11 Amazing Facts About Dogs You Might Not Know

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We never get tired of learning new facts about dogs so check out these 11 incredible dog facts that you might not know. Plus we’ve pulled together four facts about the people (like you!) who care for them.

1. Sniff Rate. A dog breathes in and out around 15 times per minute when sitting calmly. That frequency goes up to 31 times per minute while walking. But when a dog is actively sniffing, the inhalation/exhalation rate goes up to 140 to 200 times per minute.

2. Communication. Dogs do communicate to each other when they vocalize, bark or growl. A more common means of communication between dogs is body language—an upright or tucked tail, forward ears or tense body can speak volumes.

3. Petting. Researchers have confirmed that a quiet, 15-minute petting session can relax a shelter dog and result in positive behavioral and physiological changes.

4. Humping. Studies from dog parks recorded that humping, or more politely, mounting was 16 times more frequent in male-male pairs as compared to female pairs.

5. Greetings. Female dogs are more likely to greet other dogs by smelling the snout/muzzle first, while males go for the anogenital region. (You might be able to sex the dogs who greet your dog based on this behavior alone.)

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6. Better smellers. Is it true female dogs are better at smelling than males? The experts who wrote K9 Scent Training observed that to be the case, and Alexander Horowitz added that females are often keener “smellers” than males.

7. Paw preference. Dogs who show paw preference and those who are reported to be right-pawed are associated with lower arousal and calmer responses to novel stimuli and strangers.

8. Dogs are individuals. Not all Retrievers like to play fetch or Pointers point at things, in fact in the seminal research, Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog, it states that there is often greater variability in terms of temperament and talent between dogs within a breed than between breeds.

9. By the nose. Dogs have 125 to 300 million olfactory cells (compared to our 5 million), and 33% of their brain is dedicated to interpreting odors.

10. Good for both of us. A dog gazing into our eyes, and us looking into theirs, showed a marked increase in oxytocin (the “love” hormone) levels in both humans and dogs. This is similar to mother-infant relationships.

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