Steven Leshem, DVM, a veterinarian at Veterinary Specialists of Connecticut in West Hartford, performs surgery on a variety of animal species. A PennHip-certified veterinarian, Steve Leshem, DVM, specializes in cases of canine hip dysplasia. Like many dog lovers, Steven Leshem, DVM, understands that dogs are heavily dependent on their senses of smell, sniffing each other all over when they meet in a park or on the street. A new study has discovered that the animals also possess the ability to identify other dogs, even those of vastly different species, by looking at their faces.

Scientists showed a group of dogs images of 3,000 canine faces and 3,000 faces of animals and other people. The faces were shown simultaneously on two screens, and the dogs received treats walking toward canine faces. The dogs were able to identify the faces of other dogs, even when the images belonged to very different breeds. In the future, the scientists would like to repeat the experiment to see if dogs can differentiate members of their species from wolves and foxes. They were unsure which facial features allowed the dogs to identify others of their species. Currently, there are 500 recognized dog breeds on earth.