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The science of dogs: 10 amazing canine facts

Dogs are amazing and deeply complex animals who are increasingly becoming an integral part of our world. While we know a lot about man’s best friend, research continues to find new and improved information. 

Here are some interesting facts about the science of dogs:

1. Dogs curl up into a ball when they sleep for more than warmth. Curling up during sleep is an instinct that also helps to protect vital organs, while in a very vulnerable state.
2. A wet nose helps dogs absorb scent chemicals. Dogs secrete a thin layer of mucous, which they then lick and present to their olfactory glands on the roof of their mouths to understand the smell.
3. Dogs get jealous. A study conducted by the University of California at San Diego found that dogs exhibited jealous behaviors when their owners interacted with an animatronic dog. The dogs in the study snapped at and pushed against the animatronic dog to get to their owner.
4. Dogs can understand more than 150 words. They can also count to five and deceive people to get treats.
5. Each nose print is unique. Much like a person’s fingerprint, a dog’s nose print is unique to each dog.
6. Dogs show unselfish kindness. An Australian study showed that dogs show prosocial behavior, or voluntary actions that only benefit others. Interestingly, researchers found a difference in results when the dogs knew each other.
7. Service dogs are trained to know when they are on duty and should be working. If the harness is on, they know it’s time to work. Once the harness comes off, it’s play time.
8. Dog’s paws can and often smell like Fritos. You are not imagining the corn-chip smell of your dog’s paws. The combination of microorganisms picked up from the ground and sweat from their pads leads to the nutty aroma.
9. Dogs dream just like humans. If you see your dog twitching or running in his sleep, he’s probably dreaming. Some researchers think dogs are imagining their favorite activities while sleeping.
10. Dogs can see more than black and white. While humans have three cones to detect red, blue, green, and yellow, dogs only have two cones that detect blue and yellow.

As society continues to study dogs, we will begin to learn more about their unique traits and attributes. Future research will expand our understanding of man’s best friend and allow us to live our happiest lives together. 

Which fact did you find most surprising about dogs?

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