It’s no secret that dogs are very intelligent animals and that they have highly developed senses, especially as far as hearing and smell are concerned. If you’re a pet parent to your own pooch, the fact that they’re capable of doing amazing things may seem like a matter of fact to you. But just how many things are they capable of, and how far do their abilities stretch compared to those of a human? The answer may surprise even the most ardent of dog fans.
To illustrate, here’s a list of six remarkable things that canines can do. Read up and be sure to share these paw-some fun facts with fellow dog lovers!
Recognize Multiple Names
Are you the type to call your dog more than one silly nickname? If you’re wondering whether dogs recognize multiple names—like names that differ from the ones printed on their customizable dog collars—the answer is yes.
Veterinary behaviorists believe that dogs can recognize multiple names if they serve as meaningful cues for something good. As such, if you often call your dog “sweetie” before showing them affection or praise them for being the “goodest boy” before they receive a treat, you can be sure that they’ll respond positively.
Exercise a Sense of Hearing That’s Four Times Better Than Yours
Dogs also have excellent hearing. They can hear sounds at four times the distance a human being is capable of hearing them, to be precise. They’re also capable of detecting sounds at a frequency range between 67 and 45,000 Hz, compared to the human range of between 64 and 23,000 Hz. Moreover, dogs have 18 muscles controlling their ears, which allows them to move these said ears quite dexterously in different directions.
On top of being cool in and of itself, a dog’s hearing sense has a life-saving quality to it. Many successful search-and-rescue operations can be attributed to a dog’s ability to hear critical sounds that a human cannot.
Understand Differences in Human Language
Speaking of sound, dogs can also pick up on the auditory variations that separate different human languages from each other. This makes them bilingual to a certain extent. Research done in Hungary indicates that dogs can distinguish between speech and non-speech sounds, and that older dogs use their secondary auditory cortexes to perceive differences between two different languages.
Such knowledge has excited animal scientists because it proves that humans aren’t the only animals capable of picking up on linguistic subtleties. This info may be particularly interesting to you if you speak more than one language—because your dog may be able to tell when you’re switching from one tongue to another!
Keep Track of Time
Your dog may not be able to use a watch or read a clock, but they are capable of keeping track of time through natural means. For one, dogs subscribe to a circadian rhythm, or an internal body clock whose cycles are based on their physiological functions. They also take cues from the presence and absence of natural light, and from scents that manifest themselves during particular times of the day.
If you’re wondering how your dog knows that it’s 8:00 in the morning, the answer is fairly simple: they’re probably used to you waking up at that hour and can smell you on your way to the kitchen, preparing a delicious breakfast for them.
Detect Medical Conditions with Their Nose
Search-and-rescue ops aren’t the only life-saving applications for a dog’s senses. Dogs have also been known to detect medical conditions in humans just by using their noses. For example, dogs can pick up on the presence of cancer from a human’s breath by the scent of metabolic waste products from cancerous cells, which are different from the scents emitted by healthy cells. That’s just one among many reasons to be thankful for dogs and the quality of life they can help achieve for humans.
Do Their Business in Alignment with Planet Earth’s Magnetic Field
Here’s the weirdest and most uncanny piece of dog trivia that you may not know yet: dogs actually poop in neat alignment with the earth’s magnetic field, particularly its north-south axis. Zoologists have discovered that dogs are pretty sensitive to even small variations in the earth’s magnetic field and that, for some reason, they choose to do their business within the north-south axis and not the east-west axis.
You may not think that this information will come in handy someday, but if you’re ever lost and wondering where magnetic north is, your dog’s poop may lead you closer to the answer.
If your life is happily blessed with the presence of a dog, you may already know of their ability to understand advanced training commands, pick up on emotional cues, and look out for your loved ones. But here’s to hoping that you learned even more about what dogs can do—and that you see your beloved pooch in a new light!