10 characteristics of DOGS

Dogs, although dogs look very different from people, they share many of the same characteristics of our bodies.. They have a heart and circulatory system to carry blood, lungs to take in oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the body, a digestive tract to absorb nutrients from food, and so on. However, it is the differences between dogs and people that are most interesting and that give dogs their unique characteristics as members of the family. Let's see the characteristics of dogs...

dog characteristics

Main characteristics of dogs

  1. Metabolism: Dogs have a higher metabolism than people. They breathe faster, pump blood faster, mature faster, and have a higher normal body temperature. Young dogs seem to have even more energy than children. However, this high metabolism comes with a shorter lifespan. A common rule of thumb is that 1 dog year equals roughly 10 to 12 person years per dog for the first 2 years, and then 4 person years (per dog year) after that. Real life depends on health and size, and small breeds generally live longer than larger ones.
  2. temperature regulation: Dogs are generally much better at keeping warm than they are at cooling off. In sled dogs, which can survive outdoors even in very low temperatures, the fur acts as an insulating "blanket," trapping heat generated by the dog's elevated metabolism. However, in hot or humid weather, most dogs have a hard time. Dogs cannot sweat, which is an effective form of evaporative cooling. Instead, dogs lose heat primarily through panting. These rapid breaths (10 times faster than normal) are an attempt to lose heat through evaporation by moving warm, moisture-filled air in and out. During short, shallow breaths in panting, little air can be exchanged in the lungs. In fact, dogs must stop panting periodically to breathe well. Drinking water also helps dogs cool down, and canine hair helps insulate them from the sun.
  3. Vision: Dogs can see movement and light much better than people. In the retina of the eye, dogs have more of a specific type of cell called a rod, which is good at picking up dim light, so they have better night vision. A reflective layer in the dog's eye, called the tapetum lucidum, magnifies incoming light. This reflective layer lends a characteristic blue or greenish glow to dogs' eyes when light (for example, passing car headlights) shines into them at night. However, dogs don't have as much visual acuity as people, which means they can't make out fine details either. They also cannot differentiate colors because they have fewer cells in the retina called cones, which are responsible for color vision. Contrary to popular belief, however, dogs are not completely color blind.
  4. Hearing: The dog's ear canal is much deeper than that of people and creates a better funnel to carry sound to the eardrum. The average dog can hear about 4 times better than the average person, including sounds at frequencies higher than the human ear can detect. Dogs are also better at distinguishing the direction of a sound, which is a useful adaptation for hunting. Unfortunately, this deeper ear canal predisposes dogs to hearing problems. Grease, wax, and moisture can build up in the ear, causing inflammation and infection. Floppy ears or hair inside the ears further limit ventilation, making matters worse. This is why many dogs need frequent preventative ear cleaning.
  5. Smell and taste: Dogs have an extraordinarily keen sense of smell; it is about a million times more sensitive than that of people. They can detect odors at extremely low levels and can distinguish odors that are subtly different. This is why dogs can detect drugs and explosives at airports, search for human victims at disaster sites (including victims in the depths of water), and follow the trail of criminals.

  6. Locomotion: Dogs have most of the same muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments as people. All 4 of the dog's limbs are maximized for locomotion, from a steady walk to a brisk run. In many ways, dogs run like horses and have the same 4 gaits: walk, trot, canter, and canter. Canine bones that are comparable to the long bones in our hands and feet are found in the lower legs of the dog. The angular hock on the hind legs is comparable to the ankle in humans. Most dogs can swim, although some breeds bred specifically for swimming (for example, retrievers) can swim better than others (for example, Bulldogs).
  7. paws and nails: The canine paw contains specialized structures that help the dog to move on different surfaces. The underside of the paw is covered in thick, elastic pads that become calloused after years of constant wear and tear in direct contact with the ground. These pads protect the paw and help provide a secure grip on many types of surfaces. The toenails help provide traction during running and are also used for digging. Canine toenails are thick, brittle structures made of a protein called keratin (just like hair). A large blood supply runs down the middle and feeds the cuticle (or "fast") of the growing nail
  8. skin and hair: Canine skin has several layers, including an outer epidermis that is constantly being replaced and an inner dermis that contains nerves and blood vessels. Dog skin is thinner and much more sensitive than human skin. Dogs should be bathed only with shampoos made specifically for pets. Shampoos and other topical products for people can be irritating to dogs' skin and should be avoided. Canine fur grows from hair follicles in the skin. Dogs have compound hair follicles, with a central (guard) hair surrounded by 3 to 15 secondary hairs growing from the same pore. Sebaceous (oil) glands within the skin lubricate the hair, keeping the coat shiny and waterproof. Hair growth is controlled by several factors, including nutrition, hormones, and the time of year. In general, dogs shed at a slow, steady rate throughout the year, with peak shedding periods in the spring and fall. Shedding replaces hair gradually, without bald patches (which can be a sign of disease and should be investigated).
  9. teeth and mouth: Like their wolf ancestors, dogs are carnivores with teeth designed for tearing and tearing flesh. They have 28 deciduous (baby) teeth that are replaced by 42 permanent (adult) teeth between 2 and 7 months of age. Different types of teeth have specialized functions, depending on their position in the mouth. The front teeth, which include the 12 incisors and 4 large canine teeth (teeth), are designed for grasping and tearing. The back premolars and molars grind food into smaller pieces that can be swallowed.
  10. Digestive and urinary tract: The gastrointestinal tract includes the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine (colon). This system digests food into useful nutrients, absorbs water, and eliminates waste. Digestive problems often show up as vomiting or diarrhea, which can have many causes, including viral infections; worms; stress; or swallowing bones, sticks, or other foreign material. The urinary system removes nitrogenous waste from protein breakdown and helps control fluid levels. Waste products are filtered by the kidneys and then sent through the ureters to the urinary bladder for storage. Urine leaves the body through the urethra. In men, the urethra doubles as a channel for sperm during intercourse. UTIs are much more common in women and usually appear as frequent drips of urine that may be tinged with blood.

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ENCICLOPEDIA DE CARACTERÍSTICAS (2023) 10 characteristics of DOGS, en 10caracteristicas.com. https://10caracteristicas.com/en/10-characteristics-of-dogs/ (Consultado el: 25-09-2023)

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