Dogs are intelligent creatures; there’s no question there. But after watching several youtube videos of dogs running in their sleep or falling into swimming pools, you may be left wondering, “how smart are dogs really?” Below we’ve compiled a list of # reasons dogs are smarter than we think they are.
Born Knowing How to Swim
There are some things that dogs are simply better at than humans. For example, most dogs are born with the innate ability to paddle their feet instinctively when they come in contact with water. Their paddling instinct is often enough to keep the dog afloat and swim without any proper training as most people require. Drowning isn’t much of a danger for most dogs, but this can vary depending on the breed and structure of some dogs. The Whoodle, for example, typically has no issue swimming and can even have an easier time due to their non-shedding coat. French Bulldogs, on the other hand, or most brachycephalic breeds, are unable to swim despite their instinctive paddling. Their muscle to fat ratio, flat face, and barrel-shaped body, in contrast with their tiny legs, are some of the most common reasons these dogs are unable to swim, and more often than not, they tend to sink to the bottom!
Dogs Can Learn Hundreds of Words
We’ve been told that dogs are as intelligent as toddlers, but it’s hard to fully grasp what that actually means! A dog’s memory can vary similarly to people’s, and some dogs are indeed smarter than others. But most dogs are capable of learning a couple hundred words. Particularly intelligent dogs can be trained to remember over a thousand different words in total.
Another exciting aspect of their speech interpreting abilities is that dogs can recognize the words and speech used no matter who is speaking! This just goes to show that dogs do have indications of understanding some aspects of our language even though they’re limited in their abilities.
Dogs Can Smell Illnesses
Since a dog’s most sensitive and most important sense is its sense of smell, it’s no surprise that they’re very adept at recognizing and identifying things by their odor. Most are aware that dogs can smell things humans can’t. Their skills usually extend to identifying drug paraphernalia and detecting and alerting bombs and bomb residue. Dogs also have a unique talent for smelling illnesses. New studies show that dogs can scent and alert to cancer cells and low blood sugar levels in people with diabetes!
Dogs Listen to and Understand Tone
It’s evident in most dog owners’ everyday lives that dogs can understand not only the words you speak, but also your tone. Happy squeaky voices elicit an optimistic response from your pup. But have you ever noticed that when you yell, scold or talk down to your dog, they often appear to sulk or lower their bodies to show us they aren’t receiving a positive message? It’s clear how much our tone truly impacts the message we’re sending our dogs. If you repeat the exact same words using different tones, you can watch the variety of ways your dog will respond depending on how negative or positive your voice is.
They Can Sense Dangers We Aren’t Aware of
We’ve all heard the stories of dogs protecting their owners using their powerful sense of danger. Whether it be protecting toddlers from snakes or protecting their owners from unlikely perpetrators late at night, dogs seem to be highly aware of people’s intentions. They have a much easier time sensing subtle changes in facial expression or body language that we humans often don’t pick up on as a warning sign.
There are many indications of intelligence when it comes to dogs, and it can be measured in so many different ways that it’s hard to get definitive proof of how intelligent the canine species truly is as a whole. But one thing is for sure; dogs are definitely smarter than we think they are! Spend some extra time this summer getting to know your furry companion and put those extra brain cells to use by teaching them something new!