Amazing dog psychology facts

Dog psychology facts you didn't know

Dogs have been with us for more than 30,000 years and have become man's best friends. Still, there are a lot of things that are not so well known about them.

With the help of science and advanced technology, we are learning more about them as time goes by. MRI scans of the dog’s brain and multiple organized studies allow us to get a glimpse of the minds of these beings who have won our hearts for eons. Following is the list of some of the most astonishing dog psychology facts that will make you say wow when you see your dog again.

  • They do feel jealousy

    You might have witnessed the change in your dog's behavior when you show your love to someone else. Well, you are right about it, and it is proven by science. Researchers in California studied 36 dogs, and they showed these dogs their owners loving a stuffed animal. The dog brain worked right away, and they felt jealousy.

    Dogs show a dramatic change in their behavior when they see that their owner is showing affection and interest to someone or something else. Many years ago, there was a common belief that they were not jealous but the latest studies have made clear that they actually are. Next time you want to show love to someone else, don’t make a big showoff. 

  • They don't feel guilt

    Internet is flooded with pictures and videos of what seem like guilty dogs. But the study conducted at Barnard College New York has something contrary to say. In this study, Alexandra Horowitz found out that dogs do not feel guilt at all. She took various dogs for a test and asked their owners to tell them not to eat a tasty treat. When owners left, half of them were given the treat, and the other half were not given anything at all. After this, all owners were told all their dogs had eaten the treat.

    When the owners of all the dogs scolded their pets with harsh words or voices, all the dogs showed guilty eyes. The researchers elaborate that the guilty eyes are just the expressions that you get when you scold them. Dogs don't feel guilty, and this is the very reason animal behavior experts don’t recommend owners to punish their dogs. They cannot understand the punishment, and you will have a compromised relationship. On the other hand, you can change their behavior with the use of positive reinforcement and rewards.

  • No compass needed

    In Siberia and other extreme temperature regions, dogs are still used to carry loads and travel on vast stretches of ice. The heavy snow can bury all the signs and markers that humans use to navigate the icy jungle. The dogs, on the other hand, have advanced brains than ours in this regard. They can sense the earth's magnetic field.

    With the help of this natural compass in their brain, they can navigate the way without the help of markers or signs. They are also able to see UV light. The dogs have been helping people in icy areas for longer than you can imagine. You can still see the use of dogs for transporting loads and supplies from one area to another.

  • They can smell diseases

    Schillerhohe Hospital in Germany came up with scientific evidence that dogs can sniff various organic compounds associated with diseases. When you see that your dog is not acting normally while touching your body, the problem could lie deep under your skin. The dog can sniff a disease and will do strange behavior to warn you of the menace.

    We are getting great benefits from service dogs who can diagnose the start of illnesses. They can help diagnose lung, breast, ovarian, bladder, and prostate cancers, and possibly Covid-19.

    Research Scientist Andreas Mershin of MIT says that “Dogs, for now, 15 years or so, have been shown to be the earliest, most accurate disease detectors for anything that we’ve ever tried,” 

    “The dogs don’t know any chemistry,” Mershin says. “They don’t see a list of molecules appear in their head. When you smell a cup of coffee, you don’t see a list of names and concentrations, you feel an integrated sensation. That sensation of scent character is what the dogs can mine.”

  • Dogs are pretty smart

    This fact is mind-wobbling for most people. American Psychological Association shared a report revealing that the dogs can understand 200 words. Some of them can do basic mathematics as well. When you offer a reward to one dog for bringing the ball, the other dog will want the same reward for the very task by seeing your act.

    Various dog breeds can understand your commands and intentionally ignore to do so. Dogs can comprehend communication as a two-year-old child can. Dogs can ignore bad advice or command from the owner and can decide as per their thinking what is good in a situation for them. If your dog has learned the fastest and smarter way to do the task, they will discard the older routine.

  • A wagging tail does not always mean happiness

    Dogs get happy by seeing their parent and wag their tail in excitement. This phenomenon has created confusion in people's minds, and they think that tail-wagging dog is always happy and excited. Well, according to researchers and behavioral experts, the tail always tells a different story whenever it's in movement.

    When your dog is wagging tail to the right, this is a sign of happiness and excitement. Next time you notice tail wagging at your arrival in the house, you will see your dog is wagging tail to the right. When a dog is frightened, the tail wagging will be more tilted towards the left. An insecure dog will wag the tail in the downward direction. A tail shoved between the legs can be seen most of the time when a dog runs in fear. The rapid movement with dilated pupils is a warning sign that the dog is in aggression, and you should act accordingly.

  • Dogs dream just like us

    There are two different stories in this fact. Most pet owners have seen their dogs whimpering or twitching in their sleep. These moments indicate that the dog had a dream. MRI scans show that dogs show the same brain pattern as ours when they have a dream. That's why it is safe to say that dogs dream just like us and are as bewildered in the process as we do.

    On the other hand, an astonishing thing in this fact is that small breed dogs dream more often than larger dogs. A poodle can dream after every ten minutes during sound sleep. At the same time, a larger dog like Great Dane can dream after one hour in their sound sleep.

  • They can fall in love

    Dogs love to please their owners, and they are also fond of children and other animals inside their homes. For dogs, family is more important than their own life. Is this mind-boggling or what? At Claremont Graduate University in California, Professor Paul Zak found the key to this phenomenon.

    Dog's brains release oxytocin, the same hormone responsible for love and affection that humans secret. According to scientists, when dogs see their owners, they release oxytocin which is a sign of love and affection for their human parents. The concept that dogs can fall in love is not a myth and is proven scientifically for all dog breeds.

  • Right-pawed or left-pawed

    There are 90% of humans who are right-handed, and less than 10% of the total population are left-handed. There is a meager percentage of people who can use both hands or are ambidextrous. The same doesn't go for the dogs. You can find a 33% pattern in dogs when it comes to being left or right-handed.

    Almost one-third of the dog population will be right-handed, who can do well as service dogs. Right-handed dogs are good in obedience training and agility exercise. The dogs who have the tendencies to use both paws at the same time are also good in the feats mentioned above. But the left-handed dogs are more aggressive and do not do well in those feats.