40+ Fun and Fascinating Dog Facts (Which Dog Has Human Brain?)
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Your loyal companion is your family so it’s only natural that you’d want to learn everything about them. And we bet some of the below interesting facts about your canine will blow your mind.
So, read on and lets us know which one fascinates you the most.
1. Chows and Shar-Pei Have Blue Tongues
If you’re a Chow Chow or a Shar-Pei parent, you may have noticed that they have a distinct blue tongue. And although these two dog breeds are the only ones with completely blue tongues, there are other canines with small blue patches on their tongues.
Chow Chow is also the only dog breed with lips and a palate with the same blue color. Dogs with blue tongues are said to have pigmentation cells that give the tongue this color.
2. Weimaraner-The Dog with the Human Brain
Well, each one of us dog parents thinks our pup is the smartest, and there is no doubt that most dogs are pretty smart.
But wait until you have a Weimaraner for a pet.
The Weimaraner sometimes referred to as the gray or silver ghost due to her distinct grey coat and stealth hunting style, is super intelligent. This smartness is what has earned this canine the name ‘the dog with the human brain.’
In one study, it was shown that Weims have a highly developed conniving gene. Those with a Wein for a pet will agree that these clever dogs will often use their intelligence to steal treats, unlock fences, and escape from crates.
According to experts, a Weimaraner’s intelligence must be put to good use. Otherwise, your pup may use it to outsmart you.
3. Food Smell Is More Important To Your Dog than Taste
When it comes to you and me, the taste of anything we put in our mouth is probably more important than the smell.
Humans have about 9000 taste buds which is why you can savor different flavors. Your dog, on the other hand, only has about 1700 taste buds.
However, when it comes to smell, your pup beats you hands down. While you have around ten sensory cells, your dog has more than 125 million. Thus, it’s no brainer that the smell of anything your dog puts in his mouth is extremely important.
So, your pup may be reluctant to eat their food because it doesn’t smell right. For instance, did you that as food ages, it loses its delicious aroma? This is why it’s important always to give your pup fresh food.
4. Greyhounds are the Fastest Dogs Known
All dogs love to run, but some pooches run impressively fast.
One such dog who is inherently fast is the Greyhound. Greyhounds have for decades been recognized as the racehorses of the dog world. These gentle giants can run at a whopping speed of 45 miles per hour, and your fast sprinter’s feet only touch the ground 25% of the time.
Well, despite their incredible speed, Greyhounds make great apartment dogs as they love their sleep. These dogs sleep as much as 18 hours a day- very much like your cat!
5. Corona Inspired Dog Names Becoming Popular
If you thought that the Covid 19 pandemic has only popularized dog adoptions, you’re wrong.
The pandemic has also changed how people are naming their pets. The result is a rise in the popularity of pandemic-inspired dog names such as Covi, Covie, Rona, and Corona.
According to Rover’s list of top dog names for 2020, the popularity of the name Covi rose by 1,159%, while Rona had grown in popularity by 69%.
According to the list, the top five most popular male dog names included Max, Charlie, Copper, Buddy, and Milo, while Bella, Luna, Lucy, Daisy, and Lola were the top five female dog names for 2020.
6. The Basenji Can’t Bark
Just like other hounds, the Basenji is very vocal. But unlike most dogs, this dog can’t bark. Basenjis originated from Africa, where they were dependable hunting and watchdogs.
The reason the Basenji cannot bark is that it has a flat larynx. Compared to other dogs, the Basenji has a shallow and flat laryngeal ventricle which limits this dog’s ability to bark.
But just because this pooch is known as a barkless dog doesn’t mean it’s quiet. The Basenji uses other ways to communicate, including howling, mewls, and yodeling. Basenji owners also attest that it isn’t uncommon for this dog to produce human-like shrieks and screams.
7. Petting a Dog Is Good For Your Blood Pressure
Petting your dog does not only make your pup happy, but it’s also good for your health. According to WebMD, petting your dog lowers your blood pressure and stress level.
Dog owners are also likely to have a healthier heart as they walk more and their blood pressure levels are lower.
8. Small But Fierce
If you are a dog parent to a Chihuahua, Dachshund, Chow chow, Beagle, or a Pekingese, you know these small dogs, despite their size and cuteness, can be as fierce as your German shepherd.
And if you thought that all small dogs are harmless, you’ll be surprised to know some act like they are 10 feet tall. In fact, lots of small-sized pups give tough competition to the large dog breeds when it comes to aggressiveness.
But why are these tiny cute dogs so aggressive?
Research shows that some of these dogs, like the Manchester terrier and Jack Russell, were bred for hunting and killing prey. Others like the Lhasa Apso are very much aware of their small size and feel the need to protect themselves from unfamiliar people. The tendency to also coddle your small dog may also lead to aggression like is commonly seen in fashionable dogs such as the Chihuahua.
