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120 Fascinating Facts About Dogs

Dogs have been living alongside humans for 14,000 to 36,000 years. You might even have one sitting next to you at this very moment, but how much do you really know about man’s best friend? Brush up your knowledge with these 120 facts about dogs.

  1. Dogs understand about 250 words and gestures — that puts them on par with a human two-year old.
    Dogs Understand About 250 Words
  2. By their first birthday, dogs are as physically developed as a 15-year-old human.
  3. Although many people feel like their dogs have a heightened sense of emotional intelligence, in fact, their emotional range is also similar to a toddler’s.
  4. Perhaps, the reason canines seem so smart is that they don’t ever have to deal with the sticky emotions of guilt, pride, or shame.
  5. Sometimes humans misinterpret dog fear as guilt, but researchers say that when you scold Fido, the lowered tail and slinking posture actually represent fear of punishment.
  6. Dogs develop their full emotional spectrum by the time they are four to six months of age.
  7. Dogs have a sense of time.
  8. Research shows that dogs have different reactions to their owners being gone for different lengths of time.
    Sad Dog
  9. After a 59-year old homeless man died in Brazil, his dog laid in front of the hospital for the next four months.
  10. After circumstances forced the Wessells family to rehome their dog in Virginia, the dog decided to follow the family. After walking 500 miles, Buck found his family in South Carolina.
  11. Whiskers can guide your dog down a dark hallway, but they also let your dog detect changes in air currents or motion nearby.
  12. To drink water, dogs bend the tip of their tongue and slurp water up the middle column of their tongues — just like cats.
  13. Dogs only have 1,700 taste buds. Humans have 2,000 to 10,000.
  14. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention reports that 56% of American dogs are overweight or obese.
  15. Pavlov didn’t use a bell. It was too imprecise. Instead, he used metronomes, harmoniums, buzzers, or electric shocks.
  16. Pavlov proved that if a dog associates a certain stimulus with being fed, the dog will start to salivate when it hears that stimuli even out of context.
  17. The idea that dogs don’t sweat is a myth.
  18. Dogs have ceruminous glands in the spaces between their paw pads and on their noses. These glands work like sweat glands, which is why dogs tend to have moist noses and toes.
  19. All dogs have a unique nose print.
  20. While they may lack sweat glands, they make up for it in scent glands. Dogs have 125 million to 300 million scent glands. Humans have a mere 5 million.
  21. Dogs have 42 teeth.
  22. Puppies have sharper teeth than dogs.
    Puppies Have Sharper Teeth
  23. A full-grown dog can bite down with a force of 320 pounds per square inch. To put it in comparison, the pressure of a human bite is just 120 psi, and crocodiles snap down with a force of 2,500 pounds.
  24. In the United States, dogs bite 4.5 million people per year.
  25. About 800,000 people have to get medical treatment for dog bites.
  26. Worldwide, dogs are responsible for about 59,000 deaths per year due to transmitting rabies.
  27. Man’s “best friend” kills 18 people per year in the United States.
  28. Using their sense of smell, trained dogs can notify narcoleptics before an attack comes on. Then, the individual can sit down or get into a safe spot, and after the attack, the dog wakes them with gentle licks on the chin.
    Narcoleptics
  29. Although dog’s brains are much smaller than human’s, the part that controls smell is 40 times bigger.
  30. A dog’s sense of smell is up to 10 million times better than a human’s.
  31. Dogs can smell subtle changes in your body odor, and that helps them understand what you’re feeling.
    Dogs Can Smell Body Odor
  32. In 1989, a half border collie sniffed relentlessly at her owner’s mole. According to the British Journal the Lancet, when her owner finally went to the doctor, the mole was found to be malignant.
  33. With training, dogs can detect breast cancer with 88% accuracy, by smelling your breath.
  34. The same dog detected lung cancer with 99% accuracy.
  35. Migraine alert dogs use the smell of hormones to tell their owners a migraine is coming on.
  36. Dogs can hear much higher pitches than humans.
  37. While the human range goes up to 23,000 hertz, dogs can hear up to 45,000 hertz.
  38. A Day in the Life by the Beatles ends with a high pitched whistle. You can’t hear it, but Paul McCartney put it in for his dog.
