10 Surprising Facts About Dogs

10 Surprising Facts About Dogs

1. Humans have kept dogs as pets for over 12,000 years.

Studies show that dog’s were the first domestic animal, which means they were tamed from wild animals. Evidence has found dogs were buried with humans from around 12,000 years ago and they were treated to special burials.

2. A dog’s heart can beat around 50 times faster than the average humans.

A dog’s heart rate can be up to 140 beats per minute, about double the heart rate of a human. According to vet, Dr. Marty Becker, smaller dogs tend to have faster heart rates than larger dogs.

3. Not all dogs can swim – a Basset Hound can’t!

Some dogs have been selectively bred over time to work in water, such as Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundlands and Poodles, while others have been bred for other tasks which may mean they’ve lost those traits that help them to swim. Dogs that might struggle to swim include Basset Hounds, Bulldogs, Dachshunds and Pugs.

4. Dog’s can see in the dark.

Dogs have evolved to see in both bright and dim light – a larger pupil lets in more light and the retina has more light sensitive cells than human eyes do. They also have a special membrane, called the ‘tapetum’, at the back of the eye which helps them to see in the dark – its the ‘tapetum’ that causes dog’s eye to glow at night.

5. A dog’s nose print is as unique as a human fingerprint.

Dr. David Dorman, of the North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine, explains that dogs have unique nose prints just like humans have unique fingerprints. Some kennel clubs have used dog nose prints for identification, and there are videos from the early 1930s showing how these nose prints are collected.

6. On the subject of eyes – dog’s have three eyelids!

Dogs have an upper lid, a lower lid and a third that the eye protected and also moist. The third lid is in the inner corner of the dog’s eyes, under the lower lid.

7. The longer a dog’s nose the more effective their internal cooling system is.

A dog’s nose acts as a thermostat which helps to regulate their internal body temperate. The longer the dog’s nose is the more effective their cooling system is. When a dog is overheated and panting their sense of smell is decreased as they use the air to cool themselves rather than for smelling.

8. Dogs and humans get a dose of oxytocin, the love hormone, released in their body when they play together.

Scientists have found that oxytocin levels rose in both dogs and humans when they played together and this might be why the human-dog relationship works so well. The findings show why our relationship with our dogs can be so good for our well-being and also how assistance dogs can help those with autism or post-traumatic stress disorder.

9. There are more than a dozen separate muscles that control a dog’s ear movements.

A dog’s ears have an impressive range of movement and can move independently of each other thanks to their large number of muscles. The ears can help show the mood of your dog too – for example, erect ears can mean your dog is listening to you, slightly pulled back ears can signify your dog is feeling friendly and ears laid tightly to the head can indicate your dog is worried.

10. Dogs sweat through the pads of their feet.

Dogs do not have the same sort of sweat glands as humans or other animals. They tend to regulate their body temperature through panting but they do also release a small amount of sweat through the glands in the pads of their paws.


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