A Doggie Digest of Fun Facts
If you’re a dog lover, and I assume that you are, or you wouldn’t be here, then get yourself a cuppa, pull up a chair and spend ten minutes with more than a hundred facts about dogs that may surprise you. Some are weird, some are wonderful, and hopefully, with some, you will be saying, ‘I didn’t know that!’
Who’s Been Saying I’m a Dog’s Body!
1. Scientific name: Canis lupus familiaris
2. Gestation period: 58 – 68 days
3. A dogs brain is specialized for scent.
4. The percentage of a dogs brain that is devoted to analysing smells is actually 40 times larger than in a humans brain.
5. Even flat-nosed breeds can detect smells better than people.
6. Dogs only sweat from their footpads and nose.
7. Panting is the most efficient way dogs have to cool themselves. It works by allowing heat to escape through moisture produced and the process of evaporation cools the dog.
8. Dogs have many blood groups, and their red blood cells may contain any combination of these since each blood group is inherited independently.
Who Nose Where It May Lead Them!
9. A dog’s sense of smell is estimated to be up to 10,000 times stronger than humans.
10. A dog’s nose is the equivalent of a human fingerprint…each has a unique pattern.
11. Dogs and elephants are the only animals that seem to instinctively understand pointing.
12. Dogs wag their tails to communicate emotions, for example, happiness, anger, and annoyance.
13. Dogs wag their tails to the right when they’re happy, and to the left when they’re frightened.
14. Newborn dogs are born blind and deaf and without teeth.
15. Newborn puppies cannot urinate or defecate by themselves, their mother licks them to stimulate them to urinate and defecate.
What A Dog’s Life!
16. For the first two weeks of life, puppies sleep nearly 90 percent of the time.
17. Most puppies open their eyes and respond to noises after about two weeks.
18. A puppy’s baby teeth have all come through by about five to six weeks of age.
19. The average dog can run about 19 miles per hour at full speed.
20. Dogs with perked ears can usually hear better than dogs with hanging ears.
21. Dogs’ sense of hearing can reach four times the distance of humans.
22. Dogs are able to cup their tongue when drinking water, enabling them to take the water from the bowl.
23. Only 5% of dogs experience dental decay, compared with 90% of children.
24. An adult dog has 42 teeth, compared to our 32.
25. Spaying or neutering your dog can help prevent certain types of cancer.
26. If never spayed or neutered, a bitch, depending on breed, could have over a hundred pups in a six-year period.
27. The average body temperature for a dog is between 99.5-102.5 Fahrenheit, humans is 98.6°F
Don’t You Know That’s Rude!
28. Most dogs have pink tongues, which is a sign of good health.29. A dog’s heart beats between 60 and 140 times a minute, compared with a human heart which beats 60 to 100 times a minute.
30. A dog’s third eyelid is a protective lid called a “haw” which keeps moisture in its eyes.
31. A dogs front legs are not attached by joints, instead they are attached to the rib cage and spine by a series of overlapping muscles that act as a sling on which the shoulder blades are suspended. Thus giving the dog greater movement.
32. Dogs are not colour blind. Scientists now believe that a dog’s colour vision is similar to that of a person who has red-green colour-blindness. Dogs can make out yellow and blue, and combinations of those colours.33. The longest lived dog, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, was an Australian Cattle Dog, named Bluey, who lived to be 29 and 160 days and died in 1939.
34. Dogs’ ears move independently of one another.
35. Dogs have three times the amount of muscles in their ears than humans.
Our Doggie Helpers
36. Ralf the Giant Schnauzer was adopted in 2005 by the Lovick family, and for 10 years has been a regular therapy dog at the Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital.
37. Service dogs are trained to know when they are on duty. When their harness is on, they know it’s business time. When you take it off, they are ready to play.
38. Dogs were used as messengers in WW1, carrying orders to the front lines in capsules attached to their bodies.
39. Dogs are trained and used to detect explosives, drugs, smuggled food, flammable liquids, drugs, weapons and gas leaks.
40. Trained Dogs can sniff out prostate cancer with 98% accuracy.
41. Some dogs can identify the smell of lung cancer from sniffing a person’s breath.
42. Dogs are able to donate blood to their fellow pooches.
43. Dogs work with police and the armed forces and the fire services.44. Dogs are used to find survivors after accidents, and to track criminals.
45. Dogs can be trained to sense when their owner is going to have a seizure.
46. Dogs are trained to assist blind, deaf and disabled people.
47. Dogs are used to pull sleighs.
Dog Breed Facts
48. Irish Wolfhounds are the biggest dogs.
49. Rhodesian Ridgebacks were originally used for the hunting of lions.
50. The Bracco Italiano didn’t come to Britain until the late twentieth century.
51. The Gordon Setter used to be known as the Black and Tan setter, and dates back to 1726.
52. After the Russian invasion in 1945, many Hungarians fled to Austria taking their native Hungarian Vizsla’s with them.
53. The Red and White Irish Setter came before the Red Setter.
54. Introduced in Britain in 1985, the Kooikerhondje is originally from the Netherlands.55. A Pointer will carry their head high when testing the air, and low to indicate quarry.
56. During 1930’s Cocker Spaniels were the most popular dogs because they won Crufts Best in Show in 1930 and 1931.
57. The coat of the Irish Water Spaniel forms tight oily ringlets, ideal for water.
58. Although familiar in Britain now, the Weimeraner, sometimes known as ‘the grey ghost’, didn’t arrive here until the 1950’s.
