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Fun Facts About Man’s Best Friend

March 1 2024

Our canine pals may have been with us for up to 30,000 years. We’ve definitely learned a lot about dogs in that time. However, we continue to discover more about our canine companions each year. Continue reading to learn more amusing facts about dogs from a local Fox Lake, IL veterinarian.

What Is In A Name?

Have you ever looked into certain breeds? It’s interesting to read about the backgrounds of our various canine pals. A breed’s name often reflects its origin. A couple of our furry pals missed this memo, though. For example, the Australian Shepherd is from the United States, not Australia, and the French Poodle is from Germany. Similarly, Labrador Retrievers came from Newfoundland dogs.

A Word, Please?

Did you know that the typical dog can learn over a hundred words and phrases? It’s reasonable to conclude that Fido’s favorite phrases are Bacon, Treat, Walk, and Car Ride, while Bathtime is probably his least favorite.

An Amazingly Devoted Companion

Dogs are often praised and admired for their devotion and loyalty. Fido will work himself to exhaustion for his human companions, and he has even risked—and occasionally sacrificed—his life for them. As it turns out, Man’s Best Friend differs from other animals. According to studies, our canine companions are among the few creatures that are compassionate to other living beings.

Working Like a Dog

Does your puppy appear to like music? If so, try playing him the Beatles’ ‘A Day In The Life’. As a subtle gesture to his canine companion, a Shetland Sheepdog, Paul McCartney added a supersonic sound that only dogs can hear. It’s near the end of the song.

Time After Time … For A Nap

Have you ever noticed that your furry friend appears to know when it’s time for a walk, a food, or bedtime? Studies indicate that our canine companions actually have a sense of time.

Dogs Of All Shapes And Sizes

There are presently 201 breeds listed on the AKC register. The Lancashire Heeler is the newest breed. The oldest? That accolade belongs to the Saluki. They were discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs dating back to 2100 BC.

The AKC Foundation Stock Service (FSS), which functions similarly to an application pool or waiting list for AKC accreditation, presently has 72 breeds listed. We’ll have to wait and see how many are authorized.

The earliest recognized breeds were largely hunting dogs, such as the Pointer, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Clumber Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Sussex Spaniel, Irish Water Spaniel, Irish Setter, English Setter, and Gordon Setter.

By The Numbers

It’s always intriguing to take a look at survey findings and see what other people believe or do. Here are some interesting statistics.

  • 45% of American dog owners let their pups sleep in their beds.
  • 70% of people with dogs sign Fido’s name beside their own on cards.
  • 47% of US homes have at least one dog.
  • 90% of pet dogs like hanging around with their humans when we watch television.


We can’t talk about fascinating dog facts without including Fido’s amazing snoot! Dogs possess absolutely exceptional senses of smell.

Here are some examples:

  • Dogs have the ability to breathe out of both their mouth and nose at the same time.
  • Fido’s keen sense of smell might be impaired if he’s panting or extremely heated. In fact, being hot or weary can reduce your pet’s sense of smell by up to 40%!
  • Man’s Best Friend has the ability to smell things up to 100,000 times better than humans do.
  • Fido’s nose contains as many as 300 million smell receptors. In comparison, we have only 5 million.
  • Dogs’ sense of smell is approximately 100,000 times greater than ours.
  • Fido can detect the equivalent of half a teaspoon of sugar in an Olympic-sized pool.
  • Canine nostrils produce a specific kind of mucus. This material absorbs compounds included in smell molecules. When Fido licks his nose, he learns more about what he smells.  
  • The smell-processing region of Fido’s brain is roughly 40 times greater than our own.
  • Dogs can smell distinctively from both sides of their nose. Consider this an olfactory 3D. Fido utilizes information from each nostril to figure out where a scent comes from.
  • Some canines are able to detect diseases, such as cancer.

Leader Of The Pack

The delightfully enthusiastic Labrador Retriever is incredibly popular. In fact, Fido may be the world’s most popular breed, having topped the AKC’s list of most popular breeds for over 31 years. (In 2022, he lost his position to the tenacious French bulldog.)

Sniffing About

Does your canine companion enjoy leaving nose painting on windows? If so, you’ve got some one-of-a-kind works on your hands. Every dog has a unique nose print. Consider it the doggie equivalent of a human fingerprint: no two are identical. (Tip: If you don’t want to save the furry friend’s ‘paintings,’ clean your windows with white vinegar and newspaper.)

Yes, Fido Can Dream

Have you ever observed your dog making sounds or moving his paws while he sleeps? Yes, Fido is genuinely dreaming. Although all dogs dream, pups and seniors appear to dream the most. It’s unclear what Fido is dreaming about. However, we’re betting that squirrels, toys, cookies, and maybe the neighbor’s cat may be involved.

Can’t Help But Yawn

We all know that yawning is contagious, but no one knows exactly why. As it turns out, Fido is capable of picking up ‘the yawns’ from you. According to research, this is much more likely to occur if the yawner is someone the dog knows. (Interestingly, yawns appear to be infectious in a number of different animals, including gelada baboons, wolves, domesticated pigs, African lions, African elephants, domesticated sheep, elephant seals, and birds, notably budgies.)

Marking Their Territory

Does your dog occasionally kick dirt or leaves to hide his waste? Many folks believe Fido is attempting to hide his scent. This explains why cats bury their waste. However, Fido is establishing his territory by using scent glands on his feet.

Pawsitive Marks

Dogs’ paws are actually quite amazing. They operate as shock absorbers, offer traction, and tell your furry friend about the surface he is walking on.

  • Man’s Best Friend only sweats from his paw pads
  • Your pet’s toe beans have a very thick skin that protects them from heat and cold. However, they are not totally weatherproof; keep your beloved companion away from extremely hot surfaces.
  • Some dogs lick their paws to release tension. Consider this a doggie equivalent of nail gnawing or foot bouncing. (Note: Licking the paws may also indicate that Fido’s feet hurt. (Ask your veterinarian about this.)
  • Dogs, like humans, usually have one dominant paw. One study found that around three out of four puppies use one paw more than the other. Nearly 60% of them were righties, with the remaining left-handed.

 Love Truly Does Conquer All

Did you know that cuddling with your canine companion can help decrease your blood pressure? It turns out that it will also decrease Fido’s!

Have you got any questions concerning your dog’s health or care? Please feel free to contact us at any time. As your local Fox Lake, IL pet hospital, we are here to assist!