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Facts on Dogs


Dog Facts                       

1.There are well over 200 types of purebred dogs with 160 being recognized by the AKC; the number slowly grows as hybrids are accepted as purebreds.

2. Dogs as we know them today descended from wolves anywhere from 17,000 to 150,000 years ago. Scientists are still working toward a solid time line based on fossils.

3. Wolves, from which dogs descended, are themselves descended from a rather small, weasel-like mammal called Miacis. It lived in trees and became extinct 40 million years ago.
4. Cavemen first domesticated dogs. It is thought that this was not intentional. It is theorized that when they threw scrapes of bones or food to the side, wild dogs that were friendlier than most would come to feed and would stay close. After a while, they would follow the cavemen and over time, became distinct from wild dogs and develop into companions. 

5. In the U.S and Canada, 1 out of 3 families have at least 1 dog. In Germany and Switzerland, only 1 out of 10 families have a dog.

6. A hybrid dog is one that is the result of 2 distinct purebred parents, such as the Maltipoo which is the result of a toy Poodle and a Maltese. If 2 Maltipoos are allowed to breed, this will produce a 2nd generation Malitpoo, not a 1st.

7. This animal was feared for a time in Europe, where the word for dog was "cur" and was used as a verbal insult.

8. There are about 400 million dogs living right now.  The United States has the highest population, France has the second.

9. In general, a large breed will have a shorter lifespan than a small breed. It is thought this is because their bodies must work harder. For example, the heart must pump harder to circulate blood through a larger body.

10. The shape of a canine’s face can be a hint of how long he or she will live.  Those with longer faces generally live longer…Those with shorter muzzles with typically live shorter lives.

11. Some large breeds only live 7 or 8 years.

12. small breeds can live over 20 years, although the late teens is the average.

13. Small breed puppies normally do most of their growing between birth and 6 months.  Bigger breeds between birth and 1 year.

14. One of the reasons why dogs bring great comfort to humans, is their uncanny ability to pick up on our moods.  The dog, in common with its ancestor, the wolf, is sensitive to atmosphere. That is why it will come and sit quietly beside us when we are despondent or jump around enthusiastically when we are in high spirits.

15. Dogs have 2 times as many muscles for wiggling their ears than humans do.

16. Dogs can sense things about other dogs by chemicals that are released, such as pheromones. This can tell them the other’s gender, if a female is in heat and even the mood of the other dog. This plays a big role in breeding.

17. A dog can pinpoint the source of a sound in an astounding 1/600th of a second.

18. It has been proven that dogs can recognize places, even if they have not visited them for months, or even years. So forget that old wives tale that you have heard about a dog's memory being very short!  Indeed, a dog that has been sleeping quietly in the back of a car may get up and show considerable excitement within a 1/2 mile or so of a once familiar location.

19. Dogs have been used as guards, hunters,  as helpers for the blind, aids to police to sniff out drugs and explosives and even, in days long ago, as weapons. - Sadly, in WW II the Russian army trained dogs to run suicide missions. They would connect explosives onto their backs and have them run between the tanks of the Germans.

20. Studies have proven that dogs dream.

21. It has been proven that they make over 100 different and unique facial expressions. 

22. Most people can hear sounds about 25 yards away, they can hear things 250 yards away.

23. They DO see in color - It is equivalent to how humans perceive color just as the sun is setting.

24. There is an African wolf dog called a Basenji that does not possess the ability to bark.

25. Dogs have excellent night vision. This is due to a  layer behind their eyes, called the tapetum lucidum. It reflects light and this is why you may see a dog’s eyes shining in the night.
26. Males can smell females in heat from up to 3 miles away.

27. Studies have shown that a dog can lower a person’s blood pressure; this happens when an owner simply pets them.

28. An interesting dog fact is that they have 1,700 taste buds, lower than a human’s 9000 but higher than a feline’s 473.

29. When they smells another dog’s urine, they are receiving a lot of information: The gender, the age, the healthy and the mood of the other’s.

