What hidden talents does your dog have? You might never look at Fido in quite the same way again after you have checked out these interesting dog facts.
I think it is fair to say that dogs are amazing creatures. They are our best friends, our confidantes our play mates and sometimes our work colleagues. The trust is mutual and there is no animal on earth which has thrown in its lot with humans to quite the same extent that dogs have. As amazing as that relationship is however, just how well do we truly know our canine buddies? These interesting dog facts i’ve compiled, are just the tip of a furry iceberg of poochy-fact awsomeness that I am sure you will find as fascinating as I do.
Show and Smell:
It’s a well known fact that dogs love to sniff things. Usually it seems, the more unpleasant the better! But did you know that while the average dog brain is only about 10 percent the size of a human’s, incredibly, the percentage that their brains devote to anylysing smells is nearly 40 times greater!
Dogs pack millions more scent receptors into their noses than humans do. It’s little wonder then that dogs excel in tasks such as detecting explosives, sniffing out drugs and even being able to sense the early stages of diseases such as cancer.
Interestingly, since the 1970’s specially trained dogs have been employed by bee keepers to track the scent of a deadly bacteria which causes disease in beehives. So successful are they in the task, that the dogs are are able to scent check as many bee colonies in 45 minutes, as a person doing the same job would be able to achieve in 2 days. Remarkable!
Talking of smell. One of the things which makes humans unique are our individual fingerprints. But would it surprise you to learn that dogs have their own unique identifier in the form of their ‘nose-print’? You see, no two doggy noses are ever the same.
This is because the pattern of creases and ridges you see on every dog’s nose are completely unique to that individual pooch.
If that interesting dog fact wasn’t enough for you, did you know that dogs are also able to move their nostrils independently of each other? This allows them to easily determine which direction those interesting smells are coming from to quickly home in on the source. Clever stuff!
Dreaming Of Rabbits
What exactly does your dog dream about when they lie there asleep all twitches and whimpers? Barring some fantastic advance in mind reading technology, this alas is something we may never find out. What researchers have discovered however is that sleeping dogs display very similar brain activity and sleep patterns to humans! Using electroencephalograms (EEG’s) to monitor the neural activity of sleeping dogs, researchers have discovered that smaller dogs were more likely to dream than larger dogs.
A French Bulldog for example may dream every 10 minutes, while a Labrador may only dream every 90 minutes or so. Puppies however were found to dream much more frequently; Unsurprisingly perhaps as they were constantly experiencing and learning new things.
Not Just A Pretty Face:
Your dog may be smarter than you think. According to research conducted by scientists at the University of British Columbia, the average dog has the same linguistic ability as that of a 2 year old child. They also discovered that dogs of average intelligence were capable of understanding nearly 170 words and gestures.
If that wasn’t clever enough, it was also found that most dogs were able to count up to 5 and solve simple mathematical problems. Although these figures were based on canine averages, the top 20% of dogs tested proved to be veritable furry Einsteins and were able to understand up to 250 words, which is comparable to that of a three year old child!
So just in case you were wondering which breeds were brainiest, there was a survey carried out by over 200 dog obedience trainers across the USA and Canada. They rated Border Collies as the most intelligent breed while the poor old Afghan Hound was the least brainy.
All dogs wag their tail, but did you know that tail wagging does not necessarily indicate they are feeling confident or happy? Italian scientists who studied tail wagging from dogs of many different breeds, concluded that a tail which is wagging more to the right signified happiness, while a wagging bias to the left signified anxiety.
The scientists even showed dogs videos of other dogs wagging their tails. They discovered that dogs watching other dogs wagging tails to the left showed an increase in heart rate and displayed symptoms of anxiety, while those watching the video of a dog with a right wagging tail remained perfectly calm and relaxed. As interesting dog facts go, I think thats pretty amazing! I wonder how they would react to watching a Scooby Doo cartoon?
Many dog owners have long believed their faithful friends possess psychic abilities and research carried out by noted Biologist Dr Rupert Sheldrake seems to confirm that theory. Some dogs do indeed know when their owners are coming home; Despite them having no ‘rational’ way of knowing that sort of information beforehand.
Other studies have also discovered that a number of mammals ( including dogs) have a kind of sixth sense – that is, they are able to see into the ultraviolet light wavelength. This is something that we humans cannot do. Not only does this allow dogs to see better in the dark, but who knows, it might also explain why our pooches seem to get spooked by things humans cannot see. Ghosts perhaps…?
Don’t Sweat It!
When humans get hot, we naturally perspire from pores in our skin. Dogs however can really struggle to cope with hot weather. Not only are they encased in their own furry blanket, but their skin does not produce sweat in the same way ours does.
On hot days, dogs do of course pant with their mouths open. Curiously however, most of a dog’s sweat glands are actually situated around their foot pads. So next time its hot, check the floor and you may just notice a trail of damp paw prints where your hot dog has been walking.
Here’s another interesting dog fact for you. Like humans, dogs also have a natural tendency to favor one paw over the other. You can test whether your dog is right or left pawed by offering them a sealed cardboard tube containing treats and seeing which paw they use to hold the tube down with, while they attempt to get the treats out.
Here’s another interesting dog fact for you. Dogs have twice the number of muscles to move their ears as we humans do. Not only that, but they can use these remarkable muscles to display nearly 100 different facial expressions.
When it comes to distinguishing colors however, this is where humans have the edge. Human eyes have three cones to detect color, ( red, blue, green) whereas dogs only have two. Dogs are missing the red cones and actually see the world in the same way people who are color blind do.
Try a little experiment when you next go outside to play with your dog; Take three different color balls with you ( red, green and blue ) and throw them for your dog onto grass. Note which color ball your dog has the easiest time finding, or consistently runs to first.
Trust Me, I Own A Dog!
A survey conducted by the UK’s Dog Trust Charity found that 60% of respondents thought owning a dog made people more attractive and over 85% of survey respondents think people are more approachable when they are with a dog.
A staggering 95% of people surveyed said they would feel more relaxed about speaking to a stranger if the stranger had a dog with them. The reasons given were that dog owners seemed more approachable more trustworthy and more friendly. Well we dog owners already knew that didn’t we? It’s little wonder then that dogs are our best friends!
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