20 Things You Wish You Knew About Dogs

By BobJ Jun23,2024
DALL·E 2024 06 23 09.09.00 A cartoon showing a dog and its owner in a cozy living room. The dog has its head tilted to the side, with an inquisitive look, as the owner is speaki
DALL·E 2024 06 23 09.09.00 A cartoon showing a dog and its owner in a cozy living room. The dog has its head tilted to the side, with an inquisitive look, as the owner is speaki

Dogs are not just pets; they’re family. Yet, despite spending so much time with them, there are many surprising facts about dogs that even the most seasoned dog owners might not know. Here are 20 fascinating things about your furry friend that will deepen your appreciation and understanding of them.

1. Why Is a Dog’s Nose Cold?

Have you ever wondered why your dog’s nose is always cold and wet? This is because dogs have special glands inside their noses that produce mucus, which helps them absorb scent chemicals. The moisture also helps regulate their body temperature, making their noses act like little air conditioners. So, the next time you feel that cold, wet nose nuzzling your hand, remember it’s just another amazing feature of your pup’s super sense of smell!

2. Why Does a Dog Wag Its Tail When It Sees Another Dog?

A wagging tail is often seen as a sign of friendliness, but it’s more complex than that. When dogs wag their tails upon seeing another dog, they are communicating. The direction and speed of the wag can indicate everything from excitement and friendliness to nervousness and submission. It’s their way of saying “Hello!” or “Let’s play!” and sometimes even “I’m a bit unsure about you.” Pay attention to those tail wags – they’re a language all their own!

3. Dogs Have a Sense of Time

Dogs may not read clocks, but they have a remarkable sense of time. They can pick up on daily routines and anticipate events, like when you come home from work. This is why your dog might be waiting at the door right when you’re due to walk in. Their internal clock is tied to your schedule, and they can sense the passage of time based on your activities and cues in their environment.

4. Dogs Can Smell Your Feelings

Dogs have an extraordinary sense of smell that is thousands of times more sensitive than humans. They can detect subtle changes in your scent that are caused by emotions like stress, fear, or happiness, allowing them to respond accordingly. So, if you’re feeling down and your dog seems extra cuddly, it’s because they can literally smell your sadness and want to comfort you.

5. Dogs Dream Just Like Humans

If you’ve ever seen your dog twitching or making noises in their sleep, it’s because they’re dreaming. Studies have shown that dogs have similar sleep patterns and brain activity to humans, meaning they can dream about their daily experiences just like we do. They might be chasing a squirrel, playing with a favorite toy, or even reliving their last belly rub.

6. Why Do Dogs Spin Before Lying Down?

When dogs spin around before lying down, it’s an instinctual behavior inherited from their wild ancestors. In the wild, this behavior helped to flatten the grass and drive away insects or snakes, creating a safer and more comfortable resting spot. Even though your dog has a cozy bed, this ancient instinct still kicks in.

7. Dogs Have Unique Nose Prints

Just like human fingerprints, a dog’s nose print is unique. This unique pattern of ridges and creases can actually be used to identify them, much like fingerprints are used for humans. So, that adorable nose print your dog leaves on the window is truly one-of-a-kind!

8. Why Do Dogs Lick People?

Dogs lick people for various reasons, including showing affection, seeking attention, or tasting something interesting on your skin. Licking is also a way for dogs to communicate and bond with their human companions. It’s their version of a kiss or a gentle nudge to say “Hey, I love you!” or “I need some attention over here!”

9. Dogs’ Whiskers Are Highly Sensitive

A dog’s whiskers are more than just facial adornments. They are highly sensitive tactile hairs called vibrissae, which can detect even the slightest changes in air currents, helping dogs navigate their environment, especially in the dark. These whiskers help them sense obstacles and gauge the width of openings, which is why they rarely bump into things.

10. Dogs Can Understand Human Speech

Research has shown that dogs can understand up to 165 words and even more with training. They can also interpret the tone and pitch of your voice, allowing them to pick up on whether you’re happy, angry, or sad. This means that when you talk to your dog, they’re not just hearing sounds – they’re actually understanding and responding to your emotions and instructions.

11. Why Do Dogs Tilt Their Heads?

When a dog tilts its head, it’s not just being cute. Dogs do this to better hear and see what’s in front of them. It helps them pinpoint the source of a sound or understand what you’re saying more clearly.

12. Dogs Sweat Through Their Paws

Dogs don’t sweat through their skin like humans. Instead, they sweat through the pads of their paws. This is why you might see damp paw prints on a hot day after your dog has been running around.

13. Dogs Have Three Eyelids

Dogs have an upper lid, a lower lid, and a third lid, called a nictitating membrane or “haw,” which helps keep their eyes moist and protected. This third eyelid is part of what gives dogs such great eye protection.

14. Dogs Can Get Jealous

Studies have shown that dogs can feel jealousy. If your dog sees you giving attention to another dog or even another person, they might act out or try to get between you and the “intruder.” They want to make sure they’re still your number one!

15. Dogs’ Ears Are Remarkably Expressive

Dogs have over a dozen different muscles that control their ears. This allows them to make a variety of expressions and move their ears in different directions to better hear sounds.

16. Some Dogs Have Webbed Feet

Breeds like Labradors and Newfoundlands have webbed feet, which help them swim more efficiently. These breeds were often used for water rescues and retrieving game from water.

17. Dogs See in Color

It’s a myth that dogs see only in black and white. They can see colors, but not as vividly as humans. Dogs primarily see in shades of blue and yellow, with limited ability to see red and green.

18. Why Do Dogs Bury Bones?

Burying bones is an instinctive behavior that dates back to their wild ancestors. In the wild, dogs would bury food to hide it from other animals and return to it later when food was scarce. Even domesticated dogs retain this instinct.

19. Dogs’ Hearing Is Extremely Sensitive

Dogs can hear frequencies up to 65,000 Hz, while humans can only hear up to about 20,000 Hz. This acute hearing helps them detect sounds from great distances and is why they often react to sounds that we can’t hear.

20. Dogs Can Sense Changes in Weather

Many dogs can sense changes in the weather, such as an approaching storm. They can hear thunder from far away and feel the drop in barometric pressure, which can make them anxious or restless before a storm hits.


Dogs are fascinating creatures with abilities and traits that are often overlooked. Understanding these twenty facts can help you appreciate your furry friend even more and strengthen the bond you share. Whether it’s their cold nose, their unique way of communicating, or their incredible sense of smell, there’s always something new to learn about dogs. So, the next time you look into those loving eyes, remember – there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than you might think!


By BobJ

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