Dog Facts

#21 Russian dogs have learned to use the subway system in search of food

They are not the extremely well trained dogs that you think they are. These genius pooches are actually stray dogs that have learned the art of using the incredibly complex subway systems in Moscow. Sadly there are upwards of 35,000 stray dogs in Russia's capital city, but some of them have learned to do something that nobody could have imagined. These stray pups have been observed navigating incredibly crowded subway systems from one stop to the next getting off at the precise spot they intend to. They have even been documented repeatedly getting on and off at certain stops at specific times of day. 

#20 Dogs can use their sense of smell to find their way home

The good news is your dog can find his way home on his own! Unfortunately this is not the case for every dog that goes missing. However, if your dog goes missing it is recommended that you leave something out for them with a familiar scent on it like a toy or a piece of clothing. New research shows that dogs rely largely on scent to find their way back home and that scent can be detected from a large distance away. When you take your dog for walks, they will become familiar with scents all over the neighbourhood like a familiar person, fire hydrant, or a dog that lives near by. So with a sense of smell forty times greater then our own it is no wonder that all of these scents can help your pooch find their way home. Dogs rely on overlapping circles of familiar scents, kind of how your cellphone works when getting service from overlapping cell towers, but instead of cellphone towers your dog used sent markers. It is absolutely amazing how our pets have the natural ability to navigate in ways that us humans couldn't even dream of doing. That is why we always recommend getting your dog a GPS collar so that you can find your pup anywhere that he might be exploring. 

#19 Border Collies are believed to be the most intelligent dog breed

Each breed of dogs has their own geniuses and daydreamers, but Border Collies are believed to be the worlds smartest breed. Poodles and German Shepards are also known for their intelligence and ability to learn. The average dog can learn between 150-200 words with proper training. But don't tell that to Chaser, the Border Collie, who has learned the names of over 1022 different toys. Her trainer will tell her which toy to bring, and she will go into the other room only to come back with the exact toy requested. In case that wasn't impressive enough, she can also categorize the toys according to function or shape. Most children begin to learn this around the age of 3. 

#18 Dogs have 33% more teeth than humans

On average, a fully grown dog has 42 teeth (20 in the upper jaw and 22 in the lower jaw). However when a dog is born it has no teeth at all, similar to humans. The first set of chompers that your puppy will get are their "Baby Teeth" and they will only have 28 of them (14 in the lower jaw and 14 in the upper jaw). Puppies will loose these baby teeth on average when they are 12 to 16 weeks old and will have most of their permanent teeth in place by the time they are 4 months of age. It is very important to maintain your dogs teeth just like you would your own with daily brushing. Studies have shown that by the age of three, 80% of dogs will have gum disease (periodontal disease). Smaller dogs are more prone to this due to the fact that their teeth are actually more crowded and slightly to large for their mouths.

#17 Your dog sticking their head out of your moving vehicle is a way to increase stimulation

Since dogs can smell and hear much better than humans, when they stick their head out of a moving vehicle they experience an overload to their senses. Much like how when you go to an iMax movie, your senses are stimulated by the pictures on the screen and the loud sounds. When your dogs head is out of the car, it increases their ability to hear and smell their surroundings. Does the behaviour of your dog seem to change when you get closer to home or a familiar place? Just by using their nose, dogs can smell the environment around them and can become excited when the smell is something they recognize. Use caution if your dog likes to have their head out of your window. Dogs have been known to jump out of moving vehicles, which can cause severe injury to your dog. Your dog is also at risk of being hit by flying rocks and debris from wind or other vehicles. Use of dog goggles and a dog seatbelt will allow your dog to stick their head out of the car window, while being safe and secure.

#16 Great Danes are the tallest dog breed ever recorded

The tallest dog ever to live was Zeus the Great Dane. He lived in Otsego, Michigan and measured an astounding 111.7cm(44in). When he stood on his hind legs he reached a staggering 218.4(7ft 2in). Great Danes average height can vary between 76-86cm(30-34in) for males or 71-81cm(28-32in) for females. That is still larger than some miniature horses! Great Dane puppies grow very big at a very quick rate, and because of this they are at risk of joint and bone problems. It is important not to over exercise this breed especially at a young age. Puppies are known to be naturally energetic. Some Great Dane owners take steps to minimize activity while their pup is still growing, such as slowing walks to require the dog to walk for more time. Do you know what the second largest dog breed is?

