Dogs are so much more than just a pet. They are our best friends, yet mysterious in many ways.

Even though dogs have been domesticated animals for a very long time, we still have so much to learn about them and from them.

Below are 101 interesting and fun facts about dogs, perfect for a night of dog trivia!

close up of a dogs nose

Dog Nose Facts

  1. A dog’s nose print is unique like a human’s fingerprint. No two dog noses are the same.
  2. A dog’s sense of smell is 40x better than ours. A dog’s nose has as many as 300 million olfactory receptors, compared to about 6 million in a human nose.
  3. Dogs’ noses can sense heat/thermal radiation.
  4. Dogs have been trained to use their powerful sense of smell to sniff out 28 different types of disease/disorder or a change in a disease/disorder status that could lead to a health emergency. As of February 2022, these include: Addison’s disease (adrenal insufficiency), anaphylaxis, asthma, blood glucose (e.g., diabetes), congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS), complicated migraines, cortisol, drop attacks, epilepsy, heart conditions, hemiplaegic migraines, idiopathic pancreatitis, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), narcolepsy, non-epileptic attack disorder (NEAD), nut allergy, postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS), syncopy, bladder cancer, prostate cancer, colo-rectal cancer, breast cancer, malaria, Parkinson’s, COVID-19, Pseudomonas bacteria, E. coli bacteria and canine cancer.
  5. First reported case of canine cancer detection was on April 1, 1989. A trainee dermatologist Hywel Williams and Andres Pembroke published a letter in medical journal The Lancet detailing the case of a dog whose continual interest in a mole on his owner’s leg led her to seek medical advice; it transpired to be a malignant melanoma. This is the first official report of a dog using its powerful sense of smell to have potentially identified cancer, resulting in its early treatment.
  6. A wet nose helps your dog smell better.
  7. A dry nose is totally normal and does NOT mean your dog is sick.
  8. Dogs can smell time, they know if a dog has marked that tree today, yesterday or last wee
brown and white dog licking nose with ears sideways

Dog Ear & Hearing Facts

  1. All puppies are born deaf. It’s not until they are two to three weeks of age that they can start hearing.
  2. A dog can locate the source of a sound in 6/100th of a second.
  3. Dogs can hear sounds as high as 47,000 to 65,000 Hz versus the average adult human cannot hear sounds above 20,000 Hz.
  4. Dogs can hear 4 times the distance of a human.
  5. Dogs have 18 muscles controlling their ears.
  6. Dogs have the ability to move their ears independently, helping them communicate with us and other dogs. 
  7. The longest ears on a living dog are 68 cm (26.77 in), with both the left and right ears measuring 34 cm (13.38). Lou is a black and tan Coonhound and related to the previous record holder.
portrait of dog with tongue sticking out

Dog Mouth Facts

  1. Dogs have about 1,700 taste buds compared to 9,000 in humans.
  2. Dogs have taste buds in the back of their throat, which explains why my dogs inhale their food without chewing it.
  3. Dogs don’t always yawn because they are tired. Yawning is considered a calming signal.
  4. Human yawns are contagious for domestic dogs. Proving dogs do feel empathy.
  5. A puppy will have 28 deciduous teeth, starting to appear around two weeks old and completely grown in around 12 weeks old.
  6. Dogs have a total of 42 adult permanent teeth.
  7. Dogs have more than 600 different types of bacteria in their mouths.
  8. The longest tongue on a living dog is 9.50 cm (3.74 in), a two-year-old male English Setter.
puppy with big wide eyes

Dog Eye Facts

  1. Puppies are born with their eyes closed. Eyes open at around 2 weeks old.
  2. Dogs are NOT colorblind. They can see blue and yellow. But have trouble distinguishing between shades of green and red. If you watch DogTV, you will notice everything is enhanced in the blue and yellow range.
  3. Dogs have an extra eyelid called the ‘third eyelid’ or the nictitating membrane, at the inside corner of their eyes. These third eyelids protect the eye from injury, infection, and can produce additional tears.
  4. Dogs have night vision. They can see in light that’s five times dimmer than what humans need to see clearly.
  5. Most dogs are nearsighted, which means they see nearby objects clearly, but things in the distance are somewhat blurry.

