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10 Amazing Things You Probably Don’t Know About Dogs

Some dog lovers are content to know everything about their dog. Others are eager to learn everything there is about dogs!

Whether you’re interested in getting to know your pup better, or ALL dogs better, we have 10 fun facts here that don’t often come up in conversation.

#1 – Puppies are born with 28 teeth but adult dogs have 42 teeth.

Actually, they’re born toothless, but like human babies their teeth sit below the gumline until they come in. A full set for a puppy is only 28 teeth. As they fall out, they’re replaced with 42 adult teeth. There might be fewer of them, but man those puppy teeth are sharp!

#2 – Dogs Can Smell Disease

They are being trained to sniff out lung, breast, skin, bladder, and prostate cancers. Researchers believe they are picking up scents given off by abnormal cells. They also seem to be able to smell diabetes, ovulation, and even high blood pressure! Their sense of smell is so sharp that it could be considered a superpower – or mistaken for psychic ability! See 5 Incredible Things Dogs Can Sense Before They Happen.

#3 – Most Diverse-Looking Mammal

MessyBeast via Wikimedia Commons

A study published by the American Naturalists in 2010 found that the differences between the skulls of different breeds of dogs are more diverse than among any other mammal species. In the photo above you can see the difference between the pup of one species and an adult male of another.

#4 – Dogs sweat through their paw pads

Many think dog’s do not sweat, only pant. This is not true. They do sweat, but only through their pads. It’s what causes that “corn chip” smell you might be familiar with. It’s not a very effective form of cooling your dog down – panting is much more efficient for dogs – but experts think that the purpose isn’t cooling at all. They believe that the purpose of paw pads sweating is to cause them to be less likely to slip on surfaces.

#5 – Color Changing

Carlos Estrada via Wikimedia Commons

Many breeds change color as they age. For example, Dalmatians are completely white at birth, but spots begin coming in around two weeks old. Over the next 5 to 6 months, more spots will appear, and then darken. Likewise, all Bedlington Terriers are born dark and lighten with age.

Elyssa Albert via Wikimedia Commons

 #6 – Free Shoulder Blades

Museum of Veterinary Anatomy via Wikimedia Commons

A human’s shoulder is made up of three bones – the collarbone, the shoulder blade, and the upper arm bone. These bones, with their muscles, ligaments and tendons, allow us to move our arms the way that they do. Our shoulders were designed for an upright mammal – they are meant to lift, push, and pull.

Dogs have no need to push, pull, or lift with their arms. What dogs needed in the wild was speed and range of motion to escape predators and hunt. A dog’s shoulder blades are not attached to the rest of its skeleton. Learn more about how their shoulders work and why here.

#7 – Not All Dogs Bark

The Basenji is the world’s only “barkless” dog. They yodel instead which may annoy your neighbors more. You can hear with this particular breed’s song sounds like in the video above. It’s thought that these dogs were bred for silence, since barking might lead enemies to their humans’ encampments.

#8 – The First Sense Dogs Develop is Touch

Their entire body is covered in nerve-endings. This explains why it’s so important to handle a puppy correctly and often to get them used the sensations early. This sense will later be what sets your dog’s leg off during a really great scratch!

#9 – Dogs DO See Color

Humans have three different color receptors in their eyes – we can see colors on a spectrum ranging from red, to blue, to green. These are the colors most humans see in a rainbow.

Dogs only have two kinds of receptors. The colors they see best are yellow, gray, and blue (which is why most agility equipment is painted in yellow and blue.) Learn more about it in The Truth About Color Blindness in Dogs.


#10 – Dogs Have Fewer Tastebuds Than Humans

Dogs really do taste more with their eyes and their noses! Remember that the next time your dog is begging. Dogs have about 1,700 taste buds, compared to our 9,000. No wonder they don’t mind eating garbage!

Featured Photo: Carlos Estrada via Wikimedia Commons

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Written by Kristina Lotz
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