9 Interesting Dog Facts

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Hear, Hear

Dog ears contain about 18 muscles, which enables them to raise, lower, rotate, tilt, and move their ears independently, allowing them to “funnel” sounds into the ear, as well as express emotion. Dogs can hear better than humans, detecting higher frequencies and sounds more than four times further away. Dogs with prick ears hear better than dogs with droopy ears.

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Hailing from Mexico…

The Chihuahua, which bears the distinction of being the smallest recognized dog breed, is named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua, where it was first noted in the mid-19th century. The Chihuahua is thought to have descended from the Techichi, a larger, heavier ancestor of the Chihuahua kept by the Toltec people of Mexico as long ago as the 9th century AD.

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There’s a Word for That

Those gurgling sounds your dog’s stomach sometimes makes? There’s a fancy name for that. The scientific name for dog stomach noises is borborygmi. These rumbling sounds are created by gas moving through the intestines. This is completely normal, though if your dog has constant or very loud borborygmi, a vet check-up may be in order.


Illustration by Kim Smith

The Emotional Maturity of a Two-Year-Old

Dogs experience the same emotions as those available to a two-and-a-half-year-old human, says Dr. Stanley Coren, psychology professor emeritus and writer on the intelligence and mental abilities of dogs. This means a dog will have all the basic emotions: joy, fear, anger, disgust, and, yes, love, but does not experience the more complex emotions like guilt, pride, and shame.

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Gender Equality

It is a myth that just female dogs’ urine causes burnt-out patches in the lawn. Both male and female dogs cause these due to the high nitrogen content in their urine. This myth likely got off the ground, so to speak, because female dogs squat to pee, concentrating their urine in one place, while male dogs tend to lift a leg in several locations, spreading around the damage.

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The Fascinating Diversity of Dogs

Dogs are the most diverse mammal species on the planet. They can vary in weight from six pounds (three kg) to 200 pounds (90 kg) when fully grown and have incredibly varied hair types and body shapes—think the French Bulldog vs. the Saluki.

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Helpless as a Newborn Pup

Puppies are born blind, deaf, and without teeth. Their eyes don’t open until they are 14 to 21 days old, and their vision is still limited at this point. Hearing is the last sense to fully develop—puppies can’t hear until they are about three weeks old. Without sight and hearing, newborn pups use smell to navigate their world.

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Are You a Dog?

The Dog is eleventh in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac animals. Recent Years of the Dog include 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, and 2018. People born in the Year of the Dog are thought to be loyal, honest, amiable, kind, sincere, prudent, and stubborn. They know how to keep secrets and inspire confidence. In romantic relationships, they are steadfast.

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Pearly Whites

Most adult humans have 32 teeth, whereas an adult dog should have 42 teeth in total—20 on top of their jaw and 22 on the bottom. Puppies have only 28 temporary teeth, which are replaced by their adult teeth by six months of age.


This article originally appeared in the award-winning Modern Dog magazine. Subscribe today!

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