There are hundreds of official dog breeds in the world and even more mixes and mutts than we can count. Each dog has his own unique set of characteristics and personality. Dogs are known for being lovable, fun and playful pets; their species has been our best friend for as long as humanity can remember.
For all the dog lovers out there, here are some surprising and fascinating facts about our furry friends:
There Are More Than 150 Dog Breeds
There are more than 150 dog breeds, divided into 8 classes: sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, non-sporting, herding, and miscellaneous. Until 150 years ago, a dog “breed” didn’t mean as much. Dogs were bred to work: Some types pulled carts or did other farm work. Still others had their senses bolstered for hunting. Some were even bred to turn a wheel to rotate meat over a fire.
But a dog’s identity to humans was overwhelmingly based what that breed did, rather than its appearance. But all breeds belong to a single species, so scientists have studied the breeds to better understand the workings of evolution, and how such great variation could have arisen within one group.
Why Do Dogs Chase Their Tails?
There are a few reasons dogs chase their tails:
Oftentimes, dogs will chase their tails because they are a bit bored. If a pet is stuck in a crate or home, or even the same yard all day, life can get pretty dull. At this point, going after your own body part becomes exciting.
Watching a puppy chase its tail can be very funny. If you laugh and give your puppy attention when it chases its tail, your puppy may chase its tail more often when it wants more attention from you.
Dogs can chase their tails if they have an itch, which can be caused by fleas, ticks or bowel irritation.
Some breeds are more prone to tail chasing than others, including Shepherds, Cattle Dogs, and Terriers.
Tail chasing in older dogs can also be a sign of a behavioral problem. Like humans, dogs can develop compulsive disorders. Sometimes these disorders cause dogs to chew or lick themselves. In other cases, they can cause them to chase their tails for no apparent reason.
You Can Lower Your Blood Pressure Just By Petting Your Puppy
Petting your cat or dog feels good. It can lower your blood pressure, helps your body release a relaxation hormone, and cuts down on levels of a stress hormone. Petting a dog for just 15 minutes can lower blood pressure by 10%, research has revealed.
Daily interactions with your favorite furry companion have a measurably positive effect on your biochemistry, thanks to a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin goes by a number of nicknames, including the “hug hormone,” the “cuddle hormone,” the “love chemical,” and the “morale molecule.” Oxytocin is what makes skin-to-skin contact feel good; it’s what makes a great meal so satisfying.
No wonder they’re man’s best friend.
Some Dogs Can Learn More Than 1000 Words
Of course you keep a mental tally as your little one masters new words. But what about your dog’s vocabulary? You know he’s got the basics: sit, walk, ball; but research shows he may have stored away more words than you think.
Having a conversation with your dog is in fact possible. When you give your dog orders or vocalize words of affection, our dogs do in fact understand us to an extend.
For example a border collie called Chaser has been taught the names of 1022 items – more than any other animal. She can also categorise them according to function and shape, something children learn to do around the age of 3.
Dogs Have Better Low-Light Vision Than Humans
Dogs see a lot better than humans do at night. Dogs have many adaptations for low-light vision. A larger pupil lets in more light. No one is quite sure how much better a dog sees in dim light, but I would suspect that dogs are not quite as good as cats,” which can see in light that’s six times dimmer than our lower limit. In general, dogs and cats are much more sensitive to light and motion than people are, but they cannot see as accurately or in the same immense color spectrum that we can.
Dogs are, after all, natural predators; so it makes sense they’ve hung on to some of those evolutionary traits.
Do Dogs Have A Sense of Time?
Owners often wonder if dogs have a sense of time passing and if our dogs miss us when we are gone. Well, the answer to that is a definite yes. When dogs in one study were left home alone for varying periods of time, they responded with differing levels of enthusiasm on their owner’s return.
It turns out that while dogs have no concept of time in the way that humans have constructed measurements of it (hours, days, weeks, etc.), but they do understand the passing of time in their own unique way.
Certainly, the way different creatures perceive time is complicated. Some studies have shown that a dog cannot make a connection between a behavior and a consequence if there is more than a 4 second lag in between. For example, if your pup eliminates on the carpet and is punished 7 seconds later, it is unlikely he will understand what he is being punished for.
Dogs as Smart as 3-year-old Kids
Dogs are as intelligent as the average two-year-old child, according to research by animal psychologists. Researchers have found that dogs are capable of understanding up to 250 words and gestures, can count up to five and can perform simple mathematical calculations.
Coren, author of more than a half-dozen popular books on dogs and dog behavior, has reviewed numerous studies to conclude that dogs have the ability to solve complex problems and are more like humans and other higher primates than previously thought.
Coren points out that dogs never pass the mirror test – they’re not able to comprehend a reflection in the mirror. Human babies start to pass this test around 18 months, though Coren says the average is 3 years.
The USA Has The Highest Pet Dog Population In The World
No matter where American pet owners live and whatever their age or ethnicity, they stand united in believing that their pets make a positive contribution to their lives. For example, more than 90% of dog owners across a wide range of demographic segments agree that their dog has a positive impact on their mental or physical health.
World’s Oldest Dog Breed
Through DNA evidence, Salukis are one of 14 breeds shown to be the least divergent from wolves. In fact, the breed is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest dog breed, dating back to ancient Egypt around 329 B.C.
This graceful, swift breed is known for its endurance and strength, which allowed it to hunt in deep sand or rocky terrains. Sensitive and quite, Salukis are gentle towards children but not extremely playful and are dedicated to its family members while remaining slightly aloof.
They were considered to be the “Royal Dog of Egypt.”
Dog Urine Can Corrode Metal
Apparently allowing your dog to wee on a lamp-post could be more dangerous than you think – because the acids in the urine can corrode the metal.