Barking Up The Right Tree blogs: ‘For many dogs going out in the rain is not about getting wet. Dogs have more sensitive ears and hearing than people. The sound of the rain is amplified in dogs ears. Rain sounds like nails on a chalkboard to a dog. One of the reasons a dog hesitates and starts to back up when faced with rain is the sound alone.
When rain moves through it is using part of a frontal system. These weather systems are often accompanied by changing barometric pressure. Changing barometric pressure also affects a dog’s ears by making them feel like they need to pop’.
Four of my own five dogs are happy to go out whether it’s sunny or pouring with rain though may be a bit wary of heavy wind, and just one, my Lurcher who is more delicate in general, prefers to stay under cover. They all love rainwater to drink. The two dogs in this video quite obviously think the lady is bonkers to imagine that they might like to go out in it.
Richard Guthrie in an article ‘Birding’ for Timesunion.com explains why birdsong can sound different to us in the rain ‘As a drop of water will magnify an image, the rain drop will amplify the sound of the bird’s notes. The result is that what we think we hear really isn’t what it is’. He goes into some interesting technical detail which makes me wonder whether there is an aspect to the sound of rain – or to other sounds while it is raining – that can affect dogs in some way. If birdsong can sound different to our dull human ears then possibly all sorts of sounds we can’t even hear could sound different to a dog?
Here is the story of a dog I went to recently that is very scared of all sorts of sounds, particularly rain – possibly associating rain with thunder.