· There are an estimated 400 million dogs in the world.
· Dogs have lived with humans for over 14,000 years. Cats have lived with people for only 7,000 years.
· Dogs have three eyelids. The third lid, called a nictitating membrane or “haw,” keeps the eye lubricated and protected.
· Ancient Egyptians revered their dogs. When a pet dog would die, the owners shaved off their eyebrows, smeared mud in their hair, and mourned aloud for days.
· A dog’s shoulder blades are unattached to the rest of the skeleton to allow greater flexibility for running.
· Puppies are sometimes rejected by their mother if they are born by cesarean and cleaned up before being given back to her.
· The phrase “raining cats and dogs” originated in seventeenth-century England. During heavy rainstorms, many homeless animals would drown and float down the streets, giving the appearance that it had actually rained cats and dogs.
· During the Middle Ages, Great Danes and Mastiffs were sometimes suited with armor and spiked collars to enter a battle or to defend supply caravans
· Pekingese and Japanese Chins were so important in the ancient Far East that they had their own servants and were carried around trade routes as gifts for kings and emperors. Pekingese were even worshipped in the temples of China for centuries
· The most dogs ever owned by one person were 5,000 Mastiffs owned by Kublai Khan.
· The most popular male dog names are Max and Jake. The most popular female dog names are Maggie and Molly.
· Those born under the sign of the dog in Chinese astrology are considered to be loyal and discreet, though slightly temperamental.
· In Iran, it is against the law to own a dog as a pet. However, if an owner can prove the dog is a guard or hunting dog, this restriction doesn’t apply. Muslim reticence concerning dogs is perhaps since rabies has always been endemic in the Middle East.
· The shape of a dog’s face suggests how long it will live. Dogs with sharp, pointed faces that look more like wolves typically live longer. Dogs with very flat faces, such as bulldogs, often have shorter lives.
· French poodles did not originate in France but in Germany (“poodle” comes from the German pudel or pudelhund, meaning “splashing dog”). Some scholars speculate the poodle’s puffs of hair evolved when hunters shaved the poodle for more efficient swimming, while leaving the pom-poms around the major joints to keep them warm.
· The name of the dog on the Cracker Jacks box is Bingo. The Taco Bell Chihuahua is a rescued dog named Gidget.
· The first dogs were self-domesticated wolves which, at least 12,000 years ago, became attracted to the first sites of permanent human habitation.
· Laika, a Russian stray, was the first living mammal to orbit the Earth, in the Soviet Sputnik spacecraft in 1957. Though she died in space, her daughter Pushnika had four puppies with President John F. Kennedy’s terrier, Charlie.
· Dalmatians are completely white at birth.
· The earliest European images of dogs are found in cave paintings dating back 12,000 years ago in Spain.
· A puppy is born blind, deaf, and toothless.
· The Basenji is the world’s only barkless dog.
· A dog most likely interprets a smiling person as baring their teeth, which is an act of aggression.
· The origin of amputating a dog’s tail may go back to the Roman writer Lucius Columella’s (A.D. 4-70) assertion that tail docking prevented rabies.
· It costs approximately $10,000 to train a federally certified search and rescue dog.
· The smallest dog on record was a matchbox-size Yorkshire Terrier. It was 2.5" tall at the shoulder, 3.5" from nose tip to tail, and weighed only 4 ounces.
· Hollywood’s first and arguably best canine superstar was Rin Tin Tin, a five-day-old German Shepherd found wounded in battle in WWI France and adopted by an American soldier, Lee Duncan. He would sign his own contracts with his paw print.
· At the end of WWI, the German government trained the first guide dogs for war-blinded soldiers.
· A dog can locate the source of a sound in 1/600 of a second and can hear sounds four times farther away than a human can.
· Touch is the first sense the dog develops. The entire body, including the paws, is covered with touch-sensitive nerve endings.
· The oldest known dog bones were found in Asia and date as far back as 10,000 B.C. The first identifiable dog breed appeared about 9000 B.C. and was probably a type of Greyhound dog used for hunting.
· The U.S. has the highest dog population in the world. France has the second highest.
· Toto reportedly earned $125 per week of filming, but each Munchkin actor earned just $50
· Dog nose prints are as unique as human finger prints and can be used to identify them.
· It is much easier for dogs to learn spoken commands if they are given in conjunction with hand signals or gestures.
· Dogs in a pack are more likely to chase and hunt than a single dog on its own. Two dogs are enough to form a pack.
· Dogs can see in color, though they most likely see colors like a color-blind human. They can see better when the light is low.
· Zorba, an English mastiff, is the biggest dog ever recorded. He weighed 343 pounds and measured 8’ 3" from his nose to his tail.
· The average dog can run about 19 mph. Greyhounds are the fastest dogs on Earth and can run at speeds of 45 mph.
· One female dog and her female children could produce 4,372 puppies in seven years.
· The most popular dog breed in Canada, U.S., and Great Britain is the Labrador retriever.
· Petting dogs is proven to lower blood pressure of dog owners.
· Greyhounds appear to be the most ancient dog breed. “Greyhound” comes from a mistake in translating the early German name Greishund, which means “old (or ancient) dog,” not from the color gray.
· The oldest dog on record was an Australian cattle dog named Bluey who lived 29 years and 5 months. In human years, that is more than 160 years old.
· In Croatia, scientists discovered that lampposts were falling because a chemical in the urine of male dogs was rotting the metal.
· Dogs can smell about 1,000-10,000 times better than humans. While humans have 5 million smell-detecting cells, dogs have more than 220 million. The part of the brain that interprets smell is also four times larger in dogs than in humans.
· Dogs have a wet nose to collect more of the tiny droplets of smelling chemicals in the air.
· Dogs like sweets a lot more than cats do. While cats have around only 473 taste buds, dogs have about 1,700 taste buds. Humans have approximately 9,000.
· Male dogs will raise their legs while urinating to aim higher on a tree or lamppost because they want to leave a message that they are tall and intimidating. Some wild dogs in Africa try to run up tree trunks while they are urinating to appear to be very large.
· The best dog to reportedly attract a date is the Golden Retriever. The worst is the Pit Bull.
· Thirty percent of all Dalmatians are deaf in one or both ears. Because bulldogs have extremely short muzzles, many spend their lives fighting suffocation. Because
· Dogs are about as smart as a two- or three-year-old child. This means they can understand about 150-200 words, including signals and hand movements with the same meaning as words.
· The most intelligent dogs are reportedly the Border Collie and the Poodle, while the least intelligent dogs are the Afghan Hound and the Basenji.
· A group of pugs is called a "grumble."