30 Fun Facts About Dogs
Find out why your dog acts the way he does.
Dogs only have sweat glands in their paws
Even though they sweat out through the pads of their paws, their main form of cooling down is panting. Pet owners, beware of these signs of heatstroke in dogs.
“Dog breath” is actually unhealthy
You might expect your dog’s mouth to smell like, well, dog. But persistent bad breath can actually be a sign of dental disease or other health problems. If you don’t already, have your dog’s teeth examined by a veterinarian every year. Watch out for other common signs that your dog is sick.
It’s not abnormal for dogs to eat feces
It’s no secret: dogs often eat their own feces (and other fecal matter). But though it might seem gross, the ASPCA says it’s perfectly normal, stemming from their pre-domestication days thousands of years ago. More common in puppies, older dogs usually grow out of it, although some do it into adulthood. Here are more dog facts about this confounding canine habit.
Dogs pooping has a pattern
Ever wonder why dogs like to twirl around before they do their business? Well, it’s one of the many dog behaviors that perplex researchers, but the prevailing theory is that it has to do with the Earth’s magnetic field. Dogs like to poop facing north or south, and spinning around helps them correctly orient their internal compasses.
Dogs get jealous
“You’re not imagining it if you think your dog is acting jealous when you give other dogs attention,” says Nikki Naser, Resident Pet Expert at Chewy. “It might not be exactly how we experience jealousy, but research has shown that it’s similar to how an infant might get jealous.” That certainly tracks with dogs’ intelligence being on par with that of a toddler. This dog jealousy is something dog groomers experience when they come home to their own dogs—it’s one of the things pet groomers wish you knew.
Don’t get so touchy-feely
Of course, you love your good boy or girl so much. But they actually don’t love it when you give them big bear hugs. “The way people show love is not the same way a dog shows love or wants to receive love,” says Russell Hartstein, CEO of the Los Angeles puppy training company Fun Paw Care. “In fact, it can be very stressful.” He says that dogs can adapt and become comfortable with loved ones doing it, but you should still be careful about giving hugs to a dog you don’t know well, and about letting strangers hug yours. You might be surprised to learn other things you do that your dog actually hates, too.
Dogs aren’t actually color-blind
This is one of the most common dog “facts” that are actually false. Despite a prevailing myth that dogs can only see in black and white, your pooch actually can see a spectrum of color. While they do have trouble distinguishing between different shades of green and red, which will mostly just appear as grays and browns, blue and yellow tones are relatively clear to them.
Dogs hating mailmen is nothing personal
Dogs are a protective species, and they understandably see a person coming near their house and placing unfamiliar objects in a box as a potential threat. And it’s often made worse, not better, by the fact that the mail carrier comes repeatedly; dogs figure out approximately when they arrive and then get riled up and antsy beforehand. To save your mail carrier from undue canine aggression, experts recommend being friendly to them, around your dog, so that your dog can see that you trust them. You can also let your mail carrier know what your dog’s name is so that he or she can properly address your dog.
Your dog responds to your tone
Don’t forget that dogs don’t experience the full breadth of emotions that humans do, so if you’re trying to train or admonish your dog, taking an angry tone and a very loud voice might just make him skittish. According to Hartstein, “your prosodic of speech, tone, rhythm, [and the] pitch of your voice is far more important” than what you’re actually saying. That’s also a big part of the reason why dogs respond positively to that high-pitched cute-pet speak. You should also ignore these common dog training myths.