Everybody knows that a dog’s nose is supposed to be cool. In fact, dog noses generally run around 9 degrees below ambient temperature. This was long thought to be a way of body temperature regulation.
Well, looks like we were all doggone wrong about that! Some scientists opined that the nose of a dog was simply too small to be an effective body heat regulation tool. But if that’s true then why are their noses cold?
Turns out that dogs have cold noses because those noses are sophisticated heat detectors.
A research team from Sweden's Lund University and the Eotvos Lorand University in Hungary trained three dogs to distinguish between two objects that were identical except for their temperature.
The three dogs were:
A Golden Retriever named Kevin
A Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever named Delfi
A mixed breed called Charlie
They could tell the difference between an object at room temperature and an identical one heated to 22 degrees above room temperature. And they could do it at a distance of five feet!
This talent seems to be functional (perhaps related to hunting), because brain scans of the dogs showed increased activity when warmer objects were presented.
The research was published in the journal Scientific Reports.