Here at the AKC, we never get tired of learning more about dogs, whether it’s a new study on canine behavior, a statistic from our database, or even just cool facts about a dog’s impressive physical and mental abilities. You may know some of these already, and others may be more of a “wait, really?” situation, but we think you’ll find all of them entertaining. Check out these 30 fun dog facts.
2. A dog’s nose print is unique, much like a person’s fingerprint.
3. Forty-five percent of U.S. dogs sleep in their owner’s beds.
4. Speaking of sleeping … all dogs dream, but puppies and senior dogs dream more frequently than adult dogs.
5. Seventy percent of people sign their dog’s name on their holiday cards.
6. A dog’s sense of smell is legendary, but did you know that their nose has as many as 300 million receptors? In comparison, a human nose has about 5 million.
8. Dogs’ noses can sense heat and thermal radiation, which explains why blind or deaf dogs can still hunt.
10. The name Collie means “black.” (Collies once tended black-faced sheep.)
11. Yawning is contagious — even for dogs. Research shows that the sound of a human yawn can trigger one from your dog. And it’s four times as likely to happen when it’s the yawn of a person your pet knows.
12. The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is the only breed named for a fictional person, a character in the novel “Guy Mannering” by Sir Walter Scott.
13. Dogs curl up in a ball when sleeping to protect their organs — a holdover from their days in the wild, when they were vulnerable to predator attacks.
14. The Basenji is not technically “barkless,” as many people think. They can yodel.
15. The Australian Shepherd is not actually from Australia. In fact, they are an American breed.
17. Human blood pressure goes down when petting a dog. And so does the dog’s.
18. There are over 75 million pet dogs in the U.S. — more than in any other country.
19. A person who hunts with a Beagle is known as a “Beagler.”
20. Dogs are not color-blind. They can see blue and yellow.
21. All puppies are born deaf.
23. Dogs have about 1,700 taste buds. We humans have between 2,000 and 10,000.
24. When dogs kick backward after they go to the bathroom, it’s not to cover it up, but to mark their territory, using the scent glands in their feet.
26. The Norwegian Lundehund is the only dog breed created for the job of puffin hunting.
27. Greyhounds can beat cheetahs in a race. While cheetahs can run twice as fast as Greyhounds, they can only maintain that 70 mph speed for about thirty seconds. A Greyhound can maintain a 35 mph speed for about seven miles. The cheetah may start out first, but the Greyhound would soon overtake them.
28. The Bloodhound’s sense of smell is so accurate that the results of its tracking can be used as evidence in a court of law.