Friday, November 23, 2012

Strange But True Facts About Dogs

All dogs can be traced back 40 million years ago to a weasel-like animal called the Miacis which dwelled in trees and dens. The Miacis later evolved into the Tomarctus, a direct forbear of the genus Canis, which includes the wolf and jackal as well as the dog.

The first dogs were self-domesticated wolves which, at least 12,000 years ago, became attracted to the first sites of permanent human habitation.

The earliest European images of dogs are found in cave paintings dating back 12,000 years ago in Spain.

A dog’s shoulder blades are unattached to the rest of the skeleton to allow greater flexibility for running.

Dogs have sweat glands in between their paws.

Puppies are sometimes rejected by their mother if they are born by cesarean and cleaned up before being given back to her.

 Small quantities of grapes and raisins can cause renal failure in dogs. Chocolate, macadamia nuts, cooked onions, or anything with caffeine can also be harmful.  Apple and pear seeds contain arsenic, which may be deadly to dogs.

The phrase “raining cats and dogs” originated in seventeenth-century England. During heavy rainstorms, many homeless animals would drown and float down the streets, giving the appearance that it had actually rained cats and dogs.

During the Middle Ages, Great Danes and Mastiffs were sometimes suited with armor and spiked collars to enter a battle or to defend supply caravans.

Pekingese and Japanese Chins were so important in the ancient Far East that they had their own servants and were carried around trade routes as gifts for kings and emperors.

 The shape of a dog’s face suggests how long it will live. Dogs with sharp, pointed faces that look more like wolves typically live longer. Dogs with very flat faces, such as bulldogs, often have shorter lives.

The most dogs ever owned by one person were 5,000 Mastiffs owned by Kubla Khan.

The American Kennel Club, the most influential dog club in the United States, was founded in 1884.

The most popular male dog names are Max and Jake. The most popular female dog names are Maggie and Molly.

 In Iran, it is against the law to own a dog as a pet. However, if an owner can prove the dog is a guard or hunting dog, this restriction doesn’t apply. Muslim reticence concerning dogs is perhaps due to the fact that rabies has always been endemic in the Middle East.

The name of the dog on the Cracker Jacks box is Bingo. The Taco Bell Chihuahua is a rescued dog named Gidget

French poodles did not originate in France but in Germany (“poodle” comes from the German pudel or pudelhund, meaning “splashing dog”). Some scholars speculate the poodle’s puffs of hair evolved when hunters shaved the poodle for more efficient swimming, while leaving the pom-poms around the major joints to keep them warm

 Dachshunds were bred to fight badgers in their dens.

 Dalmatians are completely white at birth.

 A puppy is born blind, deaf, and toothless.

The Basenji is the world’s only barkless dog.

 A dog most likely interprets a smiling person as baring their teeth, which is an act of aggression.

 The origin of amputating a dog’s tail may go back to the Roman writer Lucius Columella’s (A.D. 4-70) assertion that tail docking prevented rabies.

Within hours of the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center, specially trained dogs were on the scene, including German Shepherds, Labs, and even a few little Dachshunds

It costs approximately $10,000 to train a federally certified search and rescue dog.

The smallest dog on record was a matchbox-size Yorkshire Terrier. It was 2.5" tall at the shoulder, 3.5" from nose tip to tail, and weighed only 4 ounces.

Hollywood's first canine superstar was Rin Tin Tin, a five-day-old German Shepherd found wounded in battle in WWI France and adopted by an American soldier, Lee Duncan. He would sign his own contracts with his paw print.

At the end of WWI, the German government trained the first guide dogs for war-blinded soldiers.

A dog can locate the source of a sound in 1/600 of a second and can hear sounds four times farther away than a human can.

Touch is the first sense the dog develops. The entire body, including the paws, is covered with touch-sensitive nerve endings.

Eighteen muscles or more can move a dog’s ear

 There are an estimated 400 million dogs in the world. The U.S. has the highest dog population in the world. France has the second highest.

 Dog nose prints are as unique as human finger prints and can be used to identify them.

Bloodhound dogs have a keen sense of smell and have been used since the Middle Ages to track criminals.

 It is much easier for dogs to learn spoken commands if they are given in conjunction with hand signals or gestures.

Dogs in a pack are more likely to chase and hunt than a single dog on its own. Two dogs are enough to form a pack.

Dogs can see in color, though they most likely see colors similar to a color-blind human. They can see better when the light is low.

Petting dogs is proven to lower blood pressure of dog owners.

 Zorba, an English mastiff, is the biggest dog ever recorded. He weighed 343 pounds and measured 8' 3" from his nose to his tail.

 The average dog can run about 19 mph. Greyhounds are the fastest dogs on Earth and can run at speeds of 45 mph.

One female dog and her female children could produce 4,372 puppies in seven years. (That's why it's important to get dogs spayed and neutered!)

The most popular dog breed in Canada, the USA, and Great Britain is the Labrador retriever.

 The oldest dog on record was an Australian cattle dog named Bluey who lived 29 years and 5 months. In human years, that is more than 160 years old.

 A person standing still 300 yards away is almost invisible to a dog. But a dog can easily identify its owner standing a mile away if the owner is waving his arms.

 Dogs with big, square heads and large ears (like the Saint Bernard) are the best at hearing subsonic sounds.

 Dogs can smell about 1,000 times better than humans. While humans have 5 million smell-detecting cells, dogs have more than 220 million. The part of the brain that interprets smell is also four times larger in dogs than in humans.

 Some dogs can smell dead bodies under water, where termites are hiding, and natural gas buried under 40 feet of dirt. They can even detect cancer that is too small to be detected by a doctor and can find lung cancer by sniffing a person’s breath

 Dogs have a wet nose to collect more of the tiny droplets of smelling chemicals in the air.

 Different smells in the a dog’s urine can tell other dogs whether the dog leaving the message is female or male, old or young, sick or healthy, happy or angry

 Male dogs will raise their legs while urinating to aim higher on a tree or lamppost because they want to leave a message that they are tall and intimidating.

 Dogs are about as smart as a two- or three-year-old child. This means they can understand about 150-200 words, including signals and hand movements with the same meaning as words.

 The best dog to reportedly attract a date is the Golden Retriever. The worst is the Pit Bull.

 The Beagle and Collie are the nosiest dogs, while the Akbash Dog and the Basenji are the quietest.

 One survey reports that 33% of dog owners admit they talk to their dogs on the phone or leave messages on answering machines while they are away..

 Thirty percent of all Dalmatians are deaf in one or both ears. Because bulldogs have extremely short muzzles, many spend their lives fighting suffocation. Because Chihuahuas have such small skulls, the flow of spinal fluid can be restricted, causing hydrocephalus, a swelling of the brain.

The grief suffered after a pet dog dies can be the same as that experienced after the death of a person.

 There are almost 5 million dog bites per year; children are the main victims. Dog bites cause losses of over $1 billion a year.

 The most intelligent dogs are reportedly the Border Collie and the Poodle, while the least intelligent dogs are the Afghan Hound and the Basenji.

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