Do our four-legged friends really see in black and white and what does it actually mean when they're wagging their tails? Do you think you know everything about your canine companion? Think again! Check out these surprising facts about dogs.
1. Dogs don’t feel Guilty - watch video
Researchers found those puppy dog eyes are not a sign of guilt but fear. In fact it is just the way we interpret a dog’s reaction to being scolded. If they eat every biscuit in the house, they may look ashamed but don’t expect them to feel guilty as they don’t experience these emotions. Maybe Denver didn't eat the kitty-cat treats after all...
2. Dogs can See in COLOUR
It is a common myth that dogs can only see in black and white. They only have two cones in their eyes to detect colours, whereas humans have three. That means dogs see colours on a blue and yellow scale but cannot distinguish between red and green. On the other hand, they have better night vision than humans. Their eyes take in information 25% faster than us, making them specially talented at catching a ball or frisbee.
3. Their sense of Smell is really Powerful
We know dogs have a powerful sense of smell and while we can just about smell a spoonful of sugar in a cup of tea, our canine friends are capable of smelling that same spoonful in two Olympic swimming pools of water
4. They can Smell Disease
Research at the Schillerhohe Hospital in Germany found dogs have an incredible ability to recognize the smell of a range of organic compounds showing the human body isn’t working as it should. That means your dog can actually diagnose your cancer, something scientists are eager to explore further, as well as diabetes and the early signs of an epileptic seizure.
Watch Video of dogs learning to smell Cancer
5. Dogs can be Smart - watch video
Dogs are as intelligent as a two year-old child, according to research presented to the American Psychological Association. Dogs can understand up to 250 words and gestures and even perform simple mathematical calculations. Perhaps unsurprisingly, border collies are the cleverest canines, with some able to understand up to 200 words. The other breeds in the top five are poodles, German shepherds, golden retrievers and dobermans.
6. A Wagging Tail does NOT always mean they are Happy
Tail wagging has its own language. Apparently dogs wag their tail to the right when they’re happy and to the left when they are frightened. Wagging low means they are insecure and rapid movements accompanied by tense muscles or dilated pupils can signal aggression. So every wagging tail tells its own story, if you know how to read the signs.
7. They really are HOT Dogs
Not only are dogs wearing a huge fur coat, they also have to contend with a higher body temperature than you. Human's have a body temperature of 37C, but a dog’s is 38C. That’s one reason fleas are more likely to be attracted to your dog than to you. And unlike humans, dogs don’t have sweat glands all over their body, just on the pads of their paws.
8. Dog Urine can Corrode Metal
Apparently allowing your dog to wee on a lamp-post could be more dangerous than you think - because the acids in the urine can corrode the metal. In April 2003 Derbyshire County Council spent £75,000 carrying out a six month survey of one million lamp-posts amid fears that dog wee was causing the bases to crumple. In the same year, urinating dogs were blamed for a spate of lamp-posts collapsing in Croatia.
9. Dogs are very Resourceful - watch video
In Russia, stray dogs learned to use the subway to travel to areas with more restaurants and food stands where they scavenge and even scare people for food.
10. Dogs suffer from Jealousy - watch video
They are just as likely to turn into a green eyed monster as humans, according to scientists in California. Researchers studied 36 dogs from 14 breeds and found that most were indifferent when their owners ignored them until the owners showered their attention on a stuffed dog. Then their behaviour changed dramatically, sparking snapping and snarling.
Were you impressed by some of these amazing dog facts? We’d love to hear from you! Leave your comments below and let us know!
Our PET EVENTS focusing on Mental Health Wellness have proven that interacting with affectionate dogs can reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, lower blood-pressure and even decrease the perception of pain. These petting sessions offer students and staff who are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, the opportunity to increase socialization through interaction with dogs and people in a relaxing setting.
Do you have a gentle well-behaved dog who loves people and is nice to other dogs? You may want to find out about joining our Therapy Dog Program. Check our Requirements to see if you are a right match and contact us. Let's see whether your dog would be suitable to work as a Therapy Dog providing love and comfort to people in need in your community!