Your dog is your co-pilot, your best friend and a forever companion. There’s however a lot of interesting dog facts that you may not know about this amazing creature!
Dog lovers know what a blessed life it is if shared with pooches. From their furry and funny antics to that never lasting playfulness, dogs brighten up everybody’s lives. But there’s more to dogs than just being man’s best friend. They have a marquee place of their own in the animal kingdom, well established by factual evidence.
This blog post features unique dog facts – there would be myths debunked, awesomeness dug up and dog facts, divulged!
1. Dogs are the only animals in the animal kingdom that can read the emotions on your face much like humans. In other words, dogs can tell at a glance if we are happy, angry or sad just by looking at our faces!
2. Dogs can see colours! It’s a common misconception that dogs are completely colour blind and can only see in black and white. The truth, however, is that a dog can see colours, only not as vividly as humans. It is akin to our vision at dusk. Dogs can distinguish blue from yellow, but not red from green.
Dogs can smell feelings like fear, happiness, sadness, and comfort. Dogs also have shown the ability to sense pregnancy by smelling hormonal changes.
3. The dogs have a higher body temperature than humans. The average body temperature of a dog is 101 to 103 degrees.
4. Dogs are afraid of thunderstorms as these particular sound frequencies can hurt their ears.
5. Unlike humans who sweat through their skin, dogs sweat through their paws.
6. A dog’s nose print is unique to that dog. Just as humans can be identified by their fingerprints.
7. Dog’s nose is a thousand times more sensitive than that of a human. The “smell” centre of a dog’s brain is 40 times larger than that of a human helping them sniff out drugs, explosives etc.
8. The Norwegian Lundehund is the only dog that has six toes on each foot (and also, he can close his ears)
9. Dogs do dream. Researchers found that dogs have similar sleep patterns and brain activity as humans, and that small breeds tend to dream more than large ones. Psychology Today suggests they’re probably imagining familiar activities like playing outside or chasing their tail.
10. Dogs have their own sign language.
11. Puppies are born blind and deaf – puppies and kittens are born with their eyes shut and ear canals closed, which makes them functionally blind and deaf for their first few weeks of life.
12. Tubby, said to be the world’s greenest dog after entering into the Guinness Book of Records for sniffing out 26,000 plastic bottles and carrying them to his human (Sandra Gilmore) for recycling.
“He meant so much to us and the local community and he had friends all over the world. He didn’t let it all go to his head though as he was always the keenest, greenest recycling canine around with the smallest carbon paw print ever,” ~Sarah Gilmore
13. The Pink Floyd song ‘Mademoiselle nobs’ features in the soundtrack, a baying dog!
14. In 2014, a seven-year-old Great Pyrenees named Duke was elected as the mayor of a tiny town Cormorant in Minnesota, USA after all its 12 residents voted for him!
See Also: The World’s Cutest Politicians
15. The Beatles song, “A day in the Life” has an extra high-pitched whistle, audible only to dogs.
16. Greyhounds are the fastest dogs on earth, with speeds of up to 45 miles per hour!
17. In 1957, the Russian dog Laika became the first to reach outer space, in the Soviet Sputnik spacecraft in 1957.
18. U.S. Customs dogs “Rocky” and “Barco” were so good at patrolling the border that Mexican drug lords put a $300,000 bounty on their heads!
19. Dalmatian puppies are born completely white.
20. The Chihuahua was named after the state in Mexico where they were discovered.
21. Dogs and humans have the same type of slow-wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement (REM) and during this REM stage dogs can dream. The twitching and paw movements that occur during their sleep are signs that your pet is dreaming.
22. George Lucas modelled the Ewoks from Star Wars after his family dog.
23. Dogs are capable of understanding up to 250 words and gestures. The average dog is as intelligent as a two-year-old child.
24. The wetness of a dog’s nose is essential for determining what direction a smell is coming from.
25. Dogs poop in alignment with Earth’s magnetic field!
26. Ever wondered why dogs kick after relieving themselves? Well, they are using the scent glands on their paws to further mark their territory.
27. In a study done by scholars at the University of California, it was found that dogs can get jealous if they see their humans displaying affection toward something or someone else.
28. The most popular breed of dog in the world (by registered ownership) is the Labrador.
29. Dog have superior hearing than humans, capable of hearing sounds at four times the distance.
30. We all know about the dogs’ keen sense of smell – they are capable of differentiating odours in concentrations nearly 100 million times lower than humans can.
