Which sense is keener in a dog: hearing or smell?

My 10 month old shih tzu Kirby II seems to have a very keen sense of hearing. He barks alot and we can't figure out what he is barking about most of the time. We socialize him quite a bit to get him used to all sorts of noises. When he barks we search and find that maybe the sound of the wind blowing or the sound of a roof rat caught in a humane cage during the night, or sometimes dogs barking on the tv, etc. My neighbor says he smells the rat but what about the wind noise? He is driving us an our other shih tzu, me: Rocky nuts with his barking and we: mom and dad, want to know if there is a way to stop him from barking at odd noises? Mom and dad always pay attention to the me:Rocky when I bark because it is usually for a reason... like if the puppy Kirby is doing something he shouldn't be doing :o) But we have to do something about Kirby's barking. Any help out there? Thanks,

Asked by Rocky on Apr 8th 2009 Tagged barking, hearing, training in Barking
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Best Answer


I doubt he's barking because of things you can't hear or things he's smelling.
Dogs bark at noises, simple.
I think, typically, smell is better in a dog, but there is always the exeption, and they can certainly hear better then humans do.
When he barks more then a couple of times, ignore him, have everyone leave the room without him if possible, including other pets. Come back after a minute or so and if he's stopped, reward him, treats or praise. Do that enough and he will realize that barking incessantly makes everyone leave, and stopping makes you come back.
Good luck!

Bailey answered on Apr 9th.

Other Answers



I think that in dog both the qualities are amazing but to tell in particulars will be difficult because both sense are equivalent in dog this is one of the best quality of a this breed that it can smell and at the same time able to hear the thing very keenly.Furtherly why would you are finding the so specific answer of these question?

Member 816825 answered on 4/8/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Since he is 10 months don't forget to socialize him around dogs and other humans. You should start this if you feel he is barking out of fear. I think he could benefit from some puppy classes as well.
At 10 months they become aware of their enviroment more, and if he needs neutering it would be beneficial.

Baxter answered on 4/9/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Instead of searching for his reason for barking, stop the barking. Teach him a "guiet" command. Treat and praise when he stops. I don't think your Kirby's hearing is any more keen than your other dogs, he just likes to express himself more.
Deogie does bark and woud bark at everything if he was allowed to.
Have a good one.

♥ DEOGIE ♥ answered on 4/9/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

 Dozer( In Loving Memory)

The sense of smell...A deaf or blind dog can get around and know who people are and other animals with sense of smell and a tracking dog finds what he/she is looking for with the nose

Dozer( In Loving Memory) answered on 4/9/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer