We all know Rin Tin Tin was able to sniff out bombs and Lassie was able to find Timmy in the well. Have you ever wondered how our dog’s senses compare to our own? Like us, dogs have visual, hearing, olfactory, taste and touch senses. However, the physiology of these sensory organs differ between the two species. Here’s the shake down:
The Nose: A dog interprets the world predominantly by smell, whereas human predominantly by sight. Even though a dog’s brain can be one tenth the size of a human’s brain, the part that controls smell is 40 times larger than in humans. A human has about 5 million scent glands whereas dogs have 125 million to 300 million (depending on breed), meaning their sense of smell is 1,000 to 10,000,000 times better than humans!
Have you ever wondered why their noses are wet? It’s because the mucus on a dog’s nose actually helps it capture scent particles. Dog noses are so sensitive that service dogs are even being trained (by using smell) to help detect blood sugar levels in diabetic persons.
The Eyes: A common question people ask is if dogs are colorblind. The answer is, not really. Studies have shown that dogs do not only see in shades of black and white, but see in colors of various shades of blues and yellows as well. Dogs can see better at dawn and dusk than humans, however humans can see objects at a distance much better than dogs. Humans can also see things better close up than dogs. Dogs do have the advantage on recognizing moving objects, giving them better ability to spot and hunt prey.
The Ears: Puppies are born deaf and cannot hear until they are 21 days old. By the time their sense of hearing has developed, they can already hear 4 times the distance of a human with normal hearing. Dogs can hear higher pitched sounds and can detect a frequency range of 67-45,000 Hz, compared to a human range of 64-23,000 Hz.
Dogs have 18 muscles in their ears allowing them to move them in the direction of the sound. Perked ear dogs (such as German Shepherds) usually have better hearing than floppy ear dogs.
Providing proper stimulation, such as during daycare. can help keep your pup active and exuberant.
Also check out our tips & tricks to help with winter boredom!