Beyond the emotional satisfaction they give to us, they display some amazing and interesting qualities.
Dogs use their tails, whether consciously or unconsciously, to “talk” to humans, other dogs, and other animals.
If the tail is stiff and straight, it usually means that the dog is expressing aggression.
Studies show, however, that if it wags to the left, it means he is frightened.
If a dog is wagging his tail slowly back and forth, and his body is rigidly pointing in your direction, stay out of his space.
A dog's sense of smell is more than 10,000 times greater than that of man.
The mucous on the surface of a dog's nose helps him to define a scent, as well as helping him to determine the direction it is coming from.
There are some smells that are undetectable to man but can be discerned by a dog.
This is why dogs are trained to sniff out drugs, human scent and blood, insects, and even the presence of bombs.
Recent studies have also shown that dogs can smell cancer in the body of a human.
There are amazing true stories about dogs that became lost or separated from their owners and literally crossed thousands of miles to successfully find their owners again.
It remains a scientific mystery as to how dogs can do this, but one theory that has been suggested is that dogs have a homing instinct that is sensitive to the earth's magnetic fields.
They are able to map out landmarks, scents and sounds by a kind of an inner compass.
The interesting thing is that researchers have discovered that if magnets are attached to a dog's body, they lose their sense of direction.
Dog's ears contain more than eighteen muscles, and a dog can hear in both low and high frequency.
When a storm is on its way, a dog can hear low rumblings before we can.
He is more sensitive to a drop in barometric pressure that signals a storm is on its way.
It has also been suggested that a dog may be able to smell the metallic scent given off by lightning.
Some dogs are highly fearful of storms. They will bark, shake, hide, or soil the carpet.
If your dog is overly frightened by storms, experts say you should command him to sit and stay and then reward him for staying calm with a treat.
There are also medications your veterinarian can give you to help calm your dog through his anxious episodes.
Dogs have proven invaluable, because of their unique physiology, in helping man in a number of useful ways.
An artist by profession, Miri's paintings make a lasting keepsake of your furry or feathered friend.
For more info, please visit Custom Pet Portraits by Miri at www.petportraitsbymiri.com