You’re as young When the dog Canine compasses
as you feel bites… … or sat nav?
While some dogs continue to be alert and The dog’s principal weapon system is his Dogs can sometimes find their way home over
lively into ripe old age, most do not. Nowadays teeth. His powerful jaw muscles enable him to incredibly long distances. How do they do it?
it is recognised that our canine friends can clamp down with considerable power. A 20kg Well, they may be able to navigate by noting
develop brain changes in old age that are like (44lb) mongrel has been found to exert a bite the position of the sun in combination with
those found in human Alzheimer Disease of 165kg (363lb) pressure, whereas the a biological clock which is situated somewhere
patients. The symptoms are many and varied: strongest of men, even under special training, within their bodies, and it is possible that, like
confusion, increased sleeping, difficulty in can only manage a bite of 73kg (160lb). birds, they have magnetic particles in their
recognising familiar humans, forgetfulness, etc. brains that act as compasses. Some scientists
As with elderly people, keeping your dog’s even surmise it may involve telepathy. Now
body and mind active helps to ward off the what do you think? Is this dog lost or not?
How well can Long live He looks sharp
your dog hear? our dogs… … he is sharp!
Dogs are excellent at hearing. They can detect It’s a sad fact that big dogs don’t live as long Animal psychologists consider the Border
noises well beyond the range of the human as the smaller breeds. Unfortunately, big Collie to be the most intelligent of breeds.
ear and can shut off their inner ear so as to means briefer. Few Wolfhounds like this one Other high IQ breeds are the Poodle, German
filter out from the background din those will reach 12 years of age, and Labrador Shepherd and Golden Retriever. At the thicker
sounds on which they wish to concentrate – Retrievers are seldom around to celebrate end of the scale are the Shih-Tzu, Basset
they can handle cocktail parties really well! their fifteenth birthday. Some terriers, on the Hound and, claimed to be the dimmest of all,
Such acute hearing also enables them to other hand, are still bouncing along at 20! The the Afghan Hound. I beg to differ with the
detect and give warning of imminent oldest dog on record was an Australian Cattle psychologists. I’ve known and treated some
earthquakes and volcanic eruptions hours or Dog that died in 1939 at just over 29 years old highly intelligent Afghans.
even days before they occur. – trust an Aussie to knock up a big score!
About the Author
David Taylor is a well-known veterinary surgeon and broadcaster and the author of over thirty books; including six
volumes of autobiography, some of which formed the basis for three series of the BBC television drama One by One.
He has also written the Collins Family Pet Guides: Rabbit and is the consultant editor for Collins Family Cat and
Collins Family Dog. The founder of the International Zoo Veterinary Group, he has exotic patients across the world,
ranging from crocodiles to killer whales and giant pandas.
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