9. All Puppies Are Born Deaf and Blind
Newborn puppies can’t hear or see until they are about two weeks old.
A dog’s gestation period is about two months. Although this is a good thing for the mother as she can get back to her routine, the downside is that the puppies don’t get enough time to mature. The result is that when they are born, they are highly dependent on their mother until they are a few weeks old.
If you look closely at your dog’s little ones, you’ll notice that they are born with their eyes closed. The eyes at this stage are still developing, and they remain tightly closed for protection. Most puppies will open their eyes at two weeks, but it still takes several weeks before the eyes fully develop. Again puppies are born deaf because their ear canals are closed. This is also crucial to enable the ears to develop fully.
10. Alcohol and Chocolate Are Toxic To Your Dog
Similarly, don’t give your pup a bite of your Easter egg or anything else that has chocolate. Chocolate contains theobromine, a substance also found in caffeine and coffee. When dogs ingest theobromine, it can cause diarrhea, excessive thirst, seizures, and even death.
Other human edible foods that are considered unsafe for dogs according to ASPCA include:
- Onions, garlic, and chives
- Macadamia nuts
- Corn on the cob
- Artificial sweetener
- Grapes and raisings
- Cooked bones
If your dog has consumed any of the above foods, take them to the vet immediately.
11. Shih Tzus Were First Bred To Resemble Lions
Ever wondered why your Shih Tzu looks like a little lion? Well, it’s because it was meant to look like one.
The Shit Tzu, pronounced as Shee-zoo, is coined from the Chinese word that means little lion dog. And you can bet the name matches perfectly with this small dog’s king-like character. It’s believed that Tibet monks bred the Shih Tzus to be a replica of small lions often found in Buddhist mythologies and art.
And for many years, Shi Tzus were prized dogs by Chinese royals and pampered like the little lions they are. They were rarely seen outside the Chinese palaces, and any commoner believed to own one of these dynasty dogs was sentenced to death.
12. Your Senior Dog Needs More Protein, Not Less
Many dog parents believe that their senior pups should eat less protein.
However, the opposite is true.
When choosing the best dog foods for senior pups, ensure you don’t leave proteins out. In fact, older dogs need almost 50% more protein than younger pups. According to a 2015 study, the extra protein will help your senior dog fuel some muscles.
Many dogs lose so much muscle as they age that it often becomes difficult to walk unassisted. Muscle tissue loss also makes your dog susceptible to illnesses as it compromises their immunity. Therefore, always ensure that proteins make up 25% of your senior pup’s daily caloric intake.
13. Cooked Bones Are Dangerous To Your Dog
Chewing is second nature to your pooch, which is why your dog can never say no to a bone.
Bones satisfy the chewing urge in your dog and also improve their dental health.
But did you know not all bones are safe for your dog? Particularly, cooked bones are dangerous for your dog.
Why you ask.
Because they can splinter and break into small sharp pieces and hurt your dog’s mouth and digestive system. Besides, cooked broken bones can also cause choking.
So, if you want your dog to be safe, refrain from giving her bones from your dinner pot. Raw bones and commercially sold chew toys are a better option for your pup.
14. You Don’t Have To Sacrifice Fluffy Cuteness to Get a Hypoallergenic Dog
If you’re an allergy sufferer and a dog lover, you ought to get yourself a hypoallergenic dog. The good thing about having such a dog is that you can cuddle them without going into a sneezing fit.
But if you love dogs that are all fluff, you’ll be glad to know that some hairy dogs are hypoallergenic.
According to the Pupjunkies list of 75 hypoallergenic dog breeds, some super hairy dog breeds such as the Maltese, the Portuguese water dog, Silky Terrier, Affenpinscher, Coton du Tulear, and the Bichon Frise are great for allergy sufferers. Meaning, you don’t have to sacrifice all that fuzzy cuteness to have a low-shedding companion.
15. Large Dogs Also Make Great Apartment Dogs
Looking at the massive size of a dog such as the Great Dane, it can be difficult to imagine that such a giant can live happily in an apartment.
Giant dogs such as Saint Bernards, English Mastiffs, Bullmastiffs, Newfoundlands, Bernese Mountain dogs, Shar- Peis, Clumber Spaniels, Great Danes, and Golden Retrievers are just a few examples of large pups that are perfect for apartment living.
Most of these dogs are gentle giants, and so long as they get enough exercise, they will thrive well in an apartment.
16. Labrador Retrievers Are the Most Popular Dog Breed in the US
Seems like Americans absolutely adore their Labrador Retrievers. For the 30th year in a row, this active and friendly pup continues to top the charts as the most loved dog breed in the US.
