Dogs Favour Humans – Part 1
Scientists at Emory University in Georgia, U.S.A., have discovered that dogs prioritize the smell of a “familiar” human over just about anything else. Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), scientists offered five scents to 12 subject dogs:
- Familiar human
- Familiar dog
- Strange human
- Strange dog
Research has proven that a dogs’ sense of smell can be more than 10,000 times that of a human nose, depending on the breed. If we compare human to canine olfactory capabilities, we have to look at the structure. In both people and dogs, there are two bony plates inside the nasal cavity called turbinates which hold a spongy membrane that functions as the scent detector. It also includes the nerves to send the information from the membrane to the brain.
Is it any wonder dogs ‘see’ with their nose, and not their eyes like us olfactory-challenged humans. The sheer volume of information they receive and process through that one sense is absolutely incredible. Research has proven that dogs can aid in diagnosing a number medical concerns.
Did you know,
There are so many more stories, studies and research that have been completed or are currently underway about the incredible nose and scent detecting abilities of dogs. The greatest value, though, is proof that our human bodies produce and expel organic material that can be detected in the air. This supports the development of instruments and machines that can quickly, less invasively, diagnose illness.
Whether dogs are used in the medical field to detect various medical illness, or disease and infection outbreaks, or canine study data is channeled into machinery, the contribution of our canine friends to the medical field cannot be discounted.
A dog’s bedside manner is better, too.
Are your dog and mine related?
Would you have guessed that your Siberian Husky is related to the Chow Chow? How about the Welsh Corgi to the Greyhound? No? And that cute little Gwenna, a miniature wire-haired Dachshund, is a distant cousin to the Bloodhound? That's what a new family tree of dogs reveals.
Scientists from the US National Institutes of Health began studying dog genomes two decades ago. They discovered that the 161 breeds they analyzed fell into one of 23 groupings called clades. Although they may have been bred independently in different parts of the world, most of the dogs in a clade have similar traits -- they're herding dogs, retrievers bred for hunting, or large dogs bred for strength. Others are quite different, however -- how about the Papillon and the American Eskimo Dog?
Check out these articles to view the colour wheel of clades and learn more about the study and what it can mean for human health:
Dog Walkers' Association
“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
― Josh Billings, Author
David Bartlett Park
The Science of Dogs
“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.”
― Mark Twain, Humourist, Author
“I'll believe it if I see it" for dogs translates to "I'll believe it if I smell it." So don't bother yelling at them; it's the energy and scent they pay attention to, not your words.”
― Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer
They then studied three areas of the brain: the olfactory bulb (the neural structure of the vertebrate forebrain involved in smell); the caudate nucleus (a paired structure that makes up the basal ganglia and is involved in memory and learning); and the whole brain. The olfactory bulb scans showed no difference between the five scents; however, the scans lit up in the caudate response demonstrating the dog could not only differentiate between the five scents, it was most active with the familiar human scent. It activated the reward-response center of the brain, even over itself or other familiar scents.
In the whole brain scan, it showed the greater activity to the familiar scents in the medial frontal cortex.
Why the familiar human scents seem to have a special place for our dogs is not known. Scientists can infer, or defer, but us owners know the truth – it’s a love thing.
Read the whole article at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0376635714000473