25 Things You Didn’t Know About Dogs

Posted by , Updated on April 23, 2024

All animals in the animal kingdom are special and unique in their own ways; however, everyone knows man’s best friend is ultimately the dog. With their incredibly intelligent characteristics and their humorous antics, it’s impossible to not love the furry canines. Dogs are so much more than just a companion. In fact, there are a considerable amount of things that make dogs unique within the animal kingdom. Check out these 25 Things You Didn’t Know About Dogs, and share your favorite fact from the list with dog lovers everywhere!

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Dogs are still primal animals.

howling dog

Even if dogs have been domesticated for approximately 33,000 years, their primal instincts remain active to this day. Some of these instincts include howling at the moon, pack dependency, and even territory marking.


Dogs can read your face.

attentive dog

Research shows that Dogs are the only animals in the animal kingdom that can read the emotions on your face, much like humans. In other words, dogs can tell at a glance if we are happy, angry, or sad just by looking at our faces.


Dogs see in color.

colorblindness test

It’s a very common misconception that dogs are completely color blind and can only see in black and white. The truth, however, is that a dog can see colors, just not as many colors as we are able to.


Dogs are hotter than people, literally.

dog with thermometer

Dogs have a higher body temperature than humans. The average body temperature of a dog is 101 to 103 degrees F, while the average human temperate is 98.6 °F. This is why fleas are attracted to your dog instead of you.


Dogs, like humans, can have cancer.

Sick dogimage from torange_biz free photobank

Cancer isn’t just a life threatening reality for humans; dogs can get cancer as well. Fifty percent of dogs over the age of 10 develop some type of cancer (from lymphoma to skin cancer and many things in between) at some point in their lives.


Doctor Doggo to the Rescue

puppy with patient

A recent study conducted at the Schillerhöhe Hospital in Germany concluded that dogs have the incredible ability to recognize the scent of certain organic compounds in the human body which are linked to the presence of lung cancer. This scientific breakthrough proves that canine companions may be instrumental in early detection of an otherwise traditionally hard to detect disease.


Dogs hate secondhand smoke.


A number of studies have indicated that dogs face health risks when exposed to the toxins in secondhand smoke, which include respiratory problems, allergies, and even nasal and lung cancer. Dogs can experience the exact same symptoms a human does when exposed to secondhand smoke, so just be sure to keep any smoke away from your dog that you can.


It may not be arthritis.

checking dogs paw

Limping from a dog can be due to a series of things such a thorn stuck in their paw to arthritis. However, in some occasions, limping can also be a sign of bone cancer, so take any sign of limping seriously and visit your vet as soon as possible.


No chocolate, please!

dog eating chocolatehttps://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/nutrition-feeding/is-chocolate-bad-for-dogs

It turns out that a chemical in chocolate called theobromine is toxic and can fatally affect your dog if it ingests between 100 and 150 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. We are able to eat chocolate because we are able to easily metabolize theobromine, while a dog’s system digests it much slower, allowing it to reach high levels of toxicity.


Chocolate isn’t the only thing your dog shouldn’t eat. Be sure to check out 25 Harmful Foods Your Puppy Shouldn’t Eat to find out more!


Small dogs live longer.

big dog and little doghttps://www.petmd.com/dog/wellness/evr_dg_how_long_do_dogs_live

Larger dogs have more of them to love, but unfortunately, we get less time to love them. Smaller dogs typically live longer lives than their larger counterparts. An analysis of veterinary records showed that dogs who were under 20 pounds lived approximately 11 years, while dogs who weighed over 90 pounds lived for only approximately 8 years. One theory behind why this occurs is because larger dogs age more quickly because they grow at a faster pace.



Dogs experience static electricity during thunderstorms.

dog hiding in blankethttps://www.rover.com/blog/uk/the-surprising-reason-dogs-hate-thunderstorms-and-how-to-help/

Any one who owns a dog or has seen a dog movie where it rained knows how much dogs hate thunderstorms. Why is this? Many believe that it is because they are just afraid of the sound of the thunder, or the strike of lightning. The actual reason dogs hate thunderstorms is because they experience high levels of static electricity during bad storms. The static electricity causes their fur to have an uncomfortable tingling affect that causes them to whimper and hide around the house in places lowest to the ground. The best way to decrease the amount of static cling is to rub a dryer sheet on their fur.


