Great Facts About Dogs That Might Surprise You
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Great Facts About Dogs That Might Surprise You

Dogs and humans have been best friends for a long, long time – in fact, dogs were the first ever animals to be domesticated. Today, there are certain breeds found working alongside man in many walks of life. As companions - they are brilliant, when it comes to saving lives – they are outstanding and as family pets dogs are loyal and great fun creatures to have around the home.

We grow very close to our dogs no matter how beautiful or strange looking they are. We love them even when they've been incredibly naughty and we are terribly proud of them when they behave themselves or do well at a dog show. Below are a few facts you may not know about these lovely creatures known as man's best friend.

A Few Interesting Facts on the History of Dogs

  • Dogs were the first animals to be domesticated by man
  • Back in Ancient Roman times, people living in cities had mosaics on their doorsteps warning anyone who entered their property there was a dog around - the sign read 'Beware of Dog'
  • In Ancient China, people would keep themselves warm when the weather was chilly by carrying toy breeds around with them - they kept these tiny dogs up their sleeves like hot water bottles
  • The first animal to be sent into space was a female dog. She was Husky type breed called Laika and was launched into space in 1957 by the former USSR in a Sputnik
  • The date of the first ever dog show to be held in the world was 1859 and the event took place in Britain
  • The oldest dog ever recorded was one that lived to the ripe old age of 29
  • The smallest ever mature dog measured just 2½ inches high at the shoulder – the breed was a tiny Yorkshire Terrier
  • The heaviest dog ever recorded in the world weighed in at 319lbs!
  • The tallest dog ever recorded stood 41 inches high and the breed was an elegant Great Dane

There are many of breeds of dogs around the world, some are recognised by various Kennel Clubs in countries like American and the UK but then there are, of course, the mixed breeds, the mongrels, and they make such wonderful family pets too. Some people believe that a Heinz 57 is more intelligent than a lot of breed dogs but this is just a matter of opinion – there are some very clever pedigrees in the world too!

Some Fun Facts About Different Pedigree Dogs

  • There 6 recognised breeds of Dachshund
  • Basenjis don't lose their coats and they don't bark – they yodel and clean themselves very much like cats do
  • Springer Spaniels are called that because they “spring” into action when they are asked to flush out or startle game birds that are hiding in long grasses
  • Bull Terriers were bred by crossing terriers with Bulldogs
  • Bedlington Terriers were a firm favourite with poachers and became known as gypsy dogs
  • Great Danes are Germany's national dog
  • Chow-Chows have dark blue, almost black tongues
  • Akitas are the champion pedigree dog in Japan and have been since 1931
  • In Imperial China, common people were never allowed to own a Pekingese
  • Chihuahuas are the smallest breed of dog on the planet

Dogs have been bred throughout the ages to carry out different jobs and tasks for man. From ancient times, dogs have helped man hunt, they have guarded man against all sorts of dangers and have been a great source of companionship for many people too. Today dogs help us in so many ways working closely with their handlers and owners in all sorts of environments.

Interesting Facts About The Jobs Dogs Have Been Asked to do

  • Originally, Labrador Retrievers were bred to haul in and retrieve fishing nets for their owners working in the cold North Atlantic Ocean
  • Dalmations were used to guard carriages against highwaymen back in the 19th century – they also helped keep other animals away from carriage horses which help prevent them from spooking
  • Lhasa Apsos guarded temples for the monks of Tibet
  • Siberian Huskies herd reindeer in Siberia and have done so for over 3000 years
  • A German tax-collector called Louis Doberman was the first man to breed Dobermans in the late 1860s – he bred his dogs to be his guards whilst he worked his way round houses collecting taxes!
  • Rhodesian Ridgebacks were bred to hunt lions
  • Great Danes were originally bred to hunt boars – they were first called Boar Hounds
  • Irish Setters are bred to set or locate and point to game birds when out hunting with their owners

Dogs have also been invaluable when it comes to helping man travel around some of the most remote areas of the world. The Arctic and Antarctica boast cold, frozen continents for many months of the year and without dogs to pull sleighs, man would find it hard to move around – even today. Huskies have for decades pulled man around in countries where the land is covered in snow and virtually impassible by any other means of transport. In Switzerland, Bernese Mountain Dogs and the Saint Bernard became famous at saving people lost beneath snowdrifts or avalanches high in the mountains.

Dogs Have Kept Us Entertained for Decades!

Then of course, dogs have kept us entertained with starring roles on the Silver Screen alongside some of the most famous film celebrities in the world. No-one could forget Lassie, Rin Tin Tin and more recently Beethoven. All of them and many more dogs, have managed to bring a tear of laughter and a tear of joy to many people's eye.

Dogs have become mascots for many organisations and even buses, namely America's Greyhound. For those who love racing, greyhounds have proved to be supreme athletes. When they retire many people offer these elegant dogs a quieter life off the track in comfortable and warm home environments – the breed make great pets!

But the strangest job one particular breed of dog has become famous for is as a sniffer – but not for bombs, drugs or anything horrible. No, their job is to sniff out rare and extremely expensive type of mushroom called truffles – and the breed is an ancient pedigree gun dog called the Lagotto Romagnolo. This gorgeous breed originates from the marshland of Romagna in north eastern Italy and they're a real natural when it comes to digging and finding these gourmet treasures!

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