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Dog facts most dog owners do not know

By on July 27, 2015

These 7 amazing facts about dogs may come to change your perspective on your trusted companion, for the best

The guilty-look – overrated

Studies found those adorable puppy dog eyes are not a sign of guilt. They are just the way we interpret a dog’s reaction in response to ours.

It’s true that in some photos or videos they look guilty of doing something they shouldn’t have, but nevertheless behaviourists insist dogs lack shame. Dogs who were wrongly accused often looked more “guilty” than those who really deserved to be scolded. The guilty look – head cowered, ears back, eyes droopy – yet a very expressive mimic, is a response to the owner’s reaction over the damage they did hours earlier or did not do at all.

“I am not saying that dogs might not feel guilt, just that the ‘guilty look’ is not an indication of it,” said the author of the research, Alexandra Horowitz, from Barnard College in New York City. She also believes there is a difference between guilt and shame, when it comes to dogs also.

Dogs can actually see colours

With just two cones in their eyes for colour detection, while we have three, dogs can actually see colours, just not as vivid as humans do. It is a common myth that dogs can only see in black and white: they can easily detect blue and yellow scale, but they are red-green colour-blind. For humans, this is called deuteranopia and it is a condition that affects a substantial percentage of the human population. For dogs, it is just the normal way they see the world.

On the other hand, as a plus, they have better night vision than humans.

Dogs can smell disease and save your life

Research at the Schillerhohe Hospital in Germany found dogs have an incredible ability to recognize the smell of organic compounds that can sometimes indicate serious health problems. Your dog can actually smell cancer, diabetes and the early signs of an epileptic seizure. Scientist are eager to perform a few more research in the future, for a dog’s nose can be an incredibly useful tool to diagnose incipient stages of disease, which allows therapy to be instituted earlier and maximize the chances of recovery.

Wagging tail – happy or not?

Apparently, dogs wag their tail to the right when they’re happy and to the left when they are frightened. Low wagging means they are curious and insecure, while rapid movements accompanied by muscle tension or dilated pupils can signal aggression.

Tail wagging language is a very relevant pointer about how your dog is feeling, if you know how to read the signs.

A nose like a fingerprint

Their nose print is actually unique, just as human fingerprints are. The combination of ridges and creases can actually be used to identify them. No two dog noses are the same. This is a very important information for dogs identification methods around the world.

Small dogs dream big

Everybody who owns a dog had at least once witnessed the twitching or whimpering while their dogs sleep. Dogs have the same sleep brain wave patterns as humans, so they dream, just like we do. What is even more surprising is the fact that not all dogs dream the same amount of dreams. Small dogs have more dreams than big dogs, once every 10 minutes, whereas a big dog may dream once every hour.

They don’t call it puppy love for nothing

The concept that dogs can feel deep love, similar to humans, was suggested by anthropologist Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of “The Social Lives of Dogs”, after behavioural studies on two dogs, separated by their owners. Also, Paul Zak, Professor at Claremont Graduate University in California, found that a dog’s brain releases oxytocin – the love hormone – when interacting both with humans and other dogs, just the same as human brains do when hugging or kissing the loved one.

Man’s best friend always has the capacity to surprise us. Either you were aware of these facts about your furry friend or not, we can all agree on one thing: every-day life with a dog can be a very happy journey, because dogs are simply amazing.

 

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About Laura Parvan

Medical professional, blogging passionate, with a high interest in social media impact on health-care information.

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