 

Dog Body Facts

  1. The normal body temperature for dogs is between 101° and 102.5° F
  2. Most dogs are fully grown by 18 months old.
  3. Dogs curl up when sleeping to keep warm and protect vital organs. An instinctual trait carried over from their wolf heritage.
  4. Dogs have 319-321 bones in their bodies (depending on tail length).
  5. Dogs have between 6-24 bones in their tails (20 on average).
  6. The longest tail on a dog (Irish wolfhound) measures 76.8 cm (30.2 in).
  7. A dog’s blood pressure goes down when being pet, and so does the humans.
  8. The position and speed of a tail wag have different meanings. A tail wag doesn’t always mean the dog is happy.
  9. Dogs sweat through their paw pads. These are called pedal scent glands, which includes the foot pads and interdigital regions.
  10. Dogs cool down by panting.
  11. Your dog could be left or right pawed. There have been a few studies around this and it turns out that just like us, dogs have a preferred hand (well, paw) to lead with. You can find out whether your dog is left or right-pawed by giving them their favorite toy and seeing which paw they use.
  12. Dogs can us facial expressions to communicate with us.
  13. A dogs whiskers help them detect very faint vibrations caused by changes in air movement.
  14. Dogs have scent glands in their paw pads.
  15. Most dogs have webbing between their toes. But there are a handful of “water dog” breeds that have “webbed feet” to help them swim.
two dogs, a yellow lab and a border collie, standing in a bed of daisies

Male dog facts

  1. Male dogs are generally larger than their female counterparts.
  2. Male dogs are usually more affectionate than females.
  3. Neuter(ed) is to surgically sterilize or remove the male dogs reproductive parts.

Female dog facts

  1. Female dogs mature earlier than male dogs
  2. A female dog goes into heat only twice a year.
  3. A female dog is called a Bitch.
  4. Spay(ed) is to surgically sterilize or remove the female dog’s reproductive parts.
two small dogs sitting in leaves looking up at person

Dog Behavior Facts

  1. According to findings from a psychologist and leading canine researcher, dogs can understand more than 150 words, they can count and they are smart enough to intentionally deceive other dogs and people in order to get treats.
  2. An adult dog sleeps an average of 12 – 14 hours per day.
  3. When dogs kick backward after they go to the bathroom it’s not to cover it up, but to mark their territory, using the scent glands in their feet.
  4. Dogs dream just like we do.
  5. recent study shows that dogs are among a small group of animals who show voluntary unselfish kindness towards others without any reward.
  6. It’s normal for dogs to eat poop.
  7. Dogs hump for other reasons than sexual. Humping can be a sign of general excitement, nervousness, or aggression.
  8. Dogs sniff each other’s rear ends as a form of communication. A dog’s anal glands express scent that relay important information to a dog.
  9. Dogs can sense of time, this is obvious in our house as the dogs let me know when it’s time for breakfast and dinner at the exact time every single day.
  10. Dogs are sensitive to drops in barometric pressure.  
  11. Puppies lick their mother as a sign of affection or to indicate they are hungry.
  12. When your dog licks your face, it releases pleasure-causing endorphins resulting in a sense of comfort or self-soothing.
  13. Dogs feel empathy, knowing when you are happy, sad or angry.
  14. Dogs are sensitive to small variations of the Earth’s magnetic field.
white bully breed dog sitting on a blue chair

Dog Breed Facts

  1. Greyhounds can beat cheetahs in a race. While cheetahs can run twice as fast as greyhounds, they can only maintain that 70-mph speed for about thirty seconds. A Greyhound can maintain a 35-mph speed for about seven miles.
  2. The Bloodhound’s sense of smell is so accurate that the results of its tracking can be used as evidence in a court of law.
  3. Dalmatians are born completely white, and develop their spots as they get older.
  4. Basenjis are the only barkless dog in the world. But are not silent, they can still howl and make other noises.
  5. Labrador RetrieverGerman Shepherd Dog, and Golden Retriever are the top three favorite breeds of dog owners in the United States.
  6. The name Collie means “black.” Collies once tended black-faced sheep.
  7. Up to 90 percent of Chihuahuas are born with a soft spot on their heads, much like human babies have. But unlike their human counterparts, the Chihuahua’s soft spots — called molera — never completely disappear.
  8. Chow Chows have tongues that can range from a deep purple to bluish black in color.
  9. Dachshunds were first developed to be badger-hunting dogs. The word dachs is German for badger, so his literal name is “Badger Dog.”
  10. The least hairy dog breed is the Xoloitzcuintli (or Xolo for short). Also called the Mexican Hairless Dog.
  11. The largest litter of puppies is 24, all of whom were born on 29 November 2004 to, a Neapolitan mastiff. They were born by Caesarian section, one was still born, three died in the first week. There were nine females, 15 males in total.
three dogs playing on beach/water

