If you share your home with a dog, you may often wonder if your experience with Fido is similar to what other owners face. Each dog has its own distinct personality, so some of the things your best canine pal likes to do might not be quite the same as the mischief your brother or neighbor’s dog gets up to. Learning more about dogs in general can help you have better insights into your own dog and why he does the things that he does.
Here is our list of some of the most interesting dog statistics
- Dogs feel and understand time.
If you’ve ever wondered how Fido knows precisely what time his dinner should be on the “table” or how your pooch manages to wake up at the same hour every day, that’s because dogs do understand time. Interestingly enough, dogs can also be trained to know when common household events will take place each day such as walk times and training sessions.
- Dogs are capable of jealousy.
Though it has long been believed that dogs do not have emotions quite the same way people do, it has recently been proven that dogs can become jealous when their owners express interest in another animal or family member. This is commonly seen in households through resource guarding when a family pet insists on being in close proximity to their owner and reacts defensively when a person or other family pet approaches.
- Dogs are innately intelligent.
Dogs are capable of learning up to 165 to 250 words and specific gestures, making them able to communicate well with people.
- Dogs can detect your feelings through their sense of smell.
Because dogs possess olfactory senses that are up to 100,000 stronger than our own, they are capable of detecting even the most minute changes in atmosphere. This allows them to pick up on things such as fear in their owners since fear is often accompanied by perspiration, giving the dog a powerful clue to the emotional state of its owner.
- Dachshunds, members of the hound group, were bred to be hunters.
The Dachshund is a dog breed that excels as a hunter. This charming and distinctive fellow possesses the intensity to successfully hunt badger alongside its owner.
- Dogs are resourceful.
We have long known that most dogs are highly trainable; however, they are also very resourceful when it comes to solving problems. In Russia, stray dogs have taught themselves not only how to make use of the subway but also which stops are the most likely to yield a hearty meal.
- Newfoundland Dogs love the water.
A dog bred to assist fishermen with hauling in their nets from the cold North Atlantic waters in its native Canada, the Newfoundland Dog is an excellent swimmer and loves the water. Newfoundlands excel as lifeguards because the breed is equipped with webbed feet and a thick double coat that is resistant to water.
- Dalmatians are born white.
Surprisingly, Dalmatian puppies are not born with their spots. When they are first born, their bodies are entirely white. They gain their spots as they grow.
- The act of petting a dog reduces stress.
Recent research shows that spending time petting your dog for as little as 15 minutes per day can lead to a 10 percent reduction in blood pressure and also improved feelings as a result of depression and stress. The time spent interacting with your dog also assists with your mood by reducing loneliness.
- The oldest dog in the world lived to the ripe old age of 29 years and 5 months.
The Guinness Book of World Records states that an Australian Cattle Dog by the name of Bluey earned the title of the dog with longest life. Bluey lived from 1910 to 1939, passing away at age 29 years and 5 months.
- Dogs can be trained to detect cancer and other diseases in humans.
Because dogs possess a sense of smell that is dramatically more potent than our own, they have the ability to detect early cancer cells and other disease simply by sniffing a person’s breath.
- Dog were on board the Titanic and three survived the sinking.
Many dogs were on board the 1912 sailing of the Titanic. However, only three survived: two Pomeranians and a Pekingese. All three dogs resided in First Class Cabins with their owners.
- In 2012 in California, a dog was elected mayor.
Idyllwild, California held their very first mayoral election in 2012. The newly elected mayor was a Golden Retriever named Max. Max died in 2013 and was succeeded by another dog known as Mayor Max II who is still in office in Idyllwild today.
- There is a purpose to dogs circling prior to pooping.
If you’ve ever felt like your dog is taking forever circling trying to find the perfect pooping position, you’ll be comforted to know that there is a rhyme to his reason. Experts agree that dogs prefer to align themselves with the earth’s magnetic field to do their business.
- Puppies are born blind and deaf.
All puppies are born without the ability to hear or see. Their eyes and ears are sealed shut as the eyes and ears still require further time to develop. As early as 10 days of age, puppies will begin to open their eyes with hearing often taking place at approximately three weeks of age. As puppies develop, they gain the ability to hear four times more acutely than human beings do.
- Dogs pant to cool their bodies.
Perspiration is a bodily system that dogs do not experience except through their feet. To cool themselves when overheated, dogs pant instead.
- Lack of proper identification is the main reason stray dogs end up in shelters.
Most dogs that are strays or that wander or escape from their homes end up in shelters because they are not microchipped, tattooed, or wearing an identification tag.
- The Fourth of July is the busiest day for shelters in the United States.
