Amazing facts are incredible, thought-provoking, and fun. Sometimes, however, they may seem a little TOO amazing. So, with wild-eyed (and suspicious) wonderment, I filled in the blanks on a popular list of far-fetched, vague, or unqualified dog facts.
A German Shepherd guide dog led her blind companion through the entire 2,168-mile Appalachian Trail – True story! In 1990, Bill Irwin and his guide dog Orient hiked from Springer Mountain in Georgia and ended (9 months later) at Mt. Katahdin in Maine. Bill wrote about this in a book he published in 1992: “Blind Courage.”
An African wolf dog known as the Basenji is the only dog in the world that cannot bark – While it’s true that the Basenji has a uniquely shaped larynx, they are quite capable of making vocalizations that may be characterized as yodels, howls, or the caterwauling you might produce if someone were beating you with a sack of wet catfish.
Dogs have no sense of time – True. This is counter-intuitive since dogs obviously know what time we wake up, eat, or return from work. That, however, is called circadian rhythm: physical, mental, or behavioral changes that recur naturally on a twenty-four-hour cycle (distinctly noticeable during those outworn, yet dogged, daylight savings time events).
The average city dog lives 3 years longer than a country dog – True. Cars, wild animals, and parasites are responsible for the shorter average lifespan of country dogs.
A one-year-old dog is as mature, physically, as a 15-year-old human – True. After that, dogs age 4 human years per year. Saying that dogs age 7 human years each year is a good estimate until about the 9-year mark. Then, you’ll need this chart:
A dog’s nose prints are as unique as a human’s fingerprints and can be used to accurately identify them – True, and it’s a good thing they leave nice, clear, evenly-pressed prints everywhere too!
Basset Hounds cannot swim – False. I mean, they aren’t going to break any 100m records, but they can swim if they must. Some other breeds that are not built for swimming include the Bulldog, Pug, Dachshund, Pekingese, and Boxer. These guys generally stay out of the water because flat faces or stubby legs make swimming (and life) comparatively difficult.
The Newfoundland breed are great swimmers because of their webbed feet – Newfoundland’s are ship dogs and their main job is to swim with a mooring line or to rescue drowning victims. They do have webbed feet, but so do many breeds. The unique trait they have (aside from being huge, strong as hell, and bred to swim) is the ability to use a lateral component to their doggie paddle. They don’t employ a full “breast stroke,” but you would swear they are trying to.
The largest breed of dog is the Irish Wolfhound – They are certainly on record as being one of the tallest at 34-inches, but they are not the largest. Some other giant breeds that may exceed the Irish Wolfhound in height or weight (120-150 lb neighborhood) include Great Danes, Anatolian Shepherds, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Great Pyrenees, Newfoundlands, Saint Bernards, and breeds that contain the noun “mastiff.”
The world’s smallest dog breed is the Chihuahua – True enough. Other dog breeds near that weight class (4 lbs) include Pomeranians, Yorkshire Terriers, and Toy Poodles. These guys are so adorable, even their poop, in your house, is cute.
The oldest known dog breed is most likely the Saluki, originally trained by Egyptians to help them track game – They are definitely one of the oldest breeds. The Samoyed, Alaskan Malamute, Afghan Hound, Basenji, and Akita Inu are all considered ancient breeds.
A dog’s only sweat glands are between their paw pads – The sweat glands for cooling are in the paw pads. However, dogs also have apocrine glands, located throughout their body. This type of sweat doesn’t cool, instead, the sweat from apocrine glands contains scent pheromones that help dogs find a date.
Remember too that panting causes the evaporating moisture on their tongue and the evaporation of the moist lining of their lungs to cool them down. There’s also vasodilation, when a dog’s blood vessels expand, bringing hot blood closer to the skin’s surface (mainly around the face and ears), letting her cool down.
Teddy Roosevelt’s dog, Pete, ripped a French Ambassador’s pants off at the White House – True. Pete, a bull terrier, had a history of nipping at the heels of White House visitors. He eventually was banned from Washington, and sent to live with the staff at Sagamore Hill, near Oyster Bay, on Long Island, New York.
Franklin Roosevelt spent $15,000 for a destroyer to pick up his Scottie in the Aleutian Islands – False. This was a rumor started by political opponents, and the figure used in the newspapers was “millions of taxpayer dollars.”
Dogs can be trained to detect epileptic seizures – True. They can also detect drugs, bombs, cancer, missing persons, cadavers, and whatever else you want to train them to find. Dogs are awesome.
Featured photo – Rhaena is a good girl, and a little suspicious of some of these internet dog facts.
One thought on “Amazing facts about dogs – Part 1 of 2”
I loved it dog’s and pats animals
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