Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Your Dog
In my twenty-four years of life, I have never known a day without a dog, and I don’t ever intend to. From being there to clean the floor for me when I drop pieces of food, to falling asleep on my stomach and being my reason why I should watch another episode on Netflix instead of working out, to saving me from any squirrel that comes within thirty feet, it’s easy to understand why dogs are an essential part of most families. While these are some more obvious reasons why I’ve fallen in love with so many four-legged friends over the years, there are a number of things that I had no idea about, leading me to believe that dogs actually are the coolest pets on the planet. Check out these ten things that I bet you didn’t know about your dog, and I guarantee you’ll agree!
1. Did you know…that dogs chase their tails for a number of different reasons? (Source)
The first reason a dog might chase their tail, is due to boredom. This can be especially true, if your furry friend is still considered to be a puppy. Young pups sometimes don’t even realize their tail is part of their fluffy bodies, but instead see it as a toy. This is a great way for your pooch to not only entertain themselves, but also get rid of some of that immense amount of energy they have.
Another reason for this tail chasing frenzy, could be for attention. I know when my dogs start the frantic chase to catch their tails, I can’t help but react in some sort of way, whether it’s with laughter, or even cheering them on. If you also have similar reactions when your dog chases their tail, they could eventually learn to use this activity as a tactic to get your attention.
Finally, if your dog is constantly chasing their tail, it could mean that something isn’t right. If Fido seems to be partaking in tail-chasing almost incessantly, it could be a sign that they are having an issue that needs your attention. If you think there could be a problem, contact your vet as your pup might have fleas or worms.
2. Did you know…that dogs dream, just like humans do? (Source)
Have you ever been woken from your own slumber, because your dog is in the midst of some serious dreaming? Researchers have found that dogs can, in fact, dream just as much as humans can! Studies have been completed using an EEG machine, which showed that while dogs are sleeping, they experience similar sleep patterns and brain wave activity that humans do. Just as we do, dogs experience REM periods of sleep, which is when the leg kicking, whimpering, or even barking commences. What exactly are dogs dreaming of when they “run” in their sleep? It is thought to be that dogs dream of similar things as humans, such as replaying their day or various experiences they’ve had in real life, but this is still not confirmed.
3. Did you know…that dogs can see in the dark? (Source)
I already thought my dogs were cool, but learning that they have supersonic seeing powers? That took their coolness off the charts. How are these “seeing powers” possible? Well, it starts with how dogs’ eyes are made. Since dogs have larger pupils, it allows more light to enter the eye. The real trick to our furry friends’ night vision, is due to a “mirror-like membrane” called the tapetum lucidum, which ultimately allows their eyes to take in even more light and see better in the dark, just like many other nocturnal animals found in the wild. Pretty cool, huh?
4.Did you know…that dogs actually do not see in black and white? (Source)
It’s a common misconception that dogs can only see in black and white. Over the years, scientists have come to find, that dogs actually do have a little bit more color in their lives than originally thought. According to recent studies, dogs see the world in mostly shades of blues and yellows, as well as grays. However, when it comes to variations of reds and greens, dogs actually have a hard time distinguishing their true shades, and it is believed that they see them as very dark colors. It seems that dogs might not like these colors that they can’t determine, as it has even been found that dogs will show a lack of interest in red colored toys.
5.Did you know…that there’s a reason behind your dog sleeping in a cute, little ball? (Source)
For some people, it’s a nightly battle for the bed with your dog. For others that have a pup like I do, it’s really like they’re not even on the bed at all, because they disappear into a little ball. While Zoey looks sweet and snuggly when she does this, she’s actually curling up like this for a couple of different reasons. When dogs curl up into a ball, they could be doing it simply to preserve body warmth and keep cozy. But another reason for this scrunched-up sleeping position, could be due to one of their natural instincts. It is believed, that a natural reason for dogs to sleep in a ball, is to protect their abdomens, and other vital organs, from predators while they sleep. Whatever your dogs reasons is, they sure look cute doing it!
6. Did you know…that a one year old dog is as physically mature as a 15 year-old human? (Source)
It’s a well-known (and super sad) fact, that an average dog’s lifespan is significantly shorter than a humans. It is because of this, that dog’s age significantly quicker than we do. Even though a twelve month old dog is still considered to be a puppy, they are actually as physically mature as a fifteen year old human!
7.Did you know…that your dog’s nose is as unique as a humans finger print? (Source)
Of course, every dog is unique in their own way-some have sweet spots, others fun color patterns or patches, but their most unique feature, might actually be their nose! Just like a human’s fingerprint, a dog’s nose print is equally as unique, as no two noses are the same! Similarly to fingerprints, a dogs nose contains distinct lines and patterns, that could even be used to identify a specific dog if need be. Some places are even considering using a pooch’s nose print to identify them in case they are lost, as a substitute for traditional dog tags.
8. Did you know…that your dog is as intelligent as a human two-year-old? (Source)
Over the years, I have encountered a few dogs that I had truthfully referred to as “geniuses”. From being able to open doors, to stealthily hiding food around the house for them to consume later, and even climbing ladders and sliding down slides, I thought I possessed four-legged Einsteins. Given this past experience, you could imagine my reluctance to accept that these dogs only had the intelligence of a two-year-old through all of this, but it’s true. Believe it or not, many researchers have come to the same conclusion, that dogs have some of the same capabilities of a human child of approximately two-years-old. Similarly to two-year-olds, dogs have the ability to understand up to approximately 250 words and gestures, and very few can understand more than that. Dogs also have the ability to express only the most basic emotions, such as happiness and anger in the appropriate situations, but do not have the ability to understand some of the more complex emotions, such as guilt.
9.Did you know…that your dog doesn’t actually like to be hugged? (Source)
Similarly to learning the actual level of my dogs’ intelligence, learning that my dog hates to be hugged, was another difficult concept to come to terms with. While humans see hugging as a sign of affection, our dogs actually see it as more of a negative interaction. According to animal behaviorists, hugging for a dog, can often indicate a way of establishing dominance, rather than love and affection. The closest thing that a dog will do to “hugging” another dog, is seen as the dog trying to stand over another dog, which is a way of gaining control. So the next time you get the urge to dive in for a hug, opt for an ear or belly scratch instead, and they’ll be much more appreciative.
10. Did you know…that just by being with your dog, you can lower your blood pressure? (Source)
Studies show, that pets can drastically help lower blood pressure in humans. One study in particular, done by State University of New York, found that just being in the presence of dogs can help lower stress levels. It is because of these types of findings, that dogs are often being found on college campuses during final exams, or even brought into offices during hectic times. As if there weren’t enough reasons to pet your pup, now you have one more!