There's still a lot we don't know about man's best friend, here are seven things you need to know about your dog’s expressions of love, for us and each other.
Dogs suffer from jealousy
In a simple experiment of paw for treat, dogs display symptoms of envy when they feel they had been rewarded unequally for their efforts.
But it’s not just emotion that dogs feel for themselves..
Dogs can read emotion in humans
Psychology research has shown that dogs look to the left hand side of our faces to understand what we are really thinking. They only do this to humans; not other dogs or animals.
This is because the left side of our face expresses our real feelings and thoughts. So next time you try to disguise your mirth while telling them off for getting stuck inside your jumper, remember that they won't take you too seriously. And that’s not the only thing they can decipher in humans.
Dogs can smell cancer
Two studies in 2004 and 2006 have shown that with a few weeks of simple training, dogs can smell lung cancer on our breath and other forms of cancer, such as breast and prostate, from urine samples with a higher accuracy rate than medical blood tests.
Dogs love unconditionally
While your cat hangs out with you for warmth and food, dogs genuinely feel love towards us whether we come bearing treats or not.
A scientific study compared the stress and anxiety caused when an owner leaves to the joy felt when they return. The pleasure chemical dopamine is released when our dog spends time with us. In answer to the question 'Why do dogs love unconditionally?' on Yahoo answers, came the simple response: 'Because they do not hate. If you cannot hate, you love those you trust unconditionally'.
Dogs raise an eyebrow
According to the elves at QI Central, a dog’s first reaction on seeing their owner walk through the door is a quick raised eyebrow—the left one to be precise. And it’s not just body language you can use to communicate with your dog.
Dogs understand over 1000 words
Yes, it’s true. The Border Collie, Chaser showed knowledge of a whopping 1022 words through learning and memory tools similar to the ones humans use. Chaser also displayed an understanding of both nouns and verbs and the difference between the two.
Dogs love music
Dogs have musical preferences and a sense of pitch according to an enlightening article by Stanley Coren.
Apparently dogs purposefully harmonise when howling, and can point out when someone sings off key. Even Wagner's design of the musical motif was due to his dog's specific reactions to different melodic phrases.
Dog lover Paul McCartney included a whistle sound inaudible to humans in the Beatles song, ‘A Life in the Day’ solely for the amusement of his Old English Sheepdog, Martha. Who, incidentally, has a song dedicated to her entitled ‘Martha my dear’ from The White Album, 1968. (Apparently she preferred this song, as she understood all 137 words of Paul’s lyrics).