11 Amazing Facts About Dogs You Might Not Know

Celebrate National Dog Day with these incredible dog facts.
By The Bark, August 2019, Updated November 2019
Dog - Corgi Photo by anya potsiadlo on Unsplash

Photo by anya potsiadlo on Unsplash

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 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.

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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.)

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 women are often keener “smellers” than men.  

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.

11. Make you more attractive. Studies find that including a dog in your dating profile might help you get a date. Dogs make men attractive to women to a greater degree than they make women attractive to men. Women were more likely to find someone attractive because they had a dog, and were also more likely to find a photo of a dog in an online dating profile a turn-on.

Take a look at some surprising survey results about dog people. Does anything sound familiar?

1. Our luxuries. 55% of American pet owners claim that should they have to tighten the financial belt, they would be willing to give up chocolate in order to afford high-quality food for their pets.

2. Our happiness. 64% of Americans said giving up their pet would be worse than losing their job. While 66 percent said adopting a pet would make them happier in the long run than winning the lottery.

3. Our homes. 42% of millennials who have never purchased a home, who say that their dog—or the desire to have one—is a key factor in their wish to buy a home in the future.

4. Our co-pilot. The Bark magazine began in 1997 as a way to organize an off-leash dog park in Berkeley, CA.  We entered the pop culture lexicon with our infamous motto — Dog is my co-pilot — seen on bumperstickers across the nation! Celebrate National Dog Day and get yours today.