Fun Facts About Dogs
Did you know that there are more than 150 different dog breeds? Or that dogs can see in the dark thanks to a special membrane? Or that the latest research has discovered that dogs actually do see in color?
There’s more than meets the eye about our canine companions and here are just a few of their fascinating physiological facts:
- Dogs curl in a ball to sleep because of an instinct to keep themselves warm and to protect their abdomens and vital organs.
- Dogs have a sense of smell that is 10,000 to 100,000 times greater than a humans, with over 200 million receptors in their noses.
- Dogs are as intelligent as a two-year old human child, with the ability to understand over 150 words and hand gestures.
- The paw twitching you observe while your dog is sleeping is a sign he is dreaming. Dogs experience the same slow wave sleep (SWS) pattern and rapid eye movement (REM) as human beings.
- Dogs don’t sweat like humans do…instead, they sweat through the pads of their feet.
- Adult dogs possess 42 teeth.
- The scents in a dog’s urine send messages to other dogs, such as the sex of the dog, his age, and his health.
- The shoulder blades of dogs are not attached to the rest of the skeleton, allowing for a wide range of flexibility.
- Wolves and dogs are classified as the same species.
- It’s believed that dogs with sharp, pointed faces that resemble wolves live longer.
Dogs have been a part of the human experience for centuries. Here are some intriguing historical facts about dogs:
- Ancient Egyptians loved their dogs so much, they mourned them aloud for three days.
- Great Danes and mastiffs were donned with armor and used to enter battle or to defend supplies during the Middle Ages.
- The Pekingese breed was worshiped in Chinese temples.
- Kublai Khan owned 5,000 mastiffs!
- The city of Peritas, founded by Alexander the Great, is rumored to have been named in memory of his dog.
And let’s not forget some famous or well-known dogs:
- Two Pomeranians and one Pekinese from First Class survived the Titanic sinking.
- An ultrasonic whistle only audible to canines is recorded in the Beatles’ song “A Day in the Life.”
- A St. Bernard mountain rescue dog named Barry saved over 40 lives back in the 1800s.
- A Great Pyrenees named Duke has won his third term as mayor of Cormorant, Minnesota.
- An American destroyer was sent to the Aleutian Islands to pick up President Franklin Roosevelt’s Scottish terrier, Fala, who had been left behind.
- Chaser is a border collie who understands 1,022 words!
We Americans certainly love our dogs! Of the estimated 400 million dogs on our planet, the US has the highest canine population in the world. It’s no wonder, as our furry companions are so incredibly fascinating!