50 Fun Facts About Dogs - Man's Best Friends
Some say the dog was domesticated by man some 10,000 to 14,000 years ago. Since then, dogs have become the constant companions of many: guarding homes, rounding up sheep, chasing mail carriers, cheering us up after a very long and difficult day.
Keep on reading to discover the most amazing dogs' fun facts.
Experts say there are currently more than 350 breeds of dogs around the world. Therefore, even if you have a dog of your own, know there is still a lot to discover about these amazing creatures.
So read on to learn about cool fun facts about dogs and even bizarre and weird dog facts. Oh, and if you a trivia lover, don't forget to check our dog's trivia quiz games, or the dog's trivia questions and answers.
Interesting facts about dog's Abilities
1. A wet nose aids its sense of smell
Aside from helping keep a dog cool, its wet nose aids the dog's sense of smell as scent particles stay longer on damp surfaces. The dog licks its nose to identify the scent better, gathering the scent on its tongue and placing it in its mouth. Inside the mouth is a unique organ called the Jacobsen's organ, which improves the dog's smelling power, allowing it to smell 1000 times or more than a person.
2. How old are dogs in human years?
The general computation most people have in mind is that one dog year is equal to seven human years. Scientists have discovered a different, descending scale: 15 human years is equivalent to the first dog year (medium-sized dog); 9 years for the second dog year; and roughly five human years for each dog year after. Generally, smaller dogs age slower than bigger ones.
3. Sweating through their paws
Although dogs pant to keep themselves cool, they have another way to reduce their body temperature: sweating through their feet. That's why you might notice wet paw prints on a sweltering day whenever your dog walks around.
4. The myth that dogs are color blind is not true!
For many years, many believed that dogs could only see in black, white, and grey. However, researchers have discovered that they can see in color, just not in the same spectrum as most people. Blues and yellows are more vivid in a dog's eyes than reds or greens, which is something to consider when buying your dog something to play with.
5. A dog's identification
If people have unique fingerprints, dogs have unique noses. Some technology experts have even developed a phone app that can recognize and store a dog's "nose print" so that a lost canine can be reunited with its owner.
6. Feet like chips
Have you ever noticed the corn chip smell from your dog's feet? It's a natural smell produced by the bacteria on their feet as well as the sweat from their paw pads. But should their feet become extra smelly, that may be a sign that something is wrong with your dog's feet.
7. Choosing between north and south
Researchers in Germany have documented that dogs do their "business" (pooping and peeing) while facing either the north or south poles, provided that the magnetic field is "calm." Other than that, researchers are still unsure of how dogs use this particular sense.
8. Smelling how you feel
Many dog owners love the fact that their "best friend" can notice if they are happy, angry, or blue. One study shows, however, seemingly shows that dogs can smell these emotions based on their reaction to human sweat that was gathered after a human volunteer watched a particular video. The smell of a sweat from a scary video raised the dog's heart rate more than sweat from a happy video. One of the most friendly dog breeds is the Golden Retrievers.
9. How smart is your dog
Researchers believe that dogs have the intelligence of a toddler (2 - 2.5 years old). While they might not be able to conquer the world with such IQ, they are able to comprehend more than 150 words, solve problems in their environment, and follow some commands.
10. They love drinking water
Even though a dog can smell a thousand times more than a person, its sense of taste is not as refined as it only has 1700 taste buds compared to a person's 9000 taste buds. Despite this, its taste palate is different than ours as dogs really love the taste of water. Scientists think it is nature's way of keeping them hydrated as meat can be quite salty.
11. Acute hearing
The human hearing range is 64 to 23,000 hertz. The dog's range is from 67 to 45,000 hertz, meaning they can pick up high-frequency sounds. Dogs with perked ears often have better hearing than dogs with floppy ears.
