Why do dogs and horses go crazy in the wind?
Though both become more energetic, the difference in dog's and horses' reactions to the wind may come down to differences between predator and prey.
Asked by: Sinita Mohaja, Leicester
Although both dogs and horses often become more energetic in windy conditions, it is probably for different reasons. Dogs appear to enjoy the wind and become more playful and boisterous, whereas horses act as if they are afraid of it and are more prone to bolting or shying. This may be the difference between predator and prey - strong wind brings unfamiliar smells from far away that might indicate danger to a horse, but opportunity to a dog. But as horses tend to bolt into the wind, that would take them towards the danger. It may be that the constant roaring of wind in their ears disrupts their situational awareness, and so makes them more prone to take flight at the slightest hint of danger.
Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.
May Half Price Sale
- Save up to 52% when you subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine.
- Risk - free offer! Cancel at any time when you subscribe via Direct Debit.
- FREE UK delivery.
- Stay up to date with the latest developments in the worlds of science and technology.