The Fourth of July earns top billing as the busiest day for shelters. This is because many dogs are afraid of fireworks and bolt when they are set off. Many of these dogs become lost or go into hiding and are then picked up and taken to the shelter by animal control.
- Chocolate is toxic to dogs.
Though chocolate is one of our favorite treats, chocolate is toxic to dogs. Chocolate contains theobromine, an ingredient that is a powerful stimulant that causes the heart to race uncontrollably and interferes with proper liver and kidney function. Present in larger amounts in dark chocolate than white or milk, the theobromine in chocolate can lead to a buildup of toxins in a dog’s body that results in death.
- The Maltese is a breed that does not shed.
For families that are looking for a dog with minimal shedding, the Maltese is their ideal family companion. This breed does not shed and has very little dander, making it the ideal choice for families that suffer from allergies.
- 45% of dogs snooze alongside their owners.
Though some families like Fido to have his own space to catch up on his zzz’s, recent statistics reveal that 45% of all pet dogs join their families in their beds to get a good night’s sleep.
- The wetness of a dog’s nose helps it with detecting scents.
Veterinary professionals confirm that dogs have wet noses to help them discern scent chemicals effectively. A dog’s nose contains a unique mucus that helps trap the chemicals. The dog then licks their nose to help them identify what the smell is.
- “A Day in the Life,” a popular Beatles tune, can only be completely appreciated by dogs.
Paul McCartney shared in a 2013 interview that he included a high pitch frequency on “A Day in the Life” that can only be detected by dogs. It is found at the very end of the song.
- The Bloodhound’s sense of smell is so powerful it is admissible as evidence in legal proceedings.
A PBS documentary reported that the Bloodhound’s sense of smell is so powerful and accurate that it is accepted as evidence in court. Bloodhounds are exceptionally talented, possessing such potent olfactory senses that they are able to track scents that are more than 300 hours old and to follow a scent for over 130 miles.
- The world’s tallest dog measures 44 inches in height.
A Great Dane named Zeus has earned the distinction of being the tallest dog in the world. Zeus measured 44 inches in total height. He was inducted in the Guinness World Book of Records on October 4th, 2001 but has since passed away.
- Basenjis don’t bark.
The Basenji is one of the only dog breeds that doesn’t bark. However, this doesn’t mean that the Basenji is a silent dog. In fact, this breed has its own unique set of vocalizations which include yodeling, whining, and screaming.
- The Greyhound is capable of greater running distance than a Cheetah.
Psychology Today reported that the Greyhound is capable of maintaining speeds of up to 35 mph for a maximum of 7 miles, making them exceptional long distance runners. The Cheetah can run equally as fast but lacks the Greyhound’s stamina, petering out after only 200 to 300 yards.
- The Appalachian Trail was once successfully hiked by a blind man and his faithful dog.
Though it took a period of eight months to complete the distance, Bill Irwin, a blind gentleman, and his faithful dog Orient successfully hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1990.
- George Lucas designed the Ewok after his family dog.
The inspiration for the Ewoks made famous through the Star Wars series came from George Lucas’ own dog.
- 30 percent of all Dalmatians are unilaterally deaf.
Deafness can be a congenital problem that the Dalmatian is predisposed to. 30 percent of all Dalmatians experience deafness in one ear with 5 percent being deaf in both. Experienced breeders report that Dalmatians that have larger patches of dark spots on their bodies are less likely to be deaf.
- The oldest dog breed in the world is the Saluki.
It is believed that the Saluki traces its roots to 329 BC when it enjoyed its status as the cherished companions of royalty in Egypt. Carvings have also been located in Southern Iraq that bear representations of a breed that is similar in appearance to the Saluki. These carvings are believed to have originated in 7000 BC.
- The Chow Chow and the Sharpei are the only two dog breeds to have black tongues.
A trait unique to only the Chow Chow and the Sharpei, both of these breeds have black tongues. It is not known what causes this tongue color.
- Dogs have a third eyelid.
All dogs have a third eyelid called the nicitating membrane. This eyelid assists with tear production and also protects the eye from injury.
- The best hunter in the world is the African Hunting Dog.
A wild dog known as the African Hunting Dog, the Cape Hunting Dog, or the painted dog, has earned a reputation as the best hunter in the world. 50-70 percent of all hunting expeditions this dog undertakes result in success.
- Baby puppies have 28 teeth.
Baby puppies are born without any teeth, but by four weeks of age, they soon erupt through the surface, resulting in 28 in total. These teeth, known as deciduous teeth, fall out during teething and are replaced by 42 adult teeth.
- There is a reason dogs chase their tails.