    Dog High Pitched Whistle
  39. As they get older, both dogs and humans start to hear less.
  40. Dogs can’t hear anything when they’re born.
  41. Dogs have three eyelids.
  42. Dogs can see in the dark.
  43. Their eyes are designed to see movement easily.
  44. Although their vision seems to have superpowers in other categories, dogs have only about a sixth of the visual acuity of humans.
  45. Dogs are rumored to be color blind, but they can see blue and yellow.
    Dogs are Color Blind
  46. Dogs didn’t use their vision issues to dodge the draft — over 11,000 dogs served in the Army or Marine Corps during World War II.
  47. The most decorated dog in WWII, Chips, hailed from New York and served in North Africa, Italy, France, and other parts of Europe.
  48. When Chips met President Eisenhower, he bit him.
  49. “Yorkie Doodle Day: A Memoir” tells the story of Smoky, a Yorkshire Terrier who sensed aerial attacks and warned soldiers before they started.
  50. Stubby, an American Pit Bull Terrier, was smuggled to World War I by his owner.
  51. Originally a stray at Yale, Stubby saw 17 battles. He warned soldiers about poison gas, and he even found a German spy in the trenches.
  52. In 2010, stray Pitbulls attacked postal workers in Dayton, Ohio, shutting down mail service for several days.
  53. Based on 27 years of attack reports from the United States and Canada, Pitbulls, Staffordshire Terriers, and American Staffordshire Terriers were responsible for 159 deaths and 819 maimings.
  54. Pitbulls are considered to be the most dangerous dogs in North America.
    Most Dangerous Dogs
  55. In a surprising twist, even the founder of PETA has called for the extermination of Pitbulls.
  56. Petey the Dog from the Little Rascals was a Pitbull, and the trademark circle around his eye was mostly makeup.
  57. For years, Pitbulls were considered to be family dogs and great “nannies” for children.
  58. The United Kennel Club says not to use Pitbulls as guard dogs because they’re too friendly to strangers.
  59. At 67 murders, Rottweilers are the second most dangerous dog.
    Rottweilers are the Second Most Dangerous Dog
  60. They’re not all bad! When her owner collapsed from internal bleeding, Megan the Rottweiler opened the door for the paramedics.
  61. Chihuahuas rank number 34 on Daily Beast’s most dangerous dog list. This pint-sized dog has killed at least one baby.
  62. According to a Pediatrics study, 57% of fatal dog attacks affect children under age 10.
  63. In 2017, a dog rescued a freezing toddler from a ditch and helped authorities to learn about her abusive parents and unsanitary living conditions.
  64. When a dog found an abandoned baby in Kenya, she brought the baby back home and integrated her into the litter. Eventually, a human found the baby and took her to a hospital.
  65. “Timmy fell in the well!” Actually, that never happened in the show. The TV dog Lassie rescued Timmy from many tragedies, but a well wasn’t one of them.
  66. Lassie Jr. started as a stunt double, but after just a few episodes, he worked his way into the starring role.
    Lassie Jr
  67. Other dogs stayed on set so Lassie had playmates during his breaks.
  68. Experts say it’s important for dogs to socialize with other furry friends.
  69. When the iconic Rough Collie needed to retire, his kids took on the role of Lassie for the last few seasons.
  70. Even though Lassie was an unneutered male, he played a female.
  71. Statistically, unneutered dogs are more likely to attack. They’re responsible for 86% of fatal attacks.
  72. The word “collie” means black. Collies used to tend black-faced sheep.
  73. In 101 Dalmations, there are over 6 million black spots in 113,760 frames.
  74. Dalmatians are actually born without spots.
  75. When fire trucks were horse drawn carriages, dalmatians ran alongside the horses to protect them, and they also warned people to get out of the street so the carriages could pass.
    Dalmatian on Fire Truck
  76. In 2017, a chihuahua-whippet-miniature pinscher named Capone saved a mom and her four kids from a house fire in Des Moines.
  77. Sometimes, small dogs get a reputation for being dumb, but research shows that both very small and excessively large dogs aren’t the smartest of the pack.