#15 The United States is home to more dogs than any other country in the world

Although it is hard to be sure, it is estimated that there are around 500 million dogs in the world. With 75.8 million dogs living in the United States, it is no wonder every city has dog parks, laws and legislation for dogs. Brazil comes in second with 50% of households owning a dog, totalling 35.7 million. Third goes to China with 27.4 million four legged friends since recent loosening of restrictions has allowed more residence of China to own a dog. Although it may seem like Canada has a lot of dog owners, we only have 7.6 million dogs here. Making Canada the ninth place country for dog ownership.  

#14 Chow Chows are born with pink tongues

Chow Chows are born with their tongues entirely pink. No one knows why their tongues turn to the purple/blue colour, but this change happens by 8-10 weeks of age.  Not all Chow Chows tongues change completely blue however, some have pink spots for their entire lives. Some Chow Chows can lose their tongue pigment over age causing their tongues to develop more pink spots or slashes. But Chow Chows are not the only animal to have blue tongues. Giraffes, Polar Bears, and several breeds of cattle share the blue tongue. Other dog breeds have also been known to have blue spots on their tongues. The spots are caused by extra pigment, similar to freckles of humans. Over 30 breeds of dogs are known to have these blue spots, and some may have spots of blue on their skin under their fur. What other breeds of dogs have blue tongues?

#13 Dogs have three eyelids

Dogs eyes have an upper and a lower lid, just like humans. However dogs also have a third eyelid called the nictitating membrane or haw. The haw acts like a windshield wiper for your dog, wiping away mucus and debris. The third eyelid also contains lymphoid tissue that produces antibodies to fight infections and is responsible for one third of your dogs tears. If you ever see your dog asleep with what looks like their eyes open, their third eyelid is most likely closed protecting them from the outside world. Some dog breeds have a clear haw, while others are cloudy. Does your dog sleep with their eyes 'open'?

#12 Peanut butter is dangerous to your dogs health

Peanut butter!? Almost every dog owner has heard of feeding peanut butter to their pooch. Dogs love it, treats are made with it, how can it be bad? First of all, the peanut butter on store shelves contains sugar and harmful fats. Sugar can cause diabetes, food allergies and can feed cancer cells. The toxic process used to make peanut butter stable on store shelves longer (hydrogenated) results in a higher trans fat content. Trans fats can cause heart disease and chronic inflammation in your pooch. You can avoid both of these additives if you use natural raw peanut butter, however it still may contain aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are naturally occurring mycotoxins that are produced by mold on crops. According to studies aflatoxins are known to cause liver cancer and may be one of the most cancer causing substances. All peanut butter may contain aflatoxins and can be harmful to your pet. Do you know of another all natural food to treat your dog with?

#11 Dogs have twice as many muscles in their ears as humans

It's no surprise that dogs can hear better than us humans, but it's not just what's on the inside that counts. Dogs ears have approximately 18 muscles in their ears. This allows them to tilt, turn or move each ear independently. Your dog can adjust the position of their ears to hear you better, without having to move their body. Since each ear can move on it's own, your dog can listen to sounds in different directions at the same time. A dog moving its ears isn't always about hearing. Dogs use their ears to express themselves and give you a clue as to how they are feeling.

#10 Norwegian Lundehunds are the only breed with six toes on each paw

Most dogs breeds have four toes on each paw, but not these dogs! Norwegian Lundehunds have six toes and great flexibility allowing them to fit into narrow passages. Lundehunds were originally bred for the hunting of birds and their eggs. Their extra toes and flexible bodies allowed them to easily climb cliffs or crawl into caves to retrieve birds and eggs for people off of the Norwegian coast in the 16th and 17th centuries. Scientists speculate this dog breed has been in existence since before the last Ice Age and may possibly be the most rare dog breed on earth.

#9 Dogs don't see in black and white

Dogs may not see in only black and white, but they can't see all colours. A dogs colour spectrum consists of yellows, blues and purples. Reds, greens and oranges are not visible for your dog. The eye of both you and your dog contain colour detecting cells (cones) and photoreceptors (rods) within the retina. Most humans have three cones allowing them to see the full spectrum of colour. Your pooch only has two cones, similar to that of people with red-green colour blindness. Reds will tend to look brown in colour, whereas greens and oranges will look yellow. The rods do not perceive colour, but they do detect shape and movement. Dogs eyes contain a much higher concentration of rods, allowing them to see better in the dark and detect motion more easily. Your dog may not be able to see certain colours, but their eyes aid in their ability to protect. Can your dog see well at night?

#8 Greyhounds are the fastest dog breed in the world

Greyhounds were originally bred for the hunting of games animals such as deer and wild rabbits or hares. Most hunts involving dogs rely on their sense of smell. During the hunt with Greyhounds(coursing) they use their sight to find the animals. Greyhounds are built for speed. They have a small waist and long legs, combined with their flexible spine, slender bones and big muscles allowing dogs of this breed to reach top speeds of up to 70km/h! In order for their body to keep up with the supply of oxygen to the dogs brain and muscles, Greyhounds have higher levels of red blood cells than other breeds. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the muscles. This combined with a heart up to two times larger than other dog breeds ensures these dogs will speed past any other animal, except of course a cheetah. Do you think your dog could out run a Greyhound?


