20 weird and interesting dog facts you’ll be amazed by

Posted by Argos, 28 January 2016, last updated 2 March 2022.

We all know that dogs are a man’s best friend but there’s plenty you might not know. Here’s some dog facts that might just surprise you!

A Labrador dog's nose close up

Nose for direction: A dogs nose is wet so that they can tell which direction a scent is coming from.

They don’t enjoy hugs: You may think you’re showing your dog love and affection when you hug them. However, in the dog world it is a sign of dominance when you put your limbs over them.

Mind your language: Dogs can understand about 250 human words and gestures. The average dog is about as intelligent as a two-year-old child.

Male dogs cock their leg when they urinate as a sign of dominance: Have you ever wondered why a male dog cocks his leg and a female dog squats? For male dogs cocking their leg is a sign of dominance used as they are ‘marking their territory’.

Old friends: Humans have kept dogs as pets for more than 12,000 years.

Guide dog on a lead

When you’re ready: Guide dogs are trained to go to the toilet only when told do so. This helps to ensure their owners can clean up after them.

They can detect early stage cancer: Dogs have often been known to detect when their owner is ill. It appears they can smell specific scents within the body including the compounds within lung cancer. As well as cancer, they can also detect several other illnesses.

Hear we go: A dog’s sense of hearing is 10 times better than a human’s.

A cute Dalmatian puppy

Spotless: Dalmatian puppies are born completely white. Their spots appear after about a month.

Top dog: The most popular breed of dog in the UK is the Labrador Retriever.

Out of this world: The first dog in space was called Laika, a Russian mongrel who orbited the earth in 1957. She did not make it home.

Strong identity: The print of a dog’s nose is unique, just like humans’ fingerprints.

A Beagle puppy running on grass

Your dog knows how you are feeling: When you’re upset have you noticed your dog is always there to comfort you? This isn’t just coincidence; your dog has the ability to read your emotions. By looking at you, your dog knows whether you are sad, happy or angry. Not only do they recognise how you are feeling, they alter their behaviour to fit your emotions. This means snuggling up to you when you’re upset and keeping their distance when you’re angry.

They use their tongues as little water cups: When you see your dog ‘lapping’ up water, the back of their tongue actually forms a little cup.

Different dogs attract different people: Did you know if you’re single, a Golden Retriever is going to be more successful when it comes to attracting a date than a pit bull? Think about your lifestyle and choose a breed that suits it.

Golden Labrador dog sat down in the grass with two children

They can detect the weather: Dogs can’t just detect illnesses; they can also detect a change in the weather. If there’s a storm coming you will often notice your dog acting strangely.

Colourful characters: Contrary to popular belief, dogs aren’t colour-blind. They see colours but not as vividly as humans.

Cigarette smoke can be harmful to their health: Second hand smoke doesn’t just have negative effects for humans – it can also cause cancer and other illnesses in your beloved pooch too.

Dog with a bone: All dogs have 321 bones and 42 teeth.

They have unique individual nose prints: Humans can be recognised via their finger prints, but in the dog world they are recognised by their noses. No two dogs ever have the same nose print.

Now you know some facts about dogs you may be looking for a new family member! It’s important to protect your dog with Argos Pet Insurance provided by Pinnacle Insurance plc. Explore our dog insurance policies today.

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