October 14, 2011

Man's Best Friend

The friendship between man and dog is said to have been going strong for some 26,000 years. In the Chauvet cave in France, where the earliest known cave paintings are, there is a trail of footprints made by a boy alongside those of a large creature believed to be part-wolf, part-dog.
An article in the Economist looks at gaining a better understanding of what dogs and people mean to each other. Part of the agenda is to explode the many myths about the closeness of dogs to wolves and the mistakes that this has led to, especially in the training of dogs over the past century or so. Here are some interesting facts:

Dogs share 99.6% of the same DNA as wolves but their brains don't work in the same way
Dogs resemble juvenile wolves which accounts for the way they remain dependent on their human owners
Dogs cant understand as many words as a two year old child - a widely understood myth and an inappropriate way of trying to measure canine intellect.
    Dogs have limited sense of time and are trapped almost entirely in the present
    Dogs can experience joy, anxiety and anger but not self-reflection (such as guilt or jealousy) - contrary to the convictions of many dog owners
    Roughly 20% of Britain's 8m dogs and America's 70m suffer from "separation distress" when their owners leave the house - luckily, sensible training can teach them how to cope
    A dog experiences the world very differently to us because of its extraordinary sense of smell: a newly painted room can be torture for a dog!
    Their super snouts can also perform the most unimaginable feats, such as smelling the early stages of cancer long before a normal medical diagnosis would detect it.

    Put your hand up if you thought differently about any of the above statements. I sure did! 
    Missing my pooches but luckily the Dutch love their dogs and I see cute canines daily. Have a great weekend everyone!



    1 comment:

    1. Love!!! Dogs are the most amaZing animals!! My Kilo is soo precious!