The domestic dog (formally called Canis lupus familiaris or Canis familiaris) is a domesticated canid which performs many roles for people, such as hunting, herding, pulling loads, protection, assisting police and military, companionship and, more recently, aiding handicapped individuals. This influence on human society has given them the sobriquet, “man’s best friend”.
Let’s learn some facts about our beloved pets!
1.Extensive genetic studies undertaken during the 2010s indicate that dogs diverged from an extinct wolf-like canid in Eurasia 40,000 years ago
2.Their long association with humans has led to dogs being uniquely attuned to human behavior and are able to thrive on a starch-rich diet which would be inadequate for other canid species.
3.Dogs are also the oldest domesticated animal.
4.They vary widely in shape, size and colours.
5.In 14th-century England, hound was the general word for all domestic canines, and dog referred to a subtype of hound, a group including the mastiff.
6.It is believed this “dog” type was so common, it eventually became the prototype of the category “hound”.
7.The word “hound” is ultimately derived from the Proto-Indo-European word *kwon-, “dog”. This semantic shift may be compared to in German, where the corresponding words Dogge and Hund kept their original meanings.
8.A male canine is referred to as a dog, while a female is called a bitch.
9.The father of a litter is called the sire, and the mother is called the dam.
10.A litter refers to the multiple offspring at one birth which are called puppies or pups from the French poupée, “doll”, which has mostly replaced the older term “whelp”.
11.Your dog is as smart as a 2-year-old toddler. Τhey likely understand roughly the same number of words and gestures — 250!
12.Dogs do have better low-light vision than humans because of a special light-reflecting layer behind their retinas.
13.Dogs and cats both slurp water the same way. This may be hard to believe since dogs are such messy drinkers, but just like cats, our canine friends bend the tip of their tongue and raise liquid in a column up to their mouths.
14.When dogs kick after going to the bathroom, they are using the scent glands on their paws to further mark their territory.
15.Dogs can be trained to detect changes in the human body — there are even seizure alert dogs that assist patients during the onset of a seizure.
16.Labradors are the most popular breed in the United States.
17.It’s a myth that dogs only see in black and white. In fact, it’s believed that dogs see primarily in blue, greenish-yellow, yellow and various shades of gray.
18.If a guy has a dog with him, he’s three times more likely to get a girl’s phone number.
19.Dogs’ sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than humans’.
20.Some dogs can identify the smell of lung cancer from sniffing a person’s breath.
21.Dogs’ only sweat glands are between their paw pads.
22.The basenji is the only breed of dog that can’t bark, but they can yodel!
23.The phrase “It’s Raining Cats and Dogs” was born in Germany in the 17th century. When storms flooded the streets, dogs and cats were often pulled into the currents.
24.If you leave your dog a piece of clothing that smells like you, the scent will comfort them and it can help curb their separation anxiety.
26.Contrary to popular belief, Poodles are not French by origin. They’re German dogs, but French nobility quickly became fascinated by their kind.
27.Dogs’ noses secrete a thin layer of mucous that helps them absorb scent. They then lick their noses to sample the scent through their mouth.
28. Kublai Khan, who established the Yuan Dynasty of ancient China, had the possession of 5,000 Mastiffs ̶ the most dogs ever owned by a single person.
29.The reason dogs curl up is because of an age-old instinct to keep themselves warm and to protect vital organs while they sleep.
30.There are also diabetic alert dogs who signal their human when they pick up on the special scent that is released when their human’s insulin levels drop.
31.A German Shepherd guide dog led her blind companion the entire 2,100 mile Appalachian Trail.
32.Corgi is Welsh for “dwarf dog.”
33.Fifty-eight percent of dog owners include their dogs in their annual holiday photos.
34.When dogs poop, they prefer to do it in alignment with the Earth’s magnetic field.
35.The Norwegian Lundehund is the only dog that has six toes on each foot!
36.As per the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s smallest dog, a Yorkshire Terrier from Great Britian, weighed a teeny-tiny 4 ounces at age two.
37.When your dog spins in a circle before settling down to snuggle, it’s because he’s making himself at home. This is a nesting trait carried down from your dog’s wilder ancestors.
38.Only dogs and humans have prostates.
39.President Lyndon Johnson had two beagles named Him and Her.
40.Franklin Roosevelt spent $15,000 for a destroyer to pick up his Scottie in the Aleutian Islands.
41.The U.S. has the highest dog population in the world.
42.France has the 2nd highest dog population.
43.Dogs pick up on our routines and habits, and they also sense how much time has passed. One study showed how dogs responded differently to their owners being gone for different lengths of time.
44.The expression “The Dog Days of Summer” goes back to ancient Roman times, where people thought Sirius, the Dog Star, created oppressive heat on Earth.
45.On average, a dog’s mouth exerts 320 pounds of pressure. The tests were done on a German shepherd, American pit bull terrier, and Rottweiler. In comparison, human beings exert 120 pounds, white sharks exert 600 pounds, and crocodiles exert a whopping 2,500 pounds!
46.Dogs also have ten more adult teeth than humans, 42 versus 32.
47.Fifteen people die in the U.S. every year from dog bites.
48.There are only 350 Cisky Terriers in the world, possibly making it the rarest breed.
49.The largest breed of dog is the Irish Wolfhound.
50.Dogs do not have an appendix.
51.Chocolate contains a substance known as theobromine (similar to caffeine) which can kill dogs or, at the very least, make them violently ill.
52.U.S. Customs dogs “Rocky” and “Barco” were so good at patrolling the border that Mexican drug lords put a $300,000 bounty on their heads.
53.Dalmatian puppies are born completely white and develop their spots over time!
54.Bloodhounds are prized for their ability to single out and identify a number of scents simultaneously.
55. According to legend, the dog rescued on Noah’s Ark was the Afghan Hound.
56. A service dog named Kirsch received an honorary master’s degree in mental health counseling for attending all of his owner’s classes.
57. The Beatles included a whistle that is only audible to dogs in the song “A Day in the Life.”
58. The ancient Chinese carried Pekingese puppies in the sleeves of their robes.