10 Fun Dog Facts
There aren’t many animals much more interesting than dogs. I’d love to share with you a few interesting facts that I’ve learned about dogs since I started working with them.
- The Dog’s Sense of Smell. A dog has between 125 million cells (for a Dachshund) and 220 million cells (for a German Shepherd). Dogs have a huge advantage when it comes to finding things with their nose! A dog’s sense of smell is much stronger than any of our senses.
- The Dingo. Dingos are a native dog that is unique to Australia. They were brought to the island continent many thousands of years ago when humans first migrated there.
- Dog’s Sense of Time. Dogs have a way of sensing how things relate to each other in time. Your dog knows when it’s time to take a walk, when you’re supposed to come home, and when it’s time to eat. That’s why it’s important to keep to a good schedule when you have a dog and don’t let your dog get too excited or veer off the schedule.
- Shaking and Digging. Your dog uses some of his survival instincts every day. When he shakes a toy that’s part of the way a dog would hunt and kill and animal. When your dog buries a bone or a treat that’s a survival technique for saving food after the kill. Your dog’s instincts tell him that in the wild he might go days without making a kill so he needs to save food for later to survive.
- Barking and Chasing. Why dogs bark at cars or the mailman, or chase them? It’s because they’ve had some success with doing it in the past. If a car drives by and they bark at it, or chase it, and it drives away, your dog likely thinks he has chased it away. The same thing is true when your dog barks at a delivery person and they leave. Your dog thinks that his barking has chased them away. It’s a very satisfying feeling for your dog and makes the habit hard to break.
- Circling before Lying Down. Why does your dog turns in circles before he lies down? This is an instinctual behavior that dogs do in the wild. Circling before lying down flattens grass and makes a spot more comfortable for a dog to sleep on. If there are any undesirable pests, circling can get rid of them.
- Training Puppies. In order for your puppy to learn things like getting along with other dogs, and not biting, he needs to stay with his mom and littermates until he is at least eight weeks old. When choosing a puppy, it’s best not to pick the boldest puppy in the litter. They are usually harder to train and may have trouble accepting you as the pack leader.
- Dogs and Literature. People have included dogs in literature since before we had written languages. There are dogs in the Bible, in Greek mythology, and in The Odyssey.
- Dogs in Space. The first living being sent into space was a Russian dog named Laika. She went into orbit aboard a satellite in 1957.
- Dogs Are Fast. Greyhounds are the fastest dogs on earth, running at speeds up to 45 miles per hour.
These are a few things that make dogs so interesting! Considering that dogs have been our companions for thousands of years, it’s amazing the history there is about them, and there’s always more to learn!