Interesting Dog Facts

According to the Guinness Book of World Records the oldest dog was 29 years 5 months, an Australian cattle-dog named Bluey, owned by Les Hall of Rochester, Victoria, Australia.  Bluey was obtained as a puppy in 1910 and worked among cattle and sheep for nearly 20 years.1 In honor of Bluey’s 29 years, here are 29 other interesting facts about dogs.

  1. The Labrador Retriever has been on the AKC’s top 10 most popular breeds list for 25 consecutive years—longer than any other breed. 2
  2. Forty-five percent of U.S. dogs sleep in their owner’s bed. 2
  3. All dogs dream, but puppies and senior dogs dream more frequently than adult dogs. 2
  4. Seventy percent of people sign their dog’s name on their holiday cards. 2
  5. 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. 2
  6. The name Collie means “black.” (Collies once tended black-faced sheep.) 2
  7. The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is the only breed named for a fictional person—a character in the novel Guy Mannering, by Sir Walter Scott. 2
  8. Dogs curl up in a ball when sleeping to protect their organs—a holdover from their days in the wild, when they were vulnerable to predator attacks. 2
  9. The Basenji is not technically “barkless,” as many people think. They can yodel. 2
  10. The Australian Shepherd is not actually from Australia—they are an American breed. 2
  11. Human blood pressure goes down when petting a dog. And so does the dog’s.2
  12. A recent study shows that dogs are among a small group of animals who show voluntary unselfish kindness towards others without any reward. This is one fact dog lovers have known all along.2
  13. Dalmatians are born completely white, and develop their spots as they get older. 2
  14. It is a myth that dogs are color blind. They can actually see in color, just not as vividly as humans. It is akin to our vision at dusk. 3
  15. Dogs DO have better low-light vision than humans because of a special light-reflecting layer behind their retinas. 3
  16. A German Shepherd guide dog led her blind companion the entire 2,100 mile Appalachian Trail. 3
  17. If never spayed or neutered, a female dog, her mate, and their puppies could produce over 66,000 dogs in 6 years! 3
  18. The breed Lundehune has 6 toes and can close its ears.3
  19. A dog’s mouth exerts 150–200 pounds of pressure per square inch, with some dogs exerting up to 450 pounds per square inch. 3
  20. Obesity is the #1 health problem among dogs.3
  21. An American Animal Hospital Association poll found that 33% of dog owners admit to talking to their dogs on the phone and leaving answering machine messages for them while away. 3
  22. Dogs’ nose prints are as unique as a human’s finger prints, and can be used to accurately identify them. 3
  23. Dogs’ sense of hearing is more than ten times more acute than mans. 3
  24. A dog’s heart beats up to 120 times per minute, or 50% faster than the average human heartbeat of 80 times per minute. 3
  25. Puppies have 28 teeth and normal adult dogs have 42. 4
  26. There are more than 150 dog breeds, divided into 8 classes: sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, non-sporting, herding, and miscellaneous. 5
  27. Greyhounds can reach a speed of up to 45 miles per hour. 5
  28. A dog’s whiskers — found on the muzzle, above the eyes and below the jaws — are technically known as vibrissae. They are touch-sensitive hairs than actually sense minute changes in airflow. 5
  29. The Poodle haircut was originally meant to improve the dog’s swimming abilities as a retriever, with the pom-poms left in place to warm their joints. 5