Interesting facts about dogs that you may not know

Jan 28, 2023

There are many surprises about our dog, our "best friend", from a super-powered nose that can smell diseases to dogs that can use the subway to get around.  Here are some interesting facts about dogs that you may not have known: 

Dogs have always been regarded as man's best friend 

- Dogs have the same intelligence as toddlers.  Studies show that dogs are smart enough to understand up to 250 words and gestures, as well as numbers up to 5 and simple calculations.  Scientists say an average dog will have the same intelligence as a 2-year-old child.

 - Rumor has it that dogs are color blind, they can only see white or black.  However, in reality, dogs can still see colors, but at a very faint level, similar to when people see things at dusk or when there is a faint layer of dust in front of their eyes. 

Blurry scene when seen through a dog's eyes 

- Dogs don't like to be hugged as many people think.  While many of us often hug dogs as a way to show love, according to scientists, dogs don't really like to be hugged.  Dogs think that putting their paws on can be a sign of dominance, and this is something they don't usually accept.

- Dogs often spin in circles before lying down because this movement flattens the surface where they are about to lay down.

- The marks on a dog's nose are unique, just like human fingerprints, no two dogs have the same nose prints. 

Fingerprints on a dog's nose are unique, just like human fingerprints 

Although the sense of smell of each breed is different, the sense of smell of dogs is extremely sensitive and much stronger than that of humans.  While humans have about 5 million olfactory cells, the Alsatian (a German Shepherd breed) is thought to have around 220 million. Basically, they can smell almost anything.

 - The oldest dog on record is an Australian bulldog named Bluey, who lived for 29 years, from June 1910 to November 1939.

 Dogs can sense illness.  If you have certain symptoms of cancer, diabetes, or epilepsy, your dog may be able to detect it.  Studies show that they can be trained to sniff out these diseases.  Scientists believe this may be due to dogs' ability to sniff out unusual proteins.

 - Some stray dogs in Moscow have learned to use the city's subway system to travel to more crowded areas in search of leftovers.

 - A dog's eyes have three eyelids: one upper, one lower, and a third eyelid called the sclera or the third eyelid.  This third eyelid was created to moisturize and protect the eye from foreign bodies. 

Dogs have an extra third eyelid, which helps to moisturize and protect the eyes from foreign objects 

- All dog breeds, regardless of variation, are descendants of wolves and therefore any breed can interbreed easily.

 Dogs rely more on smell than taste to distinguish between foods.  In fact, humans have almost five times as many taste buds as dogs, so it's no wonder that dog food doesn't appeal to us.

 Dogs drink water by turning the underside of their tongue against the surface of the water to get the liquid.

 Dogs are some of the most diverse mammals on the planet.  From Basset Hounds to Golden Jackals, the dogs display an amazing variety in body shapes and sizes.  One study found that the differences between the skulls of some breeds were as profound as the differences between some mammals.

 - The song "A Day in the Life" by the famous band The Beatles has an extremely loud whistle in the music that only dogs can hear.  The whistle was inserted into the music by Paul McCartney as a tribute and for his pet dog Shetland to enjoy.