Since ancient times, dogs have been a symbol of devotion and unconditional love. They were the first companions of a prehistoric man, and since then many great ones have noted the positive qualities of these animals. Roald Amundsen, who opened the South Pole with a dog sled, said that dogs have a soul; Remarque’s pets gave him a “feeling of home”, and Agatha Christie even dedicated the novel “Silent Witness” to her fox terrier Peter.
So we decided it’s time to devote an entire article to some dog facts.
About their history
- There is still no consensus in the scientific community about when dogs were domesticated. The exact time, place, and reason why the dog became a pet are not known.
- On September 11, 2001, a guide dog named Dorado led its blind owner from the 70th floor of the burning building of the World Trade Center to the exit and thereby saved their life.
- The “oldest dog” in the world, according to the Guinness World Records, is an Australian shepherd dog named Blue. It lived to 29 years and 5 months.
- The greatest genetic diversity of dogs is found in the territories of East Asia, China, Tibet, Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, and Japan since dog breeding has been traced in these regions since ancient times.
- The well-known fact that dogs descended from wolves is not entirely true. These animals can really be called “brothers”. About 32 thousand years ago, modern wolves and dogs separated from a common ancestor (now an extinct species).
- Thousands of years passed before a person found a full-fledged companion in the face of an animal. Most researchers agree that this happened about 10,000 years ago.
- Dogs instinctively walk in circles before going to bed. Previously, in this way they trampled the grass around them, creating a “nest” and scaring away insects and snakes.
- Over the millennia spent with humans, dogs have learned to “smile.” A relaxed and open mouth is found only in positive situations: when the pet is happy to see the owner or is going to play.
- An affectionate conversation with a pet will give more reasons for joy. According to studies, the dog prefers the company of a person who speaks in a high, singing tone and uses phrases like: “Who is a good boy?”
About their biology
- Dogs have developed color vision, but not as good as humans. They poorly perceive red and orange colors, but they better distinguish shades of gray.
- The most important and developed feeling in dogs is the sense of smell. Some breeds are capable of taking the track 100 hours old smell. In 1925, the Doberman was able to chase the thief, located at a distance of 160 kilometers.
- Dogs have great flair. For example, scientists from the United States found that about 10% of domestic dogs whose owners have epilepsy can feel an approaching attack. In this case, they begin to bark so that the owner has time to prepare or take the medicine.
- The friendliness and fidelity that distinguish dogs from wolves is a consequence of a gene mutation that, in the case of humans, causes Williams syndrome. People suffering from this syndrome have an elf-like appearance and pronounced good-nature, loyalty and mental retardation are manifested in their behavior.
- A number of studies have confirmed the fact that inhalation of second-hand smoke can lead to severe respiratory infections, allergies, nose, or lung cancer in dogs.
- According to statistics, dogs of small breeds have a longer lifespan.
- Like humans, dogs can dream. According to studies, animals often dream of delicious treats, birds, toys, or tobogganing.
- Dogs also have trouble sleeping after a hard day. If the animal is scolded, then it is more likely to toss and turn during sleep.
About their character
- Dogs are the only animal that can understand where a person is looking, and use this when interacting with people.
- A dog is a social animal; therefore, it fears loneliness. Dogs left alone most often experience extreme stress, which manifests itself in howling, barking, or trying to open doors and windows.
- Scientists identify 5 main character traits in dogs – playfulness, curiosity, a tendency to pursue, sociability, and aggressiveness.
- In intelligence tests among animals, dogs are second only to anthropoids, dolphins, and some bird species.
- Studies have shown that the dog is the only creature in the animal world that can read emotions from a human face.
- Studies have shown that dogs can be jealous. Their body produces the hormone oxytocin (the same as in humans), which is associated with the ability to express love and jealousy.
- Cognitive abilities in dogs are much more developed than it might seem at first glance. According to studies, dogs can remember from 150 to 250 words, which is comparable to the vocabulary of a two-year-old child.
- Dogs react to human crying the same way as they react to howls, perceiving both phenomena as a manifestation of suffering. Animals respond to such sounds more sharply than to something neutral.
- A number of tests have shown that dogs are also optimistic or pessimistic. The second category tends to howl in the absence of the owner.
- Dogs are not afraid to ask a person for help. During the study, the dog and the wolf received an impossible task. Unable to cope, the wolf simply left, the dog cast a questioning look at the observing person, suggesting that the human could help.
- Like humans, dogs have long-term memories. For example, a pet may remember one of the pleasant walks when it was still a puppy. And this can be an indicator of self-awareness.
- They can forget things fast. For example, the dog can forget where the ball that it played a minute ago is.
- At the same time, the animal will not forget the owner who returned home after years of absence. This shows that our pets understand the importance of memories.