There are many different reasons why dogs chase their tails. These can include entertainment, predatory instincts, curiosity, or even the presence of fleas. However, if tail chasing becomes obsessive for a dog, it is best to consult a veterinarian.
- Dogs regularly dream.
Dogs experience the same types of sleep that humans do. During the REM portion of sleep, dogs are known to dream. This is evidenced through twitches of their body and involuntary movements of their limbs.
- Dogs can see in the dark.
Dogs are born with a unique membrane known as the tapetum lucidum which enables them to navigate well in the dark.
- Many owners believe their dogs can predict weather patterns.
72 percent of all owners assert that their dogs begin to act unusually when inclement weather is coming.
- Dogs have a higher temperature than human beings.
A healthy body temperature for a dog is between 101 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
- 62 percent of all US homes share their household with a pet.
With 62 percent of all Americans owning a dog or a cat, there are 72.9 million US families with a pet today.
- Dogs have 1700 taste buds.
Dogs have fewer taste buds than human beings, ringing in at 1700 to a human’s 9000. By comparison, cats only possess 473.
- Dogs can see in limited color.
It has long been believed that dogs can only see in black and white; however, that’s not quite true. Dogs see in a limited color palette, experiencing shades that range from blue, greenish-yellow, and yellow to a number of different hues of grey.
- Dogs have the potential to hear well at 8000 Hz.
Sound frequency is expressed in Herz (Hz). The higher this number is equates to the height of the pitch. Dogs can best hear at 8000 Hz and humans at 2000 Hz.
- Dogs express themselves through their ear movements.
The dog’s ear contains approximately 12 muscles that allow the dog to make minute movements that help with better hearing and also express emotion.
- The Chow Chow and Sharpei’s tongue turns blue-black at approximately 8 to 10 weeks old.
The only two breeds to have the unique blue-black tongue, the Chow Chow and Sharpei’s tongue changes to this color at approximately 8-10 weeks of age.
- Dogs use their feet to mark their scent on territory.
When a dog kicks up the grass after pottying outdoors, they are making use of their feet to deposit their scent on the ground to claim the territory as their own.
- Dogs curl up in a ball for protection.
Instinct compels dogs to curl up in a ball when sleeping for warmth as well as protection. This natural tendency is derived from the days when dogs lived in the wild and had to keep their organs protected from predators who may attack while they slumbered.
- The Labrador Retriever has remained on the American Kennel Clubs ten most popular breeds for over 25 years.
The Labrador Retriever is one of America’s most beloved family dogs. This breed has been on the American Kennel Club’s top breeds list for over 25 years, a feat that has not been achieved to date by any other breed.
- Each dog’s nose is unique just like a fingerprint.
No two dog noses are created alike. They are all unique just like a human’s fingerprint.
- Puppies and seniors are frequent dreamers.
Though all dogs are capable of dreaming, puppies and seniors dream more often than mature adults.
- 70 percent of all pet owners include their dog’s name on all greeting cards they send.
Today, many owners consider their dogs to be a part of their family. 70 percent of them sign all of their greeting cards with their own names and that of their dog’s as well.
- A dog’s nose has up to 300 million scent receptors.
One of the reasons a dog has a stronger sense of smell than that of a human is because it has 300 million scent receptors. A human being’s nose has decidedly less at only 5 million.
- The famous German Shepherd known as Rin Tin Tina was nominated for an Academy Award.
Rin Tin Tin was nominated for an Academy Award for his work in films during the Academy’s very first ceremony of its kind. However, it is believed that the Academy felt the award would be treated more seriously if given to a human actor, and thus, Rin Tin Tin did not win the category of Best Actor.
- Some believe that the length of a dog’s face indicates long life.
Some experts assert that face shape can give telling clues as to the longevity of a dog’s life. Many believe that a long face means that dog will have a long and fulfilling life.
- The dog breed name Collie means “black.”
This beloved herding breed was named Collie because one of the dog’s original jobs was herding sheep with black faces.
- Human yawns can trigger dog yawns.
While it has long been known that yawning is contagious amongst people, it is a lesser known fact that a human yawn can cause a dog to respond in kind. Research shows that a yawn trigger occurs four times more frequently when the dog and person know each other.
- The Dandie Dinmont Terrier takes is name from a character in a novel.
The Dandie Dinmont bears the distinction of being the only breed that takes its name from a character in a novel. The novel is Guy Mannering, and it was written by Sir Walter Scott.
- The Australian Shepherd does not hail from Australia.
The Australian Shepherd is a breed that was developed in the United States.
- The Labrador Retriever is not from Labrador.
The Labrador Retriever, a dog that excels in water, was developed not in Labrador, but in Newfoundland, Canada.