30. The average pet, if trained, can understand up to 200 words and even simple sentences.

31. The most popular and most owned breed in the U.S. and in Canada is the Labrador Retriever.

32. The tallest dogs known to man are the Great Dane and the Irish Wolfhound.

33. At least 4 million dogs lose their lives each year in shelters all across the country.

34. The largest dog breed is called an Irish Wolfhound.

35. The smallest breed is the Chihuahua.

36. The breed that weighs the most is the St. Bernard.

37. The breed that weighs the least is the Chihuahua, who is between 2 and 6 pounds when fully grown.

38. The world’s record for being the largest dog is one who 343 pounds!  He was also very long at 8 feet and 3 inches.  The breed was an Old English Mastiff.

39. A group of veterinarians have listed the 5 quietest breeds: The Newfoundland, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Italian Greyhound and Whippet.

40. Snag, a dog working for the United States Customs Bureau helped authorities with 118 separate drug seizures that totaled over 118 million dollars.

41. It is important to note that the dog is a creature that humans have never had to subdue into subservience...or with which they have been forced to do battle with, for there are no ancient rock carvings illustrating such situations as there are with so many other types of animals throughout history.  It appears that the dog formed an alliance with man of his own free will, and a partnership was formed on the basis of mutual friendship and trust. 

42. A dog can run about 19 mph. The fastest breed ever recorded are Greyhounds, who can reach up to 45 mph.

43. Kubla Khan holds the record for owning the most dogs …5 thousand Mastiffs.

44. The bond between human and canine can be traced very far back...Amazingly in 1979, Israeli archaeologists who were digging in the Middle East found the remains of a man and a puppy.  They were in very close proximity to each other. The man's hand was resting on the puppy as if he were hugging him at the time of passing.  This was among the remains of a 10,000 year old Natufian settlement!

45. It is a dog fact that they feel a wide range of emotions, including jealousy, loneliness, boredom, fear and happiness. These emotions can help to explain why they do the things they do.

46. If you have more than 1 dog, they will choose who the “Alpha” is by themselves if you do not help them decide. It is usually the older one, but it depends on who the owner feeds first, allows out the door first, etc.

47. If a dog learns how to sit and stay on command first, they will be much faster learners for other commands.

48. When a dog howls at the moon, he or she is performing a basic instinct to call the pack to come to him or her (even if there is no pack!)

49. When canines try to bury a bone, this is due to their instinct for feeding rituals. When they shake a treat back and forth ferociously, it is the long ago instinct of hunting that is coming up.

50. Most dogs will have better behavior when home alone if you leave on a TV or have a radio playing for background noise.

51. When they chases a car, they see it leaving and this makes them think that they succeeded in chasing it away…This prompts them to want to do it over and over again, since they did it “right” the first time.

52. Your parents probably told you to never stare into a strange dog’s eyes. They were right - When you do this, the dog may think that it is a challenge to fight.

53. They turn in circles before lying down due to a deep buried instinct from when dogs lived in the wild and the turning helped to pat down grasses before lying down on them.

54. A dog can have self confidence issues. This has been shown with dogs that have had their fur painted, many behave embarrassed and do not want to go outside as usual.

55. An adult who normally is given 1 meal a day, usually in the evening, will behave better if they are given a small morning snack.

56. Mixed-breeds usually have behavioral traits comparable to the breed they most bear a resemblance to.

57. When a pet growls upon seeing human family members “play fighting”, this is because they want to join in on the fun.
58. When a dog destroys the items in house when left home alone, this is often due to separation anxiety (they are nervous to be home alone) or if they are a puppy, because of teething.

59. If you see a strange dog, do not smile.  Many interpret this as a person glaring their teeth, and this can be misinterpreted as wanting to fight...and you don't want a bite!

60. Some purposely eat grass to make themselves vomit if they have an upset stomach. 

61. They learn a lot faster if commands are given along with hand gestures.

62. In regards to sleep, 8 week olds can sleep for up to 20 hours a day…Adults will sleep up to 15 hours a day, this includes naps.
88% of owners say their dog likes to relax and watch TV with them at night.

63. A dog’s nail should be checked for a trimming every 3 weeks, as some can grow fast.  If they are not clipped, they can become ingrown.  When clipping, always do it little by little and stop when you see a pink area - that is called the “quick” and it is a vein that one should not clip into.

