It is no exaggeration when anyone says dogs are man’s best friend. It isn’t just because they are so loyal, it is because of their ability to love unconditionally and show empathy towards humans in the most healing manner possible that makes them irreplaceable. Their exuberant energy and guileless love can put a smile on even the most depressed person on Earth. And here are some amazing facts about dogs so that we can honor them and appreciate them for their friendship and love.
1. The parts of the brain that respond to vocalizations reside in similar places in both humans and dogs, which is why dogs can understand human laughter and happy sounds.
A team of Hungary researchers at Eötvös Loránd University have conducted fMRI scans of dogs brains while playing different human and dog sounds that are either emotionally positive or negative. The human brains contain a specific area within primary auditory cortex that responds to the sound of human voices and allows us to rely on spoken language for communication. So, when the dogs were scanned in the fMRI, what they found was that there were parts of their brains that responded consistently to vocalizations. What’s more exciting is that these areas were located in similar places in both human and dog brains and that dogs could recognize varying vocalizations reacting differently to sounds of different emotions.(source)
2. The Beatles song A Day in the Life contains a high-frequency 15 kilohertz tone that can only heard by dogs and similar to dog whistle.
The Beatles song A Day in the Life was released on 1 June 1967 and has two distinct lyrics written separately by both John Lennon and Paul McCartney. At the end of the song, they have also recorded the high-frequency tone along with some random background studio chatter. They would joke about the song picturing dogs listening to the song suddenly starting barking after its end.(source)
3. Dogs sneeze while playing with other dogs to signal that they are not being aggressive.
If you’ve ever watched a few dogs play together, you might have observed sometimes that they sneeze. These sneezes do not entirely have anything to do irritated nose or dust in the air. The dogs are trying to tell the others that this is only play. This helps them keep things under control and stop them from escalating into serious fights. Dogs communicate through a few other such signals, like when they are pawing or giving you their paws, what they are really doing is teaching you how to be friendly and asking you to play with them. Or, when they sniff around when you yell at them, they are trying to calm you down.(source)
4. The ancient Irish respected dogs so much that if a warrior or king gained the loyalty of a dog, they would be given the prefix “Cu”, meaning hound. It is to show others that they were worthy of the respect and loyalty of a dog.
The Irish Wolfhound was believed to have been brought to Ireland as far back as 7000 BC. They were mentioned in many sources of historical literature to have fought alongside Celtic warriors and were written about by many people including Julius Caesar and Quintus Aurelius Symmachus. The Irish bred these dogs for the purposes of hunting, guarding their homes and protecting their stock. They were thought to be so valuable that, during the English Conquest of Ireland, the number of dogs allowed were limited depending on their status and were given as gifts to foreign nobles. The respect the Irish had for the dogs led to the word “Cu” to become a respected prefix for the names of many warriors and kings.(source)
5. Dogs don’t enjoy being hugged the way humans do. They see putting a limb over them as a sign of dominance.
To dogs, putting arms around the shoulders has a different meaning. Though many dogs enjoy the physical contact with their owners, animal behaviorists have found that they interpret a hug as an attempt to take control. When one dog puts its foreleg over the shoulder, a position called “standing over”, it usually relates to some form of social status or a competition over the other for resources. You can also notice it when puppies are playing, and the one who is a bit of a bully would try to stand over others or push down their shoulders which is actually an assertive or controlling behavior.(source)
6. Dogs can smell independently from each nostrils, which helps them determine the direction from which a smell is coming.
Dog’s nose and the parts of brain associated with analyzing the smells are built differently from those of humans. In fact, dog’s ability to smell is about 1,000 to 10,000 times better than ours and they contain about 225 to 300 million smell receptors whereas we have only 5 million. They have two different passages for the air they inhale, one for the smells and one for breathing. The mucus on their nose helps capture the scent in the air and their ability to smell independently from each nostril helps them determine the direction in which the smell is coming from.(source)