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In checking hearing in humans, the person is asked if he hears sounds in different tones and intensities. Since these subjective tests can’t be used for animals, their ability to hear must be judged by their actions, that is, how they use their ears in response to sounds. In general their hearing is discriminating as well as acute. Many dogs are able to distinguish the varied footsteps of members of their household and even the engine of the family automobile. There is one limitation, however, that seems to involve most dogs they seldom can locate a sound from well above them; for example, if you call or whistle from an upstairs window, the dog will hear the sound but will not be able to locate it. Careful observation of the dog’s reactions to different sounds is the only way his hearing can be checked, and one has to be wary that the dog is not compensating for a hearing loss with scent and sight.
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