You may have already heard that “dogs are man’s best friend.” The saying is a common belief that has come down a long way from ancient times and there might be a reason for it. Dogs devote their whole self into humans that eventually they are able to know every mood and behavior of their masters. Hence, while giving us moments of joy and company, they have become our best friends and faithful allies in our adventures.
To acknowledge the virtuous and intelligent characteristics of these beings, a compilation was made. In this compilation you will find what your canine friend can sense about you and also about others even before you even know it. There’s a cute bonus at the end of the article that you don’t want to miss.
#1 They can tell the difference between people who are generous and those who aren’t.
Researchers at the University of Milan were able to show that dogs are able to identify whether a human is generous or not. The researchers conducted an experiment to conclude this behavior of dogs. In the experiment they allowed canines to observe several human beings sharing their food with poor people, and others being rude to them.
The way that the dogs responded to the human’s tone of voice showed that dogs can sense if the person is kind or not. Most of the animals favored in approaching kind humans. The specialists said the way the dogs looked at generosity is a clear example of “their ability to interpret human social behavior.” Our furry friends possibly use these interpretations to determine whether a human will have intentions to be cooperative or not.
#2 They recognize your feelings for others, they love the same people you love and are wary of those you don’t like.
According to scientific studies dogs can sniff out oxytocin. Oxytocin is also know as the “love hormone” in humans. Due to this it’s easy for a canine to understand their master’s breathing and behavior patterns. They even can sense if human muscles tense up in some situation. They can also smell subtle pheromone changes in their masters.
If you confront someone who you either hate or love, your dog will already know if you hate or love them. So your canine friend will act accordingly towards that person whom you met. In other words your dog will love who you love and show aggression towards who you don’t like.
#3 They already know where you went during the day
You must have already noticed many times that your dog won’t stop sniffing you once you return home. The fact is that dogs have a greatly and sophisticated sense of smell. It isn’t surprising that they are blessed with a well developed sense of smell. This is because they need to hunt, locate themselves, communicate with each other and recognize their environment. Having 200 to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, dogs will “predict” if you visited the supermarket depending on the smells at a friend’s house, at the park, or whether you had contact with other animals. Dogs can simply do this just by smelling you when you come back home!
#4 They can even identify some human diseases!
It’s hard to believe, but the fact that dogs are able to warn you if you are sick before you or the doctor even know it, is true. Alexandra Horowitz, director of Laboratory of Dog Cognition, says that because “dogs are supernaturally sensitive to changes in their humans,” they can tell if someone is suffering from an infection.
Behavioral changes in humans, odour given off by certain diseases, are features that dogs use in understanding and figuring out that something isn’t right with you. To add up, Horowitz mentioned canines can even foresee and warn about diseases like a flu, cough, stomach infection, cancer, diabetes, neurological disorders and even psychiatric illnesses.
#5 They can perceive human moods
For many generations dogs have been alongside humans that they know to understand human mood and be empathetic with us. Doesn’t matter if you are feeling sadness, happiness or anger, dogs can make you feel better.
A study was carried out on dogs. It focused on experimenting with what their reactions would be to various states of a person’s mind. The results revealed that dogs understand human moods and to be empathetic due to the fact that they know to associate moods with body language, tones of voice and facial expressions. “This means that dogs need to have an internal categorization system for emotional states,” the study showed.
It’s no surprise that your dog will approach you whenever you are sad and provide the support you need. Also, it’s clear that your furry friend will start playing with you when you are happy. This is because they can tell you are in the mood and ready for some action.
#6 They can tell when you are about to get home.
Dogs build habits and are associative behavioral animals according to Alexandra Horowitz. That means dogs like to have an everyday routine that they can associate with certain behaviors. Because of that, they can look at small details for reference. For example, they can use various sounds or light changes coming through the window to assume more or less if it’s the time you return home. Also they can differentiate the sound of your footsteps among others, or the sound of your car horn or of the elevator. When they hear any of these they will run to the window or the door to greet you.
As per Horowitz, a dog’s sense of smell plays a crucial part in anticipating their masters’ arrival. “It may be that the smells we leave in the house when we go out decrease by a steady amount throughout the day.” Dogs are able to predict when we’re coming back home because of that: the less they can smell us, the closer the time will get to when we’ll arrive.