Strange but True Historical Dogs Fun Facts
12. Origin of domesticated dogs
According to scientists, all dogs originated from an ancient wolf species, eventually becoming "dogs" some 15 thousand to 40 thousand years back. While scientists agree that prehistoric men somehow domesticated them, one other theory is that dogs may have domesticated themselves. Learning that they can share in man's goodies, some researchers think there may have been a "race" among dog breeds to become friendlier to humans, which is why we have such a variety of dogs today.
13. First known dog
A group of researchers has identified the remains of the earliest known dog in Belgium, dated to have lived 31,700 years ago. After analyzing its skeleton, they think it may have looked like a much larger Siberian husky version. The next oldest remains of a dog lived 14,000 years ago in Russia.
14. The spiked dog collar
Researchers think that collars' use began with ancient royalty, who may have designed this accessory to show their standing in society. But it was the farmer of ancient Greece that invented the spiked collar for the dog. This was to protect the neck of their canine friend from wolves that regularly attacked the livestock and any other animal that got in its way.
15. Anti-tank dogs
War makes people come up with "crazy" yet sad plans for animals. After World War One, the Soviet Union began training dogs to carry a bomb towards a tank, where the bomb would detonate in several possible ways. Thankfully, this method of attacking the enemy did not work so well in the actual battle for the dogs, greatly reducing the need for a suicide bomber dog.
16. Dogs on the Titanic
When we think about the Titanic sinking, we usually remember the many people who died and those who miraculously survived. But it turns out that 12 dogs were onboard that ill-fated ship, of which 3 were able to survive: a Pekinese and two Pomeranians. Perhaps because of their small size, nobody complained about having them in the lifeboat.
17. First dog in space
Before humans ever entered outer space, Laika, the dog, made it there in 1957, riding the Soviet Union's satellite Sputnik 2. Sadly, the satellite's internal environment wasn't equipped well, so Laika probably didn't live very long in space. In 1960, a more successful venture in space occurred where the animal crew safely returned home.
18. The notorious Pete of President Theodore Roosevelt
President Roosevelt had a family pet that he loved so much, Pete, the bulldog. But Pete had taken to nipping people he didn't like, becoming a nuisance to some visitors at the White House. But such incidences were often brushed aside by the President until Pete attacked the French Ambassador, which finally forced President Roosevelt to send Pete out of the White House.
19. Founding father of the foxhound
The first president of the USA, George Washington, is recognized as the one who bred the American foxhound. An avid hunter of foxes, Washington wanted a faster hunting dog. After receiving some French hound dogs, Washington bred them with his hunting dogs to create a lighter, longer-legged, and faster dog. If you are a history lover, you will love our 50 History fun facts blog post. And if you love the American presidents we recommend our 50 American fun facts.
The dog was an important part of ancient Egyptian life, serving as guardians, pets, cattle herders, and even as a part of their religion. Anubis, an Egyptian god of the dead, is shaped as a Basenji (a type of hunting dog in Africa). In the temple of Anubis, dogs roamed freely.
Crazy Fun Facts about the Dog's Behavior
21. Stray dogs riding in subways
In Moscow, Russia, living on the cold streets can be tough, which is why some of the city's stray dogs have learned how to live or at least navigate their way through Moscow's subways. Citizens have gotten used to seeing a stray dog riding the subway by itself. Also, dogs curl at the feet of passengers to get warm. That's a day in the life of a street dog in such cold places.
22. Eating poop
You might have noticed that your dog may sometimes eat poop. This behavior is considered "normal" if it's a mommy dog eating the young puppies' poop or a dog eating the poop of other kinds of animals (apparently for possible nutrients in other animals' poop). But if your dog is eating its poop or the poop of other dogs, something is probably wrong psychologically or physiologically - so do investigate.
23. Smelling each other's butts
A common sight when dogs meet is for each dog to smell one another's butt. It turns out that dogs secrete a unique smell from their anal glands, which can help a dog determine if they have met before. The smell also allows a dog to assess if this new visitor is a threat.
