We are a team of writers, designers & product developers who all double as passionate (ok, obsessive) nerds of the pet world.
Did you know that a dog once attacked a French ambassador? Or that 3 dogs made it on to lifeboats as the Titanic sank? Whether you’re a long-time dog parent or just love petting everyone else’s pups at the park, here are 33 facts about dogs that are sure to surprise you.
1. Webbed Feet Aren’t Just For Ducks
With webbed feet and a water-resistant coat, the Newfoundland Dogs were bred to be lifeguards and fishermen’s first mates.
2. Four-legged Survivors Of The Titanic
Wrapped in a baby blanket, two Pomeranians and a Pekingese were the only three dogs that survived the sinking of the Titanic. All three pups were traveling in first class!
3. World’s Tallest Dog Towers Over Toddlers
Another Guinness Book of World Records holder, Zeus, a great dane, measured a whopping 44-inches tall (3.6 feet) on October 4, 2011, making him the tallest dog alive. That’s the height of your average 10 year old!
4. A Pup Fit For Pharaohs
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Saluki is the world’s oldest known breed of domesticated dog dating back to around 329 B.C.E. Hailing from Ancient Egypt, these noble pups were taken as royal pets and even mummified after death. In fact, the mummified bodies of Salukis have been found buried with pharaohs!
5. Star Wars Aliens Inspired By Dogs
Remember those adorable Ewoks in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi? The ones you wanted to take home with you? They were inspired by dogs! Yep, Director George Lucas modeled the adorable facial features of Ewoks after his own Brussels Griffon dog.
6. World’s Best Hunting Dog
With a 50 to 70% success rate, the African Hunting Dog is the world’s most successful predator, even the Guinness Book of World Records recognizes this mighty hunter.
7. A Song With Chords Only Dogs Can Hear
In the Beatles’ song, “A Day in the Life”, there is a special frequency that only dogs can hear at the end of the song. It’s time to find that Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band CD and watch how your dog reacts at the end of the song!
8. And The Most Popular Dog Breed in America Is…
According to the American Kennel Club, the Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog breed in America, and has held this title for almost 30 years! If you’ve been debating about what type of dog to get, you might want to go with a clear winner.
9. German Shepherd Gets Academy Nod
It’s rumored that a German shepherd, Rin Tin TIn, was nominated for an Academy Award. This dog was found as a puppy in a burned-out shelter in France during World War I. At the height of stardom, he had his own personal chef to prepare daily meals! You have to wonder how many barks long his acceptance speech would have been.
10. Who’s Snoozin’ in Your Bed?
Do you let your pup sleep in bed with you? Join the club! According to the American Kennel Club, up to 45% of dogs sleep in bed with their parents.
11. Earning Your Spots
Dalmatians are famous for their white coats with black spots, and yes, that Disney movie. However, dalmatians are actually born solid white and develop their spots over time.
12. Raise Your Right Paw & Repeat After Me
A Bloodhound has such a keen sense of smell that they can be presented as evidence in a court of law. These pups can follow a scent for over 130 miles and smell a scent for up to 300 hours!
13. A Snout Like No Other
Similar to human fingerprints, no canine nose prints are exactly alike. The next time one of your dogs makes a mess, you might look at the nose prints to find the guilty party.
14. Appalachian Trail Blazer
15. Faster Than A Cheetah
In a marathon, a Greyhound can easily beat Cheetah. While both animals hit unimaginably high speeds, the Cheetah can only maintain the speed for 200-300 yards, while a Greyhound can run 35 mph for up to seven miles! And the winner is…the canine (but you dog lovers already knew that)!
16. Barkless Doesn’t Mean Silent
The Basenji is known as the barkless dog. However, these dogs are anything but silent. They actually yodel, scream, and whine.
17. A Fur Family Christmas
More than 70% of dog parents sign their fur baby’s name on family Christmas and holiday cards before mailing them out. This proves that dogs are more than just pets; they’re a part of our family.
18. Wet Nosed With a Purpose
Ever wonder why your pup has a wet nose? Your dog’s nose secretes a mucus that allows them to absorb chemical scents. Once they absorb the scent, they lick their noses to determine the origin of the scent. Aren’t you glad you don’t have to lick your nose to determine that a scent came from an orange?
19. Friend With Health Benefits
Did you know that petting a dog for 15 minutes can lower your blood pressure, and the dog’s? Turns out when you’re feeling stressed, some quality canine time may be just what the doctor ordered.
20. Mark My Poop Territory
After going to the bathroom, you may notice that your dog kicks backward. You probably thought this was to cover it up, but it isn’t. He’s marking his territory with scent glands located on the bottom of his feet.
21. Puppies, Puppies & More Puppies
A single female dog, her mate, and puppies can grow to be an extremely large family in just six years. These pups can produce up to 67,000 dogs in that time. Wonder what Thanksgiving is like for this extended family.
22. Turns Out Pups Aren’t Colorblind
Some people believe that dogs are colorblind. They aren’t. However, they only see blue and yellow so it’s similar to what you see at dusk.
23. Yawns Are Contagious
Did you know that your dog can catch a case of the yawns from you? In fact, a dog is four times more likely to yawn when they see a human they know yawning.
24. Presidential Pups of America
A French ambassador found himself without pants after Teddy Roosevelt’s dog, Pete, tore them off. Apparently, Pete missed the briefing on diplomacy. Also, Franklin Roosevelt was accused of ordering an American destroyer to stop in the Aleutian Islands to pick up his Scottie at a cost of millions of dollars.
25. Famous Canines in Commercials
26. Fur Baby, Indeed
In the United States, at least a million dogs have been listed as the primary beneficiary of their owner’s will.
27. Give Me A Bark
A poll led by the American Animal Hospital Association found that up to 33% of dog owners talk to their pups on the phone and even leave messages on the answering machine for their pets.
28. Biggest, Smallest & Heaviest
29. The First Dog In Space
In 1957, a dog named Laika became the first species to enter outer space on one of America’s satellites. Later, John F. Kennedy’s canine, Charlie, mated with Laika’s daughter and had four puppies.
30. A Dog For Everyone
Did know there are a whopping 339 domestic dog breeds in existence today? With so much choice, you’re sure to find a favorite breed and fall in love with your new pet.
While every dog is uniquely pawsome and full of surprises, there are certain things all dogs need to stay happy and healthy for life. Find out what they are and how Pumpkin can help!
This content was originally published here.