31. You can lower your blood pressure just by petting your pup!
32. When your dog spins in a circle before settling down to snuggle, it’s because he’s making himself at home!
33. There are Diabetes detecting dogs who signal their human when they pick up on the special scent that is released when their human’s insulin levels drop.
34. Dogs can be trained to detect changes in the human body — there are even seizure alert dogs that assist patients during the onset of a seizure.
35. Small Pekingese dogs were used as Chinese emperors’ last line of defence. The dogs were hidden in the emperors’ sleeves.
36. Buying and selling dogs is illegal in Iran. Their parliament also passed a bill to criminalize dog ownership, declaring the phenomenon a sign of “vulgar Western values.” However, if an owner can prove the dog is a guard or hunting dog, this restriction doesn’t apply.
37. The U.S. has the highest dog population in the world — an estimated 62 per cent of US homes have dogs i.e. close to 72.9 million homes!
38. Dogs have only about 1,700 taste buds whereas humans have 9,000. (Cats have about 470)
39. Dogs have better night vision/ low-light vision than humans as they have a special light-reflecting layer behind their retina.
40. Small dogs like toy poodle dream once in 10 minutes and big dogs dream after about an hour’s gap.
41. Dogs do know Love! Paul Zak, a professor at Claremont Graduate University in California, found that a dog’s brain releases oxytocin – love hormone when it interacts with humans and dogs.
42. Dogs don’t like hugs. In the canine world, putting a limb over other animal is a sign of dominance.
43. There is a building in New Zealand that is dog-shaped!
44. After birth, puppies’ eyes do not fully open until they’re about 12 days old.
45. Dogs have 13 blood types while Humans only have 4.
46. Uggie, the dog star of the Oscar-winning movie “The Artist” acted so well that it led to an online campaign wherein fans demanded an Oscar for him too! Uggie went on to win the Palm Dog Award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, the 2012 Golden Collar Award, and received a special mention at the Prix Lumière Awards, the French equivalent of the Golden Globes.
47. An American Animal Hospital Assoc. poll found that 33% of dog owners admit to talking to their dogs on the phone and leaving answering machine messages for them while away.
48. In South Carolina, the maximum sentence for beating your dog is longer than the sentence for beating your wife. (If you try either, Kaalicharan will tear you apart)
49. Only dogs and humans have prostates.
50. All dogs, irrespective of their size are identical in anatomy – 321 bones and 42 permanent teeth.
51. Not all tail wagging is good: a dog’s wag alters based on three moods – when he’s happy, when he’s agitated and when he’s scared. He’s happy when the tail is wagging in its natural position, agitated when it’s high and scared when it’s low.
52. Rin Tin Tin, the famous Hollywood dog signed his movie contracts with a paw print.
53. Gunther III, the pet dog of German Countess Carlotta Liebenstein, inherited roughly 140 million German Marks (about $100 million) upon the Countess’ death in 1991.
54. Of the 12 dogs aboard Titanic, only three survived it.
55. The relationship between humans and dogs as their pets dates back to 12,000 years.
56. The Basenji is the only dog in the world who doesn’t bark.
57. A dog can locate the source of a sound in 6/100th of a second by using its ears like a radar.
58. Dogs can predict an epileptic seizure up to 45 minutes before it happens. Dogs have been reported to sniff out cancers too!
59. A 2009 study by New York professor Alexandra Horowitz found that the ‘guilty dog look’ owners know so well is usually triggered by the dog being scolded by its owner – and is not related to whether the dog has actually misbehaved or not.
60. Currently, there are 339 recognized dog breeds, according to the World Canine Organisation.
61. Dogs curl up while sleeping to protect their vital organs and abdomen from predators.
63. Dogs are capable of sensing changes in the weather. So, if your dog is acting weird, prepare for a spell of rain.
64. There are an estimated 525 million dogs on this planet.
65. Dogs have therapeutic capabilities and have been used for therapy since the 1700s.
66. Most dog species have as many as 18 muscles to move, tilt and rotate their ears.
67. As per a US study conducted earlier this year, dogs are actually better than people! Hundreds of pet owners nationwide, preferred their pooch over other well, humans.
68. In Old England, the word “hound” was used to refer to all types of dogs.
69. There are 4 constellations named after dogs – Canis Major, the Greater Dog, Canis Minor, the Lesser Dog, Canes Venatici and Lupus, The Wolf.
70. The brightest star in the night sky is Sirius, aka the Dog Star, and it belongs to the constellation Canis Major.
71. When puppies are first born, they will sleep for around 90% of the time. However, after a few weeks, this will gradually decrease, and fully-grown dogs only need 10 hours of sleep per day.
