The 5 senses of the dog : Do you really know the 5 senses of your dog ? I doubt it because many owners in education are surprised by some aspects of these senses! Here are the 5 senses of the dog explained in the order of the most important to the least important for the dog!
The 5 senses of the dog
40 times more developed in dogs than in humans. Its olfactory membrane (Jacobson’s organ) measures 130 cm2 (compared to 3 cm2 in humans) and has 200 million olfactory cells compared to 5 million in humans. Note that this sense is discriminating (the dog is able to detect and follow a specific odor among a multitude of other odors, even if it is in minute proportion), a capacity widely used by Man for the search of drugs, explosives, missing persons, hunting, etc.
You may have heard the expression that dogs “see with their nose”. But the amazing nasal architecture of this creature actually reveals a whole world beyond what we can see.
Alexandra Horowitz illustrates how a dog’s nose can sense even invisible things through this video (which is translated so don’t panic if you go to the video options) :
In other words, dogs can detect certain smells in part by trillion. What does this mean in terms we could understand? Well, in her book Inside of a Dog , Alexandra Horowitz, a canine cognition researcher at Barnard College, writes that while we may notice that our coffee has been sweetened, a dog could detect a teaspoon of sugar in two Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Have you ever wondered why your dog’s ears perk up even though you can’t hear anything? You’re sitting reading the paper when Budy runs to the door barking like his best friend is outside. It could be several minutes before your neighbor and his dog come over.
Dogs have much more sensitive hearing than humans. They hear sounds four times farther away than we do. They can hear higher frequency sounds, can differentiate sounds more easily (for example, they can recognize the sound of your car), and can locate the exact location of the sound.
A very precise sense: the dog is able to hear sounds that are inaudible to humans (ultrasound). In addition, the dog’s ears can be oriented towards a sound source by pivoting thanks to numerous muscles, which allows them to be very precise in locating the sound. Dogs’ ears are controlled by 18 muscles, whereas humans have only six and can only move their ears slightly, if at all. Thus, dogs can tilt and rotate their ears to locate sound more effectively with their inner ear. In addition, the shape of the ears of some breeds of dogs is such that they amplify sound. The canine ear canal is considerably longer than its human counterpart. Muscles allow him to finely adjust the position of this inner ear canal to hear more accurately and from further away.
Owners who want to better understand their canine companions must recognize that dogs see the world from a different visual perspective. The differences start with the structure of the eye. We have a good idea of what dogs see because we know the composition of the retina in a dog’s eye.
The retina is the light sensitive part of the eye. This structure is located at the back of the inside of the eyeball. The retina contains two types of light-sensitive cells (rods and cones). The cones provide color perception and detailed vision, while the rods detect motion and dark vision. Dogs have rod-dominated retinas that allow them to see well in the dark. In addition to superior night vision, dogs have better motion visibility than humans. However, because their retinas contain only about one-tenth the concentration of cones (that humans have), dogs do not see colors like humans do. Naturally, a predator sees best what is moving in order to feed. It doesn’t need to know colors to differentiate dangerous fruits and vegetables because it is not supposed to eat them or only rarely.
Better at night, because, even if he distinguishes colors poorly (his visual spectrum goes only from yellow to blue) and details, he has a reflective surface behind the retina (the “tapetum lucidum”), which reflects the light and gives a bright eyes effect in the dark. It perceives colors in a paler way. The field of vision of the dog is about 250 degrees.
It is said that it is less perfected in the dog. But don’t be fooled. The dog will know the difference between a caress and a correction, heat and cold. The nose and the paw pads are very sensitive areas. Touch is the first sense a dog becomes aware of after birth, while dogs are born deaf and blind. A dog will rely on the touch of its mother and siblings to find milk and a safe place to sleep. A puppy will also use touch to find warmth and detect possible threats. Once a puppy develops a sense of hearing and smell, it still relies heavily on touch throughout its life. Dogs have touch-sensitive hairs on their bodies called vibrissae.
These hairs are visible above the dog’s eyes, on the muzzle and along the jaw. Vibrissae detect airflow and help the dog orient itself. Dogs also have nerve endings, just like humans, that cover their entire body. The most sensitive areas on a dog, or the areas with the most nerve endings, are located along the spine, at the base of the tail and the nose. Each dog may have a different level of sensitivity to touch. While some dogs do not respond as positively to petting, others seem to thoroughly enjoy it. Touch can be used to convey positive or negative emotions. For this reason, many dogs view touch differently and may react in different ways.
If you are used to seeing dog food commercials, you probably think that a dog’s sense of taste is very refined. However, this is far from the truth. A dog’s sense of taste is much less discriminating than that of humans. In fact, while humans have about 9,000 taste buds (more for some), dogs only have about 1,700. This does not mean that dogs have no taste, and they do in fact have unique characteristics that humans do not share.
Studies have shown that dogs have the same four taste classifications as humans; meaning they can identify sweet, sour, salty and bitter. However, dogs also have taste buds specifically designed for water. These are not found in humans. Dogs respond to the other four taste sensations differently than humans, and it is believed that nature played a role in this development. Unlike humans and other animals, dogs do not have an affinity for salt. This is probably because their ancestors’ diet consisted of about 80 percent meat in the wild, and meat is a very salty food. Making salt less palatable is the natural way to prohibit excessive salt consumption.
If dogs can taste, why do they eat anything? The answer is that smell and taste are very closely related, and dogs can actually taste food through their sense of smell with a special organ along the roof of their mouth.