In many ways, dogs far surpass humans. So much so, that it’s quite extraordinary that we ended up as their masters and not the other way around. In fact, dogs have some pretty extraordinary abilities, which make them nothing short of super-creatures. Did you know that they use a special Earth force when the use the toilet? Or that they almost defy physics?
You might think that The Beatles simply can’t get any better and that as a true fan, you’ve heard every note in their amazing music. But dogs will put you to shame. Actually, a few of The Beatles’ songs are as if made for dogs. They contain frequencies only dogs can hear, so no matter how much you perk up your ears, you are never getting the full Beatles experience.
Everybody knows dogs have a great sense of smell, but let’s put those facts into perspective once more. Dogs' sense of smell is a whopping 10,000-100,000 times better than that of humans, meaning they detect smells we can’t even dream of noticing. Their noses are made up of 300 million olfactory receptors, while we only have 6 million. Not to mention a large proportion of the dog’s brain is purely devoted to smell analysis, whereas, in humans, that part is probably dedicated to binge-watching TV shows.
Perhaps one of the strangest dog abilities is their toilet rhythm. Some scientists somewhere had the brilliant idea of studying just what drives dogs to relieve themselves, and the results were fascinating. Dogs use the Earth’s magnetic field, preferring to go to the toilet in a north-south axis when the magnetic conditions are calm. Once again, dogs make us humans look like uncultured brutes who simply go to number two when the need strikes.
Do you know which is the fastest animal on Earth? Cheetah? Maybe that is what you were taught at school, but clearly, textbooks haven’t caught up with modern studies. The fastest animal on Earth is actually the Greyhound dog, and they could beat a Cheetah at a long-distance race any day. Greyhounds can keep up the speed of 37mph for up to 7 miles, whereas a Cheetah can only do that for 200-300 yards. Pretty impressive difference indeed.
Aside from their amazing sense of smell, dogs are also extremely visually gifted. They might have some restrictions when it comes to seeing color, but their peripheral vision is incredible. Dogs have a 270-degree field of vision, which, compared to the 180-degree vision of humans, is quite something. This means dogs can see way more than us, and they are much more aware of their environment at any given time than a human is.
Leave it to dogs to show up to humans’ lives in the best way possible. Not only are they a man’s best friend, but they can also save lives. And one specific breed is specialized at lifeguarding. Newfoundlands are amazing swimmers with water-resistant fur and webbed feet, making them an incredible help to lifeguards across the globe. If you are planning on a summer holiday but don’t trust your swimming abilities, take a Newfoundland with you. You’ll be as safe as can be.
Did you know that not all dogs bark? Yes, some dogs don’t, but they have another way of communicating. The Basenji dog is well known as the barkless dog, and that is because it yodels instead. The unusual sounds coming from the Basenji are due to their uniquely shaped larynx, and it’s, therefore, a sound that is extremely hard to imitate by other dogs or humans.
There is a wild dog in Africa who is the most successful hunter in the world. The African hunting dog, or the painted wolf, as some call it, succeeds in its hunt around 50-70% of the time. That is an impressive number, and it even landed the painted wolf in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Poodles might seem like purely trophy dogs, kept for the way they look, but their fur has a much more useful purpose than just looking cute. In fact, poodles were originally hunting dogs bred to help retrieve prey from bodies of water. Their natural fur coating helped them spend a lot of time underwater.
It seems dogs can do pretty much anything, so almost defying physics should be no big deal to them. And they do so when they shake their bodies from water. When dogs do that, they generate more G-force than an F1 driver taking a sharp corner. This extraordinary ability lets dogs shake off over 70% of water in one go. While humans have to use towels for the same purpose. Once again, we have been outsmarted.
You might have noticed dogs twitch and move while they sleep. And they do so because they dream, just like humans do. For years, it was impossible to confirm the theory of the dreaming dogs, but now, we have evidence that dogs have the same brain wave patterns as humans do when they sleep. But not all dogs are equal dreamers. Big dogs dream much more than small ones.
Do you know why dogs’ noses are constantly wet? It’s a great question, and the answer to it points to some more extraordinary dog abilities. Dogs’ noses are always wet as this dampness helps them absorb scent chemicals, which they can lick for even more analysis. It’s a veritable natural laboratory and one that humans can only construct with the help of modern technology. Dogs are always one step ahead of human progress; it seems.
In 1957, a Russian dog made headlines as the first canine astronaut. Laika left on an orbit mission around Earth, and it was an extraordinary achievement for the dog race. The story of her bravery and her professional training must have been retold in dog society for decades to come. Laika is a true legend dog, proving once again that dogs are capable of just about anything.
Do you know what a two-year-old and a dog have in common? More than you would think. Their language abilities at that point are pretty much the same, with both creatures understanding and using around 250 words and gestures. However, that’s not as far as dogs can go. It has been proven that dogs can learn up to 1000 words, and undoubtedly, some genius dogs can do much better than even that.
You’ve perhaps heard the incredible story of the Moscow stray dogs and their ability to ride the subway as if that was the most natural thing for dogs to do. Indeed, their story is a fascinating look into just how adaptable and clever dogs are. They not only travel via subway regularly, but they also identify exactly which train they need to board and where to get off. Sometimes, even humans have trouble doing that.
Dogs are unquestionably extraordinary creatures. Fortunately, humans have managed to find a way to live in symbiosis with them and to enjoy their wonderful company by domesticating them. However, it’s important not to forget just how incredibly gifted and stunningly biologically engineered dogs are. They are far more than just pets.