  78. The smartest dogs are usually medium-sized ones.
  79. The Guinness World Record for smallest living dog goes to Milly, a Chihuahua was stands less than four inches in height.
  80. The tallest dog ever was a 44-inch tall Great Dane named Zeus.
  81. With almost 9 million followers, jiffpom is one of the most popular dogs on Instagram.
  82. Doug the Pug has 10 million followers across all his social media accounts.
    Doug the Pug
  83. When Winston, a white Pembroke Welsh Corgis, rose to fame on Instagram, his owners had to start a business around his feed.
  84. Harvard grad Loni Edwards runs a talent agency devoted to helping dogs make it big on social media.
  85. In spite of a lot of media attention, Sunny and Bo Obama never had their own social media pages.
  86. During Obama’s last month in office, Sunny, a Portuguese Water Dog, bit a family friend in the face. She needed stitches.
  87. President Donald Trump is the first U.S. president to not have a dog in the modern age.
  88. After dogs defecate, they kick backward to mark the territory with some of the scent glands in their feet.
  89. Dog feces can have up to 23 million different bacteria.
  90. In the wrong situation, humans can get whipworms, hookworms, tapeworms, parvo, and a variety of other unpleasant issues from exposure to dog feces.
  91. Yawns can also be contagious between humans and dogs. When people yawn, the dogs around them usually yawn as well.
    Dog Yawning
  92. Dogs are four times more likely to yawn if a person they know was the one to yawn.
  93. According to an American Kennel Club poll of dog owners, nearly half (45%) of all dogs get to sleep in their owner’s beds.
  94. Only 4% sleep outside in a doghouse or other type of shelter.
  95. About 20% of dogs sleep in a crate.
  96. Dog beds provide comfort to about 17% of sleeping dogs.
  97. 14% of owners report that their dogs just sleep in random spots in the house.
  98. While sleeping, dogs curl up in a ball to protect their organs from surprise attacks.
    Dogs Curl Up in a Ball
  99. Dogs have dreams, but puppies and seniors tend to have the most dreams.
  100. Speaking of dreams, Rin Tin Tin was nominated for an Academy Award.
  101. Nicknamed Rinty, Rin Tin Tin starred in 27 films during Hollywood’s silent era after he was rescued from a WWI battlefield.
  102. His distant relative, the esteemed Rin Tin Tin the Fourth, starred in the popular children’s show The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin in the 1950s.
  103. Right now, the most popular names for dogs are Bailey for males and Bella for females.
  104. Max and Lucy take second place.
  105. “Happy Holidays! Love, the Smiths and Fido.” Did you know 70% of families sign their dogs name on their holiday cards?
  106. On average dogs live 10 to 13 years. With a life spanning 1910 to 1939, Bluey is the world’s longest living dog on record. An Australian Cattle dog, he lived on a farm in Victoria, Australia for 29 years.
    Old Dog
  107. Unofficially, Maggie, an Australian Kelpie is the world’s oldest living dog, but when she died at 30, her owner didn’t have the right paperwork to get her into the record books.
  108. The Australian Shepard is actually an American dog.
  109. Herding dogs often nip small children when they run around.
  110. In general, the New Guinea singing dog is the breed that tends to live the longest, with an average lifespan of 18 years.
  111. There are only about 100 domestic New Guinea singing dogs.
  112. Named for its howl, the New Guinea singing dog is alleged to be the most primitive dog in existence.
  113. Wolves and dogs are interfertile, meaning they can breed with each other.
    Grey Wolf
  114. Huskies are Malamutes are not part wolf, but there are dog-wolf hybrids.
  115. Why the long face? If your dog has a long face, you should be smiling — the longer the face, the longer the life.
  116. Contrary to rumor, there isn’t any research that shows dogs and humans growing to look like each other.
  117. But, research does show that people tend to choose dogs that look like them.
  118. For 25 years, the Labrador Retriever has appeared on the American Kennel Club’s top 10 most popular dog breed list.
  119. Dogs are one of a very small number of animals who show unselfish kindness. That means they love you without any expectations.
    Dog and Human Heart Shape
  120. Dogs and cats drink water the same way.

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