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Dog Trivia | Interesting Facts about Dogs and Puppies

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Looking for the most interesting dog trivia online? We have trivia about dog breeds, adorable puppies, and taking care of your dog. Fascinating, laughable, and sometimes downright unbelievable! Check back often as we add more trivia.

Dog Breed Trivia

  • The Labrador Retriever has been the top dog registered in the United States for over 25 years. The breed is popular around the world and is also one of the top dogs in Canada and the UK.
  • The Labrador Retriever is not from Labrador. The breed originated in Newfoundland and was developed in England. It was recognized as a breed first in the UK in 1903, then in the United States in 1917. It was not until the 1920s that the breed was recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club.
  • The Australian Shepherd is not from Australia. This breed took a long route from the Basque area of France and Spain, passing through Australia, to arrive in the western United States. It was in the United States that the breed was fully developed for ranching and stock work.
  • Dalmatians and English Setters are both born white and develop spots as they get older.
  • If you hunt with Beagles you are known as a “Beagler.”
  • The Basenji is the only “barkless” dog but that doesn’t mean the breed is silent. They are known for yodeling and making a variety of other sounds.
  • The Dandie Dinmonst Terrier is the only breed named after a fictional person. The breed is named after a character in Sir Walter Scott’s novel Guy Mannering, set in Scotland.
  • The Jack Russell Terrier, the Parson Russell Terrier, and the Russell Terrier are all different breeds with their own unique breed standards. Two of these breeds, the Parson Russell and the Russell, are recognized by the American Kennel Club. The Jack Russell has its own registration body known as the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America. All three breeds trace their roots back to the Reverend/Parson John “Jack” Russell.
  • When the American Kennel Club was founded in 1884, it recognized only nine dog breeds, all of whom belonged to the Sporting Group. The original nine AKC recognized breeds are: the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, the Clumber Spaniel, the English Setter, the Gordon Setter, the Irish Setter, the Irish Water Spaniel, the Pointer, the Cocker Spaniel, and the Sussex Spaniel.
  • Some dog breeds have lost popularity to the point that these breeds will soon be in danger of extinction. Among those breeds are the Otterhound, the Sealyham Terrier, the American and English Foxhounds, the Field Spaniel, and the Curly-Coated Retriever.
  • The Poodle was originally bred to assist duck hunters with retrieving their prizes from the water. Though the Poodle is the national dog of France, this dog breed originally hails from Germany.
  • The Poodle has excellent scent detection skills that are put to the test to hunt for truffles.

Puppies

  • All puppies are born deaf with their eyes sealed shut. They don’t start hearing until they are about three weeks old. Their eyes start opening when they are about 2 ½ weeks to 3 weeks old.
  • Puppies are born without any teeth but by the time they are about 3-4 weeks old they have their “baby” teeth or milk teeth. These are the teeth that are so sharp. Once these teeth come in most mother dogs soon stop nursing their pups. Those teeth hurt! Puppies can start to eat some soft solid foods at this time.
  • Puppies spend between 15-20 hours of their day sleeping. This rest time provides puppies with far more than just a nap. It is an essential component of their physical and emotional development.
  • Though puppies do benefit from an enriched environment, temperament is largely genetic. This is why only dogs of sound temperament should be bred.
  • Some breeds do not breed or whelp naturally, meaning veterinary intervention is required. Among the most notable breeds who sometimes require assistance with reproduction and the birth process are Norwich Terriers, French Bulldogs, Chihuahuas, and Pugs.
  • It is believed that the word puppy came from the French “poupee,” a term meaning doll or toy.
  • Prior to the 16th century, puppies were simply referred to as “whelps.”
  • William Shakespeare earns the credit for the name “puppy-dog” which appeared in one of his works entitled King John.
  • Occasionally, a puppy is born green. Biliverdin, a green substance contained in dog placentas, will sometimes discolor the hair of a puppy of lighter color. The greenish tinge is not permanent and disappears within a few days.
  • Puppies should never leave their mothers prior to eight weeks of age. Many critical life skills are taught during this time which cannot be replicated by any other means.
  • During the first 24 hours of life, a puppy gets maternal antibodies passed from their mother to them via her colostrum. Without receiving colostrum during this vital period, the puppies have no natural immunity against diseases such as parvovirus, distemper, and parainfluenza.
  • A tired puppy can easily become a cranky puppy. This is part of the reason napping is important.

