2 min read • Wyatt West, Timberdog Staff Writer & Outdoor Fiend
Dogs are fascinating creatures with a wide range of behaviors and characteristics. Here are 20 bizarre facts about them:
1. Nose prints are unique: Just like humans have unique fingerprints, dogs have distinct nose prints that can be used for identification.
2. Did you know: Newfoundlands make excellent lifeguards because they have water-resistant coats and webbed feet; meanwhile, dachshunds were originally bred to fight badgers.
3. Superior sense of smell: A dog's sense of smell is up to 100,000 times more sensitive than that of humans, allowing them to detect diseases, find missing persons, smell your feelings, and even sniff out certain types of cancer.
4. Three eyelids: Dogs have three eyelids: an upper lid, a lower lid, and a nictitating membrane, or "haw," which helps protect and moisten their eyes.
5. Strange but cool: Dalmations are born completely white; they develop their spots as they mature.
6. Ear direction matters: Dogs' ears are quite versatile. They can rotate up to 180 degrees, helping them pinpoint the source of sounds more effectively.
7. Puppy-dog eyes: Dogs use their "puppy-dog eyes" as a way to communicate with humans. They raise their eyebrows to elicit a nurturing response.
8. Howling at the moon: While not all dogs howl at the moon, those that do might be continuing an ancestral behavior from their wolf ancestors. Howling can serve various purposes, such as communication or expressing distress.
9. Sweat-free: Dogs don't sweat like humans do. They regulate their body temperature primarily through panting.
10. Unique sleeping patterns: Dogs are polyphasic sleepers, meaning they sleep multiple times throughout the day. On average, they sleep around 12-14 hours a day.
11. Nose moisture: The moisture on a dog's nose helps them determine scent direction. A wet nose can also aid in trapping scent particles.
12. Countless vocalizations: Dogs can make various vocalizations, and their barks can have different meanings, depending on the context and pitch.
13. Tummy twitching: Have you ever noticed your sleeping dog's legs twitching? That's because they're often dreaming. Dogs experience REM sleep, just like humans.
14. Dog hair is everywhere: Dogs have different coat types, but they all shed. Some breeds shed less than others, but there's no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog.
15. Whistling ears: When a dog tilts its head in response to a sound, it might be trying to hear more clearly. This action helps them pinpoint the origin of the noise.
16. Yawning is contagious: Just like in humans, yawning can be contagious for dogs too. When they see a person yawn, they might yawn in response.
17. Sensitivity to Earth's magnetic field: Some research suggests that dogs have a built-in compass and can sense Earth's magnetic field, which helps them find their way home.
18. Nature's chill pill: Petting a dog can benefit your physical and mental health. Studies have shown that petting a dog for 15 minutes can lower blood pressure by 10%, as well as lower feelings of stress, depression, and loneliness.
19. As smart as a toddler: Your dog is as smart as a two-year old! Ever wonder why children around this age seem to have a special bond with the family dog? It could be because they speak the same language, roughly 250 words and gestures.
20. Left or right pawed: Just like humans can be right- or left-handed, dogs can also show a paw preference, known as "pawedness."
Remember, each dog is unique, and their behavior can vary greatly depending on breed, individual personality, and experiences.
Photo credit: Samson Katt