We may be biased, but at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital, we think dogs are amazingly cool. That may be why we’re so interested in learning more about them. From details about their mental and physical capabilities, to interesting facts about their behavior and tendencies, we are constantly entertained and wowed by fun dog facts. 

Keep reading as we share some of what we’ve learned about dogs over the years!

Why Do They Do That?

There are so many fascinating dog behaviors that it was difficult to select just a few. Here are our favorites:

  • Dogs kick after going to the bathroom to activate the scent glands on their paws – further marking their territory
  • Dogs chase their tails for many reasons: boredom, curiosity, predatory instinct, exercise… or they might have fleas! If your dog chases his tail, talk to us about possible reasons
  • Dogs curl up in a ball to sleep as a way of protecting their internal organs – a throwback behavior from their wild days
  • Yawning is contagious between people and dogs
  • A recent study shows that dogs are among a small group of animals that will show unselfish kindness toward others without any reward
  • Human blood pressure goes down when petting a dog, and so does the dog’s
  • When your dog gazes at you, it elicits your own oxytocin release… and your dog’s, too

Physical Prowess

  • A dog’s sense of smell is a superpower – up to 100,000 times more sensitive than a human’s
  • Dogs have 1,700 taste buds
  • A dog’s nose print is unique, much like a human fingerprint
  • Dalmatians are all born white, and develop black spots as they age.
  • All dogs are born deaf
  • Dog eyes have structure called a tapetum lucidum, which allows for night vision

Smarty Pants

  • All dogs dream, and puppies and senior dogs dream more than adult dogs
  • Dogs are as intelligent as a 2 year old child, and can understand up to 250 words and gestures
  • Dogs understand humans well, and can read our facial expressions easily; they also pay attention to how we interact with other humans
  • Dogs have evolved to appear to smile-much like humans-with open mouth grinning. This may indicate a relaxed, happy state
  • You can absolutely teach an old dog new tricks

Puppy Love

  • 70% of people sign their dog’s name on their holiday cards
  • 45% of US dogs sleep in their owner’s bed
  • Over 60% of US households own a dog
  • The Labrador Retriever has been on the AKC top 10 list of most popular breeds for the past 25 years, longer than any other breed
  • There are over 75 million dogs in the US, more than in any other country

Fun Dog Facts… From You!

What interesting and fun dog facts do you know about? Let us know the next time you come in for a visit, or post on our FaceBook page.