We all know that our dogs are smart, and it’s no surprise that they’re considered part of the family, but there is so much that we don’t know about them. While the science of dogs is not a widespread one, according to Dogs Decoded a Nova documentary special, more and more scientists are studying exactly what is going on inside the canine brain.
We checked out this documentary and for those interested in the relationship between humans and pups, where this relationship began and how it has evolved, this will be a really interesting flick!
A dog responds to human pointing to identify where a treat is located
You’ll learn that dogs understand humans better than Chimpanzees in certain ways. Scientists have done an number of fascinating experiements including those which identify how dogs look at human faces. Like humans, dogs have a left-right orientation when looking at a human face. Dogs don’t do this on dog faces or anything other object so, this may indicate their ability to read our emotions and could explain why they seem to know how we’re feeling. Also, did you know that dogs respond to our pointing in various directions? Chimps don’t do this and neither do wolf cubs.
Dogs Decoded also explores a sound we all know too well: barking. While wolves, the original pooches, only bark as a warning, it seems dogs may have developed a wider repertoire of sounds to communicate specifically with humans. In Budapest, Hungary, scientists ran an experiment for which they collected recordings and had humans listen and identify what the barks and sounds meant. The people were overwhelmingly correct in whether a sound was a call for attention, a protective bark, a playful noise or something else.
Anyway, we won’t give away the whole film because you should watch it for yourself! We will say that by watching it, you’ll better understand why certain breeds look the way they do and generally why dogs make us so darn happy.
We’ll leave you with one of the amazing facts we learned. Did you know that people who have dogs are scientifically less likely to have a heart attack and if they do have one, they’re more likely to survive? Pretty amazing!
Check out the preview (below) and watch this movie through Netflix or buy it on PBS.org.