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Super dogs – How Canines Can Sense Earthquakes


July 12, 2010
Sandor Fagyal

Dogs may be able to sense natural disasters – in particular, earthquakes.

The Greek historian Thucydides was probably the first to notice this ability.

He described how, days before a cataclysmic earthquake flattened the city of Helice, dogs abandoned the place in their droves. Thucydides was convinced the dogs knew what was coming and had run for their lives.
This has been borne out by scientific studies. One American study found that 17 out of 50 homes near the scene of a Californian quake in 1977 reported odd behaviour in their animals. Evidence ranged from a dog pacing around and fidgeting during its normal nap time to a normally placid dog whining excitedly. Studies in the Mojave desert in the US also found that dogs barked at small aftershocks unnoticed by humans but picked up by seismometers.

The most convincing recent evidence of this came before the Asian Tsunami struck on December 26th, 2004. In the hours before the tsunami many dogs refused to go for their daily walks near the sea. Many dogs were also seen running for higher ground minutes before the lethal tidal wave struck land killing thousands of people, who – unlike their pets – had been oblivious to the threat they faced.

For more odd and interesting scientific facts about man’s best friend you should read ‘Play It Again Tom: Curious Truths About Cats And Dogs’ by Augustus Brown.

Dog Doctors: How Canines Can Detect Human Illness


July 12, 2010
Sandor Fagyal

Ever since our ancient ancestors first domesticated the dog, we have suspected our canine companions of possessing strange, healing powers.

According to one old wives’ tale from Greece, for instance, if you were about to choke on a bone you should let an unweaned puppy give you the kiss of life. (Unless it was a fishbone, in which case you should apply an unweaned kitten.) Modern science, however, has discovered more tangible evidence of the dog’s powers to heal.

There is, for instance, a growing body of evidence to suggest that dogs can detect cancer. In one study, dogs were found to be able to detect lung, breast and other cancers with an accuracy rate of between 88 and 97 per cent. By contrast, hospital scanners are reckoned to have an accuracy of between only 85 and 90 per cent.

Dogs also seem to have the ability to sense when a person is going to have an epileptic fit. A study conducted in Canada, found that dogs who lived with children prone to epileptic fits behaved oddly before the attacks. Some dogs would lick the child’s face, for instance. Others would act protectively, in one case leading a young girl away from a set of stairs moments before she had an attack. The warnings came as early as five hours in advance.

Health experts are now training “seizure alert” or “seizure response” dogs, some of which can predict fits.
No one has yet explained how the dog does this. While some scientists argue they detect scent or behavioural clues, others think they can pick up on telltale electrical activity in humans.

For more odd and interesting scientific facts about man’s best friend you should read ‘Play It Again Tom: Curious Truths About Cats And Dogs’ by Augustus Brown.

Catgegory: Dog Facts

The remarkable radar system of dogs


July 12, 2010
Sandor Fagyal

We all know that dogs can hear better than us. Try sneaking up on them and you’ll find how difficult it is unless they’re distracted, or there is another noise in the distance. This fantastic hearing isn’t merely because their ears are more sensitive. There is another mechanism that makes a dog able to not only detect sounds, but also figure out where they’re coming from.

Dog

Humans are notoriously bad at figuring out the location of sounds. We are easily distracted by sight first and sound later. Dogs however, have ears that move around or swivel as most of you might has seen. This movement acts as a sort of radar that allows the dog to display a comprehensive awareness of the source of sounds.

Of course, the time in which this happens is also important. In the case of humans, our typical reaction time is 2/3rds of a second. A dog however, can locate the source of a sound in as little as 6/100ths of a second! A remarkable ability and just another reminder of how talented our furry friends are.

Catgegory: Dog Facts

You thought dogs were Color Blind?


July 12, 2010
Sandor Fagyal

Ok this was a new one for me. I always thought that dogs were color blind. I don’t know where I got that idea from, but it stuck. Looks like I was wrong all these years. Research conducted by Neitz J, Geist T, and Jacobs G H shows that while dogs see less color than we do, they are far from being unable to distinguish colors at all.

dogs are not color blind

Apparently, dogs have a form of color blindness called deuteranopia which translates into red and green color blindness. So while they are able to clearly distinguish between say blue and yellow, they have trouble telling red from green.

Apparently, this is a bit like seeing the world at night. Dogs were not meant to rely on vision alone for their survival. They are meant to use a totality of their senses including smell and hearning, and that is why they haven’t developed the detail and sharp eyesight that humans have. It’s more important for them to detect motion.

Dog obstacle courses have blue and yellow themes for this reason. Nice to know that my canine companion doesn’t see me as black and white!

Catgegory: Dog Facts

Dogs Smelling out Cancer


July 12, 2010
Sandor Fagyal

The Integrative Cancer Therapies Journal has provided scientific evidence that dogs are able to sniff out Cancer! We all know that the dog’s sense of smell is exceptional, being able to detect chemicals that are diluted to one part in trillion.

Dogs smelling out cancer

However, this new fact is truly astonishing. Apparently, a certain dog constantly sniffed the lesion of it’s owner alerting him to the fact that something was wrong. It was determined that he had Melanoma – a type of skin Cancer.

Clinical trials have established that trained dogs can sniff out lung and breast Cancer with accuracies of between 88% to 97%! An astonishing fact.

The study was conducted using standard double blind tests which means that neither the dogs, nor even those carrying out the experiments knew the patients in any way. Those conducting the test were not even aware of who had cancer. So the chances of even mild suggestion were ruled out.

It’s amazing how our canine friends can help us. In so many different ways, they show that they are the truest companions.