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All about dogs and puppies - Some interesting facts

All about dogs and puppies - Some interesting facts

Health & Safety

If you love dogs and puppies you probably spend as much time around them as possible, and no doubt enjoy learning more about all things canine related. Whatever your level of knowledge, here are a few common dog myths de-bunked, and a few interesting facts which you may not know about man's best friend. Read on to find out more!

All about puppies

  • Out of their five senses, the first sense that develops and becomes utilised in the baby dog is that of touch.
  • You can get a good idea of the eventual size that your new puppy will become by looking at their feet- Large paws may take some growing into, but they're one of the first indications of the ultimate size the dog will reach.
  • If your puppy bites or nips in play, you can often effectively train them out of this by saying 'ouch!' in a loud voice. This is a similar response to the yelps their littermates make when the same thing happens to them!
  • Puppies only listen to the initial syllable of a word- So if your pup is named 'Princess Pretty Paws' then the only part of the name that your pup will come to recognise is 'Prin!'
  • Puppies are born without their teeth- their first set of baby teeth start to develop from around four weeks old onwards. But they don't keep them for long- at four months old, your puppy will begin to lose his baby teeth and grow his adult set.
  • Puppies are not born with a sense of smell either- Surprising when you consider that the sense of smell is the most utilised sense of the adult dog. Scent glands begin to develop in your puppy at around three weeks of age.
  • During their first week of life, a newborn puppy will spend up to 90% of it's time asleep.
  • Puppies may potentially be rejected by their mother if they are born by caesarean section and cleaned before being given back to them, as the dam may be unable to recognise the puppy as their own.
  • Puppies are most likely to interpret a person smiling at them as a sign of aggression if the person is showing their teeth!

All about dogs

  • Your dog's heart rate is between 70 and 120 beats per minute. The average human heart rate is 70 to 80 beats.
  • A fully grown adult dog has 42 teeth. A fully grown person has 32.
  • Dogs don't sweat like people do- the only sweat glands on the dog are on the pads of their paws. Dogs regulate their body temperature by panting and drinking water.
  • It's not entirely sure where the (now banned) process of docking or amputating some dog's tails originates from- although it possibly began in ancient Rome with the rumour that docking a dog's tail curtailed the spread of rabies.
  • A dog's sense of smell is around a thousand times more sensitive than that of people. We have about five million scent glands- Dogs have over two hundred and twenty million!
  • Similarly, the dog's sense of hearing is around ten times more sensitive than that of people.
  • The average dog is thought to be about as intelligent as the average two year old child, according to research by leading animal psychologists in America.
  • The dog's shoulder blades are not attached by bone to the rest of their skeleton, instead being held in place by muscle and ligament. This enables them greater flexibility and extension of the leg when running.
  • There are estimated to be around 500- 600 separate dog breeds in the world- although not all of them are recognised in the UK by The Kennel Club.
  • Male dogs urinate by cocking their legs in order to increase the amount of area they cover with their urine, and ergo scent mark a particular area more thoroughly. Male puppies do not cock their legs to urinate until they become older, and as young pups, both male and female dogs urinate in the same way by squatting.
  • Around 25% of dogs have a tendency to snore when they are asleep.
  • While most dogs like to swim, some dogs cannot swim at all- most notably dogs with heads which are proportionally large for their body size (which causes them to tip forwards and not be able to keep their heads above the water) and brachycephalic dogs (dogs with squashed up looking faces, like boxers and pugs) as they cannot both regulate their breathing and swim simultaneously. Take care around water if you own any of these breeds.
  • When frightened or to indicate submission, dogs will tuck their tails between their legs- this is in order to cut off access to the scent glands around the anus, which carry identifying information about the dog which can easily be 'decoded' by other canines.
  • The three breeds of dog which are thought to be at the top of the canine intelligence scale are the Border collie, the poodle, and the golden retriever. The least intelligent dogs are considered to be the Afghan hound, the Basenji and the Bulldog.
  • The nose prints of a dog are as unique as a person's fingerprints, and can be used to definitively identify an individual dog.
  • Contrary to popular belief, dogs can see in colour, although their colour spectrum vision is not as sensitive as that of humans, and they often have many of the same visual traits as colour blind people. The dog's range of colour vision is at it's highest in low lights.
  • Dogs have no sense of time in the same way that we do, although their body clocks dictate their need for food and going to the toilet, which is why owners often think their dogs are responding to specific times of the day with a conscious awareness of time passed.