Dog Health

  • A female dog is pregnant for about 60 days no matter the breed, but the duration can vary depending on an array of factors.
  • Both male and female dogs are exposed to certain types of diseases (such as mammary and uterine and ovarian cancer in females and testicular, perineal, and penile cancer in male dogs) if they are not spayed before the age of 5-7 months.
  • A dog’s normal temperature should be within the 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit limits.
  • While a human’s heart beats only 70 to 80 times per minute, a dog’s heart beats 70 to 120 times per minute.
  • A healthy dog has 42 teeth. From the ages of 4 to 7 months old, puppies acquire a full mouth of permanent teeth.
  • While many people think that dogs are color-blind, they can make the difference between some types of color. They can see some colors, but not all of them – they can see dark blue, light blue, gray, light yellow, and dark yellow (or brown). They are less sensitive to gray shade variations compared to humans, and are about half as sensitive to light and brightness changes. A dog’s night vision is, therefore, a lot more sensitive and superior compared to that of humans. Many dogs are nearsighted to some degree or another, which means that during the day, humans might actually see better than them.
  • What about a dog’s sense of smell? While humans are equipped with about 6 million olfactory receptors in their noses, dogs have approximately 300 million. Furthermore, a dog’s brain is specialized in breaking down smells and analyzing them in a complex manner. Some studies have suggested that a dog’s sense of smell is about 40 times more powerful and accurate than ours.
  • As for hearing, dogs are capable of detecting sound frequencies within the range of 67 to 45,000 Hz whereas humans are only able to detect frequencies within the range of 64 to 23,000 Hz. Our canine friends can also hear sounds that are produced about 4 times further than what we can distinguish.
  • A dog’s sweat glands are only located in their paws. Dogs also regulate their internal temperature thanks to salivation and open-mouth breathing.
  • Dewclaws — while some might wrongfully think that dewclaws are completely useless (dead appendages), the truth is that they do have a purpose and it consists of assisting the dog in removing the meat from the bone. Naturally, nowadays that most dogs are fed kibble or pre-prepared wet food, they no longer serve a purpose. However, in an event where a dog would have to hunt and kill prey, dewclaws would come in quite handy, helping the animal feed better.
  • Skin disorders are some of the most common health issues that affect dogs – from hot spots to flea allergy dermatitis. Some skin problems can be caused by internal diseases, and these range from Cushing’s syndrome to hypothyroidism, or tumors of the testicles and ovaries.
  • Some dog breeds are more predisposed to developing various health issues and we’ll note them below.
    • Labrador Retriever – Joint disease (hip and elbow dysplasia) and progressive retinal atrophy
    • German Shepherd – Hereditary hip dysplasia and degenerative myelopathy
    • Basset Hound – Ear infections and intervertebral disc disease
    • Jack & Parson Russell Terrier – Lens luxation (which leads to loss of vision)
    • Irish Setter – Hip dysplasia, bloat, epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy, and bone cancer
    • Yorkshire Terrier – Tracheal collapse and portosystemic shunt (a hereditary defect)
    • Dalmatian – Deafness and urinary health problems (bladder or kidney stones)
    • Cocker Spaniel – Cataracts, glaucoma, epilepsy, and heart and liver disease
    • Chihuahua – Arthritis and heart disease
    • Boxer – Heart and thyroid disease, bloat, elbow dysplasia, and cancer

