Connect with us

Thai Life

Phuket Pets: The power of your pet’s senses



PHUKET: Dogs inherited keen senses from their wolf ancestors, and its these attributes that enable them to play such a massive role in our lives. With their phenomenal sense of smell, dogs are being used to sniff out illegal narcotics, explosives – even pirate DVDs.

Their sight and hearing capabilities help to assist the blind or deaf live more independent lives, and their power and strength is invaluable for dogs in an array of services such as water rescue or mountain search and rescue.

Sniffing Stuff…
A dogs’ world is almost entirely organized by smell and their incredible scent detecting powers are so superior to ours, its almost incomprehensible. Dogs are able to detect scents at such low levels that even computers can’t detect them.

Humans have around five million scent receptor cells in our noses, compared to around 300 million in dogs.

The structure of their noses allows them to breathe in a scent and keep it in their nose – while still managing to breathe in and out.

Dogs noses are also famously wet and with good reason.

Numerous tear ducts run all the way their noses. A wet nose allows them to detect the direction of the wind and thus sniff out scents carried in the breeze.

The moisture also helps them to dissolve scent molecules so receptor cells located in the nose can identify specific odors.

This is why dogs can pick out the tiniest amount of contraband through a host of “decoy” scents such as coffee beans.

Seeing is Believing
A dog’s sense of sight is very different from our own. Our vision is binocular and forward directed, whereas a dog’s is more monocular and peripheral, allowing them to detect the slightest movements, even from behind. In humans, our eyes are located at the front of our heads, giving us a field of vision just over 180 degrees. We have to turn our heads if we want to see things that are to the side, or behind us.

With dogs, the positioning of their eyes on the side of the head gives them a field of vision in the region of 260 degrees. A dogs’s vision in dim light excels, to the point that a dog can see an object at a light threshold six times lower than a human would need to see the same thing.

Dogs are not color blind, but they don’t have as acute a sense of color as we do and find it difficult to differentiate between red and green.

Dogs hear far better than humans.They hear sounds over a greater range of frequencies, from much further away, and can pinpoint the origins of these sounds with exceptional accuracy.

A sound that we hear at 20 meters can be detected by a dog at 200 meters. Dogs also have movable ears, which enables them to localize a sound to a high degree of accuracy and quickly – in about one six hundredth of a second.

There are more than 18 separate muscles in their ears which pivot, tilt, elevate or lower the ear, to ensure that the dog knows where a sound is coming from. Dogs can detect sounds as low as 67 Hz – the equivalent of thunder rumbling in the distance – much the same as we can. However, their high frequency hearing is far superior and extends up to 45,000 Hz, which is ten times higher than a soprano hitting a top C. Such sensitive hearing means that even while dogs are sleeping, they are able to detect sounds that are inaudible to us.

Rather than feeding your dog a bowl of food in the kitchen, hide a number of smaller bowls around the house, and encourage him to use his nose and hunt for his food. Its a fun interactive game to play, to stimulate your dog mentally and physically.

Russell D Russell IACP, ADPT, UKCBC is a professional canine trainer and behavior specialist and can be contacted through the Thailand Canine Academy at or tel. 089-588 4050.

— The Dog Whisperer


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Thais more relaxed about Covid-19

Bangkok6 hours ago

‘Win’ motorbike taxi drivers protest against GrabBike in Bangkok, Thailand

World6 hours ago

China not cod-ing about its zero Covid policy as it tests fish

Travel6 hours ago

Affordable but stylish hotels in Koh Samui for your next holiday

Thailand7 hours ago

Female soldier seeks help after being abused by senator’s wife

Crime7 hours ago

2 fake monks make up to 40k baht per day scamming villagers in northern Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime8 hours ago

Man stabs wife’s secret lover to death in rice paddy in central Thailand

Thailand9 hours ago

Thailand movie legend Sombat Metanee has died, aged 85

Crime9 hours ago

Teen soldier murders cousin for allegedly raping his mother

Video10 hours ago

Thaiger Unfiltered

World10 hours ago

Monkeypox victims told to avoid animals after pet dog is infected

Thailand11 hours ago

Elephant rips mahout’s body in half in southern Thailand

Thailand12 hours ago

2 men on a motorcycle rob a gas station in Chon Buri

Thailand12 hours ago

PM Prayut suggests studying Buddhism to cope with rising electricity bills in Thailand

Thailand12 hours ago

Indian man arrested for smuggling 17 live animals out of Thailand

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11