We had so much trouble picking the top fun facts about dogs for our blog post last week that we decided to do a round 2! Keep reading to have your mind blown with crazy cool facts about canines!
- A dog's sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive than that of a human's. A dog’s nose has as many as 300 million receptors, while a human nose has about 5 million. Bloodhounds, which have particularly strong noses, are commonly used in tracing missing persons, as they can follow tracks that are more than 300 hours old and can remain on a trail for 130 miles.
- But their sense of taste is weaker: dogs have approximately one sixth of the taste buds humans have (1,700 to humans’ approximately 9,000). This is why dogs will eat rotting food as happily and voraciously as they’ll eat a fresh meal!
- The 5 smartest dog breeds are (in order): Border Collies, Poodles, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Doberman Pinschers. Rounding out the top 10 (6-10, also in order): Shetland Sheepdogs (Shelties), Labrador Retrievers, Papillons, Rottweilers, and Australian Cattle Dogs.
- Dogs aren't actually color blind; however, they do have trouble distinguishing between shades of green and red (those colors appear as grays and browns to dogs). Blue and yellow tones are relatively clear to dogs.
- The oldest dog ever known (according to the Guiness Book of World Records) was an Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey. He lived to be 29 years and 5 months old, from the years 1910 to 1939. Bluey lived in Victoria, Australia. The oldest known dog today is 23 years old (as of the date of this post!)
- Some dogs are taller or heavier, but according to the Guinness World Records, a Mastiff named Zorba is the world’s overall largest dog ever. Zorba weighed 343 pounds and measured over eight feet from his nose to his tail. He’s been described as being about the size of a small donkey.
- Greyhounds can beat cheetahs in a race. While cheetahs can run 70mph (twice as fast as greyhounds' maximum speed of 35mph), they can only maintain that speed for approximately thirty seconds. A Greyhound can maintain its top speed of 35mph for approximately seven miles, plenty of time to overtake the cheetah!
- A Labrador’s color doesn’t depend on its parents: Regardless of the parents’ color, a single litter of Labs can include black, yellow, and chocolate puppies. There are two genes that cause the pigmentation of the coat, so the variation can be just as common as different hair colors in a human family.
- The labradoodle was first bred by a dog breeder named Wally Conron in 1989 in Australia, and was created to serve as a guide dog for a blind woman in Hawaii who needed a guide dog, but her husband was allergic to Labrador retrievers. He bred the labradoodle for her. In 2019, Conron called the labradoodle his "life's regret" on a podcast, saying the majority of labradoodles are "either crazy or have a hereditary problem," with healthy examples of the breed "few and far between."
- According to researcher Stanley Coren, Dogs are as smart as the average two-year-old child and have the capacity to learn up to 150 words. In fact, there was recently a Border Collie named Chaser who could identify over 1,000 words.
Sources: AKC, NPR, Reader's Digest, ABC News