Dogs are our friends, companions, pets and more. We love them and cherish them. But, do you really know all that much about them? We’ve searched the internet and found some of the most interesting dog facts that nobody ever talks about.
This is a list of the weirdest, most fascinating, interesting and cool dog facts ever. We constantly update this list, so if we’re missing one, leave it in the comments!
With that said, here are 100 fascinating and interesting facts about dogs that you probably never knew. They’re not listed in any particular order.
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Table of Contents
Most Interesting Dog Facts
1. Dogs have sweat glands at the bottom of their paws (the paw pads). Hence, wetting their paws can help on a hot summer day.
2. When dogs howl at each other, they adjust the pitch of the howl to sound more unique.
3. In the dark, dogs use their whiskers to pick up subtle changes in the air currents. This gives them a better understanding of the environment and helps them “see” better in the dark.
4. Despite popular belief, dogs don’t only see in black and white. In fact, they can see in blue, green, yellow and gray too.
5. A dog’s nose is always wet because they help in absorbing certain scents. Furthermore, a dog will lick the nose to taste the scent.
6. The urine of a dog is acidic enough to corrode even metal. So, don’t let them urinate on valuable things.
7. A dog can sense the earth’s magnetic field. It’s a big reason they’re so effective at finding their way home.
8. The dog’s nose print is so unique and detailed that it can be used to identify specific dogs. It’s like our fingerprint.
9. They’ve been a “man’s best friend” since over 33,000 years ago, when they were first became domesticated by hunter and gatherers.
10. It’s estimated that roughly 21% of all dogs snore in their sleep.
11. During the Vietnam War, over 4,500 military dogs were sent to help aid the U.S. troops. Unfortunately, only about 200 of them survived. Dogs are friends and heroes.
12. According to a 2017 survey, the most popular male dog name is Max. On the flip side, the most popular female dog name is Bella.
13. Dogs can produce like wildfire. A female and male dog, along with their offspring, can produce 67,000 dogs in just 6 years – assuming they haven’t been spayed or neutered.
14. All dog breeds are descendants of wolves and related to a certain degree.
15. When dogs poop, they align themselves with the earth’s magnetic field. Specifically, with the north-south axis.
16. There are roughly 900 million dogs in the world. That’s about one dog for every 8 people on earth! However, two-thirds of these dogs are stray dogs.
17. Most dogs have paws that smell like corn chips – a phenomenon dubbed “frito feet.” This happens because of build-up sweat and bacteria on the paws.
18. The United States has the most dogs – home to nearly 76 million dogs. Brazil comes in second, followed by China.
19. The Russians trained dogs to go on suicide missions during World War II. They would strap bombs on their backs and have them run into front lines of enemy troops.
20. The popular phrase, “raining cats and dogs” originated from England in the 17th century. It was believed that many cats and dogs died during these heavy storms.
21. Dogs are capable of sensing drops in barometric pressure and shifts in static electricity field, which allows them to spot an approaching storm.
22. The average dog can run at the speed of 19 MPH (miles per hour).
23. Kublai Khan of the Mongol Empire owned 5,000 Mastiff dogs at one point. Unsurprisingly, this is the most dogs owned by a single person.
24. A dog is able to locate the source of a sound in 6/100th of a second.
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Facts: Dogs vs. Humans
25. The average dog is as smart as the average 2-year old toddler. Additionally, they understand roughly the same amount of words and/or gesture (250).
26. Depending on the breed, a dog’s sense of smell is 1,000 to 10 million times better than a human’s.
27. On average, a one year old puppy is as physically mature as an adolescent teen. However, large dogs age faster than small dogs.
28. The normal temperature of a dog is between 101 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, which would be “fever temperature” for humans.
29. Dogs and humans release the same “love hormone,” called oxytocin. It explains why we develop such strong bonds with our canine friends.
30. Like humans, dogs show Rapid Eye Movement (REM) in their sleep and can experiences dreams too.
31. Amazingly, dogs have twice as many ear muscles as humans and can hear four times better too.
32. While humans have two eyelids, dogs have three. The “nictitating membrane,” often called the “haw,” helps keep the dog’s eyes lubricated.
33. Dogs and humans have similarly structured brains. In fact, the same part of our brain lights up when exposed to certain stimuli.
