If you’re a dog owner, you probably can’t imagine life without your furry friend. But do you know surprising facts about dogs? Every dog has its own unique personality and characteristics that are worth knowing. For that, we’ve compiled 10 of the most surprising facts about dogs that will give your insight into this special creature and increase your bond with it!
Their sense of smell is at least 40x better than ours
Dogs have about 220 million smell-sensitive cells, compared to only 5 million in humans which is one of the surprising facts about dogs. They also have twice as many genes for smell receptors as we do, and a larger part of their brain is devoted to analyzing smells (almost 25 percent). Their sense of smell is so strong that some studies have shown that dogs can sniff out cancer. If you don’t believe us, here’s an experiment you can try at home. Leave a bunch of bananas outside for a few days, then bring them inside. Let your dog take a whiff, then start mixing up batches of banana bread until it gets just right. Do you know how your dog will always eat from any batch of freshly baked goods before anyone else gets to enjoy it? He or she is probably using his or her nose.
Though he or she won’t be able to compare each batch with the one sitting on your porch and say hey I prefer Batch #1, he or she will still know when something doesn’t taste quite right. And while they might not be able to explain why they just aren’t feeling something or more importantly, that they think you need less sugar. They are much better than us at identifying bad flavor combinations by scent alone.
Dogs Communicate Using Scent Glands
Dogs communicate using scent glands near their ears and on their feet. They mark objects to communicate with other dogs, but they also mark territory. One of the most important surprising facts about dogs to know about dogs marking is that they are dominant or submissive. It’s a way of saying I’m in charge here! If you have a new dog that keeps marking its territory, don’t panic. There are ways to fix it.
First, make sure your dog doesn’t feel like an outcast or separate from the family pack by giving it lots of attention and exercise. Second, put something (like vinegar) on items that your dog has marked as a sign of disapproval. By making those areas less appealing to your dog, you can stop unwanted behavior. And if all else fails and it probably will for some people get rid of one of those cues for dogs and humans. That would be removing any crates or furniture from which he has claimed his own territory because no matter how much spraying occurs after peeing/marking, dogs will still smell each other’s urine and continue doing so for years.
Dogs Love To Cuddle
Dogs’ love to cuddle is another surprising facts about dogs and being close to their human family members. It’s not uncommon for them to get in bed with you at night, even if they’re outside. Dogs will also lay on top of you when you’re laying down watching television, even though it may seem as if they are smothering you. Your dog simply loves being close to you, and that physical closeness reinforces your relationship. In fact, according to a study published in Applied Animal Behavior Science.
When dogs have regular positive contact with humans and other dogs, their risk of heart disease goes down. So make sure your dog is getting plenty of affection! It’s good for his health. Dogs want to connect with us mentally, emotionally, and physically. They aren’t satisfied just making their food bowls full or having a comfy place to lie down; most dogs long for meaningful relationships where they feel appreciated. That’s because most dogs have been domesticated from wolves, which are pack animals that crave companionship from one another. When dogs feel lonely or like no one wants to play or pet them, some can become sad or frustrated. Just like people do when feeling alone or neglected.
Dogs Can Get Drunk Too!
On land, dogs can run faster than Usain Bolt. In 2009, Bolt set a world record in his sport by running 100 meters in 9.58 seconds. But many dogs could beat him easily if they could actually keep up with a cheetah, which is about 25 miles per hour when running at top speed. Scientists have calculated that greyhounds reach top speeds of up to 43 miles per hour and race dogs can hit 37 miles per hour. That’s not quite cheetah-level speed, but it’s still really fast! For comparison’s sake: Humans walk at roughly 3 miles per hour and run at 5 mph while racehorses are estimated to run around 40 mph. They seem to understand human body language. Dog lovers tend to think their pets know what they’re thinking or feeling — and science shows they may be right.
In 2014, scientists examined brain scans of dogs as their owners interacted with them and found that when owners directed positive attention toward their dog petting them. For example, activity spiked in areas associated with rewards in canine brains. Other research suggests dogs experience cognitive dissonance when given conflicting instructions (such as go away or come here), implying some level of understanding between human and canine communication. And according to an extensive study published last year in the journal PLOS One, researchers came out of a 30-year observation period believing dogs recognize scents unique to their owner’s home.