Dogs have multiple ways to cool down.

dog animal cutehttp://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-health/dog-diseases-conditions-a-z/do-dogs-sweat

Just like us dogs can get cold and hot. The most important method that dogs use to beat the heat is panting. This is why you may see a dog panting heavily after going on a run. Another way that dogs cool themselves down is by doing something called Vasodilation. What this does is brings the hot blood right up to the surface of the skin, which allows it to have time to cool down before it returns to the heart and repeats the cycle once again. The final way a dog can cool themselves down is by simply sweating through their paws, similar to how we sweat all over our bodies.


Noseprint identity

dog nose closeup

As humans, we’re able to be easily identified by our fingerprints because every human has a unique set of fingerprints. Just as humans can be identified by their fingerprints, dogs can be identified by their nose prints because like human fingerprints, a dog’s nose print is unique to that dog.


The power of their sniffer.

narcotics doghttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/nature/dogs-sense-of-smell.html

Dogs have a superhero-like sense of smell. A dog’s nose contains up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their nose, while humans have approximately 6 million. That means that dogs can smell up to 50 times better than us. This is why police dogs are so critical in helping assist policemen in finding illegal contraband.


Dogs in a pack

dog walker https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140123222045.htm

Dogs are pack animals and view their human/owner as the leader. When walking a group of dogs together, the way they walk and their overall movements can determine their position in their social hierarchy. Studies show that dogs who lead the group during the walk tended to be more obedient and attentive to training. Dogs who lead are also typically older and more aggressive than the dogs who follow.



Heirs and heiresses

australian shepherd with crownhttps://www.everplans.com/articles/the-10-biggest-inheritances-ever-left-to-pets

In the United States, around 1 million dogs are primary beneficiaries of their owner’s will. This isn’t difficult to believe since dogs are one of the most loyal companions you can acquire, and many owners consider them to be a genuine member of their family. The largest inheritance recorded to have been left to a dog was a lucky little German Shepherd named Gunther III. His owner left him an astounding amount of 80 million! That’s a lot of dog treats.


Dogs can disguise their identity.

dog with tail between leg

A frightened dog will put its tail between his legs because it cuts off the scent glands in its anal region which carry personal scents that identify the individual dogs. It’s almost as if the dog is hiding his ID card.



jealous dog

Studies show that dogs can indeed express jealousy. Dogs have the same hormone, oxytocin, which has been shown to be involved in both expressions of love and jealousy in experiments involving humans.


Dogs have an impressive vocabulary.

golden retriever (1)

150-250 words seems like way too many words for any dog to remember and respond to, but studies show that their cognitive skills can be that sharp. In fact, their cognitive skills and development could be easily compared to that of a 2-year-old toddler. Smarter breeds can absorb up to as many as 250 words, while the average mutt can understand approximately 150 words.


The Olympic runner

Greyhound racing fasthttps://hypertextbook.com/facts/2004/GeetaMalieckal.shtml

The greyhound is the fastest dog in the world, reaching breathtaking speeds of up to 45mph. To put that into perspective, the fastest human runner in the world, Usain Bolt, can run speeds of up to 28 mph. That means that the greyhound can run nearly twice as fast as the fastest human in the world!


The mystery of the chase-the-tail madness

dog chasing tail

Ever wonder why your pup chases his tail? There’s actually a good reason to that seemingly pointless habit. The circular motion flattens tall grass in the wild and turns it into a cozy bed for them. However, if you’re not outside the furry little pup may be chasing his tail because of mere fascination in discovering a new body part!


Biblical dog

greyhound dog

While all dog breeds are individually special, the Greyhound is particularly unique as it is the only dog named by name in the entire Bible. In some translations of Proverbs 30:31, scholars translate the verse to read, “the greyhound, the male goat also; and the king against whom there is no rising up.” 


Dogs can get the hiccups

cute puppy on beach

Dogs, like humans, can get hiccups from eating or drinking too fast due to swallowing a large volume of air. Feelings of anxiety, fear, stress, and even excitement can also trigger hiccups for dogs. Some experts believe that the hiccups can actually relieve the gases that can build up in a dog’s stomach, benefiting them in the long run.


Dogs are guiltless

guilty dog

Regardless of how it appears, your dog does not feel guilt. According to Barnard College researcher Alexandra Horowitz, the “guilty look” your dog gives you has more to do with your perception than his intention. 


Petting your dog can lower your blood pressure

Dog Being Pethttps://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/features/6-ways-pets-improve-your-health#1

Research shows that by petting a dog you help lower your blood pressure. Petting a dog is so calming and peaceful, that it actually releases more of your relaxation hormones. Not only is there an increase in your relaxation hormones, but there is also a decrease in your stress hormones. Not to mention that all dogs love being petted, so it benefits them as well.

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