Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fascinating Dog Facts


By Linda Cole

Dogs are such interesting creatures. We’ve had an association with them for centuries, but scientists have only recently begun to understand how unique and special they are. Because of selective breeding over the years, we've been able to tame the wild beast, so to speak, but there are still mysteries we need to unravel. Most of our modern day breeds were created just a short time ago in relation to how long man and dogs have been working together as a team. We are still discovering interesting dog facts about our canine friends dog lovers may not know.

Research has shown that children who grow up with pets in the home have 31% fewer respiratory tract infections and 44% fewer ear infections, and are 29% less likely to need antibiotics. A dog in the home can even help protect kids from the common cold and reduce the chance of your child developing asthma.

The Norwegian Lundehund, native to Norway, has some rather unique characteristics not found in any other dog breed. The dog has six toes on each foot, erect ears that can be folded closed at will – forwards or backwards – and they can bend their head backwards so far it touches their backbone. The breed is also called the Norwegian Puffin Dog; Lunde means puffin, and hund means dog.

Greyhounds can reach a top speed of 45 mph, making them the fastest dog on earth, but the Siberian Husky has endurance to outlast most other breeds. A team of Huskies can travel 100 or more miles per day at an average speed of 11 mph.

We know dogs were the first animals domesticated by us, but it's still not known exactly when that took place. The belief by researchers is that domestication took place around 15,000 years ago, but a 50,000 year old cave painting in Spain shows what experts believe is a dog-like figure in the painting.

A dog's nose print is as unique and individual as our fingerprints, and can be used to correctly identify a specific dog. Adult dogs have 42 permanent teeth, and their heart beats 70 - 120 times a minute. Their normal body temperature is 101.2 degrees F, and it's estimated some dogs can out smell us by 1 million times.

Because a dog's ears rotate like tiny radars, they are able to pick up and locate where a sound is coming from in only 6/100ths of a second. Dogs also have around 100 different facial expressions, and the majority of them are made with their ears.

The Saluki is believed to be the oldest dog breed known to man, and was considered a royal dog in Egypt. These dogs were held in such high esteem that when they died their bodies were mummified, just like the great Pharaohs.

The dog on a box of Cracker Jacks is named Bingo, and the boy is called Sailor Jack. A German immigrant, Frederick William Rueckheim, invented the tasty snack in 1893. The registered trademark is modeled after Rueckheim's grandson, Robert, and his dog.

The myth that dogs are color blind is not true. They can see some colors, just not the same way we do. Dogs can see yellow, blue, and gray. A green, yellow or orange toy has a yellowish hue to dogs. Violet looks blue, and blue-green appears gray to our canine friends. Red is very difficult for dogs to see.

Dogs and cats can suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in the same way it affects us. If your usually active pet appears to have the winter blues, get him engaged in some fun inside/outside games or a walk around the block to stretch his legs and stimulate his mind.

In 1990, a German Shepherd guide dog named Orient led his blind owner, Bill Irwin, the entire 2,144 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Irwin, with Orient's help, is the first blind hiker to walk the entire distance of the trail.

Jerome Napoleon Charles Bonaparte, Napoleon's youngest brother, was walking his wife's dog in Central Park when he tripped over the dog's leash. He broke his neck, and died in 1945 from his injury.

It was the German government who first trained guide dogs after WWI to help the country's blind war veterans have a better quality of life.

The Canary Islands wasn't named after a little yellow bird. The island belongs to Spain, and when it was first settled, large dogs called Canes were living on the island. It became known as the “Island of the Dogs,” and is named after the large canines.

The only dog breed that doesn't bark is the Basenji. However, he does make a yodel sound.

The number one health problem in dogs is obesity. The best way to keep your pet at a healthy weight is to make sure he gets plenty of exercise, and feed him a premium quality dog food like CANIDAE Life Stages.

Top photo by Scarlett2308
Bottom photo by Cayenne2006

Read more articles by Linda Cole


  1. Lots of facts there that we didn't know about. Interesting. Hugs GJ x

  2. Good stuff there and I never saw a Saluki either - thanks!


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