Fun and Interesting Facts About Dogs

May 15, 2022

We all love our dogs which explains why we never get tired of learning more about them. It could be from reading a recent study about dog behavior or just simply interesting facts about dogs. Dogs are our loyal companions, providing us with unconditional love – sometimes better than the people in our lives. Check out these fun facts about dogs – including a new Guinness World Record being set for the world’s oldest living dog.

nose print is unique - facts about dogs

A dog’s nose print is unique…

In fact, a relatively new study shows that a dog’s nose print is established by 2 months of age and doesn’t change over the first year of the dog’s life. Not unlike a human fingerprint, a dog’s nose has a unique pattern of ridges and creases. It has been shown that a database of dogs’ nose prints may actually be useful in finding and identifying lost dogs. The Canadian Kennel Club has been accepting nose prints of dogs as proof of identify since 1938 – and a few places in the U.S. have also started doing this. Do you think this is something that should be expanded on… to create a canine version of the Automated Fingerprint Identification System that is used for human fingerprints?

On the topic of a dog’s nose, did you know…

A dog’s sense of smell is waaay better than ours!

A human nose has about six million olfactory sensory receptors, and dogs have as many as 300 million. It is estimated that dogs have the ability to smell anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 times better than us. Unlike humans, who rely primarily on their vision to maneuver their world, dogs rely most heavily on their sense of smell, and to a lesser extent, their vision when interpreting their surroundings. This is seen in the fact that a blind dog has a much easier time adjusting to vision loss than a human.

Staying with senses… let’s move on to a dog’s other senses.

Are Dogs COLOR BLIND?

dog's eyes and ears

The retina of the eye has two main types of cells – rods and cones. Rods detect motion and the different shades of light and cones help differentiate color. We have three types of cones – where we can identify color combinations of red, blue and green. Dogs only have two cones and are limited to color combinations of yellow and blue. A dog’s vision is said to be dichromatic, or “two-colored”. Even though dogs don’t have the ability to see the entire color spectrum in the way that we do, that doesn’t mean they can’t perceive different colors. It simply means that they may not see the true color of an object. Adding to this, with respect to light, dogs are far better than we are at seeing in the dark than we are.

PUPPIES ARE BORN DEAF… AND BLIND

When puppies are born it isn’t until they are 14 to 21 days old that they open their eyes. They maneuver fine without their vision as they have a special organ, called the Jacobson’s organ, which is located on the roof of their mouth. The Jacobson’s organ helps puppies locate their mother and her milk. Later in life it helps adult dogs detect pheromones from a female dog in heat and from dog urine.

A puppy’s hearing is the last sense to fully develop. It is not until they are about three weeks old that they can hear. A dog’s hearing, once developed, is about four times better than ours and they can also hear a wider range of frequencies than us. A dogs ear contains 18 muscles which gives them the ability to raise, lower, rotate, tilt and move each ear independently. This not only allows them to hear better but also communicate emotions. Their superior hearing allows them to easily scan the environment for sounds and pinpoint the sound’s location.

Let’s move from the senses to something all dogs love to do… sleeping. Ever wonder just how much your dog sleeps during the day? Well…

miscellaneous facts about dogs

dogs SLEEP for 12 – 14 HOURS each DAY…

And puppies and senior dogs need more sleep – an average of 18 – 20 hours each day. As your dog sleeps, it is believed that they dream… just like we do. If your dog is dreaming you may notice your dog’s eyes darting rapidly back and forth beneath their eyelids. You may also notice things like your dog whining, more shallow and irregular breathing and twitching of their legs. This leg twitching has been described like the dog is “chasing rabbits in their sleep”. Dogs can’t tell us what they dream about, so what do you think your dog dreams about? I am sure all my dogs have dreamt plenty about food!

On the same topic of sleeping – did you know that when a dog curls up while sleeping this is based on instinctual behavior? Going back to their days in the wild, sleeping curled up actually conserves body warmth and protects their vital organs from possible predators.

oldest dog in the world – a new WORLD record!

According to Guinness World Records, there is a new record for the world’s oldest living dog. TobyKeith, a Chihuahua, in Greenacres, Florida, was confirmed to be 21 years and 66 days on March 16, 2022.

CREDIT: GISELA SHORE/GUINNESS WORLD RECORD/INSTAGRAM

The record for the oldest dog ever was set by a dog who was 29 years 5 months. Bluey, an Australian cattle-dog lived in Victoria, Australia. Bluey worked among cattle and sheep for nearly 20 years before he left this world on 14 November 1939.

Congratulations to TobyKeith and his family on the new record! I have to smile thinking about the idea of being able to spend that much time with our canine companions. I certainly wish that all dogs could live that long… as I am sure you do too.

whO is faster – A Greyhound or a Cheetah?

Cats vs dogs… who is faster? Well, since we aren’t talking about domesticated cats, but rather the fastest big cat in the world, it’s more complicated. The Cheetah vs. the Greyhound, the fastest dog in the world – want to guess who would win that race?

There are opinions on both sides of this debate as the Cheetah can run at 70 miles per hour (113 km/hr) and the Greyhound has clocked in at up to 45 mph (72 km/hr). So by numbers it seems the Cheetah has it – hands down! However, according to Pet Place, Cheetahs can only sustain their top speed for approximately 200 meters (about 219 yards)… and the Greyhound can sustain their top running speed for about 250 meters (about 273 yards).

So I guess the winner would depend on the length of the race between the two animals. In a short sprint, it seems the Cheetah would win. In a longer race, based on the endurance of the Greyhound, you may see the Greyhound as the winner. Either way, I don’t think we will ever see a race between the two, but with the speed that both these amazing animals can run at – it is a debate worth looking at.

Check out BBC Earth’s video on the Cheetah vs. the Greyhound in a speed test:

Do you have any interesting facts about dogs? Or even stories about your own dog? Do share…

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