You may already think you already know all there is to know about dogs, but here are 16 amazing facts about your favorite pet that may surprise you!
Did you know:
- A dog’s sense of smell can be 10,000 to 100,000 times stronger than that of humans.
- Dogs have three eyelids — their third eyelid helps to lubricate their eyes and is called the nictitating membrane (also known as the haw). Ever wonder why it looks like your dog’s eyes are rolling back into his head? That’s actually his third eyelid closing.
- When a dog curls up into a ball to sleep, it is actually an instinct to protect his vital organs from potential predators.
- Smiling at a dog may be interpreted as a sign of aggression, as it looks as though you are baring your teeth.
- Dalmatian puppies are born completely white. They develop their distinctive spots as they grow older.
- Dogs drink water by bending their tongue and using it as a little cup.
- Although we humans love cozying up to our dogs whenever possible, snuggling can make dogs feel vulnerable, as they interpret a limb being positioned over them as a sign of dominance.
- Dogs can see in color. Contrary to the belief that dogs can only see in black and white, tests have shown that dogs can also see various shades of yellows, blues and grays.
- Having a wet nose is vital for dogs as it helps them to determine the direction that a certain smell is coming from.
- Dogs have lived with humans for approximately 14,000 years — almost twice as long as cats have!
- Greyhounds are actually blue. The name comes from a mistranslation from the German term “Greishund.” Although it looks like “grey hound” in English, it actually translates as “ancient dog.”
- Dogs can understand approximately 250 different words or hand gestures. It has also been suggested that they have the mathematical ability to count up to five in their heads.
- The average dog can reach speeds of about 19 mph. Greyhounds, however, can reach up to 45 mph.
- Dogs are born blind and deaf, but some grow up to be able to see in the dark (due to the tapetum lucidum membrane found in their eyes) and hear sounds from up to four times farther away than any human could hear.
- Dogs experience rapid eye movement (REM) when they’re sleeping, just like humans – which means they can dream! You’ve probably spotted your canine fidgeting or even barking in her sleep before; these are all signs that she is probably dreaming.
- At the end of the Beatles song “A Day in the Life,” Paul McCartney included a high-pitched whistle that can only be heard by dogs. He did so for the benefit of his own dog.