64. Their normal body temperature is 101.2 ° Fahrenheit, but when a female is about to give birth, her temperature will drop down.

65. They should never be given cooked bones as they are brittle can cause terrible splinters, however raw bones are a good source of calcium, especially for pregnant dams.

66. Many human products should never be used on dogs, as they often cause allergic reactions. This includes toothpaste, shampoo and  hair conditioner.

67. Dogs can have phobias too. For example one may be afraid of cars or thunder.  

68. A dog living in a city dog lives 3 years longer than a one who lives in a suburb. No explanation why.

69. To have a good, well behaved pet, it is best if they have maximum human contact from 4 weeks to 3 months old.

70. Small breeds mature faster both physically and mentally than larger breeds.

71. When polled, 55% of people said they share some personality traits with their dogs.

72. When  a male is neutered, it can lead to a longer life, since it eliminates the possibility of testicular cancer.

73. When a female is spayed, it can lead to a longer life, because it eliminates the chances of developing ovarian cancer and it decrease the odds of developing mammary cancer. Therefore, it is suggested to have this done if you will not be breeding her...or as soon as she is retired (usually by age 7).

74. A dog’s heartbeat is between 70 and 120, ours is just between 70 and 80.

75. Pregnant females carry for an average of 63 days.

76. A female can be pregnant with pups from 2 different sires, if they both tie with her within 3 days.

77. White Boxer dogs are not an officially recognized color by the AKC, however 1 in 4 are born this color. They are, however, prone to deafness.

78. The practice of docking a  tail may have started in Rome, around 50 AD, when it was thought that doing so would prevent rabies.

79. They have sweat glands on their paws.

80. Basset Hounds cannot swim.

81. All breeds have 3 distinct eyelids.  Top, bottom and a third that is translucent and helps to protect and lubricate.

82. They have 18 different muscles are involved when a dog moves their ear(s).

83. An adult has 42 permanent teeth. They can have tooth loss as they age into seniors; most can be prevented by daily brushings starting at a young age.

84. A very fascinating dog fact is that they cannot see a person who is 300 yards away. However, if their owner is a mile away and waving his or her hands, the dog can identify them.

86. When you leave your dog home alone, it can be very helpful to  leave them an article of your clothing that has your scent on it. It also helps to leave the TV on or have a stereo in the background, set to a talk radio station.

87. Dogs and cats vie for the most popular pet.

Here are the pet ownership statistics for the United States, the UK and Canada:

                  Percentage of Household that have a Dog            Percentage of Households that have a Cat

US                                  45.6                                                                  38.2
Canada                             35                                                                     38
UK                                   31                                                                     26

88. Some clean themselves, much like a cat does.

89. One part of the way a dog communicates is through his or her tail.  A tailed wagged up high can mean aggression.  When they are scared, the tail is low, often between the legs and motion will be stiff. Studies have now shown that tail wagging is essentially a language.  Depending on speed and position, this non-verbal form of canine communication can mean: Happiness, fear, wanting to challenge, feeling insecure or as an invitation to socialize.

90. Dogs do not eat poop because they like the taste.  In almost all cases, they do this because their bodies are lacking certain vitamins and/or nutrients.  Many manufactured dog foods contain so many fillers that it carries the food right through the body, without allowing a good portion of it to be absorbed.  While it may seem as if they are eating a lot, most of it is coming out without providing them nutrition....

91. Legally, “protein” can be chicken claws or beaks”, and manufactured kibble is filled with artificial coloring, preservatives and fillers. Fillers make a dog feel full while providing ZERO calories or real substance.  Then, a dog will eat poop in an effort to ingest needed nutrition; unfortunately, if they eat their own feces, the cycle will begin again.  The best fix will be 2 things:  Change to a home cooked diet and do not allow them to go near feces.  Remember - a dog cannot eat it if they are not in reach of it.

92. Ancient Egyptians revered both dogs and cats.  When a beloved pet dog would die, they would shave off the eyebrows, cover the fur with mud and performed a ritual for days to honor them.

93. Based on hieroglyphic writing, Egyptians named their dogs based on appearance or personality.  Names found have included Ebony, Reliable and Brave One. 