24. They sneeze when they play
A dog sneezes for the same reasons why a person sneezes: something irritated its nose. But behavioral experts say that when playing together, a dog also sneezes to inform its playmate that it is just having fun, especially if things start to get rough.
25. Dogs have dreams and nightmares too
By doing sleep experiments, researchers have found that dogs do dream. If it is a happy one, as discovered in experiments, the dog was able to move while asleep and does things it likes to do. But a dog can also have nightmares, which is why it may be snarling while asleep - so be careful NOT to wake it up because you don't know how it may react.
26. Tail wagging
Although they bark and growl, dogs generally communicate through body language such as tail wagging. While many of us know dogs wag their tails to show happiness, they also do so to communicate aggression, fear, submission, negotiation, and curiosity. And since it is a form of communication, should you ever video your dog in secret, you will see they don't wag their tails when alone.
27. Dogs love to lick
For a dog, licking gives them much pleasure as it releases endorphins. But when a dog licks a person, it is often a sign of affection for its owner. It may also mean they love the salty taste of your skin.
Cool Fun Facts about Dogs as Real-life Heroes
28. Balto, the sled dog
In 1925, a 500-mile sled relay occurred in Alaska to retrieve needed serum to stem an outbreak of diphtheria, a highly contagious and dangerous respiratory disease. Twenty teams ran in that harsh relay with Balto, the lead dog of the last team. There is a wonderful bronze statue of Balto in Central Park, New York.
29. Trakr was cloned
After the 9/11 attack in 2001, Trakr, a trained German shepherd sniffer dog from Canada, and his handler were able to assist in the rescue for survivors. Although Trakr passed away in 2009, he was cloned, possibly in the hope that at least one of the five clones would grow up to be as helpful as the original.
A very popular "hero" dog is Hachiko, a Japanese Akita that even got its own Hollywood movie. Hachiko is remembered for being a very faithful dog who kept returning to the Shibuya train station for its master, unaware that its owner had died at work. After the faithful dog's story was told in a major newspaper, Hachiko's fame spread far and wide, becoming an inspiration to many in Japan.
31. Cancer detectors
Because of their very powerful noses, dogs can detect if a person has cancer through saliva, breath, and urine. At the In Situ Foundation, dogs are being trained to do just that before they are sent out to assist the public.
32. Police dogs
A very common sight nowadays is a police dog working with its partner. Other than sniffing out drugs or bombs, the police dog's strength and teeth are often enough to prevent suspects from becoming more violent. When assigned to a police officer, both dog and officer stay together to forge a powerful bond.
33. Arson dogs
Another type of police dog that is in a category of its own in this article is the arson dog, which is trained to sniff out chemicals used in arsons. Every year much money is wasted because of intentional fires, which is why police need these dogs to determine if foul play was involved or if an accident truly occurred.
34. Therapy Dogs
Mental health disorders are issues that many people deal with. Trained therapy dogs are sent to nursing homes, schools, hospitals, and even the aftermath of a disaster to help people with an emotional or psychological need.
Best Fun Facts about Famous Dogs
The adorable and imaginative beagle Snoopy was supposed to be named Sniffy. But just before the comic launched, author Charles Schulz saw another comic using the name. Luckily, he recalled the name Snoopy, which his mom had suggested years before as the potential name for another pet dog. The rest is history.
For many decades, Lassie entertained people, the Rough collie on the silver screen and TV. The original dog that played Lassie was named Pal. From the start of the Lassie movies in 1943 until the end of the original TV series in 1973, Lassie was always played by a son of the previous Lassie.
37. Benji the mutt
Another wonderful character that inspired millions of viewers is Benji. Unlike many of the famous dogs (such as those in this section), Benji did not have a particular breed; instead, he was a mutt (a mixture of different species) that fit his character of a street dog. In fact, Higgins, the original Benji, was found in an animal shelter as a puppy.
