From the weird, to the wonderful, to the downright unbelievable! Here are 18 facts about dogs that you probably didn’t know were true!
1. Just like humans have fingerprints, the creases and ridges of a dog’s nose are so distinct and varying that they are unique to every individual pooch.
2. Ever heard of the Cesky Terrier? Unlikely, since it’s one of the rarest dog breeds in the world – there are only about 350 of these moustachioed pooches across the globe.
3. The word “Corgi” is actually Welsh for “dwarf dog”.
4. Dogs have a sense of smell that is 10,000 times stronger than a human’s.
5. After his disabled owner was hit by a car, Endal the service dog managed to put him in the recovery position, cover him with a blanket, fetch his phone from under the car, and run to a nearby hotel to get help. Amongst his many other achievements, Endal was also able to use an ATM to withdraw money for his owner!
6. The Otterhound is the rarest native dog breed in the UK, with only 22 puppies registered in 2014.
7. The Pekingese was the breed of choice in imperial China, and is one of the world’s most ancient dog breeds at over 2,000 years old.
8. According to Guiness World Records, the tallest dog ever was a Great Dane called Zeus, who stood at 111cm, but measured a whopping 2.26m when standing up on his hind legs!
9. Dogs might just be cleverer than you think! It is believed that our pooches can learn the meanings of up to 250 words and gestures, and can count up to five and do basic mathematics – making them as intelligent as the average 2-year-old child!
10. In 2013, a service dog named Kirsch became the first pooch to receive an honorary degree after sitting through every one of his owner’s lectures with him.
11. The second day of Tihar, a five-day-long Hindu festival celebrated in Nepal, is dedicated to dogs. People bring food and flower garlands to dogs to honour them and their special relationship with humans.
12. Contrary to popular belief, dogs can actually see in colour. They are able to see blue and yellow, but not red, meaning that they are unable to distinguish between red and green.
13. In 1987, a guard dog at Belgrade zoo managed to fend off an escaped jaguar. Gabi the German shepherd fought off the jaguar, preventing it from leaving the zoo and giving staff enough time to call police. Luckily, Gabi lived to tell the tale, and the zoo put up a statue in her honour!
14. The Komodor is a dog breed traditionally used to guard sheep from predators. They were bred to have such thick, matted hair that wolves would be unable to bite through it.
15. The oldest evidence to be found of a human-dog relationship is a set of footprints in a cave in France, which were made by a child and a large dog (or a wolf) walking side by side around 26,000 years ago.
16. Shiba Inu’s almost became extinct in the aftermath of World War II due to food shortages and a distemper epidemic. All of today’s Shibas are descended from one of three bloodlines.
17. Dogs have been scientifically proven to be able to reduce stress in humans – a study found that peoples’ blood pressure decreased when they were petting dogs.
18. The most expensive dog ever was a Tibetan Mastiff puppy, which was sold in China for a whopping £1.3million!
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