Interesting Fun Facts About Dogs

  1. 45% percent of U.S. dogs sleep in their owner’s bed.
  2. The first domesticated dogs came about 33,000 years ago, evolving from wolves who had scavenged alongside humans for generations, into the pet dogs we know and love today.
  3. Dogs and humans release the same hormone, oxytocin.
  4. Approximately 21% of all dogs snore in their sleep.
  5. Only 13 presidents did NOT have a dog in the White House.
  6. 63.4 million households within the United States, own at least one dog.
  7. Dogs are direct descendants of wolves.
  8. There are 8,512 results found for “dog” in the Guinness Book of World Records.
  9. The smallest dog on record is a fist-sized, dwarf Yorkshire terrier. When full grown, this tiny dog stood 2.8 in at the shoulder and measured 3.75 in from the tip of its nose to the tip of its tail.
  10.  A Great Dane is the Tallest Dog Ever at 44 in from foot to wither. Standing on hind legs, he stretches to 7 ft 4 in and weighs 155 pounds.
  11. The first cloned dog to survive birth is Snuppy, an Afghan hound puppy, created by Hwang Woo-Suk (South Korea) and his team of scientists at Seoul National University (SNU) in South Korea, after which the dog was named. Snuppy’s growth was stimulated when a donor egg cell fused with DNA from the ear of Tie (three-year-old male Afghan hound), before being transferred to a surrogate golden labrador female for 60 full days of pregnancy, before being born by caesarean on 25 April 2005. Snuppy celebrated his first birthday in 2006.
  12. Think walking one dog is tough? How about walking 36? The most dogs walked simultaneously by an individual is 36.
  13. Dogs not only read another dogs’ body language but can read human body language too.
  14. Dogs can learn sign language.
  15. The first dog in space was called Laika, a Russian mongrel who orbited the earth in 1957.
  16. Dogs have many holidays devoted to them, including National Dog Day, National Puppy Day, National Mutt Day, National Train your dog month, Remember Me Thursday and many more.
  17. As of 2022, 200 dog breeds are recognized by the American Kennel Club which was founded in 1884.
  18. The worldwide dog population is estimated to be 900 million.
  19. There are over 75 million pet dogs in the U.S.—more than in any other country.
  20. Free-range dogs make up 75%-85% of the world’s dog population.
  21. There are 35 species of wild dogs recognized in the world.
  22. 3.3 million dogs enter shelters each year in the U.S.
  23. In the United States, 20% (about 670,000) of dogs that enter shelters each year are euthanized.
  24. Americans spend a total of $1,201 on dogs yearly.
  25. The longest-running pet shelter on a single site is Battersea Dogs & Cats Home (UK), which has been operating in the same location in London, UK, since May 13, 1871.
  26. Three dogs survived the historical sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Two Pomeranians and one Pekingese – all from First Class cabins.
  27. Thirteen U.S. states have designated state dogs:
  • Alaska – Alaskan Malamute
  • Delaware – Golden Retriever      
  • Louisiana – Catahoula Leopard dog        
  • Maryland – Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • Massachusetts – Boston Terrier
  • New Hampshire – Chinook
  • North Carolina – Plott Hound
  • Pennsylvania – Great Dane
  • South Carolina – Boykin Spaniel
  • Tennessee – Bluetick Coonhound
  • Texas – Blue Lacy
  • Virginia – American Foxhound
  • Wisconsin – American Water Spaniel     

Whats next?

How many times have you thought, if people were only more like dogs, this world would be a much better place to live?

If you have an interesting fact about dogs that I haven’t listed, please share below in the comments. Let’s keep learning together!

About the Author

Debi McKee

Debi McKee is the expert behind Rescue Dogs 101 where she guides you in your journey of adopting and raising a rescue dog every step of the way. She is a mom of 3 human kids and 4 dogs and volunteers for a local dog rescue and Humane Society. Click here for more about Debi and her passion for helping you and your dog.

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