What do you mean? my dog slurps his water like a JCB digger?
What?..My Dog is as smart as my 2 Year Old?
Have you ever wondered why your dog has whiskers?
Well until last evening the thought really did not occur to me, it probably did when I was little and my son would have asked, but it one of those questions you forget about, that was until my lovely friend Dylan rang to tell me about his day. I love his mind, it goes all over the place like mine constantly asking questions, a super intelligent man with a natural gift to talk to people and a huge heart. What are you going on about Dylan? you have just won your funding for your company and all you can think about is what is the difference between Dog and Cat whiskers?
I just accept that my boys tickle me with their whiskers and kisses, Finnbar my miniature Wire Hair Dachshund is wirey all over, he has grown well into his beard and moustache. But when asked by Dylan, I just laughed and said, I think it has something to do with their senses and the dark, right? then my friend say well then why does a cat has whiskers? there has to be a real reason otherwise they would not have them, right? Laughing, well why do Men have whiskers and not women (Dylan has a full on beard) and quite rightly he said, of course women have whiskers..I laughed and said yes ok you have me on that one, (Dylan knows that I have 1 whisker, it really annoys me, it grows every 2 weeks and yes, I guess it is that inevitable thing of getting to a certain age). Cats, well yes of course I knew it was all about senses with cats doing their stalking and hunting thing at night, but when I read up on it, it was truly intriguing.
It all made "whiskers sense" and here is my analogy of why it works, our lovely next door neighbour has a labrador called Toffee, over the past 12 months she has gradually, and now lost her sight. She is totally happy, she knows she is safe and loved and lives very well. We often go on walks together when her human has to go out for the day and she is quite happy trotting by my side. Toffee can hear my steps, knows my voice and smell and she keeps her nose pointed to my left leg (for some reason she likes to walk on my left side) and this must be why she points her nose, now it all makes whiskers sense. Her whiskers can sense where I am, right! what direction I am going in, when I change my pace. Bless her, I will give her an extra hug and treat today when I see her and let her know that I understand.
And so, thanks to Dylan and his questions, I have put together a top ten fur-tastic list of things we may have known, but like me may not have fully understood about our dogs. I hope this list of odd facts about dogs offers you a better appreciation of your four legged companion. They are truly incredible animals and offer us loyalty and never ending love.
Your dog is as smart as a 2-year-old toddler.
There’s a reason your tot and your pup get along so well, they speak the same language. Or at least, they likely understand roughly the same number of words and gestures — 250!
Your dog does have a sense of time — and misses you when you’re gone.
If you think your dog knows when it’s time for dinner or a walk, you’re right! Dogs pick up on our routines and habits, and they also sense how much time has passed. And funnily enough knows when that pesky post man (Lady in our case, a lovely lady called Zoe) is due.
Your dog’s whiskers help him “see” in the dark.
Okay, it’s not quite night-vision or a super power, but those whiskers pick up on even subtle changes in air currents, providing your pup with information about the size, shape, and speed of things nearby. This allows your dog to better sense approaching dangers or prey — even at night.
Dogs and cats both slurp water the same way.
This may be hard to believe since dogs are such messy drinkers, but just like cats, our canine friends bend the tip of their tongue and raise liquid in a column up to their mouths, I call it the JCB digger action.
Dogs only have sweat glands in their paws.
More specifically, they are found between their paw pads. That’s why it can help to wet the bottom of their feet on a hot day, and let them walk on grass rather than hot tarmac. It’s also why dogs rely on panting as a means of cooling down.
On average, a dog’s mouth exerts 320 pounds of pressure.
The tests were done on a German shepherd, American pit bull terrier, and Rottweiler. In comparison, human beings exert 120 pounds, white sharks exert 600 pounds, and crocodiles exert a whopping 2,500 pounds! Dogs also have ten more adult teeth than humans — 42 versus 32. So the lesson learnt here is…don’t swim with sharks (not likely, I still walk on water if a clean fish comes up to me in the sea) and never think about owning a crocodile …right!
Your one year-old pup is as physically mature as a 15-year-old human.
This is only an average “age” debate and of course, different breeds age a little differently. The facts say that large dogs age faster than small ones. I was always told by vets over the decades that we work out our dog’s age by an average of 1 year = 7.
Your dog’s sense of smell is 1,000 to 10 million times better than yours.
Depending on the breed, your dog has between 125 million to 300 million scent glands — compared to only 5 million for humans. And the part of your dog’s brain that controls smell is 40 times larger than yours — that’s true, even though the canine brain is much smaller than the human, relative to size. A human’s brain is about 1/40th of their body weight while a dog’s brain is only 1/125th. Don’t feel too smug, though an ant’s brain is 1/7th its body weight. Confused? I am!
Dogs can hear 4 times as far as humans.
Puppies may be born deaf, but they quickly surpass our hearing abilities. Dogs can also hear higher pitched sounds, detecting a frequency range of 67 to 45,000 hertz (cycles per second). The human range is from 64 to 23,000 hertz. In both dogs and humans, the upper end of hearing range decreases with age.
Your dog can smell your feelings.
Your pup can pick up on subtle changes in your scent, which can help him figure out how you are feeling — such as by smelling your perspiration when you become nervous or fearful. It’s also likely how dogs can detect certain diseases which we now know and understand that dogs are being trained in detected cancer within humans. And, they know that a household member is pregnant. And this I have experienced myself, my father in law always kept German Shepherds, a breed that I grew up with as a very small child to my twenty’s and so I know and love this breed.
Mike always rescued his dogs and was renowned over decades of taking ex Police dogs and also dogs that had either been abandoned or the family could not cope with such a large dog breed. He lived on a small holding/farm, and wherever Mike was, there was his dogs, they had the best of lives with him. Every morning they would get up at the crack of dawn, go out and mend the fences, check the sheep and feed them before the others would wake up. They all went to work together in the back of his car, even on long journeys and back home exhausted but more work had to be done. They had a job a night, they had their own house to live in outside and when the foxes arrive, their ears would prick up and whoosh out they would go. In the country foxes come and kill the chickens and ducks, they worry the sheep and they kill needlessly, and so they all knew that a job had to be done. They would never catch the foxes they are too intelligent but they would keep them away for most of the time and would also alert the house of any strangers too. Zultan took his job quite seriously and he was devoted to my father in law. When I first met him I was 3 months pregnant, he was told by his human to be kind and I put my hand out to his nose to sniff and then to my tummy and I gently said to him, hello Zultan say hello to a new human and patted my tummy. He came up and nudged my tummy very carefully and to the rest of his days he loved my son unconditionally and he accepted me.I caused no threat to Zultan I offered him love, hugs and treats and that is all they ever could wish for.
I hope this little ditty helped you think about your dog and their funny ways, right now I have Finnbar my wee wirey boy at my feet keeping my toes warm and Hunter my big yellow boy is curled up next to my desk, I think Hunter always sleeps with one eye open watching me, he knows it is time for our lunch time walk and within a nano second of me stopping tip tapping on my key board he will be up! right human stop! it’s time for our “us time”
And so it shall be…