Source: Photo by Victor Grabarczyk on Unsplash
Did you know that in medieval times dogs were known to have accompanied their masters into battle wearing suits of armour? Or that the Rhodesian Ridge- back was first bred to fight lions?
So if you want to know who the heaviest dog ever to have lived was, or what the wagometer was invented for, this article is for you
- Dogs are often referred to as ‘man’s best friend’ because of their long history of being companion animals to humans over thousands of years.
- It is estimated that there are around five hundred million dogs in the world, with the United States being the country that is home to the most.
- There are hundreds of different breeds of dog, many of them specialising in particular tasks such as hunting, security, and assisting those with a dis- ability such as blindness.
- Dogs only have sweat glands in between their paws, whereas humans sweat from all over their bodies. The only other way a dog can release heat is by panting.
- Different sized dogs require different amounts of exercise and it is important for you to understand what yours needs. Without the proper lifestyle a dog will quickly display behavioural and health issues.
- When bathing your dog you must use special dog shampoo - products designed for humans can contain irritants that will harm your dog’s skin.
- It is wise to regularly brush your dog’s teeth; this is because it limits the risk of it picking up oral diseases and allows you to spot future teeth and gum problems much easier.
- Many people know that the ancient Egyptians worshipped cats, but did you also know they revered their pet dogs? When one would die the family would shave their eyebrows off and smear mud in their hair as a sign of morning.
- Tomb paintings of the famous pharaoh Ramses the Great depict him with hunting dogs; when he died it is likely that they were buried with him as it was believed they would offer him loyalty and companionship in the after- life.
- A dog curls up into a ball when it is sleeping due to an inbuilt genetic behaviour - the position is designed to keep the dog warm and to protect its abdomen (and therefore vital organs) from predators.
- When your dog’s paw is twitching when it is asleep, it really is dreaming! Scientists have discovered that dogs have the same stages of sleep as humans, and when they are in the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage, this is when they dream.
- Even today, dogs are ‘pack animals’ and see their owners as part of their group - usually (although not always) the ‘top dog’. When there is more than one dog in a household, there will be a pretty strict pecking order!
- If your dog is scratching its ears for longer than normal, this could be a sign of a variety of ailments including fleas, ear mites or a yeast infection. As with any noticeable alteration in behaviour it should be checked out by a vet.
- The Germans are thought to be the first in modern times to train guide dogs for the blind; after the first world war many soldiers were left blinded by gas attacks and the government began a programme of supplying canine assistants to them.
- The religion of Zoroastrianism which is believed to be followed by more than two million people worldwide has a detailed section in one of its religious texts entirely dedicated to the breeding and care of dogs.
- All pure border collies today can trace their ancestry back to a single dog Old Hemp, who was born in September 1893 and died in May 1902.
- During the 2009 X Games in Los Angeles, an English Bulldog called Till man propelled himself one hundred metres on a skateboard in just 19.68 seconds.
- The smallest adult living dog in the world (in 2014) was declared as Miracle Milly, a Chihuahua who measures just 3.8 inches from backbone to paw.
- A Basset hound called Mr Jeffries holds the record for the dog with the longest ears - his measured an amazing 29.2 cm each!
- The fastest domestic dog breed is believed to be the Greyhound, which can reach speeds of up to 45 mph in a straight line.
- It is thought that the Greyhound is the world’s oldest identifiable breed of dog, and dates back around nine thousand years. The grey in the name doesn’t refer to a colour, but is from the German word greis which actually means ‘ancient’.
- The Poodle is actually believed to be a German rather than a French breed. Historians think that hunters would shave much of the breed’s hair off so they could swim better and faster, but would leave hair around their joints so they still kept warm.