The American Kennel Club prepares an annual list of the most popular dog breeds in the US, and Labs continue to top this chart.
But it’s easy to see why Labrador Retrievers are a favorite among Americans. For starters, Labs are known to be versatile as they are good at everything, including hunting, dock diving, showing, and tracking. Labs also love children, which is one of the reasons they are such great family pets.
Besides, Labs are easy to train and are smart too. They are loyal dogs that love to please their owners. Labrador Retrievers are also always ready for an adventure.
So, whether you’re looking for a running buddy or a hiking partner, a Labrador retriever will be your best companion. Not to mention that they’ll be happy to curl up on the couch with you if you want to cuddle.
17. Dogs Can Tell the Size of Other Dogs by Listening To Their Growl
You’ll notice that your dog pays close attention to other dogs’ growls- and for a good reason. According to a recent study, dogs can tell other canines’ size by simply listening to their growls. The study further established that small and big dogs growl differently, which explains why the growl is a size indicator.
From the study findings, dogs can’t lie about their size when they growl. This makes it easy for another dog to find out how big the canine is and decide whether to fight or leave it alone.
18. Why Big Dogs Think They Are Lap Dogs
While many small dogs act all tough, some giant canines don’t mind being lapdogs. This makes most large breed dog owners wonder if the pups are aware of how big they are.
Giant dog breeds such as the Great Dane, Bernese Mountain dog, Mastiffs, Newfoundland, and Irish Wolfhounds often get close and personal with their human buddies.
So, if you thought only tiny dogs like to snuggle, you’re wrong. Big dogs don’t mind cuddling too.
Many gentle giants act like lap dogs because they are unaware of how big they are. Yap, as crazy as it might sound, most of these giant pups grow so fast that they don’t realize they are no longer small puppies.
Dogs also love to show affection through touch. So, if your gentle giant loves to cuddle, they are just letting you know that they love you. Other large dog breeds love attention, and there is no better way for them to make you look away from your phone for a few minutes than to jump onto your lap.
19. Some Dogs Have Webbed Feet
The soft pink skin between your Lab or Newfoundland’s toes is webbing. Webbed feet give your pet a firm grip as they chase, dig, dive, or walk. And you can bet that most dogs with webbed feet are great swimmers.
Some of the dog breeds with webbed feet include Newfoundland, German Wire-Haired Pointers, Weimaraners, Otterhounds, Poodles, Portuguese Water Dogs, German shorthaired pointer, Labs, Dachshund, Irish Water Spaniels.
Now go on and check your buddy’s paws to see if they have webbed feet.
20. Boxers Got Their Name from Their Propensity to Box Using Their Front Paws
Boxers are intelligent and playful pets. But did you know that these dogs got their name from the fact that they tend to box with their paws?
Just like their name suggests, these dogs can give you a pretty painful punch. When playing, a boxer will often stand on her back legs and kick the front paws just like a human boxer would do.
Another fact about boxers is that some have really long tongues. In fact, a boxer called Brandy holds the record for having the longest dog tongue. Brandy’s tongue was an impressive 43 centimeters which is pretty long considering that the longest human tongue measures 10.1 centimeters.
21. Dogs Can Count
Your dog may not balance your checkbook, but they can count and even do some simple subtraction and addition. Research shows that dogs, especially those in sporting and working groups, can count from one to five. And if you’re wondering, it’s possible to teach your canine to do simple arithmetic.
22. Dogs Get Jealous
This may not baffle you as a dog parent.
Your dog being jealous means they may see other pets as their rivals which is why they will compete for your attention and love. A recent study established without a doubt that dogs do feel envious.
Some of the behaviors that may show your pup is jealous include him trying to push other pets and persons away to get your attention. He may also growl at others or try to come between you and them. Sounds familiar?
23. Dogs Prefer To Poop Facing North
A recent study indicates that dogs can detect the earth’s magnetic fields and use this to align their bladder and bowel movements. Most dogs will relieve themselves along a north-south axis and altogether avoid defecating in an east or west alignment.
24 . Your Dog’s Puppy Face Is No Coincidence
Yap, your dog, may be manipulating you with their wide-eyed face.
Dogs have over the years evolved a specific muscle for making those puppy dog eyes that always melt your heart. This muscle makes your canine look sadder or cuter in your eyes, making it impossible for you to say no- very impressive if you ask me.
25. Dogs Can Read Your Emotions
I am sure if you own a dog, this may not be news. Most dogs can tell when their owners are having a rough day.
A new study published in the learning and behavior journal found out that dogs can read human faces and match their vocal expression to understand their emotions.
26. Your Dog’s Personality Can Change with Time
A new study indicates that your dog’s personality is malleable.
Some of the factors that influence this personality change include a change in the dog owner’s personality, the dog’s age, and the quality of the human-dog relationship.
