Did you know that...
Below we have listed some facts about dur, especially dogs. Facts that some may not know about their characteristics and behaviors.
1. Dogs' sense of smell is at least 40 times better than ours.
The area of cells in the brain that detect different smells is about 40 times larger in dogs than in humans. This means your dog can pick up a lot more smells than we ever could. This is why dogs are often used to sniff out people, drugs and even money!
2. Some people have such a good sense of smell that they can sniff out medical problems.
Yes, medical detection dogs are a reality. Because their sense of smell is so good, some dogs can be trained to sniff out medical conditions. They are used to diagnose a certain condition or to alert their owners if they need more medicine. Some are even trained to sniff out Covid-19!
One of these incredible dogs is Medical Detection Dog Pal, who was awarded the PDSA Order of Merit. Pal played an important role in diabetic owner Claire's life by alerting her to changes in her blood sugar. If not caught in time, these changes could have killed her.
3. Dogs can sniff while breathing
Dogs rely heavily on their sense of smell to find food, potential dangers, and friends, so needless to say, they do a lot of sniffing. Their noses are designed so that scents can stay in their noses while air can move in and out of their lungs at the same time, meaning they can breathe freely and still work out what that smell is!
4. Some dogs are incredibly good swimmers
Not all dogs like water, but the ones that do tend to be pretty good swimmers (but then again, not all are, so always keep an eye on your dog in case they decide to take a dip).
Newfoundlands are so good in the water that for years they have been used as water rescue dogs. In 2016, a brave Newfoundland named Whiz was awarded the PDSA Order of Merit for saving nine people from the sea during his career as a water rescue dog.
5. Some dogs are so fast that they can run faster than a cheetah
Most dogs can easily run faster than a human - they are built to run and hunt! By far the fastest dog breed, however, is the greyhound. These fast sight dogs can reach a top speed of 73 km/h within seconds of starting to run
"But how does this beat a cheetah?" we hear you ask. Well, while a cheetah can get up to almost 113 km/h, they can only maintain that speed for about 30 seconds. Greyhounds, on the other hand, can easily run at speeds over 56 km/h and 11 km. So despite the cheetah's lead, they would soon overtake!
6. Dogs don't sweat like we do
When dogs sweat, you shouldn't expect them to get moist armpits. Where humans sweat watery fluid to cool down, dogs produce a pheromone-filled oily substance that we humans can't detect (dogs know it's there because of their sense of smell). The only place dogs sweat like us is on their paws and they pant instead of cooling off. This is why it is so important to keep your dog cool during the warmer days to make it easier for them.
7. Your dog can be left- or right-pawed
There have been some studies done on this and it turns out that just like us, dogs have a preferred hand (well, paw) to lead with. You can find out if your dog is left- or right-pawed by giving them their favorite toy or interactive game and seeing which paw they use first.
8. Dogs' hearing is very sensitive
We all know that dogs can hear much higher frequencies than us, but did you know that they can also hear further? In general, dogs can hear much softer sounds than we can, so they can hear things that are much further away.
This is another trait that makes them great search and rescue dogs. Although they mainly use their noses for tracking, their hearing can also be helpful (especially as they get closer to whatever they're looking for!). Dogs like K9 Killer, who was awarded the PDSA Gold Medal for helping to track rhino poachers, excel at tracking by both smell and hearing.
9. Dogs have 18 muscles that control the ears
If you have a dog, you may have noticed that their ears move a lot. They actually have about 18 muscles that are responsible for moving their ears. These help them change the direction of their ears, this to better hear sounds around them, and also play a really big role in telling how our dogs are feeling. Much of a dog's body language is expressed through what their ears do, so a dog's ears are vital in helping them communicate both with us and other dogs.
10. Dogs are about as intelligent as a two-year-old
Studies have shown that dogs can learn over 100 words and gestures, putting their intelligence and understanding of us on par with a two-year-old. However, dogs are much easier to train than a two-year-old! They are used for all kinds of jobs, from military roles to assistance dogs, because they are both smart and extremely loyal animals.