17 incredible things you didn't know about dogs
Renew your knowledge to better understand them!
Dogs have been important to humans for thousands of years. These wonderful creatures are loyal, loving, playful, intelligent, and give people unconditional love. Many of us spend our whole life around dogs, but still, there are things you yet don't know about our canine friends that might surprise you! So we made a list of 17 amazing things you probably didn't know about dogs!
1: Your dog can be left-handed
Research has been made on whether dogs have one paw that is more dominant than the other, and yes - just like humans, dogs can be left-handed or right-handed.
Are you curious to find out which paw your dog "prefers"? You can easily find out: Give the dog a toy and notice which paw the dog uses when it reaches for it. Repeat this test several times - does your dog always reach for the toy with his left paw first? Then your dog is in all probability "left-handed".
2: Their sense of smell is 100 million times as sensitive ours
It is difficult for us humans to understand how sensitive dogs' sense of smell can be. The exact number is difficult to estimate, but researchers claim that dogs have a sense of smell that is about 100 million times more sensitive than a human's nose.
This is partly due to the 300 million receptors found in a dog's nose, compared to the "shocking" 5 million receptors in the human nose.
This incredible trait is why dogs help us fight crime and save lives, for example, by exposing drugs or finding people during rescue operations.
This is also the reason why dogs are busy sniffing at everything and everyone they meet. When people meet dogs for the first time, it is common for them to walk towards the dog and immediately start petting it. It is completely wrong for the dog because it is more natural to use their nose to smell each other first.
There is no doubt that dogs' noses are extremely sensitive. In fact, the nose is so good that it can detect diseases, such as diabetes, in humans if the dog is trained for it. Some dogs are also trained to detect Covid-19 disease!
3: Dogs have four times as good hearing as humans
In addition to a unique nose, dogs also have good hearing. For example, canines can hear much higher frequencies than humans and can hear sounds even if they are far from the source.
Compared to us, dogs can hear things that are four times as far away.
4: Dogs can be as intelligent as a two-year-old
Dogs can learn more than 150 words and signs, meaning they have an intelligence level comparable to a human two-year-old.
According to psychologist and dog researcher Stanley Coren, we have underestimated dogs' intelligence.
- We all want insight into how our furry friends think, and we want to understand the weird, strange and seemingly irrational behaviour that Lassie or Rover shows. But their incredible glimpses of brilliance and creativity remind us that they are closer to us humans than we thought, Coren has previously stated.
Here are the top ten most intelligent dog breeds
1: Border Collie
3: German Shepherd
4: Golden Retriever
6: Shetland Sheepdog
7: Labrador Retriever
5: Dogs use Earth's magnetic field to navigate
Dog owners have definitely experienced this: the dog is about to defecate while you're on a walk but spends ages finding the perfect place to squat down. Once it has found a good spot, it will go around itself several times before it finally sits down to do the deed.
But why do dogs spend so much time deciding where to defecate?
Maybe it's because it uses the Earth's magnetic field to find inner pooping peace.
At first glance, this statement seems ridiculous - why in the world would a dog choose to consider the Earth's magnetic field to dodo?
Researchers do not know precisely why, but they know that dogs actually prefer to sit specifically with the spine in line with the north-south axis.
To find this position, the dogs use the Earth's magnetic field. In addition, a study from 2014 concluded that dogs actively avoid pooping while facing an east-west direction.
It is still a mystery why dogs position themselves like this. Whether it is a deliberate action, for example, the dog registers the magnetic field sensory, or whether the magnetic registration occurs on a vegetative level, the researchers write in the report.
Although we do not fully understand why dogs do this, the knowledge can make us understand why dogs spend ages to decide where it wants to poop.
6: A dogs sense of taste is weaker than a humans'
Why is the dog's nose usually wet? The answer is fascinating: the nose secretes mucus that absorbs chemicals. So when a dog licks its snout, it receives information that makes it easier to understand the smell.
By the way, did you know that each dog's nose is unique, just like a fingerprint on a human?
8: Dogs dream
When your dog makes strange noises or 'air runs' its legs while sleeping, it is probably deep into dreamland. Dogs, like humans, can dream, and researchers believe that they dream about their recent experiences.
Researchers also believe that a dog can dream of its owner. If you want to know more about this, you can read our article «Your puppy can dream, but also have nightmares»
9: Which direction the tail wags can tell you something about the dog's feelings/mood
Researchers have found that the direction the tail wags can give you useful information about the dog. For example, when a dog encounters something or someone it recognises, the wagging will lean to the right.
If the dog encounters something unknown - whether it is a person or another dog - the tail will wag to the left.
Want to know more about what tail wagging can tell you? Then you can read the article "Revealed by his own tail".
10: Puppies have neither sight nor hearing as newborns
Puppies can be naughty creatures, but life is not necessarily that simple in the early stages after birth. For example, newborn puppies do not have fully developed hearing or vision, which results in them being born both deaf and blind.
Fortunately, it does not take long before these critical functions start working. Around two weeks after birth, the puppy will open its eyes and respond to sounds and sensory impressions.
11: Dogs eat faeces - and it is perfectly normal
It is not uncommon for dog owners to experience that the dog eats its own or others' faeces.
This can happen at home or when the dog is out on a walk. Although humans perceive it as unnatural and grim, it is pretty standard in the dog world. The behaviour can be due to several things. For example, a dog mother will often eat its puppies poop to tidy up the hive and remove smells that can attract potential predators.
There are also several other reasons why dogs can eat faeces, including malnutrition or stress.
12: Dogs can get jealous
Like humans, dogs can get jealous when they lose attention in favour of others, whether they are other dogs or humans. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a dog to become jealous if a new family member - whether it is a dog or a baby - is introduced into the home.
13: Dogs are not colour-blind
You have probably heard it before because this is an old, widespread myth. But dogs are not colour blind, and they do not see black and white only. Instead, dogs can see various colours, but they struggle to distinguish between different degrees of green and red.
14: Yawning does not always mean the dog is tired
When your dog yawns, it is not necessarily because it is tired, although it can also mean that. Dogs yawn for several reasons; for example, they can yawn to calm themselves down. On the other hand, if your dog yawns a lot, it can mean that he is stressed, anxious or enthusiastic.
15: How to greet a dog
Many children and adults greet a dog by petting it on top of the head, which makes sense for humans, but not for the dog. The dog will get to know you first, and the way the canines do that is to use their nose to smell you.
When a person comes with their hand over its head, the dog will respond by moving its snout towards the human hand. This movement can be frightening, especially for children, and often causes the child to withdraw his hand like a pure reflex. In addition, this movement can cause the dog to become extra curious. It might start following the child to finish the greeting.
To avoid this, you can ask your child to move its hand gently towards the dog's snout so that it has the opportunity to smell and get to know the child.
Such an approach will feel safer for both the child and the dog. However, it is best to stretch out your hand and let the dog approach first.
16: Dogs smell each other's butts to get to know each other
It can be a little strange to witness two dogs smelling each other's butts to greet each other but do not think your dog is just being kinky. However, this is common for dogs, and the activity gives the dogs useful information about each other. Dogs' unique smell is distinguished from their ass and can tell another dog a lot, for example, about gender, health and diet.
17: cuddling for good health
For many dog owners, physical contact and cuddling are essential in their relationship with their dogs. Not only does it give the owner a positive experience - for the dog's health, it is also directly healthy to receive cuddles. According to the American Kennel Club, you can lower your dogs' blood pressure by cuddling it.