds distinguished by their superior hearing capabilities, shedding light on the unique traits and characteristics contributing to their remarkable auditory proficiency.

1. German Shepherd

German Shepherds are not just known for their intelligence and versatility but also for their exceptional hearing. Originally bred for herding, their acute sense of hearing was crucial for detecting predators and responding to their handler’s commands from a distance. This trait makes them excellent in police and military roles where seeing sounds is vital.

2. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers, popular as family pets, are also recognized for their excellent hearing abilities. Initially bred to retrieve game for hunters, their keen sense of hearing allows them to respond swiftly to soft whistles and distant sounds. This ability and friendly nature make them excellent service dogs for the deaf.

3. Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois, similar to the German Shepherd, is known for its acute hearing. Bred for herding and protection, they rely heavily on their auditory senses to detect and react to threats. Their exceptional hearing makes them a top choice for law enforcement and military operations.

4. Border Collie

Border Collies are celebrated for their intelligence and agility, and their hearing abilities are equally impressive. Herding dogs must hear and respond to their handler’s commands from significant distances, often in noisy environments. This breed’s sharp hearing is vital for its work in managing livestock.

5. Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherds, another herding breed, possess remarkable hearing abilities. They are adept at picking up quiet commands and sounds, essential for managing herds in expansive fields. Their alertness and responsiveness to auditory cues make them versatile working dogs.

6. Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies, known for their endurance and resilience in harsh climates, also have excellent hearing. Originally bred as sled dogs, their ability to hear commands over howling winds and long distances is vital. This trait contributes to their effectiveness in both their traditional roles and as companion animals.

7. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terriers may be small but have a sharp sense of hearing. Bred for hunting, particularly fox hunting, their ability to hear and locate prey underground or in dense cover is exceptional. Their alert and responsive nature as pets also shows this keen auditory sense.

8. Cocker Spaniel

Initially bred for bird hunting, Cocker Spaniels have a highly developed sense of hearing. They rely on this ability to detect the faint rustling of birds in underbrush. This acute hearing and friendly and sociable nature make them great family pets.

9. Beagle

Beagles are known for their strong sense of smell and excellent hearing. Originally hunting dogs, they use their sharp hearing to detect prey and follow commands in the field. This breed’s auditory acuity complements its keen sense of smell, making it a formidable hunter.

10. Dachshund

With their long bodies and short legs, Dachshunds were bred to hunt small game-like badgers. Their sharp sense of hearing allows them to detect prey in confined spaces. Combined with their tenacity, this ability makes them excellent hunters and alert companions.

11. Boston Terrier

Though now more of a companion breed, Boston Terriers have retained their keen sense of hearing from their days as fighting dogs. They are particularly attentive to the sounds in their environment, making them excellent watchdogs and loyal pets.

12. Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinschers, known for their protective nature, also boast impressive hearing abilities. Originally bred as guard dogs, their acute sense of hearing is essential for detecting intruders and responding to potential threats. This trait and their loyalty and intelligence make them excellent guard dogs.


These 12 dog breeds, each with unique histories and roles, share the common trait of exceptional hearing abilities. From the German Shepherd’s versatility to the Doberman’s guarding skills, their acute auditory senses are crucial in their effectiveness as working dogs and beloved companions. Understanding these breeds’ hearing capabilities provides insight into their behavior and the best thriving environments.