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What sound is painful to dogs?

Noise sensitivities in dogs: an exploration of signs in dogs with and without musculoskeletal pain using qualitative content analysis

Lopes Fagundes, Ana Luisa , Hewison, Lynn , McPeake, Kevin J. et al , Zulch, Helen and Mills, Daniel Simon (2018) Noise sensitivities in dogs: an exploration of signs in dogs with and without musculoskeletal pain using qualitative content analysis. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 5 . ISSN


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Noise sensitivity is a common behaviour problem in dogs. In humans, there is a well-established relationship between painful conditions and the development of fear-related avoidance responses. Whilst it is likely that a relationship exists between noise sensitivity and pain in dogs, this does not appear to have been investigated. The aim of this study was to explore the signs of noise sensitivity in dogs with and without musculoskeletal pain by comparing case histories using qualitative content analysis. Data were extracted from the clinical records of 20 cases of dogs presenting with noise sensitivity seen by clinical animal behaviourists at the University of Lincoln, composed of 2 groups—10 “clinical cases” with pain and 10 “control cases” without pain. Loud noises as a trigger of noise sensitivity were a common theme in both groups but ubiquitous among “clinical cases.” In “clinical cases” (i.e., those where pain was identified), the age of onset of the noise sensitivity was on average nearly 4 years later than “control cases.” In addition, strong themes emerged relating to widespread generalisation to associated environments and avoidance of other dogs in the “clinical cases,” which did not appear in the “control cases.” “Clinical cases” responded well to treatment once the involvement of pain had been identified. Veterinarians and behaviourists should carefully assess dogs with noise sensitivities for pain-related problems especially if presenting with these characteristics.

Keywords:Domestic animals, Dogs, anxiety, behaviour, dog, fear, noise sensitivity, pain
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D320 Animal Health
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D328 Animal Welfare
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:31352
Deposited On:15 Mar 2018 11:09

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Dog whistle

A dog whistle (also known as silent whistle or Galton’s whistle) is a type of whistle that emits sound in the ultrasonic range, which humans cannot hear but some other animals can, including dogs and domestic cats, and is used in their training. It was invented in 1876 by Francis Galton and is mentioned in his book Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development, [1] in which he describes experiments to test the range of frequencies that could be heard by various animals, such as a house cat.

The upper limit of the human hearing range is about 20 kilohertz (kHz) for children, declining to 15–17 kHz for middle-age adults. [2] The top end of a dog’s hearing range is about 45 kHz, while a cat’s is 64 kHz. [3] [4] It is thought that the wild ancestors of cats and dogs evolved this higher hearing range in order to hear high-frequency sounds made by their preferred prey, small rodents. [3] The frequency of most dog whistles is within the range of 23 to 54 kHz, [5] so they are above the range of human hearing, although some are adjustable down into the audible range.

To human ears, a dog whistle makes only a quiet hissing sound. [6] The advantage of the dog whistle is that it doesn’t produce a loud irritating noise for humans that a normal whistle would produce, so it can be used to train or command animals without disturbing nearby people. Some dog whistles have adjustable sliders for active control of the frequency produced. Trainers may use the whistle simply to gather a dog’s attention, or to inflict pain for the purpose of behaviour modification.

In addition to lung-powered whistles, there are also electronic dog whistle devices that emit ultrasonic sound via piezoelectric emitters. [3] The electronic variety are sometimes coupled with bark-detection circuits in an effort to curb barking behaviour. This kind of whistle can also be used to determine the hearing range for people and for physics demonstrations requiring ultrasonic sounds. [ citation needed ]

See also [ edit ]

  • Dog whistle (politics)
  • Infrasound
  • Ultrasound

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ Galton, Francis (1883). Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development, pp. 26-27.
  2. ^ D’Ambrose, Christoper; Choudhary, Rizwan (2003). Elert, Glenn (ed.). «Frequency range of human hearing». The Physics Factbook . Retrieved 2022-01-22 .
  3. ^ abc
  4. Krantz, Les (2009). Power of the Dog: Things Your Dog Can Do That You Can’t. MacMillan. pp. 35–37. ISBN978-0312567224 .
  5. ^
  6. Strain, George M. (2010). «How Well Do Dogs and Other Animals Hear?». Prof. Strain’s website. School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University . Retrieved July 21, 2012 .
  7. ^
  8. Caroline Coile, D.; Bonham, Margaret H. (2008), «Why Do Dogs Like Balls?: More Than 200 Canine Quirks, Curiosities, and Conundrums Revealed», Sterling Publishing Company, Inc: 116, ISBN9781402750397 , retrieved 2011-08-07
  9. ^
  10. Weisbord, Merrily; Kachanoff, Kim (2000). Dogs with Jobs: Working Dogs Around the World. Simon & Schuster. pp. xvi–xvii. ISBN0671047353 .
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