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Know Thy Friend

Dogs are considered to be man’s best friend. But how well do we really know our “best friends?” The new science of dog behaviour can make you a better friend to your pet.

Dr Keshav Kumar Sharma

What really goes on in the mind of a dog has been a great topic of discussion for many years. While we may never be able to have a conversation with our furry companions, we have made several amazing advances in the study of canine psychology that help us understand them a little better. Even those without a minute of experience in studying canine psychology know that dogs are smarter than people tend to give them credit for. They may not be solving complex math equations, but they’re usually not easily fooled, and they learn very quickly. Our understanding of dog psychology indicates that they can easily understand a wide range of vocal tones. They even experience dreams and share similar sleep patterns as humans! Their brain activity while sleeping also resembles that of a human brain when asleep. Interesting, eh! Here are ten of the most interesting facts about dog psychology.

Why do dogs sit on parked cars, or seek higher ground? why do they keep wandering here and there at night time?

Daylight, humans and other living being’s activities affect the regular and normal behaviour of the dogs. In the day time, they pay more attention to food, sleep, entertainment and interaction with others. In the dark or absence of sunlight they become more alert and vigilant. Their security mode turns sensitive and becomes highly active during night. The offense and defense mechanism, too, becomes more active. They feel it’s their responsibility to alarm others of any suspected danger during night. Hence, they always try to take their position on a higher ground, or a parked vehicle, which can act as watch tower for them. It’s a basic need for them as this activity also keeps them away from the fear of the unknown. Usually, canines are hunters and there anatomy and physiology of body supports them to be very dynamic with full of energy, alertness, special and extraordinary senses capabilities (smell, hearing and visual etc), canine teeth, paws and muscular characteristics etc. All these characteristics make dogs unique from the other hunting animals physically and psychologically.

They have comparatively different kind of psychology, which makes them important to perform different kind of functions with proper coordination for hunting, security and defense.

Hence during night there defensive mechanism become fully active and they become fully attentive for the defense part. That’s why they acquire such places from where they can predict or identify any movement or danger in first instance without fail.

Why they usually move round and round at the place before they want to sit, or lie down?

In the ancient time, or prior to their domestication, dogs lived in the forests full of grass or shrubs, so by this activity (round and round movement) they flattened the shrubs in order to make a natural bed for comfortable sitting, lying down, sleeping and even relieving. As you must have observed they always prefer flat surface for sitting, or lying down.

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January - March 2018