They don’t call them man’s (and woman’s) best friend for nothing you know. Our loveable furry dog pals are so awesome that they even get their International Dog Day, which we celebrate every year on 26th August. To mark the occasion, we’ve put together our 10 absolute favourite facts about dogs. Get your paws on this lot…
10 Fascinating Facts about Dogs
You’ve learned all about cats in our 10 Most Purrr-fect Cat Videos posts. Well, now it’s time for dog-lovers to be amazed. These facts about dogs will leave you loving these furry guys eeeeven more, if that’s at all possible.
1. They can sniff out trouble
A dog’s sense of smell is at least 40x better than that of a human! Well, we know how much they love a good ole’ bum hole sniff, but dogs can also pick up on smells that we wouldn’t even notice. That’s why they’re often used to sniff out people, drugs and even cash.
Bloodhounds can follow tracks that are over 300 hours old, and their sense of smell is so spot on that it can be used as evidence in a court of law.
2. Faster than a cheetah
Dogs can easily outrun humans – no surprises there. A greyhound though, which is the fastest breed of dog, can actually outrun a cheetah. That’s all down to their stamina, and if you’ve ever been to the dog races, you’ll know what we’re saying.
Even though a cheetah can get up to speeds of almost 70mph, they can only keep it up for 30 seconds tops. A greyhound, on the other hand, can run 35mph or more for a whole 7 miles, so they’d soon be charging ahead of that knackered-out cheetah. Dogs beat cats, this time.
3. Their ears have 18 muscles
Us humans have our body language, and dogs have ear language! Dogs’ ears move A LOT and are a handy way to tell how your dog is feeling, thanks to the 18 muscles that move them. Floppy ears, for example, is a clear sign that your dog is happy, whereas if they’re way back it means they’re feeling sad. They also move around loads to help them hear noises better – the only burglary alarm you’ll ever need.
4. As intelligent as a two-year-old
One of the most adorable facts about dogs so far, this must be what makes dogs sooo darn cute, because even though their ears and noses are super-powered, their intelligence and understanding is matched with that of a two-year-old. Aaaawwww bless.
5. They make great lifeguards
Although there are some pups who aren’t fans of the water, the ones who do love to get wet can make incredible swimmers. Some are even used as water rescue dogs and have been known to rescue a fair number of us humans from the sea. Newfoundland dogs make particularly good doggy lifeguards, with their water-resistant coats and webbed feet. Doggy paddle to the rescue!
6. Dogs have three eyelids
Here’s a random fact about our four-legged friends. We’ve heard about having a third eye (spiritual folk will understand), but it turns out that dogs have 3 eyelids, the third being called their ‘haw’. It protects the eye and keeps it nice and lubricated, and how many of you are looking at your dogs’ eyelids right now?
7. Yawning is contagious for dogs too
A 2020 study confirmed that human yawning is contagious for dogs too, which means that your dog is far more likely to yawn when you do. They’re so empathetic to us, they yawn with us! And it’s four times as likely to happen when it’s the yawn of a person they know. See, you’ll never walk alone when you’ve got a dog. Or yawn alone, for that matter.
8. They can be right or left-pawed
A dogs’ brain is organised so similarly a human’s that they even have a paw preference. This is because, just like humans, their right and left paws are linked to dominant parts of the brain. The difference is though, whereas only 10% of humans are left-handed, about half of all dogs are left-pawed. If you’re not sure which your dog is, just hold out your hand and see which paw they hold out.
Furthermore, research shows that there’s a link between left-pawed dogs and aggression towards strangers. Whereas guide dogs in training have much higher success rates if they’re right-pawed.
9. Why do dogs have wet noses?
Ever wondered why dogs have wet noses? No, it’s not because they have post-nasal drip – it’s actually to help them absorb the chemicals found in scents. Then once the smell is all nicely stored in their wet whiffer, they lick it to understand what the smell is – neat!
10. They protect their organs as they sleep
Why do dogs sleep curled up in a ball? Well, we imagine it feels quite snug, but the real reason actually goes back to their days in the wild when they were vulnerable to predator attacks. Their ball-like sleeping pose acted as a protection for their vital organs as they sweet-dreamed about strings of juicy sausages.
Happy International Dog Day to our furry friends!