#7 Dogs can sense your emotions

Dogs have always been humans best friend and continually just want to make us happy. Over history, dogs have decoded our body language in order to better understand people. Dogs understand that different positive thoughts or feelings translate into rewards with treats or affection. If their owner is upset, they are less likely to receive those rewards. But dogs can't understand every word you say, so they use your tone to better understand. When you are happy or angry, your tone of voice changes to reflect your mood. Dogs use their impeccable hearing to better understand how you're feeling. Over 90% of our human communication is non-verbal and our loyal companions have learned to read our body language to interpret our emotions. Dogs also have an amazing sense of smell. When you are upset or scared, your body releases pheromones in your sweat. Your dog can smell those chemicals, and when combined with their ability to read our body language and tone of voice, most dogs are able to tell if you are happy, upset or scared. Have you ever been told not to be scared and that a
dog can sense that you're fear? A person in fear tends to tense up and stare
at the dog. Dogs may interpret this as challenging behaviour and that immediately
puts the dog on defensive mode. Does your dog comfort you when you're sad?


#6 Dogs can hear sounds four times farther away than humans can

If you have ever watched your dog while they are listening to something, you may have noticed that they can turn their ears in different directions to help them locate the source of the sound. Not only are dogs ears built better for hearing, but dogs can hear sounds at higher frequencies than us humans can. On top of all of this, dogs have the ability to hear sounds up to four times farther away than you or I. To put that into perspective, if you hear a sound from a ball bounce two metres away from you, your dog will hear the ball bounce just as loud but it will be eight metres away. Next time your dog barks at 'nothing' remember that you just may not be able to hear what they hear. Even with impeccable hearing, aging dogs still face the facts of time. You may notice your dogs ability to hear diminishing as they get older, but don't worry as this is common in all dog breeds. Do you know what dog breed has the best hearing?


#5 When dogs kick after going to the bathroom they are marking their territory

Dogs have scent glands on the pads of their paws and between their toes. These glands produce pheromones that let other dogs know of their presence. Prior to domestication, wild dogs would use this technique to protect large areas that were otherwise impossible to defend from enemies. A common belief is that dogs kick after going to the washroom in order to cover up their mess, just like cats. But unlike their feline friends, dogs don't tend to have this instinct. Territorial behaviour may increase in your pooch in multi-dog households as studies show that your dog is trying to establish who the pack leader is. What is your dogs bathroom etiquette? 




#4 Dogs Sweat Only Through Their Paws

Dogs have sweat glands between the pads of their paws, causing them to sweat. Breeds such as beagles are prone to excessive sweating and this can cause soreness and discomfort. But dogs don't sweat for the same reason as humans do. Panting is the best way for a dog to cool itself down. Experts speculate that the sweat on dogs paws is actually there to increase traction, not decrease temperature. The sweat provides their paws with extra grip and traction on the ground.


#3 In some countries you can be fined up to $650 for not walking your dog

Each region or country has different animal laws in place for the safety and well being of the public, however some laws seem interesting. In New Castle, Delaware it is illegal to engage in public displays of affection (including hand holding!) while walking your dog on a leash. Walking your dog is beneficial to their health. Some countries have laws in place to ensure the health and well being of pets. In Turin, Italy you must walk your dog at least three times a day or risk receiving a fine of up to $650. What interesting dog law do you know?


.........#2 Dogs Dream Just Like People Do

Dogs have different stages of wakefulness as they sleep, just like humans do. Studies have shown that dogs experience rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-rapid eye movement sleep. The dreams that you or I remember most often occur in the REM sleep cycles. This is most likely when your dog is 'chasing' or 'running' while asleep. For some dogs you may only notice a change in breathing or slight muscle twitching while they dream. Smaller dogs have been known to have shorter dreams more frequently, while larger breeds have longer dreams less often. What do you think your dog dreams about?




#1 A Dogs Sense Of Smell Is 10,000 Better Than Humans 

Your pooch has up to 50 times more smell receptors in their nose than you do. In case that wasn't enough, in the backs of their noses they have a second smelling device that humans don't have. It's no wonder they serve so well detecting cancer, finding missing people and much more. A dog relies on their sense of smell to make sense of the world. Some dogs even use their smell to sense emotions such as fear, sadness or happiness. Can your dog tell when you are upset or scared?