When you pet dogs, the animals sense these touches. The four-legged friends then feel safe and calm down. The sense of touch also plays a major role in orientation, especially in the dark. Especially blind dogs rely heavily on their sense of touch to avoid obstacles and to move safely.
How does the dog's sense of touch work?
Before a freshly born puppy opens its eyes and ears and its sense of smell fully develops, it only has its sense of touch to orient itself. The newborn dogs don't need anything else to find their way to their mother's teats. At the same time, the touch of the mother makes the puppies feel that they are safe. The little ones recognize who belongs to their family through the sense of touch. Tactile receptors are found all over the body, but the perception is particularly fine on the tactile hair, the so-called vibrissae, which are located on the snout, eyebrows, ears and on the outside of the legs. The dog's nose and lips are also very sensitive to pressure. Dogs feel the ground on which they are walking using the pads on their paws. For example, they can feel vibrations or cold in the ground.
The well-developed sense of touch enables dogs to move safely even in the dark or through tight spaces. The fine touch hairs are like antennas that perceive obstacles without touching them. The air swirls around the objects are enough for dogs to notice the object. In this way, the sense of touch protects the dog from injuries caused by collisions. The four-legged friends can feel cold, but they usually have no heat receptors. They can only feel warmth on the nose, otherwise they do not feel the high temperature when the heat is high, but only the pain when burned.
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Dogs need touch
Social bonds and relationships are very important for happy dogs. They essentially build these emotional bonds using the sense of touch. This begins with the dog mum in puppy age and continues later when the four-legged friends develop a relationship with their owner or mistress, or make friends with other people. So that a dog feels loved and safe, it needs touch. Caressing and crawling soothes him and ensures that he feels completely comfortable.