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Tails of the City

NOVA’s Dogs & Super Senses Finds Out How Dogs View the World

April 4, 2014 6:20am (EDT)

While a recent study put to rest the notion that dogs feel and express shame for their bad behavior, the NOVA special "Dogs & Super Senses" shares fascinating evidence on how dogs, cats and animals view the world through their senses.

It aired on GPB's Think Wednesdays at 9 p.m. Now you can watch it online.

Watch it tonight on GPB’s Think Wednesdays at 9 p.m. Then stick around at 10 p.m. to see how we're related to our fishy friends on "Your Inner Fish."

I’ve always wanted to know how my dog, Bijou knows my brother is close to home at least 10 minutes before my sibling pulls into the driveway. Bijou is no fan of my brother and usually starts barking before we hear his car squealing near the house.

For that matter, how does Bijou know I’m leaving for work or heading to the mall? Even before I’ve grabbed my keys or put my coat on, he knows to settle on his pillow stationed on the steps in front of doorway. There he lies sadly (that’s how I classify his look anyway) all day until I return. He springs to life as soon I walk back into the house.

I and most humans classify this behavior in terms of feelings. But "Dogs & Super Senses" point to the senses.

Animals have enhanced senses plus several that humans don’t have at all.

So it’s very likely that Bijou hears and recognizes the sound of my brother’s car even though the vehicle is miles away from my neighborhood.

"Dogs & Super Senses" shares the story of a pooch who uses smell to tell time. That could explain how Bijou senses my departure and return. Is he smelling something that signals my return?

It will be interesting to learn how else animals perceive the world differently from humans.

What do you think? Share your smart animal stories with us.

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