20 Amazing Facts You Never Knew About Your Dog

You'll never look at your canine companion the same again.

cute dog on parents' lap

You love your dog. But how well do you really know your dog? He or she's been keeping some important facts from you—ones you may find surprising, funny, and maybe disturbing. So read on, and never look at your pooch in the same way again. And for more great canine coverage, read up on Why President Trump Needs a Dog.

Dogs Have 18 Muscles to Move Their Ears

dogs have complex ear muscles

These muscles allow dogs to move their ears in intricate ways, which are very important to picking up sounds.

A Dog's Nose Is Its Fingerprint

dogs noses are a lot more sensitive than humans

Dog noses have unique patterns that can serve to identify them, similar to human fingerprints. Also, the wetness of a dog's nose is a sign of good health and helps them in gathering scents. Thinking of adopting a shelter dog one of these days? Read these 10 things you need to know.

Dogs May Be Able to Fall in Love With You

dogs may be able to fall in love with their owners

Scientists have discovered that love is chemically apparent when a dog and its owner look into each other's eyes. Specifically, a study found an uptick in the level of oxytocin (sometimes known as "the love hormone") in a dog and its owner when they stare at each other. For more on man's best friend, don't miss How to Buy the Perfect Dog, by the dog whisperer himself, Cesar Millan.

Dogs Sweat Only on Their Paws

dogs sweat through their paws

Dogs have sweat glands only on their paws, not the rest of their bodies. Since they do not use sweat to cool off, dogs have developed another way: They ventilate and exchange heat through panting.

Small Dogs Can Hear Sounds in Higher Ranges

smaller dogs have more powerful ears

Dogs' ears are perfect tools to detect sounds. Dogs can hear sounds that are two-times beyond our range—and it appears small dogs are actually better at it.

Dogs Mark Their Territory with Glands in Their Paws

dogs dig after they poop to mark the spot with scent

Dogs are not, in fact, trying to clumsily bury their poop. They are just performing yet another territory-marking ritual. With the glands on their paws they spread their scent and let other dogs know they are around.

Male Dogs Lifts Its Leg When it Pees as a Sign of Dominance

dogs pee with legs up to show dominance

Dogs' urine contains markers that inform other dogs of its presence, social standing, and sexual availability. Dogs lift their legs as high as they can so they can "distribute their message" better and allow its scent to travel further.

Dogs Are More Aggressive When Being Walked by a Man

dogs are more aggressive when walked by men

The presence of a leash, the sex of the owner, and the sex of the dog all play a part in the aggressiveness of a dog. Dogs walked by a man have been found to be four times more likely to attack and bite another dog.

Dogs Dream

dogs can dream in their sleep

Scientists think that dogs dream similarly to us and replay moments that they have previously experienced. You can tell that a dog is dreaming if they are twitching their legs or bark in their sleep. Small dogs have more dreams than big dogs.

Dogs Do Not Feel Guilt

dogs cannot feel guilt

When dogs look ashamed after you catch them turning the living room upside down, it mostly because of our perception of how they look. In fact, there are not capable of feeling guilt, scientists say. Dogs have actually learned to act in a submissive way, but it doesn't go beyond that.

Dogs Are Right- or Left-Pawed

dogs can have dominant paws like humans have dominant hands

Dogs, just like many other mammals, have a dominant paw.

Dogs Understand up to 250 Words and Gestures

dogs can understand up to 250 words and phrases

Research has shown that dogs are as smart as a two-year-old child and can perform simple mathematical calculations. Dogs are quick to learn the names of new items and understand gestures better than words.

Whiskers Help Dogs See in the Dark

whiskers help dogs see in the dark

Dogs' whiskers are packed with nerves and send sensory messages to their brains. The whiskers are multifunctional sensory tools that help them move around and orient themselves in tight places, especially when visibility is low.

Dogs Are Not Completely Colorblind

dogs are not completely colorblind

Dogs cannot see the same colors that we do, but they are not colorblind. Research has shown that dogs can see more than just shades of gray. Their eyes are well-adapted to the dark as they were nocturnal hunters in the wild.

Dogs Don't Like Hugs

dogs don't like hugs

Animal psychologists say dogs can be stressed and unhappy when they are hugged because they cannot run away. Dogs will convey their stress by licking their lips, looking away, or folding their ears.

Dogs Can Smell Your Feelings

dogs can smell your feelings

Dogs watch us all day, studying our every move and gesture. And at some point in history, they learned to decode our body language: They observe and have learned to use their sense of smell to distinguish signs of happiness and sadness.

Storms Can Hurt Dogs

storms can hurt dogs

The sound frequencies produced during storms can actually hurt dogs' ears. Also, the static electricity that accumulates in their fur due to change of pressure can be painful to them. So when dogs are freaking out during storms, they may actually be in pain.

Dogs Feel Envy

dogs can feel envy

Dogs get agitated when they see another dog getting a treat for a trick that they are performing treat-free. However, they do not seem to care if they are getting a treat for a trick and the other dog is getting it without having to perform a trick.

Smaller Dogs Live Longer

small dogs live longer

A study has found that large dogs die younger. A correlation has also been found between age span and aggressiveness. The more docile the dogs, the longer they tend to live.

Dogs can help their owners live longer

dogs can often help their owners live longer

According to a recent Swedish medical study dog owners were associated with lower levels of cardiovascular disease and death.

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