94. If a person in ancient Egypt was bitten by a dog with rabies, they would eat the liver of that dog, as it was thought it would stop infection. Then, the tooth of that dog would be tied to the arm of that person.

95. Japanese Chins and Pekingese were so precious in the ancient Far East that they were given servants to wait on them and were always carried, not made to walk anywhere.

97. Poodle Pon-Pons, that ball on the end of the tail, was first popular because it was thought to help the breed swim better.
98. Boxers were named for their humorous habit of using their front paws when playing.  Learn a lot more history facts here.

99. There are 29 different distinct colors of the Chihuahua breed.

100. A Pomeranian color exists that is lavender, it is very rare.  This fur color is a diluted blue, which is a diluted black.

101. The most common coat color for dogs is tan…however this can go by so many different names depending on the breed…It includes: beige, champagne, gold, yellow, light brown, and dark cream. 

102. A bit over 10,000 people in the U.S. and Canada use guide dogs.

103. Some dogs, just by smelling a person’s breath, can detect cancer.  They can also detect the locations of termites and underground natural gas.

104.  The cost to take care of a dog, over its lifetime, averages $9,970.00

105.  While there are many health benefits to have a dog as a pet,  risks are an actuality as well.  86,000 annual emergency room visits are reportedly caused by "tripping over a pet".

106.  The very first cloned dog was born on April 24, 2005. He was an Afghan Hound named Snuppy. This happened in Seoul, South Korea. Tissue from the ear of an Afgan Hound was used, and 123 surrogate dams. Only 3 dams produce a puppy, with Snuppy being the only one that survived.  Although its authenticity was questioned, independent studies verified it to be true.  That same year, Time Magazine named the dog as the "Most Amazing Invention" of the year.

107.  The first commercially cloned dog (cloned for owners and paid for by owners) was a Labrador name Lancey. His owners had him cloned by using tissue from a previous pet, their family dog named Sir Lancelot. The owners paid $155,000.00 USD for this service.

108.  Case studies show that dogs are the 5th smartest animal. Great apes come in at #1, followed by cetaceans (whales and dolphins), elephants, and parrots. The "Intelligence of Dogs" written by Professor Stanley Coren claims that the Border Collie is the most intelligent dog breed.

109. The American Humane Association (AHA) is conducting a study to see if having the company of a cute dog actually helps cancer patients recover faster than they otherwise would.

110.  Studies have found when a child has a pet, it affects 3 major component's of that child's life. Boys and girls with dogs or cats are more likely to have better social skills, a higher number of friends and better self esteem than those without a canine or feline family member.

111. Scientists at the Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery are working on a device that will translate a dog's bark (and other noises) into actual words, via a special head-set that will read a dog's brainwaves.

112. In Sweden, in order to own a dog you must first pass both a written and a practical test to prove that you are knowledgeable about dogs and how to care for them.

113. Portland, Oregon, USA has the most dog parks of any city in the States, per capita.



Facts by Breed:
Akita Facts  |  Alaskan Malamute FactsAustralian Shepherd FactsBasset Hound Facts  |  Beagle  Facts | Bloodhound Facts  |  Boston Terrier Facts  |  Boxer Facts  |  Bull Dog Facts  |  Chihuahua Facts  |  Chow Chow Facts  |  Cocker Spaniel Facts  |  Collie Facts  |  Corgi Facts  |  Dachshund Facts  |  Dalmatian Facts  |  Doberman Pinscher Facts  |  French Bull Dog Facts  |  German Shepherd Facts  |  Golden Retriever Facts  |  Great Dane Facts  |  Greyhound Facts  |  Havanese Facts   |  Labrador Retriever Facts  |  Maltese Facts  |  Mastiffs Facts  |  Miniature Schnauzer Facts  |  Pitbull Facts  |  Pomeranian Facts  |  Poodle Facts  |  Pug Facts  |  Rottweiler Facts  |  Shetland Sheepdog Facts  |  Shih Tzu Facts  |  Siberian Husky Facts  |  St. Bernard Facts Yorkshire Terrier Facts  |


"Getting a dog is like getting married. It teaches you to be less self-centered, to accept sudden, surprising outbursts of affection, and not to be upset by a few scratches on your car."
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