59. An unusual aspect of the Basenji dog is that it doesn’t have a bark.
60. An amusing notion. The Labrador dog originated in Newfoundland and the Newfoundland dog originated in Labrador.
61. The Greyhound is the fastest canine on earth and can run up to 43 miles per hour.
Big or Small We Love Them All
62. The Irish Wolfhound is the largest dog breed.
63. The Great Dane is the tallest dog.
64. The Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed.
65. The St. Bernard is the heaviest dog breed.
66. Dalmatian puppies are pure white when they are born and develop their spots as they grow.
67. Dalmatians are quite often deaf, and 30% of them cannot hear in either one or two ears.
68. The Poodle’s “haircut” was to improve their swimming abilities apparently. The pom-poms were supposedly left to keep their joints warm!
69. In French, Bichon Frise means “small, curly-haired dog.”
70. Although fairly unknown in the UK, the Cesky Terrier was registered with the Kennel Club in 1990. Originating in Czhecklosovakia, the breed is non-aggressive with a sweet and biddable disposition.
71. In the Harry Potter series, Hagrid’s dog, Fang, was a Boarhound, Neapolitan Mastiff- a breed that almost became extinct after WWII.
72. As a breed, the Chow Chow and the Shar-Pei inherently have black tongues.
73. It is said that the short-haired Chihuahua that we know today was discovered in the 1850s in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, from which it took its name.
74. Affenpincher means monkey terrier in German, and the breed was given this name because its face so resembles a monkey’s face.
75. Contrary to popular belief, Poodles are not French by origin. They’re German dogs, but French nobility quickly became fascinated by these pooches.
76. It’s subjective, and each individual dog has their own personality, but as a general rule, Chihuahua’s and Collies could be said to bark the most, and Shiba Inu and Basenji’s the least.
77. It is thought that the Afghan Hound was spoken about as long ago as 4000 years, and reported to be the dog that was rescued on Noah’s Ark from the great flood.
78. As reported in the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s smallest dog, a Yorkshire Terrier from Great Britain, weighed just 4 ounces at the age of two.
79. The Alaskan Malamute can withstand temperatures as low as 70 degrees below zero.
80. The Basset Hound, along with the Bloodhound has the longest ears of any breed.
81. The priciest dog in the world, Tibetan Mastiffs are being bought in China for $1.6 million.
82. Corgi is Welsh for “dwarf dog.”
83. The world’s smartest dogs are thought to be the Border Collie, the Poodle, and the Golden Retriever.
84. According to the Guinness World Records, the smallest dog living, in terms of height, is a female Chihuahua called Milly, who measured 9.65 cm (3.8 in) tall.
A Dog’s Intelligence
85. Dogs are capable of understanding 250 words and gestures, can count up to five, and can perform simple mathematical calculations. The average dog is as intelligent as a two-year-old child.
86. Three stray dogs in Afghanistan saved 50 American soldiers from a suicide bomber by barking to alert them. A Facebook group raised $21,000 to bring the dogs back to the US and reunite them with the soldiers.
87. The Beatles song ‘A Day In The Life’ has an extra high-pitched whistle, audible only to dogs. It was recorded by Paul McCartney for the enjoyment of his dog.
88. A guide-dog named Nesbit, journeyed with his master to meetings and conferences around the world, earning over one million Delta airline miles in his life, and had his own frequent flier card.
89. In 1957, Laika became the first living being in space via an earth satellite.
90. In Moscow, some stray dogs learned to use the underground transit system to navigate throughout the city in search of food.
A Dog’s Nature
91. We love to hug them, but dogs don’t really enjoy it as much as we do. Canines interpret putting a limb over another animal as a sign of dominance.
92. The wetness of a dog’s nose is essential for determining what direction a smell is coming from.
93. Dog body odour is often called “Frito Feet,” referring to bacteria collected on dogs’ paws, that often smell like a popular salty snack that is sold in the USA.
Interesting Dog Facts
97. A dog named Naki’o lost all of his legs to frostbite in Colorado, but now has four prosthetic legs and can run around like normal.
98. The first real dog show was held in Newcastle in 1859.
99. The first Crufts Dog Show was in 1876.
100. In English-speaking countries, the most popular names for dogs are Max and Molly.
101. Humans and dogs are the only two species known to seek visual clues from another’s eyes. And dogs only do it with humans
102. Dogs are mentioned 14 times in the Bible.
103. People have been keeping dogs for pets for 12,000 years.
104. Dogs are omnivorous. This means that they eat both meat and plants (which would be vegetables and/or fruits). 105. Aborigines have a saying: ‘Dogs make us human’, how true.
106. It is illegal to keep a dog as a pet in Iceland.
107. Man’s best friend, indeed! The classic dog name, Fido, means “fidelity” in Latin.
108. Dogs who live in cities tend to live, on average, 3 years longer than dogs from the country.
Spoil Your Dog, Like One of the Family
109. Eighty per cent of dog owners shower their pets with gifts on special occasions like birthdays and holidays.
110. On holidays, over half of these pets are included in the signature of family cards.
111. The oldest in-tact fossilized remains of a pet canine dates back 33,000 years. It was discovered in Siberia in the 1970s.
112. Fifty-eight per cent of dog owners include their dogs in their annual holiday photos.