Have you ever just been curious and wondered random things about your dog? Well, whether you have or haven’t, we definitely have, which led to this super cool list of fun facts about dogs!
1) A Greyhound can outrun a cheetah
Ok hear us out. Cheetah’s are the fastest land animals in the world, but they can only maintain that high speed of 70mph for about 30 seconds. Greyhounds on the other hand can maintain a speed of 35mph for about 7 miles which is about the length of 123 football fields. So while the cheetah may get a head start, the greyhound will quickly be able to overtake him.
2) A dog's ear is controlled by 18 different muscles
Your dog's ear contains 18 auricular muscles that control the movement of the pinna. The pinna includes the part of your dog’s ear that you can see (their outer ear) and is shaped to capture sound waves funneling them through the ear canal and into the eardrum. Dog’s ears are independent which means the 18 muscles that reside in their ear allow them control over raising, lowering, rotating, tilting and moving them independently so they can hear better. This control also allows dogs to communicate how they are feeling physically and emotionally.
3) Bloodhounds can be used for evidence in a court of law
Bloodhounds are absolute powerhouses when it comes to their tracking abilities. They have been able to follow a scent trail for over 130 miles, and their sense of smell is so strong they can follow a trail that is up to 300 hours old.
A mock trial was done to see if a bloodhound could trail and correctly identify a person and the results indicated that a veteran bloodhound could correctly do this under various conditions. The research suggested that the potential for error when working with a veteran bloodhound-handler team was low and would be useful in court.
4) Dogs sweat from their arms and nose
Yes dogs pant when they are hot - this is called evaporative cooling. As a dog is panting the water will evaporate from their tongue, nose, and lungs which will help lower their body temperature. While this is the primary way dogs cool themselves, it’s not the only way since dogs also sweat!
The sweat gland found in dogs is called the merocrine glands and are located in their paw pads. These glands are better developed in breeds that have longer, fine hair. Since dogs sweating through their pads doesn’t help regulate their body heat, but rather protects their skin from excessively rising in temperature, it isn’t common to see a dog sweat.
5) A dog's nose is 100,000 times more sensitive than a humans
The sensitivity levels in your dog's nose is actually mind blowing. Depending on your dog's breed their sense of smell can be up to 100,000 more sensitive than people. A few main reasons for this are because:
- Dogs have up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their nose while people only have 6 million.
- Your dog's brain is hardwired to detect and analyze smells, the amount of brain power dedicated to scent is 40 times larger than ours.
- Dogs also have neophilia, this means they are attracted to new and interesting smells.
6) It’s not a third eye, it’s a third eyelid
While your dog doesn’t have three eyes they do have three eyelids. Their third eyelid is a protective, glandular structure that is triangular in shape and mobile. It can be found between your dog's cornea and their lower eyelid, but is mostly hidden inside the corner of their eye.
This third eyelid is called a nictitating membrane and serves four very important purposes.
- Produces a third of your dogs tears
- Keeps their eye clean by removing mucus or debris
- Is an acting lymph node which means it produces antibodies to fight off infection
- Helps prevent injuries to your dogs eye
7) Your dog is a forever toddler
Yes, dogs can be wicked intelligent (have you met a border collie?), but just how smart can they really be? Studies show that your dog's mental abilities are close to the age of a 2 to 2.5-year-old human child. Intelligence level can of course vary depending on breed, while your average dog can pick up around 165 words and gestures, “super dogs” (breeds that are in the top 20% of dog intelligence) can learn around 250.
There are three categories of dog intelligence:
- Instinctive - what your dog was bred for
- Adaptive - how well does your dog learn from their environment to solve problems
- Working and obedience - “school learning”
The top breeds to rank in working and obedience are
- Border Collie
- German Shepherd
- Golden Retriever
- Shetland Sheepdog
- Labrador Retriever
8) Bad breath means “not healthy”
Bad breath doesn’t just mean you missed a few days brushing your dog's teeth. No, It usually means a few different things;
- Your dog could have dental disease which is one of the most commonly seen issues by veterinarians.
- Your dog's gut flora is unhappy and unhealthy.
What does poor gut health mean for your dog's breath? The gut is in charge of 70% of your dog's immune system, and your dog swallows a lot of saliva, saliva that carries bacteria. That bacteria will travel from their mouth and into their gut, and if their GI tract is unhealthy then the bacteria can begin to wreak havoc on their system. One of the main symptoms being bad breath. The microbiomes in your dog's gut are maintained by age, diet, and some environmental factors. If you think your dog's kibble could be the reason for their bad breath, check out some fresh pet meals that will transform your dog's body.
9) Dogs don’t like to be greeted with your hand
Holding your hand out to a dog can work, and it’s a smart way to teach kids to ask before approaching a dog, but sometimes shoving your hand in front of them can actually be scary. The best way to make a friend out of a stranger's dog is to let them approach you first and then offer your hand for them to smell. This will give the dog a sense of security and show them that you are not a threat, which they may have thought previously even though you were just trying to be friendly.
10) Dog years to human years vary based on breed
It’s true, not every dog year automatically equals seven human years. This saying came from an observation that medium-sized dogs lived around 1/7th as long as their owners.
The research project “Dog Aging Project” however, has brought light to this saying that the average Bernese Mountain Dog lifespan is different from a German Shepherd lifespan, and is also in turn drastically different from Chihuahua lifespan. Different breeds have different life spans so when you are gauging your dog's “human” age, you want to pay attention to their “life stages”.
11) The number one health problem in dogs is obesity
Obesity in dogs is a major health concern worldwide. Studies report that 59% of dogs and cats in the world and over half of the dogs in the United States are overweight with a continuous and steady rise. There are many reasons why a dog may become overweight:
- Too many calories(too many treats)
- Not enough exercise
- Eating fatty human foods or unhealthy table scraps
It’s not just your dog's health that can become affected by being overweight but a fat dog's lifespan is drastically shortened which means less time with our precious pets.
Interested in healthier food alternatives? These fresh food recipes are made with real ingredients to meet your dog's needs.
12) The oldest dogs in the world were 30 and 28 years
The oldest dog in the world went by the name of Maggie. She was a Kelpie who lived in Victoria, Australia that lived to be 30 years old. Maggie was a very active working dog, she spent her days working with her owner Bria on their dairy farm.
There was also a Beagle named Butch from Virginia who lived from 1975 until 2003 making him the second oldest dog at just over 28-years-old. Followed by Bramble the Border Collie, a hard working dog who lived to be 25-years-old
Did you enjoy our 12 fun facts about dogs? Interested in more dog info?