The canine smile is very similar to the typical aggressive snarl with lips pupped back, but almost always with less baring of teeth and certainly not the canine (fang) teeth. While your dog and i smile when amused or happy, dogs, though undoubtedly showing an appreciation fo humorous situations, only smile when pleased.
Dogs are natural swimmers though they eschew the crawl and breast stroke and only ever use the dog paddle! some are champions in the water. Jake, a golden retriever swam from the prison island of Alcatraz to San Francisco in 42 minutes in August 2005. The only non human entrant among 500 swimmers in a competition, he came 72nd. He was the first dog ever recorded to have made the crossing.
Yes, it really is true - dogs can talk to us and each other with their tails. For example; a broad tail wag means "i like you" a slight tail wag means "i see you're looking at me, You like me, don't you?" a tail held up and curved fowards over the back says "i'm top dog!" (yes my little maltese you are!) and a tail held down near the hind legs with legs bent slightly inwards is declaring "i feel a bit insecure"
Depending upon the breed, our dogs' noses are 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive than ours, and their brains have 40 times more nerve cells involved in scent recognition than we do. Just imagine! This would enable them to pick out one rotten apple in 2 billion barrels! So its no wonder that they are brilliant at sniffing out explosives, drugs, folk burieds under rubble, exquisite truffles and even certain tumours and other diseases in human patients.
There are three separate forms; learning ability and problem solving; the ability to respond appropriately to commands; and breed- related instinctive intelligence. Comparing breed intelligence is difficult. How to compare breeds that have been developed as specialists; terriers adept at working below ground, collies, the expert sheep herders; or the borzoi, a keen sighted speedy hunter? and what about the good old mongrel, so often highly quick witted?
A dog is never too old to learn new tricks. "Senior citizen" pets with stiff joints or failing sight can successfully be taught to raise a paw, "to die for the queen" or to flip something balanced on their nose into the air and then catch it. Whatever the breed, size or shape of the dog it can learn to do something and crossbreeds are frequently better at thinking for themselves than even border collies!
If you don't use it ---- you'll lose it
Playing games with and teaching tricks to your dog keeps both of you fit. And also helps to fend off the onset of senile changes in the brain of you pet as it gets beyond about 8 years of age. Think up a variety of different things for your dog to do every day, as encouraging him to use his grey matter, As with you and me, so with the dog; "if you don't use it you'll lost it!"
The answer is "YES" - gods can count, and they also have an understanding of addition and subtraction, which is very useful for pack living hunting animals like wolves from which they are descended. Experiments originally involving five month old babies have been applied to dogs with similar positive results. It seems that dogs, like many other mammals, may be able to count as high as 7.
Like their close relatives, the wolves,dogs often howl. Wolves do it to communicate with their fellow pack members over long distances and as a bonding mechanism and to some extent, its the same with our pet dogs in the neighbourhood. Some breeds tend to be noisy, especially terriers, beagles, collies, norwegian elkhounds and finnish spitz.
The retinas of our eyes and those of our dogs contain two types of light sensitive cells - rods and cones. Rods are very sensitive, work well in low loght levels but only appreciate black and white, whereas cones operate under good lighting conditions and can appreciate colour. Only 5% of the dogs retinal cells are cones, so as a result dogs are colour blind, seeing only in black, white and shades of grey.
The playful and loving relationship between man and his pet dog goes back many thousands of years. A 12,000 year old grave in what is now Israel contains the skeleton of a man with one hand cradling a pup. When dogs died in Ancient Egypt they were often mummified and buried with their owners or in their own graves.