72. Google is a dog company and actually encourages its employees to bring their dogs with them to the work.
73. Conservationists have used dogs to find bumblebee hives in order to protect endangered species.
74. Ancient Egyptians revered their dogs. When a pet dog would die, the owners shaved off their eyebrows, smeared mud in their hair, and mourned aloud for days.
75. The most dogs ever owned by one person were 5,000 Mastiffs owned by Kublai Khan.
76. French poodles did not originate in France but in Germany.
77. The term “dog days of summer” was coined by the ancient Greeks and Romans to describe the hottest days of summer that coincided with the rising of the Dog Star, Sirius.
78. The ancient religion Zoroastrianism includes in its religious text titled the Zend Avesta a section devoted to the caring of dogs.
79. Touch is the first sense the dog develops. The entire body, including the paws, is covered with touch-sensitive nerve endings.
80. Dogs have lived with humans for over 14,000 years. Cats have lived with people for only 7,000 years.
81. Different smells in the dog’s urine can tell other dogs whether the dog leaving the message is female or male, old or young, sick or healthy, happy or angry.
82. Countess Karlotta Libenstein of Germany left approximately $106 million to her Alsatin, Gunther III, when she died in 1992.
83. One survey reports that 33% of dog owners admit they talk to their dogs on the phone or leave messages on answering machines while they are away.
84. As per psychiatrists, the grief suffered after a pet dog dies can be the same as that experienced after the death of a person.
85. Some stray Russian dogs have figured out how to use the subway system in order to travel to more populated areas in search of food.
86. Dogs use ‘whiskers’ as sensing devices; some dogs even use them to see if they’ll be able to fit into small spaces.
87. Unlike humans, dogs do not have an appendix.
88. A dog’s heart beats up to 120 times per minute, nearly 50% faster than a human.
89. Dogs pant to cool themselves off. A panting dog can take 300-400 breaths (compared to his regular 30-40) with very little effort.
90. Puppies have 28 teeth and normal adult dogs have 42.
91. Dogs chase their tails for a variety of reasons: curiosity, exercise, anxiety, and predatory instinct or, they might have fleas!
92. Maggie, believed to be the world’s oldest dog, passed away while asleep in her basket. She was 30-years-old! Maggie, belonged to Australian dairy farmer, Brian McLaren who didn’t have the necessary paper works to prove the dog’s age. However, as per Guinness World Records, the oldest dog in the world was Bluey who died in 1939 aged 29.
93. Dog’s primal instincts still remain true to their wild cousin, the wolf. Some of these instincts include howling at the moon, pack dependency and even territory marking.
94. An estimated 300 rescue dogs scoured the rubble for signs of life in the aftermath of 9/11 attacks. Roselle, a guide dog, led her blind owner, Michael Hingson, from the 78th story of the North Tower, a staggering 1,463 steps out of the building to the safety.
95. Betsy, a Border Collie has a vocabulary of more than 300 words, knows 15 people by name and can retrieve objects seen in photographs.
96. Territorio de Zaguatas —the Land of the Strays is a dog sanctuary in Costa Rica where nearly 1000 stray dogs live happily in nature. All of them are vaccinated and cared for.
97. In Nepal, the dogs are worshipped and revered during the annual autumn festival of Kukur Tihar.
98. Whizz, the hero dog who saved 9 Humans – and another dog – from drowning was honoured with a posthumous award by the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, a U.K.-based veterinary charity, after passing away at the age of 12.
99. In the United States, around 1 million dogs are primary beneficiaries of their owner’s will!
100. A dog’s shoulder blades are unattached to the rest of the skeleton to allow greater flexibility for running.
101. Alexander the Great is said to have founded and named a city Peritas, in memory of his dog.
102. Sometimes dogs roll around in something because they want to take the smell of it with them, if they particularly like it.
103. The dog days of summer – the phrase came into being in the Roman Empire when Sirius —the “dog star” — typically rose from around July 3 to August 11.
In the 1960s, the country passed the Animal Welfare Act and since then over a million dogs have been taken off the streets, without euthanasia. They sterilized all stray dogs, and incentivized their adoption with tax breaks, while dis-incentivizing “pet store” puppies (often bred in puppy mills) through high taxes.
Also, there are strict laws against animal abuse backed by 3-year prison sentences and fines of up to 16,000 euros.
Know other interesting dog facts this list could use? Or an idiosyncrasy of your fur baby you want to share with the community? Leave us a comment below 🙂