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Fun Facts about Your Dog’s Senses - and How to Use Them in Training! Part 1

Dogs smell, see, hear, feel and taste things very differently from us humans. If you want to understand the world from your dog’s perspective, you might want to know a few things about their senses. When you understand how your dog senses the world, you can use it to your benefit when you’re training her.


Smell

The sense of smell is the most highly evolved sense a dog has. The olfactory cortex is 40 times bigger in dogs than it is in humans and up to 100 million times more sensitive. Dogs use their wet noses to detect what direction a smell is coming from. Dogs can use each nostril separately to further increase their smelling abilities. 

Fun fact: You can utilize your dog’s sense of smell when you’re training her by using smelly treats. She’ll become a lot more interested and motivated to do what you ask her to do!

Vision

A research study done in 2013 by scientists in Trinity College, Dublin, showed the size and metabolic rate of animals dictates how they experience time. Dogs take in visual information 25 percent faster than humans, which makes time move more slowly for them. This means that dogs see us moving in slow motion.

Dogs are highly adapted to function in dim light. They can see in ranges that are similar to red-green color blindness in humans.

Fun fact: Dogs see the world a bit blurry, and they are not able to make out many details of what they see, but they can see motion much better than us humans. When you want to get your dog to focus on your hand, for example, it helps her if you move your hand.

Hearing

Dogs have excellent hearing, picking up frequencies between 40 Hz to 60 kHz, depending on their breed and age, whereas humans hear between 12 Hz to 20 kHz. Dogs can hear sounds that are four times further away compared to humans.

Fun fact: The reason for a dog disobeying a command is very rarely that they don’t hear what we say, so yelling in unnecessary. If your dog doesn’t obey your commands, she probably doesn’t just understand what you say.

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