13 Dog Facts You Probably Don’t Know

13 Dog Facts You Probably Don’t Know

A Yorkshire Terrier's nose very close up, illustrating idea that a dogs sense of smell is far, far greater than ours.

1. The “smell center” of a dog’s brain is 40 times larger than yours.

Dogs can smell thousands of times better than humans. Their noses have millions more scent receptors—for example, a human nose averages 5 million while a Dachshund’s has 125 million—making them useful in sniffing out drugs, dead bodies, bed bugs, explosives, and more.

 

2. No two dog noses are the same.

Nose prints are like our fingerprints – unique!

 

A little Yorkie and a Morkie dog sleeping together.3. Dogs dream like people.

If you’ve ever noticed your Morkie twitching in her sleep, this probably means she’s dreaming. Researchers found that dogs have similar sleep patterns and brain activity as humans, and that small breeds tend to dream more than large ones.

Psychology Today suggests they’re probably imagining familiar activities like playing outside or chasing their tail.

4. Dogs are as smart as a two-year-old baby.

According to canine researcher and author Stanley Coren, your toddler and pup are about on par when it comes to brains.

He also contends that man’s best friend can count, understand more than 150 words, and even trick people or other dogs to get treats. Intelligence varies based on breed—Border collies are the smartest.

5. Dogs only mate twice a year.

This little Morkie leaning on a heart shaped pillow is all ready for love.

Unspayed females only go into heat twice a year, so dog breeders need to plan carefully.

6. Tail wagging = happy dog?

If your dog excitedly wags his tail, it means he’s happy to see you, right? Not necessarily. According to Discovery.com, dogs wag their tails to the right when they’re happy and to the left when they’re frightened. Wagging low means they’re insecure; and rapid tail wagging accompanied by tense muscles or dilated pupils can signal aggression.

 

7. Puppies are born blind and deaf.

Newborn dogs are still developing, according to Psychology Today, so their ear canals and eyes are still closed. Most puppies open their eyes and respond to noises after about two weeks.

Little Yorkshire Terrier dressed as a gypsy fortune teller, waiting to to tell your fortune.

8. Dogs have a “sixth sense.”

In a 2010 poll, 67% of pet owners reported their pets acting strangely right before a storm, and 43% said their pets acted funny right before something bad happened.

The top clues? Whining, erratic behavior, or trying to hide in a safe place. There are even reports that dogs can sense illnesses, like cancer.

9. Dogs have sweat glands only in their paws.

Dogs have only two ways to cool down: sweating through the pads of their paws, and panting.

 

10. Your Morkie’s feet can smell like Fritos.

Dogs feet can smell like the popular corn chip, Fritos. Picture shows puppy paws and bag of Fritos.

 

Some pet owners might notice the scent of corn chips or popcorn lingering around their dog. This is called “frito feet,” and it happens when sweat and bacteria builds up in the paws.

 

11. “Dog breath” is actually unhealthy.

You might expect your dog’s mouth to smell like, well, dog. But persistent bad breath can actually be a sign of dental disease or other health problems. If you don’t already, have your dog’s teeth examined by a Veterinarian every year.

 

12. It’s not unusual for dogs to eat poop.

It’s no secret: dogs often eat their own poop (and other fecal matter). But though it might seem gross, the ASPCA says it’s perfectly normal, stemming from their pre-domestication days thousands of years ago.

More common in puppies, older dogs usually grow out of it, although some do it into adulthood.

 

13. A dog’s unique scent is secreted in its glands.

And yes, those scent glands are located in their backsides (called ‘anal glands,’ on either side of the tail). Dogs are notorious for sniffing one another there; it’s how they identify others and also what they use to mark their territory.

 

 

 


 

 

 

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