How Many Senses Does a Dog Have? Do They Have a Sixth Sense?

Just like their human counterparts, dogs have five senses (that we know of). Smell, sight, taste, hearing, and touch. The two strongest senses on a dog smell and hearing. These senses are so strong that it may give the appearance of a sixth sense, but the sixth sense has yet to be proven.

It’s a no brainer that some of your dog’s senses are much better than yours. There is a good reason that they are trained to be guard dogs, drug detecting dogs, or service dogs. This is why Fido can detect that crinkling chip noise or that a yummy smell from miles away.

Some dog senses are much stronger than ours, while others are much weaker. In today’s post, we will go into detail on each sense from a dog’s perspective. You’ll learn which senses are stronger, weaker, and which ones are about the same.

Near the end of this article, we will talk about the highly debated “sixth sense” that dogs might have.

What are My Dog’s Senses?

Like humans, your dog has five senses. Though they may be the same senses, dogs have developed heightened senses compared to their human counterparts. We will go into detail below on their senses and why they make dogs so special!

The Sense of Smell

Your dog has the nose of a champion and can sniff a treat from miles away.

Dogs have a very developed sense of smell. Some experts even say that it’s over 100,000 times more developed than a human’s sense of smell.

Dogs will use their noses for multitude occasions. It’s ingrained in them to use this ability for survival. This means they use it to track their owners, other animals, and food.

This is the reason some dogs are trained to be used during highly intense situations. These situations include rescue relief, preventative measures, and natural disasters.

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They can be trained to rescue people who may be trapped during a natural disaster, detect any harmful gasses, and assist with finding drugs during travel.

Please note that all dogs have different levels of smell. Dogs like German Shepherds and Beagles have better noses than other dog breeds such as poodles.

Sense of Sight

Studies show that dogs do not have a strong sense of sight compared to their sense of smell.

This is due to the possibility of their eyes not taking in light the same way as humans. Although dogs aren’t color blind (contrary to popular belief), they don’t see colors as vividly as humans.

Their eyes work better in environments with low lighting than bright lights. This is why your dog likely moves in the dark a lot better than you do.

Sense of Taste

You have switched dog food for the third time, hoping that your dog will enjoy his food how you enjoy a T-Bone steak.

Dogs do not have a developed sense of taste like their human counterparts. Some dogs may sit down and eat anything, including grass, sticks, and anything they can get their mouths on. Sometimes, owners may experience a picky eater, but that’s rare.

If your dog is a picky eater, don’t think your dog just hates their food. As mentioned above, dogs do not have a developed sense of taste. There may be a reason your dog is being picky, such as a loss of appetite from feeding them too many treats during the day.

If that’s the case, limit the number of treats and table food given. This way your dog will not expect any other additional food options than the one in their bowl.

Sense of Hearing

Like their sense of smell, a dog’s sense of hearing is one of their best senses.

Dogs can hear noises from miles away. They can also hear sounds at different pitches and volumes that are inaudible to the human ear.

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This is why when you blow a dog whistle, you may not hear much but will soon be surrounded by dogs.

15 muscles in the dog’s ear help them pinpoint a specific sound. With these muscles, they can move their ears separately to pick up more sound waves from the source.

Your dog can also filter out sounds to keep them from being distracted. This is why dogs make great hunting companions and service animals.

Sense of Touch

You are lying on the couch, and your dog is on their back waiting for their favorite form of touch. Belly rub time!

You may notice that your dog has their favorite spots that they love to be petted, scratched, or rubbed on. Their legs usually go on a spaz attack when you find it.

This can include spots like their belly, behind their ears, under their neck, and on their chest.

No matter where your dog’s spot is, their sense of touch becomes developed as they grow older.

Dogs have many nerve endings in their body and have very sensitive hairs. This is why touch is one of the best ways to communicate with your dog.

Do Dogs Have a Sixth Sense?

Movies, media, and some people’s experiences may lead them to believe that their dog has a sixth sense to see ghosts, paranormal activities, or different energies.

Some people also claim that dogs can sense cancer or sickness and know when someone is about to die.

This is very uncertain. We know dogs perceive the world differently than humans, but have they really developed a sense that we haven’t?.

Though there are few studies out there that can prove your dog is a ghost hunter, there are many accounts and stories that may support the theory that dogs have another sense that humans don’t. This sixth sense will have to remain a mystery until more research and studies are done.

There is another sixth sense that many people believe dogs have. It is the sense of “Gut.” Your dog will most likely know when something is not right. This sense can be activated from a combination of other senses. This can be seen in their ability to detect bad weather, storms, hurricanes, etc.

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Have you ever been upset over a breakup or a lost job? If you have a dog, they have realized that you are upset and have tried to reconcile you.

These actions can range from cuddling with you or licking you. Some dogs can even detect certain illnesses or diseases that a human is experiencing.

This unexplainable phenomenon is why some dogs are trained to be service dogs to detect anxiety attacks or episodes of epilepsy. Dogs are fascinating and beautiful creatures. There’s a reason we know them to be a man’s best friend!

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