We never get tired of learning more about dogs, whether it’s a new study on canine behavior or even just cool facts about a dog’s impressive physical and mental abilities. Our dogs have always been our most loyal companions. So it’s only natural that we want to know as much as we can about them. You may know some of these already, and others may be more of a “wait, really?” situation, but we think you’ll find all of them entertaining.
1. Forty-five percent of U.S. dogs sleep in their owner’s bed.
2. A dog’s sense of smell is legendary, but did you know that his nose has as many as 300 million receptors? In comparison, a human nose has about 5 million. Your dog can smell your feelings. So it shouldn’t be shocking that they can in fact, smell things such as fear. When a human is fearful, they perspire, and a dog is easily able to pick up on this change.
3. Petting a dog can actually benefit your physical and mental health. Studies have shown that petting a dog for 15 minutes can lower blood pressure by 10%. This also can help lower feelings of stress, depression, and combat loneliness.
4. Dogs curl up in a ball when sleeping to protect their organs — a hold over from their days in the wild, when they were vulnerable to predator attacks.
5. There are over 75 million pet dogs in the U.S.—more than in any other country.
6. Dogs have about 1,700 taste buds. (We humans have between 2,000–10,000.)
7. When dogs kick backward after they go to the bathroom it’s not to cover it up, but to mark their territory, using the scent glands in their feet.
8. Dogs have a sense of time. It’s been proven that they know the difference between a hour and five. If conditioned to, they can predict future events, such as regular walk times.
9. Your dog can genuinely get jealous when they see you display affection for another creature.
10. Stray dogs in Russia have learned how to ride the complex subway system, and get off at specific stops in search of food.
11. Three dogs survived the historical sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Two Pomeranians and 1 Pekingese – all from First Class cabins.
12. Dogs can be trained to detect cancer and other diseases in humans. Cancerous cells release different metabolic waste products than healthy cells in the human body. Dogs may even be able to sniff out cancer cells simply through smelling someone’s breath.
13. Dogs don’t sweat, instead they pant to cool themselves.
14. Chocolate can be very deadly to dogs due to containing the ingredient, theobromine. Dogs cannot metabolize theobromine and ingesting chocolate could cause a severely toxic buildup in their system which could become fatal.
15. A Bloodhound’s sense of smell is so spot on that it can be admitted as evidence in a court of law. They can also follow tracks that are over 300 hours old and can stay on a trail for over 130 miles!
16. 30% of Dalmatians are deaf in one ear. On average around 30% of Dalmatians are deaf in one ear and 5% are deaf in both. This is due to something called the extreme piebald gene which is responsible for their white coat and blue eyes (in some of them). Dalmatians with larger dark patches are less likely to be deaf.
17. The African Hunting Dog is the most successful land hunter in the world. They’re successful in 50-70% of their hunts, which makes them consistently the best mammalian hunter. They even hold the current Guinness World Record for it.