"The Secret Life of Dogs" is a one hour special about canines premiering on Nat Geo WILD on Sun., Aug. 25, 2013 (9 p.m. ET). Dogs are popularly know as "Man's best friend," but they many qualities that make them special may be a mystery to many people. Link: "The Secret Life of Dogs" video trailer
Dogs have been invaluable to humans in so many ways, as herders, workers, hunters, protectors, guides and as loyal companions. What are the special qualities that make canines so special? "The Secret Life of Dogs" delves into the question and comes up with interesting scientific exploration into the subject of dogs.
Dogs come in an amazing number of shapes and size, with more varieties than any other mammal on the planet. From teacup Yorkies to Great Danes, there are more than 400 recognized breeds of dogs. If humans were as varied as our canine friends, we would range in weight from 20 pounds to one ton!
The Nat Geo Wild special is part natural history, part science and pure celebration of man’s best friend. Combining the latest scientific research with intimate macrophotography, revealing thermal images and slow-motion footage, find out how dogs see, smell and experience the world surrounding them.
The special also follows a cute puppy from birth to adulthood to pregnancy to motherhood, as she trains to become a guide dog for the blind. Learn how how dogs are born blind and with sealed ears before transforming into highly sophisticated animals with keen senses. Hear personal accounts of dogs that have saved lives, rebuilt marriages and detected diseases to discover what makes dogs truly remarkable.
Dogs are also highly intelligent, able to respond to “sit,” “lay,” and many of man’s commands. They can “sniff out” certain illnesses, alerting owners to the early signs of a severe allergic reactions, epileptic fits or narcolepsy.
Everyday activities, such as shaking off water and drinking water are shown using slow motion. The dog shakes off water by rotating its head 180 degrees, jump-starting a rotational momentum that corkscrews down their body, to quickly expel water from their fur so they don’t get cold.
Dogs have special taste buds just for water at the tip of their curved, cup-like, tongue that allows them to pull water into their mouth and snap it shut before all the water escapes, in a surprisingly intricate process.
Dogs more likely to be calm, confident and self-assured when right-pawed, with the swirl of hair falling counterclockwise?
Dogs communicate at least six different emotions through their barks, but most humans do not understand why dogs bark or what the various barks mean.
The dog’s brain is one-tenth the size of humans, but the part that controls smell is 40 times larger. That’s how a dog can smell events days, weeks and even months after happening. It’s an essential trait that law enforcement agencies around the world rely on to locate missing persons and sniff out contraband. One 79-year old woman tells the story of how she was lost in the woods for three days and was found by a dog, saving her life.
Dogs are wrinkly and slobbery, they can shed, and a lot of them beg for food. But they are also adorable, loyal protectors, and the more we know about them, the easier it is to love them!
The Secret Life of Dogs is produced by Oxford Scientific Films. Producer is Alice Keens-Soper. For Nat Geo WILD, senior vice president of production and development is Janet Han Vissering and general manager is Geoff Daniels.