When a dog sneezes, most of us just ignore it or assume they have something stuck in their throat.
The most information pet manuals give owners is to suggest that their pet is reacting out of excitement or anxiety.
But it might be worth paying a bit more attention to Fido’s nasal flare-ups, as they may mean something more intelligent.
A study has found African wild dogs use sneezes as a form of ‘vote’ to decide when the pack will move off and start hunting
A study has found African wild dogs use sneezes as a form of ‘vote’ to decide when the pack will move off and start hunting.
The dogs, who like our pets are social and non-aggressive, take almost eight sneezes to have enough ‘votes’ to set off, a research team including Swansea University found.
But an average of 1.2 sneezes appeared to be too few to convince the group.
Lead author Dr Neil Jordan, from the University of New South Wales, said: ‘The more sneezes that occurred, the more likely it was that the pack moved off and started hunting. The sneeze acts like a type of voting system.’
Co-author Reena Walker, from Brown University in the US, said: ‘There is some evidence, mostly found in behaviour guides for dog owners, that domestic dogs