50 Dog Facts You Probably Didn't Know

Think you know all there is to know about dogs? Check out this list of 50 random dog facts and test your knowledge! 

  1. Dogs have been known to poop in alignment with the Earth's Magnetic field. No wonder it takes them so long to find a good spot! 
  2. The Norwegian Lundehund is the only dog that has 6 toes on each food. 
  3. There is a town in Minnesota with a Dog as their Mayor. Duke won the popular vote and was made Honorary Mayor of Cormorant, Minn in 2014. 
  4. The Labrador Retriever has been one of the AKC's top ten most popular dog breeds for 25 years straight. 
  5. A Border Collie named Chaser has the largest vocabulary of any other known dog. Chaser has been taught over 1022 names of items and can recognize and categorize them according to function and shape. Something a human learns to do around the age of 3. 
  6. Puppies grow half their body weight about 4 to 5 months. This gives your Vet a good indication of how big they will be as an adult! 
  7. The fastest breed is the Greyhound. They have been known to hit record speeds of 44 miles per hour. 
  8. According to a study done by Cornell University, dogs were domesticated around 9,000 and 34,000 years ago. 
  9. They also found that contrary to the idea that dogs evolved from wolves, they actually share a common ancestor. This indicates that Dogs and Modern Grey Wolves are more like sister species. 
  10. The oldest dog breed is the Saluki. Just like the oldest Cat breed, the Saluki originated in Ancient Egypt around 329. B.C.E. 
  11. Dalmatians are born completely white. As they age they start to develop the spots that make the breed so famous. 
  12. Over 50% of dog owners include their dogs in holiday photos.
  13. The Alaskan Malamute is not only the oldest working sled dog but they are also built to withstand arctic temperatures as low as -70°F. Yes, 70 Degrees below 0. 
  14. One dog and her 1st litter can produce around 67,000 puppies in 6 years. 
  15. The Basenji is known as the 'Barkless Dog'. While they don't bark they have been known to yodel. 
  16. Dogs can be trained to detect Cancer in humans. 
  17. Dogs will reach their adult size around 12 and 24 months of age. 
  18. Famous war dog, Rin Tin Tin was the first Hollywood dog star. 
  19. Both the Boy and Girl Scouts have merit badges in dog care. 
  20. Walt Disney's Dog, Sunnee was the inspiration behind Lady and The Tramp.
  21. In Ancient Rome, Mastiffs wore armor and were used to attack mounted knights. 
  22. Dachshunds were originally bred to fight badgers. 
  23. Queen Elizabeth II has owned over 30 Corgis since 1945. They were also featured in the opening ceremony skit for the 2012 London Olympics featuring Daniel Craig as James Bond. 
  24. Dogs are naturally submissive to any creature with a higher pack status. I.e. the household cat! 
  25. Dogs have three eyelids. The third eyelid called a 'haw' is used to help keep the eye lubricated. 
  26. The Pekingese and Japanese Chins were so important in the Ancient Far East that they had their own court of servants and were worshipped in Ancient Chinese Temples. They were also carried on trade routes as gifts for monarchs and emperors. 
  27. After the fall of the Roman Empire people were more concerned about their survival that breeding and training dogs wasn't a priority. During this time packs of dogs commonly ran the streets and terrified citizens. This is thought to have bought about the legends of Werewolves. 
  28. The American Kennel Club or AKC was founded in 1884. 
  29. The Term "Dog days of Summer" comes from Ancient Rome where people would associate the hot summer months with the rising star Sirius, or the 'dog star'. 
  30. Dog trainers were held in high regard in Ancient China. A great deal of domestication took place in China, especially dwarfing and miniaturizing. 
  31. Tail docking may have its roots in Ancient Rome where writer Lucius Columella claimed amputating a dogs tail helped prevent Rabies.
  32. It costs upwards of $10,000 to train 'Search and Rescue' dogs. 
  33. The most successful search and rescue dog was a St. Bernard named Barry. Born in 1800, he saved around 40 people in his 12 years and has become a Swiss National Hero! 
  34. The Chinese Chow Chow and Shar-Pei are the only two dogs that are known for their black/purple tongues. The cause of this is still unknown! 
  35. A Blood Hound is so adept at scent tracking that their trailing results can be used as evidence in a court of law. 