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Dog Psychology Facts
34. A male dog will usually prefer playing with a female dog. On the other hand, a female dog does not discriminate between sexes. Scientists believe this evolved from a dog mother’s need of taking care of both sexes.
35. According to a study from the University of Vienna, dogs in general, prefer men over women. And especially with neurotic and/or anxious men.
36. Wagging the tail doesn’t always mean “happy.” For example, dogs will wag their tails to the right when happy, to the left when scared and wag it low when insecure.
37. A dog is four times more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior when consistently walked by a male. Researchers believe they’re able to pick up emotions and aggression from the handler during walks.
38. Dogs like to curl up because of inherent instincts to protect their vital organs and keep warm while asleep.
39. All dogs understand the power of barking, as it usually elicits a response from the owner – positive or negative. They bark to grab your attention and to try to make something happen.
40. Dogs can feel jealously, but they can’t feel guilt. Don’t believe those “guilty-looking” puppy eyes!
41. It’s a lot easier training a puppy if there’s an older dog in the house. This is because puppies do a great job modeling behavior of other dogs.
42. Male dogs raise their legs when urinating because they want to leave their mark as high as possible. This gives the impression that they are tall, thus intimidating.
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Crazy Dog Laws
43. It’s illegal to own a pet dog in Iran. Those caught may face having 74 lashes as punishment.
44. In Paulding, Ohio, it’s completely legal for police officers to bite a crazed barking dog to calm them down. You read right, bite a dog.
45. It is illegal for your dog to bark after 6 PM in Little Rock, Arkansas. Looks like i’ll never be able to legally live in Little Rock with my dog.
46. In Chicago, it is illegal to give your dog whiskey. For some reason, just whiskey – not wine, beer or other alcoholic drinks.
47. You may not keep a smelly odor-producing dog in Galesburg, Illinois. They might as well have just banned all dogs in general.
48. In Springfield, Illinois, you can get fined if your dog barks for 15 minutes straight. However, they’ll usually wait until the second time around.
49. You are not allowed to give a dog a lighted cigar in Zion, Illinois. Does this mean cigarettes are okay?
50. Residents of Oklahoma can be fined for making “ugly faces” at dogs. However, it is completely legal to make these faces at other humans.
51. Also in Oklahoma, dogs must get a permit signed by the mayor to congregate in groups (of three or more). Even on private property, the permit is still required.
52. It is illegal for residents of Anchorage, Alaska, to tie their dogs to the roof of a car. Who actually tried this?
Facts of Famous Dogs
53. In the cult classic Wizard of Oz, the dog Toto was played by a Cairn Terrier named Terry.
54. Rin Tin Tin, the Hollywood-famed German Shepherd, signed contracts for 22 movies with his paw prints.
55. The first animal to orbit the earth was a dog named Laika. She was a stray dog from the streets of Moscow and assigned to be part of the Sputnik 2 spacecraft that launched in 1957.
56. An Australian Kelpie Dog named Maggie set the record for longest living dog, reaching an age of 30 years old. For reference, she was 200 years old in human years.
57. A private chef prepared a tenderloin steak for Rin Tin Tin every day for lunch. Every meal was accompanied by a live classical music performance to help the dog digest the steak.
58. Strongheart, Rin Tin Tin and Lassie are the only dogs with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. So, what happened to Toto?
59. The Taco Bell dog was a Chihuahua named Gidget, who stole the lead role on the first day of filming.
60. Internet sensation Kabosu was named after a round citrus fruit because of the Shiba’s unusually round face.
61. The very first dog to appear in movies was a Border Collie named Jean – also known as the “Vitagraph dog.” She starred in her first silent movie in the 1910 hit Jean Goes Foraging.
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Japanese Dog Breed Facts
62. Many countries have banned the fearsome Tosa Inu. In fact, regions of Japan have even banned the breeding of these vicious Japanese fighting dogs.
63. The Kishu Kens are extremely skilled hunters and will go as far as climbing trees to stalk their prey.
64. The mark on the forehead of a Japanese Chin is known as the “Buddha’s thumbprint.”
65. In 1937, the blind political activist Helen Keller brought the first Akita Inu into the United States.
66. Japanese Prime Minister gifted Vladimir Putin (Russian President) a male Akita Inu to pair with Yume – his pet female Akita. Putin, however, rejected his offer.
