Friday, May 7, 2010
By Linda Cole
Dogs have been man's best friend for centuries, which means we've had a lot of time to discover interesting and fun facts about them. They take their responsibility of protecting us seriously. Dogs entertain us and save us when we need help. We share a long history together, but they still amaze us.
If you're trying to teach your dog to catch a ball, take a knotted up piece of fabric or something soft, like a nerf ball, to help your dog learn how to catch.
Like people, some dogs can have low self esteem and it's important to give lots of praise and rewards to them along with plenty of attention to help them feel better about themselves.
The reason dogs turn in circles before lying down is because of a natural instinct hard wired into them from their wilder days. Turning in circles flattens tall grass so they can make their bed in it.
If your dog is a mixed breed dog, he'll most likely have the same behavioral traits of the breed he looks like the most.
When your dog growls while someone in the family is playing and roughhousing around, he isn't upset, he just wants in on the fun. It's just his way of asking if he can play, too.
Dogs do see in color, but it's not as vivid or to the same degree as what we see. It's similar to how we see color at dusk.
The world's heaviest and longest dog on record was an Old English Mastiff named Zorba. In 1989, Zorba was measured at 8 ft and 3 in. nose to tail and weighed in at an impressive 343 lbs. The smallest dog was a Yorkie from Blackburn, England who was no bigger than most cell phones. He weighed 4 ounces and measured only 2.5” tall and 3.75” long. The oldest known dog was an Australian cattle dog named Bluey who lived to a ripe old age of 29 years and 5 months.
The world's best drug sniffing dogs had a price put on their heads because they were so good. Rocky and Barco patrolled the area between Texas and Mexico called “Cocaine Alley.” Mexican drug lords offered a reward of $30,000 for each dog to anyone who could get rid of them. Together, the dogs racked up 969 cocaine and other drug seizures worth $128 million in 1988, and they are credited with the largest amount of drugs seized by dogs.
A Labrador named Snag, a U.S. customs drug sniffing dog, has 118 drug seizures under his belt totaling $810 million.
If you want a water-loving breed, don’t adopt a Basset Hound. With such short legs and two-thirds of their weight in front, Bassets can swim only very short distances with great difficulty, and some can’t swim at all. Greyhounds are the fastest breed, and can reach speeds up to 45 mph.
The dog on the Cracker Jack box is named Bingo.
We know how terrific a dog’s nose is when it comes to rooting out smells. But it also keeps them cool. The longer a dog's nose, the better it helps him to stay cool. A dog's nose print is as unique as our fingerprints, and you can identify an individual dog by his nose print. The Bloodhound has such a discriminating nose he can identify more than one scent at the same time.
There are more than 700 purebred dog breeds. The Egyptians trained the Saluki to track game, and this is thought to be the oldest known breed. You will find dogs mentioned 14 times in the Bible.
A Pekingese, Newfoundland and Pomeranian were aboard the Titanic when she went down and were the only dogs among the survivors. The Newfoundland was named Rigel and he is credited with saving people stranded in the water by pushing debris to them to hang on to. When the Carpathia arrived on the scene it almost ran over a lifeboat full of survivors. Rigel swam between the lifeboat and Carpathia barking until the Captain heard him and stopped the ship before it hit the lifeboat.
A German Shepherd guide dog and her blind owner walked the entire 2,100 miles of the Appalachian Trail.
Rin Tin Tin was found in a bombed out war dog kennel during WW I in France. A corporal in the U.S. army discovered him with his mother and 4 siblings. He was only 5 days old. Rin Tin Tin is named after a French puppet.
Read more articles by Linda Cole