  36. Germany was the first country to train seeing eye dogs after WWI as a way to help disabled veterans. In 1916 they opened the world's first guide dog school in Oldenburg, Germany. 
  37. Bill Irwin, a blind man was able to hike the Appalachian Trail with the help of his seeing eye dog, Orient in 1990.  He became the first blind man to complete the 2,100-mile journey from Georgia to Maine. 
  38. The iconic 'Poodle Cut' was originally put in place to help assist the breeds natural swimming abilities as the pom poms were thought to increase buoyancy. 
  39. Dogs curl up into a ball when sleeping to protect their vital organs and stay warm. A basic instinct left over from their wild days. 
  40. Contrary to popular belief, dogs don't only see in black and white. More so they don't see the same colors as vividly as humans do. 
  41. Dogs have better Low-Light vision for two reasons. They have more light-sensitive rods in their eyes than color-detecting cones and their pupils are larger which allows more light into the eye.  
  42. Obesity is the number one health problem in dogs. 
  43. Of all European dog breeds, the German Shepherd is the most Wolf like as it was once called the Alsatian Wolf Dog
  44. A small dog's average resting heart rate is around 120 BPM,  around 50% faster than that of a human's at 70 BPM.
  45. Zeus, a Great Dane in Michigan holds the Guinness World Record for World's Tallest Dog clocking in at 44 inches (3.7ft). 
  46. The Akita tops the list as one of the most difficult breeds to train because of their strong will, stubborn nature, and the fact they were bred to hunt big game such as elk and bears. Other notoriously hard to train dogs are the Chow Chow, Shar-Pei, Alaskan Malamute, and Rottweiler. All working dogs were more or less bred to make their own decisions and think independently. A great trait when you have to trust them with making decisions but when you need them to be obedient it's a whole other story. 
  47. The AKC has eight groups to which they can categorize a dog based on what group they can show in. These groups are:
    1. Herding: Includes dogs such as German Shepherds, Collies, and believe it or not, Corgis
    2. Sporting: Includes dogs such as Brittanys, Spaniels, and Retrievers.
    3. Hound: Obviously hounds dogs such as the Irish Wolfhound and Basset Hounds, but also includes others like the Basenji and Rhodesian Ridgeback
    4. Terrier: Includes the Terrier breeds as well as the Miniature Schnauzer.
    5. Working: The group includes dogs such as the Akita, Bull Mastiff, Rottweiler, and Siberian Husky
    6. Toy: Includes dogs such as the Chihuahua, Maltese, Pug and Toy Fox Terrier
    7. Non-Sporting: Includes dogs such as the Bulldog, Dalmatian, Keeshond, and Shiba Inu
    8. Miscellaneous: This class has a short list of unique dogs such as the Mudi and Peruvian Inca Orchid
  48. Present Roosevelt left his dog, Fala, in the Aleutian Islands on accident then ordered a destroyer to go and pick him up. This detour cost the U.S. around $15,000 and is said to be the most expensive dog rescue in history. 
  49. The Northern Inuit Dog is often bred with wolves to maintain the size of the breed. The breed was also the ideal candidate for the young Direwolves in HBO's Game of Thrones. 
  50. A Russian stray by the name of Laika was the first living creature sent into space. She is pictured on the Monument to the Conquerors of Space in Moscow, Russia and has a small monument in her honor outside the military research facility in Moscow that prepared her flight into space. The stray died only a few hours after takeoff and while this experiment proved that life was possible in a spacecraft, animal rights activists and others saw a problem with sending the dog to her death. She has been immortalized throughout history and is seen as “an enduring symbol of sacrifice and human achievement" says space dog biographer Amy Nelson. Over the years she has been recognized over and over again. The 1985 Swedish film, My Life as a Dog followed the story of a young man who feared Laika had starved, songs around the globe have been dedicated to her, and a small Finnish band took the name Laika and the Cosmonauts. She has been featured in novels all over the world from Japan to Britain and in more recent news NASA named a spot in a Martian crater "Laika". 

And that's all folks! Did we miss any random dog facts you know? Let us know on Facebook

Check out our article 50 Cat Facts You Probably Didn't Know!