67. The Shiba Inu nearly became extinct after World War II because of bomb raids and the Distemper virus.
68. A Hokkaido Inu‘s greatest strength is problem solving, of all things.
69. Two Sakhalin Huskies, named Taro and Jiro, were abandoned in Antartica along with 13 other dogs. Miraculously, the two dogs survived after a year in Antartica. They’re both remembered as national heroes in Japan.
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Chinese Dog Facts
70. The toy-sized Shih Tzu is actually one of the dog breeds most closely related to wolves. Don’t judge a dog by its appearance!
71. The Chinese Shar-Pei was the rarest dog breed in the world in 1978. Because of breed activists, they are the 57th most popular dog breed in the USA today.
72. All dog breeds have pink tongues except for two Chinese dog breeds: the Shar-Pei and Chow Chow. Both of which, have black tongues.
73. The Pekingese were worshiped in ancient Chinese temples for many centuries. In fact, royal Pekingese had their own servants too.
74. Chinese Crested dogs served a vital role on merchant ships in the 14th century. They were in charge of hunting down rats on board, thus preventing the spread of the Black Plague.
75. In 2014, a Tibetan Mastiff sold for nearly $2 million USD, making him the most expensive dog ever sold.
76. The name Shih Tzu directly translates to “little lion.” Their name was given because Tibetans believe these dogs symbolized the little lion that traveled with the Buddhist God of Learning.
77. Stealing a Pekingese was punishable by death in Imperial China. Now, that’s respect.
78. A group of three or more pugs is called a “grumble.” The term originated from Holland, of all places.
79. The Tibetan Spaniels are the premier choice of watchdogs for Buddhist monks. They sit high on top of monastery walls and bark at the sign of intruders.
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German Dog Facts
80. Dachshunds are internationally known as wiener dogs. But, did you know the original name of the hotdog was the Dachshund sausage?
81. People once believed that Great Danes helped repel evil spirits and ghosts. In fact, it’s why Scooby-Doo was a Great Dane!
82. A Great Dane diffused a bomb by urinating on it. Apparently, he was awarded with two Blue Cross Medals for his heroic act.
83. The Giant Schnauzer is called the “Riesenschnauzer” in German. The direct translation of the name is: herculean monster with a walrus mustache.
84. A Standard Schnauzer named George made international headlines for being the first trained dog to sniff out cancer in humans.
85. Amazingly, the Rottweiler has a bite force of 328 pounds, which is more than a Pit Bull or German Shepherd’s. It’s about half the force of a shark bite.
86. The world renowned classical musician, Wolfgang Mozart, dedicated an aria to his pet Pomeranian, named Pimperl.
87. The Kromfohrlander dog breed descended from a dog that served as the US military mascot during World War II.
88. In America, the German Spitz was renamed to American Eskimo Dog due to anti-German sentiment post-World War.
89. A Poodle’s coat (the lion cut) serves the purpose of keeping vital organs and joints warm, especially when submerged in water.
90. The “French Poodle” isn’t actually French. Rather, they originated from Germany.
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Miscellaneous Dog Breed Facts
91. Some dogs don’t like to bark, but the Basenji dog can’t. Instead, they yodel.
92. Due to a genetic predisposition, roughly 30% of all Dalmatians are deaf in at least one ear. Still, they’re able to hear better than humans.
93. The Fastest dog breed in the world is the Greyhound. They can achieve speeds up to 45 MPH.
94. The most successful search and rescue dog was Barry, the St. Bernard. He single handedly saved 40 people’s lives in the early 1800’s.
95. A Norwegian Lundehund has six toes on each paw. In fact, they are the only dogs to have this unique physical characteristic.
96. The word Corgi in Welsh literally translates to “dwarf dog.” To break it down: cor ‘dwarf’ + ci ‘dog’
97. Jonangi dogs love to dig holes. In fact, they love these holes so much that they actually prefer sleeping in them too.
98. Pembroke Welsh Corgis have been a popular tradition in the British Royal family for nearly 80 years. Queen Elizabeth II has owned 30 corgis since she was a child.
99. The Jeju dog was miraculously saved from the brink of extinction with just the three dogs left on South Korea’s Jeju Island.
100. Known for their black spots, Dalmatians are actually born with a pure-white coat. Through time, they develop the black spots.
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This list will be updated on a regular basis depending on how fast we find interesting dog facts worthy of this list.
We may have missed a good one, so feel free to leave it in the comments below! And if you’d like, bookmark this page for future interesting dog facts!
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