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50 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Dogs

Wednesday August 27th 2014

Human Behaviours
1. A recent study found that dogs got snappy and agitated when their owners played with stuffed pets, suggesting they have the ability to get jealous.
2. Dogs can suffer from a canine version of OCD known as Canine Compulsive Disorder (CCD). Compulsive tail chasing is one of the most common examples of CCD.
3. Dogs are as intelligent as two-year old children - understanding around 200 words and being able to count up to five.
4. Ever wondered why your dog twitches while asleep? Dogs sleep just like humans, going through slow waves sleep and rapid eye movement. During the REM stage, it’s thought that dogs dream.
5. The love hormone oxytocin can be released when a dog interacts with other dogs or humans.

Clever Canines
6. The stray dogs in Moscow may be the smartest in the world, as they supposedly travel on the metro to find food.
7. Dogs drinking by shaping their tongue into a cup shape.

8. Dogs can count… but only up to five.

Dog's Body
9. The typical dog has 42 permanent teeth, compared to 32 in humans.
10. Dogs only sweat through their paws, which mean they need to find other ways to keep themselves cool - such as panting.
11. Dogs have three eyelids - these help ensure their eyes are kept moist and protected.
12. Dogs wag their tails more to the right when happy or relaxed and to the left when nervous.
13. Domestic dogs have 50% more bones than an adult human (319 on average compared to 206).

Awesome sense
14. More than a dozen muscles control a dog's ear movements, not only helping them locate the source of sound in 6/100ths of a second, but also to communicate their feelings.
15. A study conducted in the Czech Republic found that specially trained German Shepherds could distinguish the scents of identical twins, even when they ate the same food and lived in the same environment.
16. Depending on the dog's breed, its sense of smell is anywhere between 1,000 - 10,000,000 times as sensitive as a human's.
17. A dog's nose is wet to help it smell - which is why a dog will regularly lick its nose.
18. While dogs are known for their amazing sense of smell, their sense of taste isn't quite as good - humans have five times as many taste buds as dogs.
19. Dogs can only see in black and white, right? Wrong. They can actually see blues and yellows - but can't tell the difference between greens and reds.
20. Dogs have great night vision thanks to a mirror-like structure that reflects light called the tapetum. As well as making a dog's eyes glow, it lets the retina register light twice.

Historical Dogs
21. While the Egyptians are well known for their love of cats, they also owned dogs, keeping them as hunters and protectors.
22. While spiked dog collars have negative connotations today, they were first used by the ancient Greeks to protect their sheepdogs from wolf attacks.
23. A Pekingese and two Pomeranians survived the Titanic - unsurprisingly they were staying in first class cabins.
24. In the 1970s, the fossilized remains of a pet dog from 33,000 years ago was discovered in Siberia.

25. More than 400 breeds are recognised around the world, making dogs the most varied animal species on earth.
26. Many dog breeds are extinct an no longer exist, including the Molossus, a breed kept by Greeks and Romans, the Bullenbeisser, and the Talbot - which may have been brought to England by William the Conqueror in 1066.
27. A survey of over 200 dog obedience judges revealed Border Collies were considered the most intelligent dog breed, with Afghan Hounds the least intelligent.
28. There are 14 ancient dog breeds - these are the most genetically similar to wolves of all dog breeds. These breeds include the Akita Inu, Siberian Husky, Chow Chow and Afghan Hound.
29. The Cocker Spaniel has won the Best in Show title at Crufts seven times - that's more than any other breed.
30. Dalmatians' spots aren't visible for the first 10 days of their life.
31. There are four banned dogs in the UK - the Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Braziliero.

Famous Dogs
32. Queen Elizabeth II has owned more than 30 corgis since becoming Queen in 1952. Three of them, Monty, Willow and Holly appeared in the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony.
33. Paul McCartney added a high-pitched whistle to The Beatles song "A day in the Life" that was only audible to dogs for the pleasure of his Shetland sheepdog.
34. Pudsey, the first and so far only dog to win Britain's Got Talent, is a Border Collie, Bichon Frise and Chinese Crested powderpuff cross.
35. In the film Lady and the Tramp, Lady is a cocker spaniel. Walt Disney's family dog was also called Lady, but it was actually a Poodle.
36. Lord Byron reportedly brought a tame bear to Trinity College, Cambridge out of disdain for rules that prohibited him bringing his Newfoundlad, Boatswain.
37. The first dog in space, Laika, was a stray dog from Moscow. Sputnik 2 was launched in November 1957, and she died within several hours from overheating, causing outrage amongst animal rights groups in the UK.
38. Scooby-Doo has a fair claim to being the most famous dog - the 2002 film of the same name is the highest grossing movie based on a dog.

39. No dog has been recorded as living more than 30 years, although a Terrier named Max that died in May 2013 reached the ripe old age of 29 years and 282 days.
40. The tallest ever dog was a blue Great Dane called Giant George, who stood at 7 ft 3 on his hind legs. He died shortly before his 8th birthday in October 2013.
41. Meanwhile, the world's smallest fully grown dog is a Puerto Rican Chihuahua who is less than 10cm tall and weighs half a kilogram.
42. One of the world's fastest greyhounds Shakey Jakey was retired after just one race- because his owner believed he could make more money acting as a stud.
43. Thought your dog was expensive? A Tibestan mastiff puppy was sold for almost $2 million in China in March 2014.
44. In 2004 a Neapolitan Mastiff living in the UK named Tia gave birth to 24 puppies - a world record, and much higher than average of around eight.

45. Dogs that live in cities live on average three years longer than those that live in the country
46. Many common house and garden are poisonous to dogs - these include azaleas, foxgloves, lilies and wisteria.
47. Grapes can be lethally toxic to dogs, while onions can cause anemia.
48. Greyhounds chase the artificial hare around a racetrack because it is rubbed with the herb anise - it's like catnip for dogs!
49. Dogs are mentioned 14 times in the Bible - and not kindly!
50. Around a quarter of households in the UK are home to a total of 8.5 million pet dogs.

This article was written on behalf of helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company who offer a range of cover including Income Protection, Pet Insurance, GAP insurance and Gadget Insurance. Visit us online at