Dogs are amazing! Since you are reading this article, you may know that too! Their qualities are uncountable, and they never cease to amaze us.
In today’s article, we would like to take a different perspective and talk about not-so-popular facts about dogs, that only prove the opinion about how great they are!
Did you know that the average intelligence level of dogs is as a 2-2.5 years old child? A funny fact is that your dog may be smarter than your toddler. The Border Collie is considered the most intelligent dog breed. We should never underestimate our paw friends and always provide them with enough physical and mental stimulation so that they stay in a good shape.
Have you ever wondered if your paw friend sweats? He/she is not likely to have wet armpits after all... Canines sweat on their paws and pant in order to cool. They have two types of sweat glands- merocrine and apocrine glands. When sweating through their apocrine glands, dogs release pheromones, that humans can not detect. However, these pheromones can be detected by other dogs, and they are used among them as a type of identification.
3. Sense of smell
You may already know what a great sense of smell dogs have, but did you know that it is about 40 times better than ours? Dogs may be able to detect smells 12 miles away. However, they are surpassed by some cat representatives and bears whose sense of smell can detect scents about 18-19 miles away.
4. Detecting Medical Issues
As we already mentioned, dogs have an amazing sense of smell, which also helps them detect medical conditions. Yes, this is absolutely possible and many dogs become great medical alert dogs thanks to this ability. Canines can detect conditions such as a low/high blood sugar, an oncoming seizure episode, cardiac issues, various types of cancer...etc. But you should not think, that dogs can recognize only physical conditions! They are also great at detecting mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder, as well as changes in their owner’s feelings and behavior. Through proper training dogs can be thought to notify the owner about an oncoming episode, so that they can take preventive actions. Dog breeds with longer and wider noses are considered more suitable to be trained as medical alert dogs, than short-muzzled dogs, due to the bigger number of olfactory receptors they have.
Our paw friends do not only have a great sense of smell, but also a great hearing ability, which overpasses ours. While the frequency range that humans can detect is approximately 20 Hz-20 kHz, the hearing range of dogs is about 67 Hz- 45 kHz. Thanks to both the great sense of smell and great hearing, dogs can be of a great help to rescue teams or to teams searching for explosives and other substances.
6. Ear Muscles
Another interesting fact, related to dog hearing, and specifically to their ears, is that canines have about 18 muscles responsible for the ear movement. By moving their ears in a certain way, dogs do not only “adjust” them to hear better specific sounds in the surroundings, but also to communicate with us. Knowing your paw friend’s body language is an essential part of the process of raising and training a dog.
7. Longest-lived Dog
We all know that dogs have a much shorter lifespan than humans. Unfortunately, the average lifespan of our beloved paw friends is about 10-13 years. An interesting fact that you may be happy to know, is that the longest-lived dog reached the age of 29 years! His name was Bluey, and he was a wonderful Australian Cattle Dog. The high quality food that Bluey was fed with as well as the living conditions definitely contributed to prolonging Bluey’s life.
We talked about what great sense of smell and hearing abilities dogs have. But we have not mentioned anything about their speed yet! Some breeds can reach a speed of 45mph / 72kmh! Incredible, isn’t it! Actually this amazing speed can be reached by the Greyhound, considered the fastest dog breed. An even more interesting fact is that a Greyhound may be able to keep this speed for several miles, while a Cheetah can keep it for about 30 seconds. Of course, the highest speed of a Cheetah is about 81 mph / 130 kmh.
9. Left- or right-pawed?
Just like humans, dogs can have a preferred hand (paw). According to a study at Australia's University of Adelaide that took place in 2013, about 29% of the studied dogs were right-pawed and 34% of them were left-pawed. You may ask: “What about the other 37%?”. Well, they were ambilateral (used both paws).
10. Dogs in Politics
You may wonder what the title means... In 2012 Idyllwild, a city in California, United States, elected their first mayor and namely the lovely Golden Retriever Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller (Max). Idyllwild is an unincorporated area, which means that it is not governed by a local municipal corporation. In 2012 the first ever mayoral election was conducted, where 2 cats and 14 dogs were nominated. What a competition! Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller II (Max II) is the second and current mayor of the city.