Yesterday, August 26 was National Dog Day – yes there really is a day dedicated to dogs. I realized that many diamond drillers, and people in general, own a dog or owned one in the past. With no disrespect to cats, dogs are considered our best friend. They have evolved from wolves to become domesticated companions, displaying an unwavering loyalty and unconditional love. WE have domesticated dogs and kept them as pets for over 12,000 years. So in honour of the day, let’s look at 15 facts about dogs that you may not have known.
1) Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not see in black and white. They actually see in colour but not as vividly as humans. In fact, what dogs see all the time is similar to what we see at dusk.
2) Dogs will judge objects first by how they move, then by how bright they are, and lastly by their shape.
3) Dogs can hear sounds that are four times further than the distance humans can hear from.
4) A dog’s sense of smell is more than 100,000 times stronger than a human's.
5) Dogs can get a great deal of information by sniffing another dog’s urine. For example, they can learn the gender, health and age of the stranger, as well as the other dog’s mood at the time.
6) Petting a dog can improve your health. Studies show that petting your dog can lower blood pressure, and people with pets tend to live longer.
7) Dogs can produce many puppies and is a good reason to get your dog spayed or neutered. One female dog and her female offspring can produce over 4,000 puppies in a seven-year span.
8) Like humans, dogs are right or left handed.
9) Studies have shown that dogs can be trained to detect certain diseases, such as cancers of the lung, breast, skin, bladder and prostate. Dogs are also being increasingly used as service animals for people with diabetes, whose health can be harmed when their blood sugar peaks or drops.
10) Research has shown that dogs have the approximate intelligence of a 2-year-old child. The smartest breeds (with good training) can understand up to 250 words, while the average dog can process 150. Included in the list of smartest breeds are Border Collies, Poodles, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers and Doberman Pinschers.
11) Dogs are the most diverse-looking mammals. Dogs show an amazing diversity in body shape and size from a Great Dane to a Chihuahua and a Greyhound to a Basset Hound. A study found that the differences between dog breeds' skulls are as pronounced as the differences between completely separate mammal species
12) Dogs sweat through their mouth and foot pads. In fact a dog’s sweat glands are between his paw pads.
13) The greyhound is considered the fastest of all dogs, reaching a speed of 72 kilometers per hour.
14) A dog’s nose print is as unique as a human’s finger print and can be used for identification purposes.
15) All dogs dream and small dogs have more dreams than big dogs, but big dogs’ dreams last longer.
Faced with these facts, we should look at our dogs with a new-found respect. It has been proven that they have emotions, understand words, our facial expressions and more. The next time you get home from a drill site and your dog is jumping up and down, excited to see you, make sure you fully appreciate what a great animal your dog is.