Looking for fun facts about dogs? From dalmatians being born without their spots to dogs not being colorblind, check out these dog facts now!
We’ve been keeping dogs as pets for longer than history can even record. Best guesses put the timespan at somewhere between 13,000 and 30,000 years, over which we’ve become the very best of friends.
Dogs offer us company, trust, and unconditional love, and we repay them with our care and affection. After all, they’re not known as man’s best friend for nothing – some owners are closer to their animals than people!
If you’re an animal lover and enjoy learning new fun facts about dogs, then this is the article for you. We promise you’ll find some of these facts really surprising!
We underestimate what dogs are capable of sometimes, but they really can be extraordinary.
Understanding all we can about our devoted doggos is key to keeping them healthy and happy. With that in mind, we’ve pulled together some lesser-known dog facts you might not have known before.
Read on for a rundown on what makes our favorite pet so unique, and even a few traits we humans and dogs have in common. You may even find a random dog fact or two that gives you paws for thought!
Table of Contents
17 Fun Facts About Dogs
1. Greyhounds are faster than cheetahs over long distances
Okay, okay, hear us out on this one. Technically, cheetahs are faster than dogs. Cheetahs are the faster animal on earth.
What we’re getting at here is that our fastest breed of dog, the greyhound, can actually outrun a cheetah over longer distances, topping out at a consistent 45mph. Greyhounds might lose a 100m race, but they’d win a longer race easily.
2. Dalmatians aren’t born with their spots
If you’ve ever seen Disney’s 101 Dalmations, you’ll remember their distinctive spotted coat.
Contrary to popular belief though, dalmation pups aren’t actually born with these. Their coats are usually plain white at birth, and they don’t start to develop their spots until a few weeks later.
3. Their sense of smell is 40 times better than humans
This is definitely one of the best dog facts out there. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, which is why law enforcement often uses them to sniff out illegal or stolen goods.
They’re able to track multiple scents at once with such accuracy because of a special organ hidden in their noses, which puts them leagues ahead of humans in this field.
4. Dogs can only sweat through their paws
Dogs sweat for the same reasons we do – to cool themselves. Unfortunately, dogs can only sweat through their paws, which is why they pant so heavily when it’s hot out.
This is why it’s so important not to leave dogs locked in cars – the heat can overwhelm them far quicker than it does us.
5. Labradors are the most enduringly popular breed
According to the American Kennel Club, Labradors have placed in the ‘Top 10 Most Popular Breeds’ list for 30 consecutive years.
No other breed has come close to this level of enduring popularity, but it’s really no surprise. Labradors are well suited for roles as assistance dogs for people with disabilities. They really do make great dogs!
6. Dogs have an extraordinary sense of hearing
This is another fact about dogs that shows why they’re better than us humans. Dogs are innately gifted with great senses making them worthwhile companions to help humans in times of emergency.
Some breeds make great search and rescue dogs, with not only their sense of smell being used to track but their excellent hearing ability is used in aiding humans in the search for whatever they are looking for.
7. Dogs aren’t colorblind, despite the myths
That’s right – all that talk of dogs seeing in monochrome is absolutely untrue. Dogs have color receptors in their eyes that allow them to distinguish tones of blue and yellow.
Though our range is much wider, a human with a single damaged color receptor sees the world very similarly to our furry friends. This is such a good dog fact you’ll be able to use on trivia night.
8. They’re about as smart as a 2-year-old
Studies suggest that dogs are as intelligent as toddlers and can learn around 100 different words and gestures.
While this probably doesn’t sound too impressive, some dogs have even been trained to press certain buttons to communicate their needs and feelings to us, which is really cool when you think about it.
9. Dogs are left or right-pawed, just like us
This is one of those traits you probably just haven’t thought to look out for. While playing with your dog, offer them a toy and watch which paw they reach out with first.
You’ll find your dog has a consistent dominant paw, just like us, and will use it far more often than the other as a result.
10. There are over 75 million pet dogs in the USA
Quite a lot, right? Needless to say, dogs take the top spot as the most owned pet in the USA. In fact, dogs are the most popular pet on the planet, with more animal lovers choosing them than any other species.
Perhaps if cats were a little less grumpy, they’d be in with a better shot, right?
11. The Australian shepherd is actually an American breed
This one’s just strange. Despite being called the Australian shepherd, the breed originated in California, descended from other herding breeds, such as collies.
Apparently, the name was chosen because its descendants were imported from Australia, though it still seems a confusing choice, personally.
12. Mutts in the movies have had some serious success
Pups in the pictures have done shockingly well for themselves over the years. The Wizard of Oz’s Toto was paid more for his role than the human actors cast as Munchkins.
Meanwhile, Rin Tin Tin was nominated for ‘Best Actor’ at the first Academy Awards, though he was eventually declared ineligible. How funny would that acceptance speech be: “Bark, bark, barkkkkkk!”
13. The world’s smallest dog only weighed 1lb
The Guinness World Record for the smallest dog was awarded to Miracle Milly, a chihuahua born in 2011 that stood only 3.8 inches tall.
She weighed only 1lb and would go on to be cloned 49 times by curious scientists, earning the dubious title of world’s most cloned dog.
14. While the largest weighed 343lb!
On the other end of the scale, the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest dog overall went to a mastiff called Zobra, who weighed in at 343lb and was said to be the same size as a small donkey.
Meanwhile, Zeus, a great dane, currently holds the height record at 1.118 meters. We just love all of these quirky fun facts about dogs!
15. Dogs can love us unconditionally
Studies have shown that dogs are one of the few breeds of animals capable of truly unselfish kindness.
In other words, dogs will come and give us a cuddle if we’re feeling a little blue because they really care, rather than because they’re expecting something in return.
16. Dogs have 18 muscles controlling their ears
You’ve probably noticed that dogs move their ears around a lot. They actually have around 18 muscles responsible for moving their ears.
These help them to change the direction of their ears slightly to hear noises around them better. This is good for hunting, hearing an intruder, or just interacting with another dog. A lot of a dog’s body language is expressed through what their ears are doing.
17. Yawning is contagious, even for dogs
You know that moment when you awkwardly catch someone else’s eye while yawning on the metro, and then immediately yawn after you? And then it travels all around the metro carriage? Yeah, that happens to dogs too.
Research shows that the sound of a human yawn can trigger one from your dog. And it’s four times as likely to happen when it’s the yawn of a person he or she knows.
Who wants more fun facts?
If you’re looking for some recommendations, these are a few of our favorite fact books to buy. We use these when planning fun trivia nights with family and friends!
We really hope you enjoyed all our fun facts about dogs! Which one was your favorite?
If we’ve missed any of your favorite dog facts, you can let us know in the comments below and we’ll add them to this article!