As a dog lover, you likely don’t need any more reasons to be head-over-heels for your canine companion. You already know dogs can be loyal, affectionate, intelligent, quirky, and full of unconditional love. But these fun facts about dogs will give you an even deeper appreciation for your four-legged friend.
1. A Dog's Sense of Smell Is at Least 40 Times Greater Than a Human's
You likely know that dogs have an incredible sense of smell, but just how amazing might astound you. A dog can have approximately 300 million scent receptors in their nose, compared to the 5 million receptors in a human’s nose. Now you see why dogs work to sniff out criminals, drugs, bombs, and more.
2. Dogs Can Learn to Detect Cancer in Humans
Dogs have a reputation for being able to sense their owner’s stress. However, it turns out they may be able to do a lot more than that. Studies have shown that various dog breeds are adept at detecting cancer in humans.
Thanks to their keen sense of smell, dogs can also sniff out other medical issues. Many dogs can also be trained to detect behavior changes, allowing them to alert their owners to impending diabetic attacks, seizures, and more.
3. A German Shepherd was Nominated for an Academy Award
Rin Tin Tin, the famous German Shepherd actor, was nominated in 1929 for an Oscar at the first Academy Awards. However, the committee wanted to appear more serious and presented the award to a human actor, Emil Jannings.
4. Dogs Are More Likely to Yawn If a Human They Know Yawns
You know how when someone yawns, it triggers you to yawn? Well, the same thing can happen with your dog. If your dog hears a human yawn, it’s likely to make them yawn too. Your dog’s four times as likely to yawn if it’s a person they know.
5. A Basenji Can Yodel
Many people are under the assumption that the Basenji doesn’t have a bark. However, this isn’t entirely true. It’s just that instead of a typical bark, Basenjis make more of a yodeling sound.
6. Puppies Are Born Deaf
In addition to their incredible sense of smell, dogs are also known for fantastic hearing abilities (roughly four times better than most humans). However, when first born, puppies are deaf. Hearing is the last of a puppy’s senses to fully develop, happening at approximately three weeks old.
7. Dogs Have 1,700 Taste Buds
Dogs might hold the upper paw in hearing and smelling, but when it comes to taste, they have significantly fewer taste buds than humans. Humans have approximately 9,000 taste buds compared to a dog’s 1,700. Maybe this explains why your dog is okay with eating out of the garbage, licking your feet, and drinking toilet water.
8. A Greyhound Could Beat a Cheetah in a Race
Cheetahs are the world’s fastest land animals, reaching up to a mind-blowing 70 miles per hour. However, in a long-distance race, the Greyhound would win hands (paws?) down. Greyhounds can reach top speeds of 45 mph, but unlike the cheetah, they can sustain speeds over 35 mph for seven miles. A cheetah, on the other hand, can only maintain its top speed for approximately 30 seconds.
9. Some Dogs Have a Dominant Paw
Just like most humans have a dominant hand, your dog has a preferred paw. Next time your dog tries to fish out their favorite toy from under the couch or hold down a bone, see which paw they use the most.
10. Dogs' Noses Leave a Unique Print
Your dog’s nose print is unique to them. It’s very much like a human’s fingerprint, with its own unique pattern. (And it’s super cute.)
11. Dogs Use 18 Muscles to Move Their Ears
Isn’t it so cute when your dog lifts their ears at an interesting sound? The way your pup positions their ears also communicates their feelings. Dogs can move their ears in all sorts of ways to help them hear better, thanks to 18 ear muscles. (A human ear only has 9 muscles total, 6 intrinsic and 3 extrinsic. However, they’re considered vestigial, meaning we don’t really use them.)
12. A Bloodhound Can Provide Evidence That Will Hold Up in Court
Dogs have a wonderful sense of smell, and a Bloodhound’s ability to sniff things out is extremely remarkable. A Bloodhound’s sense of smell is more than 1,000 times better than a human’s. In fact, the results of their sniffing are so accurate they can hold up as evidence in court.
13. Dogs Have Three Eyelids
Your dog’s eyes are the source of another interesting fact. Your dog has an extra eyelid called the nictitating membrane in the corner of their eye. It helps remove dust from the cornea and produces tears. When the tear gland in this third eyelid becomes inflamed, it leads to a common doggy eye condition called cherry eye.
14. Dogs See in Shades of Blue and Yellow
You might be under the assumption that dogs only see in black and white. Or you may have heard that dogs are color blind. Actually, dogs see several colors. It’s true dogs struggle to tell the difference between red and green. However, they can see many shades of blue and yellow very clearly.
15. Dogs Sweat Through Their Feet
Your dog only sweats through their feet, unlike humans, who sweat almost everywhere. Therefore, dogs pant to help stay cool. A fun side fact is that when your dog sweats through their paws, the sweat reacts with harmless bacteria on their feet and causes a smell that resembles corn chips. This interesting phenomenon is fondly referred to in the doggy world as Frito Feet.
Dogs Never Cease To Amaze
Whether it’s their remarkable sense of smell and hearing abilities or that they can warn of impending medical emergencies, dogs are amazing. These facts about dogs merely scratch the surface of all the wonderful and quirky things this species can do. To learn even more about your canine companion, check out the Neater Pets blog for lots of interesting tidbits and helpful resources.