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Understanding Your Dog Better

By: Heather Stern

Read By: Pet Lovers
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Understanding your dog's behavior is often closely linked to their intended breed background. Herding, sporting, working, toy, etc. are groups that share very similar personality traits. Knowing your dog's breed composition may be quite insightful for understanding their behaviors and the best methods of amusing them.

However, mixed breed dogs are often quite ambiguous when it comes to understanding their breed composition. Thanks to the wonderful marvels of science mixed breed dog owners can find out which breed components their best friend possesses. Metamorphix a company based in Maryland, will genetically test dogs and report nearly 40 known breeds that your dog is made of.

Finding out your dogs "ingredient list" has never been easier. The test is a based on DNA recovery from a mouth swab. For a $65 fee this information is available to you. Go to Canine Heritage Test – DNA Test for more information.

Just how smart is my dog?

Studies have shown that the average dog possesses the intelligence of a 3-year-old child. This corresponds to an ability to learn basic commands, express themselves (not always clearly), and interpret some emotions of those around them. Some breeds certainly display character traits much more advanced than this. Herding breeds for example appear to understand and function in complex thinking patterns. It's clear that many dogs understand certain words, for example recognizing toys on command. Perhaps talking to your dog isn't quite as crazy as it sounds.

How does a dog see the world?

Eyesight is quite different between dog and man. While dogs have a better visual field of view to see beside and behind them, they see with less visual detail than we do but function far better in dim light. Dogs also see colors differently than we do and function much like a color blind individual with difficulty distinguishing between close shades.

The dog eye is not designed for fine detail work like completing crossword puzzles but rather tailored to things like chasing things in dim light.

Why does my dog sniff everything?

Dogs are known for their super keen sense of smell. Dogs are reported to have approximately 40 times more smell sensing cells in their nasal passages than we do. To that end, understanding your dog's responses to certain situations may be out of the question. With such a super sensitive sniffer, dogs rely on this sensory information far more than we do. Given that some dogs are now being trained to smell changes within the human body, we may never notice the odors our dogs react to.

Do dogs hear things we can't?

When it comes to hearing dogs have a distinct advantage over us. Not only is their frequency range of audible sounds much wider, but their mobile ears act to funnel in low volume sounds. This is why dogs are so great at alerting you that the mailman is on the way and almost impossible to sneak up on. Understanding your dog's super sense of hearing may provide insight to their behavior. So pay attention when your pooch barks, someone really might be coming.

How can my dog eat that?

While dogs excel in the listening department, their sense of taste is a bit less refined. This is certainly evident in some of the things they find tasty. Compared to humans, dogs have approximately 1/5 the number of taste buds. Perhaps this serves as an explanation for the little complaints we receive for feeding them dog food.

Discovering your dog's sensory levels, breed-related instincts, relative intelligence and comprehension is simply a start to understanding your dog. Relationships between dogs and their human family are incredibly complex, however a little knowledge can greatly increase your understanding.



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