Some are fast and could even beat a cheetah
On land, dogs can run faster than Usain Bolt that is one of the craziest surprising facts about dogs. In 2009, Bolt set a world record in his sport by running 100 meters in 9.58 seconds. But many dogs could beat him easily if they could actually keep up with a cheetah, which is about 25 miles per hour when running at top speed. Scientists have calculated that greyhounds reach top speeds of up to 43 miles per hour and race dogs can hit 37 miles per hour. That’s not quite cheetah-level speed, but it’s still really fast! For comparison’s sake: Humans walk at roughly 3 miles per hour and run at 5 mph while racehorses are estimated to run around 40 mph. They seem to understand human body language. Dog lovers tend to think their pets know what they’re thinking or feeling and science shows they may be right.
In 2014, scientists examined brain scans of dogs as their owners interacted with them and found that when owners directed positive attention toward their dog petting them. For example, activity spiked in areas associated with rewards in canine brains. Other research suggests dogs experience cognitive dissonance when given conflicting instructions such as go away or come here. Implying some level of understanding between human and canine communication. And according to an extensive study published last year in the journal PLOS One. Researchers came out of a 30-year observation period believing dogs recognize scents unique to their owner’s home.
Dogs Love Attention From Their Humans
Did you know that dogs love attention from their humans? It’s true. In fact, research has shown that our canines rely on us more than we realize when it comes to regulating our emotions. And contrary to popular belief, giving your dog treats isn’t going to make him or her love you anymore. In fact, it might even do just the opposite. Instead of using food as a means of showing affection, try spending time with your pet by engaging in games and activities like fetch or hide-and-seek so they can get some much-needed exercise. Doing so will strengthen your bond and help both of you live a happier life together!
Dogs Love To Play Ball (and fetch!)
Dogs love to play ball and fetch with their owners. If you want to bond with your pet, or if your dog just loves to play, keep a stash of tennis balls (or other kinds of balls) and a good throwing stick (such as a Frisbee). This can be a fun activity you can do together while also making sure your dog stays fit! As an added bonus, playing together is not only fun but will also strengthen your relationship. After all, who doesn’t like cuddling up with a furry friend? Your dog certainly does! Just wait until you see how much he enjoys having his tummy rubbed.
Dogs don’t sweat as we do
Dogs are like humans in a number of ways, but when it comes to sweat, we’ve got them beat. While we humans have about 3 million sweat glands and produce up to a quart of sweat daily. Dogs only have about 60 sweat glands that are mainly located on their paw pads. So while we may be working up a sweaty mess trying to get those stubborn leaves off our lawn. Dogs are doing just fine with occasional pant or shake-off. The reason why? Dogs don’t have thermoreceptors that respond to changes in temperature like ours do, which means they’re regulated to panting for cooling similar to how cats cool themselves instead of sweating out excess heat.
Some dogs are incredible swimmers
One of their favorite places to sunbathe or lay down for a snooze is in a pool or on a dock. Paws and claws won’t do when it comes to staying afloat, so dogs instinctively learn how to swim at an early age. In fact, many dogs are better swimmers than people! However, not all breeds of dogs know how to swim—you should always test your dog’s comfort level before taking him into deep water.
If you have any doubts about your dog’s swimming abilities, leave him on shore with some food and toys while you have fun splashing around in deeper waters. A good way to help dogs learn how to swim properly is by throwing balls into the pool for them. Once they get used to chasing after something floating in front of them. It shouldn’t be too difficult for them to figure out what happens if they take a couple of steps back from the shore.
Nearly every dog has two different eye colors. It turns out that most dogs actually have heterochromia iridis (or different-colored eyes), which causes one iris (the colored part) to be different colors than its counterpart. Dogs with heterochromia have one normal-colored eye and one partially blue eye, both blue eyes, or both brown eyes.
Dog’s Do Feel Jealousy
Do you ever notice that your dog is pouting, sulking, or seems to just be angry? Don’t worry! They are not necessarily depressed. They may just be feeling jealous. Dogs and humans share many of the same emotions, but dogs express them differently from us. Instead of using words to explain what they are feeling, dogs use body language to show their happiness or sorrow. Scientists have learned that when dogs feel happy or satisfied, their tails start wagging in a full circle back and forth, instead of just side-to-side as a person would do. However, if your dog’s tail suddenly drops between his legs, he might be feeling jealous or envious about something you are doing.