#7 They can detect fragility and the need for protection.
Experts say, every dog has natural instincts to protect anything they see as fragile or defenseless. Let us remember once again that dogs are governed by associative and imitative behaviors. This means when a dog senses a baby (or any object or other animal) must be treated with care, the canine’s behavior most of the time will be to take care of it.
Also sharing your home with dogs can actually benefit the health and immune system of our babies. To add up, the company of a pet would bring out more positive and happy feelings. “When a dog is around, human babies grow up healthier, more protected, and generally happier,” said pet health and wellness expert, Caleb Blake.
Protective instincts are more developed in specific breeds of canines. However, all dogs are willing to put themselves at risk for their owners. This is the exact reason why dogs will defend you against anything that will cause you fear. As we get frightened, we produce a hormone namely adrenaline. Dogs can sniff it and they use that as an indicator to know when danger is around.
#8 They can tell if you are angry at them.
Many owners have seen their dear canines adopt certain postures after being scolded. It’s as if they feel guilty after doing something they know that they shouldn’t have done. After various tries in demonstrating if canines can experience guilt or anything similar, researchers got to know that dogs, in particular, what they experience is a process of association. If we say in another way, dogs understand what we call “bad behavior” with scolding and yelling.
Dogs know when you are angry at them, without distinguishing whether they behaved well or badly. Due to that specific skill, they adopt a natural reaction that helps as a self defending method. One of these self defensive methods is body language. For instance, what we call “crying” or lowering their heads and sticking their tails in between their legs. They even give themselves punishments as they tend to isolate themselves.
#9 They are able to distinguish intonations and commands.
Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest conducted research on how dogs’ brains receive and interpret commands. Scientists found out that just like humans, dogs use each hemisphere of their brain in analyzing commands they receive. The lead author of the research, Attila Andics said, “The left hemisphere of the brain is in charge of decoding the meaning of the words the dog’s hearing and the right hemisphere is responsible for interpreting the intonation with which the command was given.”
Anna Gábor, a researcher of the study, then pointed out an important fact about the dog’s brain. She said that this brain capacity of dogs makes them beings who can differentiate between very usual words/commands they hear. In this sense, you are able to say most canines can distinguish when you sound angry or when it sounds happy.
#10 They also know when a loved one has passed away.
As mentioned previously, dogs love creating habits and routines. They also belong to the most loyal and empathetic animals when it comes to humans. Therefore, if a loved one passes away, dogs sense the loss and could even experience grief. Even if they cannot actually figure out the event itself, canines will experience the feeling of missing someone who will no longer be a part of their life. This is due to the fact that there has been a change in their daily routine. Also when they stop receiving the same feelings that their master elicited in them. The absence of these things makes them know that something has changed permanently.
A dog’s mourning depends on the kind of relationship it had with its deceased master. The canine’s character too plays a vital role in their reaction. However, it’s proven dogs experience sadness similar to humans. It’s how that sadness is handled and it’s manifestations that change. For example, dogs may bark, pant, show anxiety or restlessness. In some way, they simply display distress by strange behavior, says Barbara J. King. Barbara is an expert in animal cognition and emotion.
Bonus: They might be able to help you get a pregnancy test
Does a dog have the ability to tell if a human is pregnant? Although there’s no conclusive study regarding the matter, experts say that they might be able to know what’s going on. Pregnant women go through hormonal changes. These hormonal changes give a peculiar smell that dogs can easily perceive. To add up, they are able to sense changes in actions and routines of their owners, so they could understand a pregnancy, said Dennis Turner. Turner is from the Institute of Applied Ethology and Animal Psychology in Switzerland.
Dogs also have a greater hearing capacity than humans. They can hear between 47,000 and 65,000 hertz, while humans have a hearing capacity of only upto 20,000 hertz. On average canines can perceive sounds between −5 dB and −15 dB. This means dogs can hear what humans cannot hear. This also suggests our beloved canines can hear the heartbeat of a fetus before we even know something’s up.
What are your dog’s actions that tells you he or she might actually know more than what you thought at first? Do you have any photos to prove that dogs are smarter than we know?