Even if you share everything with your dog, you still do not share the same perception of the world. Like us, the dog has five senses, but he uses them differently to communicate.



The visual field of the dog is wider than ours (about 250° versus 180°). This means that the dogs can see to the side and almost behind them.

However, their visual acuity is not as good: astigmatic, they do not distinguish the small one’s objects at a great distance. The dogs are terribly presbyopic: less than 40 centimeters away their vision is not clear. It is not very serious because the sense of smell then takes over. Dogs on the other hand, have excellent night vision. They can see perfectly at the hour when everything becomes dark. Their behavior of the the predator has equipped them with a high visual sensitivity to movement.

In a fraction of a second, the dog arrives to perceive something moving in the distance. Dogs do not see in black and white as has long been thought. But their range of colors is less rich than ours. With this misperception of nuances, the dog will not be able to spot the dog. easily a blue ball on a lawn!


The dog shows amazing performances in this field, very high performance useful for locating prey. It perceives frequencies that are inaudible to us, the famous ultrasounds. It is indeed in the high pitches that his hearing proves to be far superior to ours. He will perceive the sounds up to 40 kHz as we saturate at 25 kHz. It therefore, captures a range of sounds more extensive and at a greater distance. It will hear a sound at 25 meters away that man does not hear perceives more than 4 meters.

Does the shape of the ears have an influence?

The orientation of the auricles facilitates perception hearing. Breeds that have erect ears seem to perform better while the breeds with drooping ears have probably less fine hearing. This is the case of many hunting dogs that have been selected rather than on their flair.


The tactile sense is the first to develop in the puppy and the first contacts with the mother and siblings are very important.

Some of the longer and thicker hairs are devoted to sensory perception. The most known are the vibrates concentrated on the face, cheeks, eyelids, and lips, but it does not also exist on the front legs, above the upper pad. These sensory hairs allow the collection of information on its environment and positioning in space, probably to compensate for a near vision challenge deficient.

The pads contain many receptors that are capable of picking up minute vibrations from the ground. This information is very useful to him to move around and to perceive the movements of prey.



Flair is the sharpest sense of smell in the dog. His nose is lined with more than 200 million olfactory cells while we have only 5 million of them. The mucous membrane olfactory represents a surface area of 150 to 170 cm2 for 5 cm2 for us. It is capable of distinguishing smells that are nevertheless very close thanks to minute variations in their chemical composition. It is capable of detect odorous molecules 10,000 to 1,000,000 times less concentrated than those that we can perceive.

The olfactory acuity varies according to the races for several reasons. The surface of the mucous membrane and the number of cells receptors are not the same (we pass from the of 200 million cells in the Berger German at 100 at the Bulldog). The most successful breeds are the dogs shepherds and game retrievers.

The confirmation of the skull and cavities nasal also has its importance: the dogs brachycephalic with their crushed nose does not are not the champions of the sense of smell… Curiously, dogs with dark coats and mucous membranes pigmented would have better olfactory capacities.

The sense of smell uses two systems of perception distinct. The main olfactory system designates the set represented by the mucous membrane that lines the nasal cavities and the nerve structures to which it is connected. Its activity is complemented by that of the olfactory system known as the accessory olfactory system.

This device, which has no accessory other than the name, is devoted to the perception of pheromones. It involves a particular organ known as vomeronasal. Which is a kind of tube located between the nasal cavity and the palate that opens up close to the incisor. This structure mucus lined works like a pump capable of sucking up the molecules thanks to variations in its diameter.

The opening of the vomeronasal organ is activated by a particular behavior, known in all mammals and called flehmen. The dog will raise his lip very slightly while snapping your teeth and biting your head off Slightly salty. This behavior generally rather discreet is particularly demonstrative in the presence of a partner sexual.

The neurons of the olfactory system have the following particularity to regenerate itself, which makes the sense of smell is not affected by aging, unlike the sight or the hearing often degraded in old dogs.

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