There have been a lot of dog stories online about lost dogs that found their way home on their own.
Just like the story of Hank. Hank is a shelter dog from Memphis who traveled 11 miles over two days just to be home. after being relocated to longer-term rescue care.
The dog went home to Rachel Kauffman, who was Hank’s foster mom for just six days.
It is very joyful and heartwarming to know about these dogs coming home without the intervention of any human being. But have you ever wondered, what secrets lie behind this amazing capability of dogs? Keep on reading to know some of them!
It may not be obvious, but your dog takes good observation of its surroundings when you are out together or doing a walk. It may keep on sniffing on the road you are walking on.
This sniffing helps it visualize a map in its head regarding your surroundings. According to veterinarian Wailani Sung, “Research on wolves has indicated that they use visual landmarks to help guide their way around their territory. Researchers have also found that some wolves have taken shortcuts to get from one point to another.”.
As dogs are connected to wolves, it is not surprising that dogs do these things too. You can also observe that your dog gets really hyped when you are nearing home after a walk, or picking up the pace, or slows down because it wants more time out.
The dog uses the combination of the sense of sight and smell to know that it is near home.
Dogs are known to rely on their sniffing capability. According to Pet MD, dogs have somewhere between 220 million to 2 billion olfactory receptor cells for scents. While humans have only 12 to 40 millions olfactory receptor cells.
You may have noticed how your dog keeps on sniffing when you are out for a walk. It does this to familiarize itself to the scents which it can determine as scents of home. The tree around the corner, the neighbor’s cute gate, the bushes, and a lot of things that you commonly pass on your route when you walk your dog.
In accordance with this, your dog also leaves a distinct smell on the path every time it puts down its adorable paws.
Dogs also use mixed scents to know the direction towards home. It can be the smell of its owner, or the smell of the flowers near the front door, or the smell of its favorite food that is most often being cooked in the kitchen.
Reason to be Home
It is all about the connection. Most often, lost dogs try their best to find their way home because of the connection they have with their owner and their family. We all know how dogs can love humans unconditionally.
However, not all that lost and tries to navigate their way home succeed. A lot of these lost dogs remained lost and can’t find their way back home anymore.
If you ever find a lost pet or animal outside, kindly report it to the nearest animal shelter.