How Dogs Find Their Way Back Home

How Dogs Find Their Way Back Home

Last update: 21 December, 2018

There have been a lot of stories about dogs getting lost and find their way back home a few days later. This is rather surprising but is quite common and people have started to think that this is normal.

To find out more about this topic, the University of British Colombia conducted a few studies, and you could look at their results below.

How dogs find their way back home

Dog that returned to his family

According to the studies conducted by the University of British Colombia, dogs are able to find their way home because they can track their owners. This happens in two different ways: one is through their well-known ability to smell. But the other one will surprise you even more!

Dogs believe their owner is the leader of the pack. So, they can pick up their scent from far away. You should remember that a dog doesn’t know where they are or where they’re going. Their sense of direction is completely null. As a result, the first sense that guides them is their sense of smell.

Dogs have an exceptional sense of smell. So, they’re able to find the scent they’re looking for in an area that’s full of different smells. And, they have the ability to follow a scent until they find it.

Dogs’ sense of smell

To understand a little about how their sense of smell guides them back home, you need to understand how it works.

A dog’s nose has two separate and distinct channels. One is for breathing. The other is for smelling. Due to these traits, it doesn’t matter how many smells their surroundings have. Dogs are able to identify the ones they don’t need. Then, they can isolate the one they want.

A human being has an average of five million smell receptors. However, dogs have hundreds of millions. The part of a dog’s brain that catches these smells is much more developed too. They aren’t just more developed than humans. Dogs can also isolate and memorize them. This gives them the ability to find that scent in any area.

In addition, their sense of smell is able to recognize more than just people and other animals. They are able to sense feelings and emotions. This is where we get the phrase “if you’re afraid, dogs can smell it”.

Even though this appears shocking, there’s another reason. This is a bigger reason as to why dogs can find their way home. We’re sure it’ll move you.

Another reason…

This French Bulldog found his way back home

The other reason dogs are able to find their way back home is because they’re loyal. They are very loyal to their owner. Their master, home, and land are a dog’s life. Motivated by these things, they are able to find their way back home even when there isn’t that characteristic smell to guide them.

For them, it’s more than just returning home. It’s finding the person they love the most in the whole world. They do it for the person they would die for.

Who remembers the story about Hachiko? This faithful dog went back to the train station where he waited for his owner every day for seven years. One day, his owner didn’t come back. He died from a heart attack. Hachiko easily could have just been sad for a few hours at home and moved on with his life with the rest of his family at home.

But his faithfulness went beyond that. He didn’t care about the heat, cold, or even the time he spent there. He didn’t know why his owner didn’t come back and Hachiko ended up dying in that train station waiting for his owner for several years. Hachiko did this for the person he loved the most in the world.