So, if you’re wondering why your pooch has recently changed from an outgoing to a reserved dog, maybe they are just mirroring a change in your personality.
27. Dogs Wag Their Tail Differently To Convey Different Messages
Wagging has different meanings depending on whether it’s on the left or right. When your dog wags their tail to the right, they convey negative emotions, while wagging their tails to the left indicates they have positive feelings. While you may find it hard to understand what your pup is saying by observing their tail wag, other dogs can understand this language perfectly.
28. Your Dog Is either Right or Left-Pawed
This may amaze you, but canines can be left or right-pawed. The same way we show laterality, dogs do too since their brains are organized like ours. And although only 10 percent of humans are left-handed, there seem to be more dogs who are left pawed.
29. Dogs Can Tell Words Apart
If you thought that your dog’s ability to count was cool, you’ll be amazed to know that they can also differentiate between word intonations and meanings.
MRI studies on dogs have indicated that they recognize words by how they are said and the emotional tone used.
30. The Average Dog Knows 165 Words
You may sometimes wonder how many words your pet knows.
Well, according to Dr. Stanley Coren, a canine intelligence expert, the average dog understands 165 words.
And get this, intelligent, or well-trained dogs can understand up to 250 words. That’s a lot of words if you ask me.
31. Dogs Only Sweat Through Their Paws
Unlike humans, who have millions of sweat glands, dogs have a few sweat glands located under their feet in their paw pads.
However, these sweat glands are too few, which is why dogs use their other cooling mechanisms such as panting and vasodilation to keep cool.
32. Meet Owney, the First Postal Mascot
Owney a terrier mix became the first unofficial postal mascot in 1888. The dog later became a nationwide mascot between 1888 and 1897 after the Albany New York mail experts recommended him.
And since train wrecks were very common in Owney’s times, the dog was considered a good luck charm by mailmen since no train he rode in was ever in a wreck.
33. You Can Now See How Neolithic Dogs Looked Like Thanks To Facial Reconstruction
The Neolithic dog was a collie-sized canine that lived some 4,500 years ago in Scotland. After finding one of the dog’s resting places, archeologists used his skull to reimagine the pup’s image. And it looks like this.
Credit: Modern Dog Magazine
34. The Earliest Depiction of Dogs Is Rock Art That Is 8000 Years Old
Rock art discovered in Saudi Arabia is the earliest indication of dogs’ domestication and their bond with humans.
The art shows people hunting with dogs that are on leashes. If the rock art dating is accurate, it is at least 8,000 years ago.
Credit: The New York Times
35. Gazing into Your Dog’s Puppy Eyes Is Actually Good for Both of You
Gazing into your pooch eyes gives both of you that warm fuzzy feeling that parents get when they look at their babies.
This is possible due to the release of the oxytocin hormone, which happens when you gaze into each other’s eyes. Oxytocin, also called the love hormone, is associated with the strengthening of social and trust bonds.
36. Your Canine’s Sense of Smell Is Impressive
If you thought humans have a strong sense of smell, think again, dogs’ sense of smell is dazzling. For every scent receptor you have, your pup has 50.
According to scientists, a dog’s smell overpowers that of humans by 10,000 to 100,000 times. No wonder your dog can smell your emotions.
And if you’re wondering which the most impressive scent detecting dog is the top award goes to the bloodhound. That’s right. This breed has the most scent receptors at 300 million!
37. No Two Dog Noses Are the Same
Your puppy’s nose is like your fingerprint. It’s unique with its pattern, ridges, and creases, just like your fingerprint.
In fact, a dog’s nose pattern can be used for identification which is what some kennel clubs use to know the identity of lost dogs.
38. Owning A Dog Is Partly Influenced By Your Genetic Makeup
The British and Swedish scientists who conducted the study found out that genetic differences explain more than half of the dog ownership variations.
39. Just Like Humans, Dogs Rebel during Their Adolescent Years
If you thought your teenage son or daughter is the only one going through a rebellious phase, you might be wrong. Dogs too are more likely to rebel during their puberty years which are often between 6 and 9 months. During this phase, they are harder to train and will most likely disobey orders. The good news is that your pup will eventually get over their rebellious teenage phase when they reach 12 months.
40. You Can Now Calculate Your Dog’s Years in Human Years
Researchers have developed a formula that allows dog owners to convert their dog years to human years.
The updated formula is given as human years= 16 In (dog’s age) +31
41. There Were Three Dog Survivors Of The Titanic
Credit: American Kennel Club
When the Titanic went down, at least nine dogs died. But there were canine survivors too. The survivors included Lady a Pomeranian, Sun Yat-Sen, a Pekingese, and another Pomeranian. All the three dog survivors had a few things in common, including that they were all tiny and not locked in their kennels.