Dogs have been an integral part of human life for more than three thousand years. Throughout history, the relation between human and their canine friends have allowed us to know more about these marvellous beings. Even after the long relation and intimate time together, there are still a lot of facts and features of this cute creature hidden from us.
Here you will know about the most amazing scientific facts about dogs. The latest research and scientific discoveries have led us closer to knowing more about our domestic dogs. Following is the list of 10 amazing facts about dogs that will help you know more about your best buddy.
Dogs don’t feel guilt
You might have seen the pictures and videos on the internet where dogs are caught doing something they shouldn't and showing a guilty face. Well, we hate to break it to you, but the fact is that dogs don't feel guilt. Dogs love to share happy time with you, and when you are happy with them and using a good tone, they enjoy this time a lot. But when you speak in a harsh or scolding voice, they get uncomfortable.
According to animal behaviourists, dogs don't feel guilty, and the look you see on their faces when they are caught red-handed is because of your harsh tone. When owners become rude to the dogs without any reason, the dogs also display the same guilty face. So next time, if you want to make them feel guilty, don't even bother.
Dogs sweat through their paws
Most dog parents know that dogs love to sit in water and cool places during summer. But most of the pet parents are unaware of the fact that dogs don't have sweat glands over their bodies. Instead, dogs have sweat glands only in their paws. That's why their paws are smelly even when they stay inside the house.
Humans and other animals have sweat glands over their bodies to regulate the body temperature in extreme heat. The dogs pant to cool down their body, and excessive breathing allows them to do so. In regular panting, dogs can breathe 300 to 400 times a minute. The panting and sweat from the paws are not enough to regulate their body temperature in extreme heat. That's why you need to provide ample water and a cold spot to your dog in summer.
Dogs are extremely diverse
Humans and other animals have somewhat similar bone and skull structures when it comes to different races and breeds. When you have cats of different breeds, all of them will show the same skull and bone structure. The difference will be only of the size. The same cannot be said for the dogs. According to a study, dogs don't possess the same trait as cats and other animals.
Dogs have different skull structures, and you can see the difference evidently when you compare the skull of a German shepherd with the golden retriever. The variation in the structure will be as equal to the difference between a cat and a bear. There are 200 breeds of dogs, and all of them show different skeletal characteristics.
Puppies are born deaf and blind
The sense of touch is the first thing that your dog learns after coming to this world. A newborn puppy is born blind with eyes closed. If you had a chance to rear a newborn puppy, you have noticed that the puppy keeps the eyes closed all the time. After ten days, the puppies are able to see the world around them and learn to register visual stimuli.
The same goes for the ears, puppies are born deaf as well, and they are not able to register even the loud noises. Puppies communicate with the world around them only with the help of touch. Dogs can hear four times more than humans, but at the time of birth, they are just deaf.
Dogs whiskers help them “See” in dark
It is not the case that dogs can close their eyes in the dark and have an interactive image of their surroundings. The real scenario is that dog whiskers help them communicate with the changes in the environments. The whiskers are sensitive to the minute and big changes in the environment and help the dog register those changes.
When there is a change in the air current, or the air molecules move abruptly, the whisker help dogs locate the approaching object. They can locate their prey and know about charging predators even in the dark with the help of these whiskers. Next time you see those whiskers, you will have respect for these hairs on the face of your canine friend.
Dogs dream like we do
MRI scans of dogs during sleep reveal that they do have dreams. These scans indicate that dogs have the same kinds of brain stimulation as we humans do. The exact parts of the brain responsible for dreaming in humans get stimulated in dogs' brains during their sleep as well. The dogs are unable to communicate what they see in dreams, but experts believe that the nature of their dreams is just like ours.
The smaller dogs dream more compared to the larger breeds. A Chihuahua will have two to three dreams in one hour sleep, and a Great Dane, on the other hand, will have only one dream in one hour sleep. Dogs do not start having dreams right after they sleep; they also need to go in REM Rapid Eye Movement state to have a dream as we humans do.
Dogs do suffer from anxiety and depression
When we get obsessed with a certain thought and uncertainty, we feel anxious. This anxiety can convert into depression if we keep on thinking the same thing for quite a long time. Dogs do suffer from anxiety and depression as we do. Experts believe that they also bear the same resultant effects as humans because of depression.
Dogs are social beings, and they cannot live alone. That's why you need to stay with them or provide them with a companion. When they are alone or sense a big change in their surroundings, they will get depressed. Change in ownership or change of home will have the same impact on their mental condition as we perceive when we have to bear a loss of a closed one.
Dogs can read our emotions
You don't need to tell the whole story to your dogs to make them know how you are feeling. Dogs are the only beings who are capable of registering your emotion in just a single glance. When your dog looks at you, it doesn't always mean acknowledgement or attention. Your dog will look at your face to register your emotion and will change the behaviour accordingly.
Dogs can imitate our emotions; that's why they go along perfect with us. Researchers at the University of Lincoln found out dogs need a partial of second to register your emotions, and they use Left-gaze bias to do so. Our right side of the face shows emotions more accurately than the left one. Dogs look at the right side of our face for the same reason.
Your Dog has a sense of time
You might think that dogs cannot count hours for how long you have been away from them; well, this is not the case at all. According to researchers, dogs show different behaviour to the owner when the owner spends different amounts of time away from them. They can count hours, especially in your absence, in their special ways.
Dogs are animals of routine and habit. When you make a change in your routine or habit, your dog is the one that will suffer the most. That's why experts suggest that pet owners should start showing minor signs of change in routine to the dog to keep them calm and comfortable. The abrupt change will affect their mental health.
Different tail wags mean different things
In Psychology Today, Dr Stanley Coren elaborated on different tail wagging positions and their meanings. According to experts, dogs wag their tails to express their emotions, and tail wagging doesn't always translate to happiness and joy. When you come back home, your dog will wag the tail by keeping it a bit horizontal with the body.
A dog protecting the territory will wag the tail in an upright position and with an aggressive face. A dog in fear will have the tail between the legs, and when you see such a condition try to console your dog by rubbing the chest and ears. Dogs communicate with each other with the help of their tail as well. The horizontal tail wagging at the arrival of a dog is also a friendly gesture towards the newcomer.
Over to you
No one can deny the love and affection dogs have to offer for humans. The facts mentioned above open new aspects of these drooling balls and help us understand how naïve we are regarding dogs. Our time together has taught dogs much more about us than we can imagine. Dogs easily adjust their behaviour and disposition according to humans. It's us who need to learn more about how to adjust according to them.
Article by Dr. Saba Afzal
Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine