By Molly Daly
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A successful dog behavior expert will be in North Philadelphia Thursday night for a free talk.
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Dr Alexandra Horowitz in the author of Inside a dog.
âThere are something like 75 million dogs in the United States today, and I think they’ve almost surpassed the number of households that have children,â she says. KYW Newsradio. âSo they became part of our family. “
But Horowitz, who runs the Canine Cognition Laboratory at Barnard College in New York, says that even though humans have lived with dogs for tens of thousands of years, we can’t assume we know everything about them.
Horowitz says the best way to learn more about dogs is to examine their behavior. Have you ever wondered why your dog spends so much time smelling something you can’t see?
âThey are scent creatures, so their primary sense is smell, not sight,â says Horowitz. âThey have hundreds of millions of receptors in their noses that can detect odors. They can get information about individuals, about their health, how long someone has been there, about all kinds of things that are invisible to us.
Listen to the full interview with Dr. Alexandra Horowitz in this podcast from CBS Phily:
And sometimes they can’t get enough – and even get started – of things that really stink.
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âThey don’t have an aversion to smells like we do. Either they really like it or they want to smell like this, âshe says.
Horowitz says some behaviors stem from the dog’s wild origins. When your dog licks your face on the way home, for example, it doesn’t have to be a kiss.
âWe see each other licking the face among the wolves all the time. But it does mean something a little different. It’s kind of a greeting. It is also a request for regurgitation of your food. But even the most forgiving dog owner has to draw the line somewhere.
Yet, says Horowitz, having a glimpse into your dog’s thinking can only improve your relationship with him.
âI love when owners tell me they now spend more time letting their dog sniff whatever they want to sniff on a walk, imagining the dog’s point of view. I think this is something we could all spend a little more time doing.
Dr. Horowitz will present âObserving Dogsâ on Thursday March 14 at 5:30 pm at the Wagner Free Institute of Science, 17th Street and Montgomery Avenue.
To subscribe to the discussion or learn more, visit wagnerfreeinstitute.org.
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