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Weird Facts About Dogs You Probably Didn’t Know

Think you know all the facts about dogs out there? These tidbits will leave you raising an eyebrow at your favorite pooch.

By Mackenzie Z. KennedyPublished 6 years ago 7 min read

Dogs are man's best friend and winners of the internet. They are the second most common pet next to cats, and are also typically the hallmark of a person who is outgoing and well-liked. Everyone likes dogs, and most dog owners tend to believe they know everything about their canine companions.

But, just like with the crazy facts about cats you may have seen, we're willing to bet that there are some facts about dogs you didn't know. Dog people, did you know these strange factoids?

There was once a dog breed that was specially bred to run roasting spits.

One of the most interesting facts about dogs you'll learn is the story of the dog bred as a kitchen tool. It was called a "Turnspit." Back in the day, most food was roasted on a spit. But, in order to turn a spit, you'd either have to hire someone to continually turn the crank. This was either very expensive or very tiring, depending on who you were.

So, humans got creative and made a small treadmill that dogs would run on in order to make the spit turn. Turnspits were tiny, Daschund-like dogs that were specifically bred to enjoy running. Families would buy these dogs, and get them to run on the treadmills for them.

The life of Turnspit probably wasn't too fun. Families viewed them as cooking utensils, and some would even drop hot coals under them to get them to run faster. Others also viewed them as family companions, though, so it seems like the mileage may have varied.

Oddly enough, there aren't many facts about dogs of this breed in terms of looks. The accounts vary greatly, with many saying that they had the head of a Pitbull with the body of a Corgi.

This breed was mentioned as early on as the 16th century, and was a staple in households for hundreds of years. However, as technology advanced, the need for Turnspits decreased, until they were no longer needed. By 1850, Turnspits were scarce.

The last Turnspit died around the turn of the last century, and was taxidermied. "Whiskey," as the dog's name was, is now on display in a museum. However, the Turnspit's close relatives, Corgis, are still very popular pets.

Dogs do have a sense of time; and yes, they really do miss you when you're gone.

Here's one of those facts about dogs you probably suspected for a long, long time. It's not just a dog being happy to see you and excited. They legit were counting the days and hours before they could see you come home. How cute is that?

Of course, a lot of dogs do have separation anxiety—and that's not so cute. The good news is that scientists discovered that just leaving an item that smells like you on the floor can help alleviate this.

Another thing most people don't realize is that dogs can get jealous.

You know how your dog almost seems salty when they see you petting another animal? A study done by students at the University of California showed that dogs do legit get jealous when they see their owners petting or paying attention to another dog.

So, if you notice your dog pouting and whining when you're petting the neighbor's pup, that's why. They're jealous. That being said, jealousy in relationships is very similar to jealousy with your dog.

One of the facts about dogs you probably already knew is that they're basically like raising a tiny human. Actually paying attention, curbing bad behavior, and driving home the fact that your dog is number one can help keep them from acting out.

Bloodhounds can trace scents that are up to 300 years old.

There's a reason why bloodhounds are so popular with law enforcement. They are the only breed that's capable of tracing scents that are as old as 300 years. So, in the right circumstances, this can mean that the scent from a crime never really goes cold.

The only other dog breeds that can compete with the bloodhound in terms of sense of smell are the German Shepherd, the Coonhound, and the Labrador Retriever.

That being said, there are a lot of times when drug dogs get the scent wrong—but not for the reasons you'd think.

This is often because the way drug dogs are trained tends to make sniffing out drugs a game. Plus, a lot of drug dogs tend to choose to please their owners, more than actually sniff out where the real drugs are.

So, while dogs do have a way better olfactory system than humans do, drug dog alerts are not infallible by any means. Currently, a lot of people are pointing out facts about dogs' alerting accuracy as a way to show how unfair the methods used in charging people for crimes are.

Truth be told, it's probably a good thing that we do point that out.

Call him, Dr. Doggo!

Dogs have been known to be incredibly good for both mental and physical health. Along with encouraging owners to take them for walks and providing much-needed companionship, dog ownership can also help lower blood pressure and relieve stress. That's why therapy dogs are a thing, right?

Owners probably already knew this, but one of the more unusual facts about dogs you might not know is that they can be trained to detect bad health in patients. Dogs can actually sniff out certain types of cancer, alert doctors when patients will have seizures, and also reveal when your insulin levels drop.

When dogs spin around in circles, that's actually their way of making themselves at home.

Researchers discovered that this random spinning is actually a nesting trait that was passed down from their days as wolves. Now, it just looks super cute.

There's currently a bunch of dog rescue organizations specifically geared towards Tibetan Mastiffs—a breed once so expensive that they were unattainable by normal homes.

You might have read other lists with facts about dogs that called the Tibetan Mastiff one of the most expensive dog breeds in the world. In the past, this was true, with many of these giant dogs really living a dog's life among China's wealthiest circles.

However, this has changed.

Since Tibetan Mastiffs were known for being one of the most expensive dogs in the world, the amount of breeders in China exploded. The rich stopped buying them, then the breeders abandoned them, or started selling them to meat companies.

Now, monasteries in China are beginning to partner up with American dog rescues to help save them. You can learn more about the Tibetan Mastiff rescue efforts online.

Dogs only have sweat glands in their paws.

We all know facts about dogs and sweating. They pant because they can't sweat elsewhere, and their paws are the only places where they can sweat. But, did you know dog paws smell like corn chips when they sweat? It's their natural B.O.

The US has the highest dog population in the world.

It's true. America really, really likes dogs. There's 75 million doggos and counting, if you're interested. Whether it's apartment dogs or country dogs, dog ownership is one of the most American things you can do.

Oh, and our military has also awarded badges of honor to our furry friends, too. Multiple awards solely for dogs are officially part of the US military, including the K-9 Medal of Courage.

To make this story even more American, we're going to tell you a story about two stray dogs in Afghanistan. The dogs were credited with saving 50 American soldiers. When a Facebook group found out, they raised $21,000 to get both dogs medical treatment, and reunited them with the soldiers stateside!

Meanwhile, in Russia, stray dogs take the subways.

No, really, they do. Russian stray dogs have actually learned to use the subway system and regularly approach people, begging for food. The Moscow subways system seems to be pretty dog-friendly, with both officials and commuters enjoying their presence.

Cats weren't the only animal revered in Ancient Egypt...

Yes, man's best friend was sacred, too. When Egyptians lost a beloved pup, they'd shave their eyebrows, cover their hair in mud, and loudly mourn for days on end.

World famous authors do not like being separated from their dogs.

This is one of those facts about dogs that most people kind of saw coming, but we're willing to bet that you wouldn't realize how angry some authors can get.

Lord Byron was told by his college board that he could not bring his beloved pet dog to the dorms. Furious, he skirted the rule and retaliated by bringing a pet bear.


About the Creator

Mackenzie Z. Kennedy

Socialite and dating guru Mackenzie Kennedy knows all about the inner workings of people and society as a whole. It's not only her lifestyle - it's her passion. She lives in Hoboken with her pet dogs, Cassie and Callie.

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