Many of us think we know everything there is to know about canines, our best friends from the animal kingdom. With their incredible intelligence and unmatched loyalty, it is no surprise that everyone absolutely loves dogs, and wants to learn about their species and behaviours as much as possible.
However, did you know that many of the things we know about dogs are actually misconceptions? There is so much more to these fascinating animals that most people have no idea about!
Here are 10 intriguing things you probably didn’t know about your four-legged best friend.
Do Dogs See In Colour?
or just in Black & White?
A common misconception is that all dogs are colourblind or that they only see the world in black and white colours. But guess what? Your furry little companion can, in fact, see in colour!
The only difference is that dogs can’t see as many colours as humans can. As confirmed by vision researcher Jay Nietz, dogs’ eyes contain fewer color cones than humans, and that they see the world in hues of yellow, blue, and grey.
Do Dogs Have a Sense of Time?
Or do they just keep waiting?
We often joke about how dogs are whiny at dinner times. But did you know that your dog probably does know it’s their dinner time?
Science has now proven that dogs have a sense of time, and can easily tell the difference between an hour and five minutes.
This is why you should set a routine for your dogs to follow; it makes them calmer since they know when and what to expect.
Can Dogs Smell Feelings?
or do they use their eyes?
We all know dogs have one of the strongest senses of smell. But did you know your dog can actually smell what you feel? For example, your fur baby can, in a very literal sense, sniff your fear because you lightly perspire when fearful.
Similarly, they can use their sense of smell, which is 100,000 times stronger than that of humans, to sniff certain compounds that the body houses when developing lung cancer, and thus potentially make early detection possible!
Does Every Dog have a Unique Nose Print?
or are they all just the same?
Just like humans have unique fingerprints, dogs have unique nose prints! Every dog on the planet has a unique nose print. If you look closely, you will see that your little buddy’s nose has thing lines on it, forming patterns similar to those on human fingertips.
Can Your Dog’s Physiology Determine Behaviour?
or is it all just nurture and nature?
There aren’t a lot of ways to determine how long your dog will live. A healthy lifestyle is a well known way to keep them with you as long as possible.
However, did you know that a dog’s body and facial shape might help determine their behaviour and longevity?
Professor Stanley Coren from the University of British Columbia discovered that there are significant findings that your dog’s height, weight and head shape – can assist in predicting your dog’s behaviour and temperament to a certain extent.
For more information, you can read his article here:
A Dog’s Size and Head Shape Predicts Its Behavior
Do Dogs Sleep Curled Up for Protection?
or are they feeling cold?
When your dog is sleeping all curled up and looking as adorable as ever, you may want to cover them up because you think they’re cold. However, this is not always the case!
Experts have said that curling up while sleeping is actually a hereditary behaviour; dogs in the wild used to sleep this way to protect their bodies from unexpected predator attacks.
Is Yawning Contagious for Dogs too?
or is it just a coincidence?
We all know yawning is contagious between humans. This is true for dogs too! If your furry buddy sees you yawn, chances are they will sometimes involuntarily mimic it.
What’s more interesting is that dogs are four times more likely to yawn if the person they see yawning is someone they know.
Are Dogs Truly Altruistic?
or do they do it for a purpose?
Altruism in humans is a long-stretched debate. Whether or not any human act is truly selfless remains to be settled, but what we do know is that dogs are among the very few animals that exhibit unselfish kindness.
You may think your dog only loves you because you feed them or they are good because they want treats, but this is actually not true. As it turns out, dogs truly have kind hearts, and will practice altruism in several situations – towards dogs and towards other animals.
A great example is of nursing mothers who take on additional orphaned puppies even though they strain their bodies; they are just kind like that!
Do Dogs Feel Real Guilt?
or is it a trained response?
We have all come across instances where our dogs misbehave. Often resulting with a innocent look on their faces, looking incredibly guilty for chewing on the couch or getting into the trash.
However, experts are now claiming that canines are actually not capable of feeling complex emotions like guilt and shame. What you see as a guilty expression on dog’s face is probably just fear because they are being shouted at, or even just a learned behaviour that they know calms their owners.
So if you tend to reprimand your dog for being naughty, know that it does not actually have a positive effect, and it is better to use positive reinforcement instead of scaring them by shouting.
Does Your Dog Know Why You Smile?
or is it just another strange human expression?
A long time ago, some people have believed that dogs actually interpret smiles as aggression, since it looks to them as if a person is threateningly baring teeth at them.
Recent research, however, has suggested that your dog actually does know when you smile, and what it means. Interestingly, dogs can even distinguish smiles on the faces of strangers.
Biologist Corsin Müller concluded in a research that dogs have learned to associate expressions with human behaviour, and can tell happiness from anger from small defining features like wrinkles on the forehead.
It seems like we will always continue to discover fascinating things about the brilliant species that dogs are – and each new fact will only make us love them more!