Why do any of us cross roads??? To get to the other side of course… still it was quite a funny sight.

Today I took Bella to Centennial Park. As we approached a large flock of swans and geese Bella instinctively led me away from the big mean-looking birds. What I found interesting was that not once did she look their way. Later we walked near two smaller birds and Bella ran toward them, joyously spurring them to fly away. Then again, some geese in the distance… before we were even close she was leading me in the opposite direction. Is it a territorial thing, or could she sense danger? They are big birds and she is a relatively small dog…

It got me thinking about different animal senses. Did you know that bats “see” the world through their ears – that is, they can hear the vibrations between themselves and an object, sense it’s distance, and construct what we would think of as an image of the world from these sounds? Some say they even sense colour through their ears.

How about Bella? How do dogs see, hear, smell, and feel the world around them? I know their senses are different to ours, but what are these differences? Do they have senses that we don’t?


As this clip shows, dogs are somehow more in tuned to the movements of the earth – so straight up that’s something I guess.

According to Charlie LaFave, dogs eyesight might not be completely colour blind (they also see blues and greens to greys and crèmes), but they detect motion far better than we do and have far better night vision than us. They also hear 4 times the distance we do, have a sense of smell 100,000 times more powerful than ours, and have sensory receptors all over their body (hence their love of snuggles).[1]

Then you think of platypus, and their electroreceptors on their beaks… man evolution is incredible!!! Small adaptations, over long periods of time, developing such diversity.

Our senses allow us to construct the world we know – a three dimensional world defined by a language of duality. We evolved to see and speak about this world in this way, so that we might survive and procreate.

I wonder what might surround us that we cannot yet sense? Will we need to develop new senses in order to survive in a warmer and highly polluted planet? What does the future hold, for us and our senses?

[1] http://www.ownedbypugs.com/index.php/articles/archives/5_ways_your_dog_senses_the_world_differently_from_you/