38. Rin Tin Tin
Rescued as a pup during World War I, Rin Tin Tin ended up as a Hollywood movie star because he was smart and easy to train - he even has a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. The big break that launched his career (which also helped save Warner Brothers) was the movie The Man from Hell's River. In the film, Rin Tin Tin played a wolf, even though he is a German Shepherd.
39. 101 Dalmatians
Pongo, the daddy Dalmatian character, got his name from the author's very own Dalmatian pup. She received the pup from her husband in 1934. Dodie Smith's novel came out in 1956, while Disney released the animated movie in 1961.
Scooby-Doo is Hanna-Barbera's fearful but still somehow courageous Great Dane. To make him fit the cartoon's needs, the artist drew Scooby differently: big chin bowed legs and humped back, which are opposite traits of the intimidating Great Dane.
In 1992, families worldwide were entertained by this lovable yet destructive St. Bernard, played by Chris the St. Bernard. The sequel, Beethoven 2, was also a big hit among moviegoers. After that, six more movies were made, although Chris was no longer the lead for movies 3 to 8.
Weird Interesting Facts about Dogs in General
42. Strongest bite force
Among dogs, the one with the strongest bite is the Kangal, a Mastiff breed member. In Turkey, some homes keep them as guard dogs. To compare, the Kangal's bite force of 743 PSI is much greater than the Rottweiller (328 PSI), German Shepherd (238 PSI), Pitbull (235 PSI), and Doberman (229 PSI).
43. Using the bathroom on command
Trained guide dogs are very disciplined and intelligent animals, helping their owners navigate busy streets. When it comes to relieving themselves, these animals are trained to pee or poo on command. This allows the dog's owner to choose the best time for their dog to relieve itself without any embarrassing consequences.
44. Fastest dog breed
Among breeds, the fastest is the Greyhound, something that race enthusiasts know well. Some of them can hit speeds of 44 mph (70.81 kph). In the US, most of the Greyhound population are racing dogs (active or retired).
45. Heaviest breed
When it comes to the heaviest dog breeds, St. Bernard tops the list. This very large dog can weigh up to 120 kilograms (264.5 pounds). These dogs were originally bred to be rescue dogs in the Alps.
46. National Dog Day
The world celebrates dogs every August 26th. People of all ages and nationalities celebrate the joy of having a dog on this happy day. Organizers usually encourage people to adopt a dog to rescue it from a life in a shelter and eventual euthanization.
47. A dog with six toes
Generally, dogs have four toes at the back and five in the front, but the Norwegian Lundehund has six toes in the front. The extra digit helps it move around its slippery and rocky terrain. Two other interesting capabilities include fully closing its ears and a very flexible body - both help it hunt for puffins in its caves.
48. A great water dog
Some dogs just love the water, including the Newfoundland dog, which happens to be the best long-distance swimmer. Aside from a heavy coat to protect it from the cold waters, this dog has webbed feet, allowing it to paddle far.
49. The smallest dog
As a breed, the tiniest dog is the Chihuahua. It may weigh between 2 and 6 pounds, making it a companion that is easy to carry around. Despite its small size, it can be very aggressive, which is why it should learn how to socialize at a young age so that it doesn't go crazy around strangers.
50. The wild "dogs" of Australia
The dingo of Australia was long thought to have originated from domesticated dogs that had gone wild a long time ago. But though they look like regular dogs, scientists believe that it is a different creature altogether - not a dog, nor a wolf, just a dingo.
51. The biggest dog in the world
Aicama Zorba of La-Susa or Zorba (born in 1981) was a male English Mastiff. He was broke the Guinness World Records as the heaviest and longest dog in the world. In 1989 Zorba was recorded as weighing 330 pounds (149.7 kg). Also, Zorba was 8 feet and 3 inches long (251 cm) from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail.
So those were 51 cool fun facts about the dog. We hope you learned something new and have developed a much better appreciation of them. Thank you for reading! You can read some more interesting articles on our educational blog. We recommended you will read the 50 animal fun facts or the 52 cats fun facts.