General Dog Trivia

  • Contrary to popular belief, dogs see much more than black, white, and shades of gray. They can see blues and yellows very well. They have trouble distinguishing reds and greens similar to a person with red-green colorblindness.
  • According to the National Pet Owners Survey, conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) for 2017-2018, it’s estimated that about 48 percent of U.S. households, or about 60.2 million homes own a dog; and there were a total of 89.7 million owned dogs in the U.S. at the start of 2016.
  • Dogs have almost as many taste buds as humans. They have about 1700 taste buds while humans have between 2000 and 10,000. Pity the poor cat that has fewer than 500 taste buds – and they can’t taste sweets.
  • Surveys show that 45 percent people let their dogs sleep in their bed.
  • Your dog’s nose print is absolutely unique to him just like a fingerprint.
  • Your dog curls up to sleep in a ball to protect his vital organs. This is a holdover from ancient times when dogs/wolves had to protect themselves while they slept. Many things dogs to instinctively are for protection.
  • When your dog potties and kicks back with his back legs he’s not celebrating or showing off. His paws contain scent glands. Kicking dirt back over his feces is a way of marking his territory.
  • Many dog owners use a Dremel tool with a sanding bit to help keep their dogs’ nails in proper condition. It only takes minutes a day and eliminates the fear of nicking the quick which can cause pain and bleeding.
  • The tallest dog in recorded history is a Great Dane named Zeus. Zeus reportedly was 3 feet, 7 inches tall.
  • An Irish Wolfhound by the name of Keon has the distinction of having the longest tail in world history. His tail is 30.5 inches in length which is equivalent to the size of the average two-year-old child!
  • The Guinness World Book of Records has recognized a Neapolitan Mastiff named Tia as the mother of the largest litter of puppies. Whelped in 2004, Tia’s litter had 24 puppies in it.
  • John Steinbeck’s Irish Setter puppy destroyed half of the manuscript of Of Mice and Men during a teething phase. The puppy consumed what amounted to two months of work on the book.
  • Before he became Eddie, the beloved Jack Russell Terrier from the hit TV show Frasier, Moose was rehomed for his mischievous ways which included escaping his yard, chasing horses, and killing a neighbor’s cat. He was rescued from a shelter by a dog trainer who taught the dog skills to help reduce his prey drive and improve his trick repertoire. Her work landed Moose a recurring role as the beloved terrier companion of Marty Crane on Frasier. Moose received more fan mail than any other cast member of the TV show.
  • Sigmund Freud’s Chow Chow Jofi played a significant role in his practice. Jofi often visited sessions with patients as he was known to have a calming effect on them.
  • The American Kennel Club classifies the over 150 different recognized dog breeds into seven different groups. They are as follows: Sporting, Non-Sporting, Herding, Hounds, Terriers, Toys, and Working.
  • Designer dogs have their own registering body known as the International Designer Canine Registry. Here, breeders of cross-breeds such as the Labradoodle, Goldendoodle, Cavapoo, and more can register their dogs, list puppies for sale, and take advantage of the company’s pedigree tracking software.
  • When a dog is hot, they shed the excess heat through sweat glands in their paw pads.
  • Many people are often confused when it comes to the colors of Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers. The Golden Retriever’s coat will always be golden-hued and ranges in intensity from a light cream to a rich red. The Labrador Retriever comes in the following colors: chocolate, black, and yellow. Consequently, there is no such thing as a “Yellow Lab” or a “Golden Lab.”
  • Contrary to prevailing opinion, dogs can learn to associate certain words with a specific meaning. A dog possesses the intelligence to recognize and retain up to a 1,000 words and what we mean we say it.
  • As a general rule of thumb, small dog breeds enjoy greater longevity than their larger breed counterparts.
  • A study by Cornell University concluded that the dog became a domesticated animal approximately 9,000 to 34,000 years ago.
  • The act of petting a dog is beneficial to both the dog and the human. Petting a dog induces the release of oxytocin, “the feel good” chemical.

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