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Interesting Facts About Dogs That Will Surprise Any Owner

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There is a good chance that I'm biased about how amazing dogs are. My family has 3 dogs, my career is centered around them, I spend every day of my life with them and I'm always talking with people about their pups. No matter how much experience you have with canines, these interesting facts about dogs may end up surprising you.

As Roger Caras once said, “dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole”. Dogs aren't just man's best friend. They are hard-working, incredibly loyal and some of the most fascinating creatures on the planet.

I don't know about you, but I never get tired of learning about dogs. From different breeds to the latest scientific research, there are countless interesting facts about dogs to pique anyone's interest. I've compiled 13 of the most interesting dog facts, and some of them even surprised me!

Interesting Facts About Dogs

Interesting Facts About Dogs1. Dogs can be right- or left-pawed

That's right. Just like humans, dogs can have a dominant paw. Does your pet know the “shake a paw” command? Which paw does he usually use? Hide some treats in a towel or small blanket. Which paw does your dog usually use to uncover the treat? More often than not, he'll use one paw much more than the other. That is his dominant paw.

2. Dogs have 18 different ear muscles

You've seen your dog move his ears up, down and side to side. Dogs with floppy ears can lift the ear flap are rotate the base of the ear in many directions. Dogs with straight ears can rotate them around like small satellite dishes. Your dog can move his ears in many directions thanks to 18 different muscles in each ear!

3. A dog's nose print is unique

Much like a human fingerprint, a dog's nose print is completely unique. No two canine nose prints are the same. Neat!

4. Dogs have an incredibly strong sense of smell

This may not seem like one of the most interesting facts about dogs, because everyone knows that a canine's sense of smell is better than a human's. But, did you know that a dog's sense of smell is about 60 times stronger than a humans? A human’s nose has about 5 million smell receptors, while a dog’s has up to 300 million.

5. A dog's sense of taste is NOT as strong a human's

While they may smell a lot better than we do, a dog's sense of taste is not as refined as a human's. Humans have between 2,000-10,000 taste buds. Dogs only have about 1,700. That must be why my dogs will eat the most disgusting things if they have the chance!

ALSO: 11 Interesting Dog Facts for Kids on Canine Behavior

Yawning dog

6. Yawning is contagious for dogs too!

A study shows that a dog can be triggered to yawn after a human yawns. It also proves that a dog is 4 times more likely to yawn if the person is someone that he knows. Keep an eye on your dog when you yawn to see if this phenomenon holds true for your Fido too.

7. Puppies are down deaf

Most people know that puppies are born blind, but did you know they are also born deaf? A pup's sense of hearing is the last of his senses to develop. They can't hear until they are about 3 weeks old. However, once it develops, a puppies sense of hearing is about 4 times better than a human's.

8.  Why do dogs kick their back legs after using the bathroom?

This is a common question asked by pet owners, and many think it's because they are trying to cover up their mess. The truth is, when dogs kick with their back legs after going to the bathroom, it’s because they are using the scent glands in their paws to mark their territory.

9. A dog's sense of smell can be evidence in court

A Bloodhound’s sense of smell is so accurate that it can be used as evidence in court cases. In fact, it has been! The average Bloodhound has 230 million scent receptors in their nose. If a Bloodhound is professionally trained to detect scents, his “testimony” can be used as evidence in a court of law in the United States. Likewise, a trained dog smelling a substance that they are trained to find (combustibles in arson cases, drugs, weapons) can be the basis for a search warrant in the US as well.

10. Dogs have three eyelids

Like humans, dogs have an upper and lower eyelid. Did you know they also have a third? Their third eyelid is located in the corner of the eye and is used to sweep across the eyeball to remove dust, mucus and debris.

SIMILAR: Dog Owner Demographics – Facts About Pet Owners

Dog in office setting

11. A town in California has a dog Mayor

That's right. A town in California has a dog Mayor. In 2012, Max the Golden Retriever became the very first mayor of a town in California called Idyllwild. Unfortunately, Mayor Max passed away in 2013. He was replaced by Mayor Max the II, who has been in charge of the town ever since.

12. 3 dogs survived the sinking of the Titanic

Yes, 3 dogs survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. More than 1,500 people died on that tragic night. The fare for a canine was the same as the ticket price for a child. Of the 12 dogs on board the ship, just 3 survived – 2 Pomeranians and a Pekingese.

13. Dogs have learned to use subway transportation

In Russia, there are estimated to be as many as 650,000 stray cats and dogs. Some of these stray dogs have been seen getting on and off the subway at regular stops to look for food. Of Moscow's 35,000 stray dogs, about 20 are thought to regularly ride the subway system.

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