A dog's whiskers are touch-sensitive hairs called vibrissae. They are found on the muzzle, above the eyes and below the jaws, and can actually sense tiny changes in airflow.
According to a recent survey, the most popular name for a dog is Max. Other popular names include Molly, Sam, Zach, and Maggie.
According to ancient Greek literature, when Odysseus arrived home after an absence of 20 years, disguised as a beggar, the only one to recognize him was his aged dog Argos, who wagged his tail at his master, and then died.
An American Animal Hospital Association poll showed that 33 percent of dog owners admit that they talk to their dogs on the phone or leave messages on an answering machine while away.
An estimated 1 million dogs in the United States have been named the primary beneficiary in their owner's will.
At the end of the Beatles' song "A Day in the Life", an ultrasonic whistle, audible only to dogs, was recorded by Paul McCartney for his Shetland sheepdog.
Barbara Bush's book about her English Springer Spaniel, Millie's book, was on the bestseller list for 29 weeks. Millie was the most popular "First Dog" in history.
Before the enactment of the 1978 law that made it mandatory for dog owners in New York City to clean up after their pets, approximately 40 million pounds of dog excrement were deposited on the streets every year.
Cats have better memories than dogs. Tests conducted by the University of Michigan concluded that while a dogs memory lasts no more than 5 minutes, a cat's can last as long as 16 hours - exceeding even that of monkeys and orangutans.
Cats have more than one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.
Cats, not dogs, are the most common pets in America. There are approximately 66 million cats to 58 million dogs, with Parakeets a distant third at 14 million.
Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not sweat by salivating. They sweat through the pads of their feet.
Dachshunds are the smallest breed of dog used for hunting. They are low to the ground, which allows them to enter and maneuver through tunnels easily.
Developed in Egypt about 5,000 years ago, the greyhound breed was known before the ninth century in England, where it was bred by aristocrats to hunt such small game as hares.
Dogs are mentioned 14 times in the Bible.
Dogs can hear sounds that are too faint for us to hear, and also can hear noises at a much higher frequency than we can. Their hearing is so good that they probably rely more on sound than on sight to navigate their world.
Dogs' eyes have large pupils and a wide field of vision, making them really good at following moving objects. Dogs also see well in fairly low light.
Dogs have far fewer taste buds than people -- probably fewer than 2,000. It is the smell that initially attracts them to a particular food.
Dogs in monuments: The dog is placed at the feet of women in monuments to symbolise affection and fidelity, as a lion is placed at the feet of men to signify courage and magnanimity. Many of the Crusaders are represented with their feet on a dog, to show that they followed the standard of the Lord as faithfully as a dog follows the footsteps of his master.
Dogs may not have as many taste buds as we do (they have about 1,700 on their tongues, while we humans have about 9,000), but that doesn't mean they're not discriminating eaters. They have over 200 million scent receptors in their noses (we have only 5 million) so it's important that their food smells good and tastes good.
Each day in the US, animal shelters are forced to destroy 30,000 dogs and cats.
Every known dog except the chow has a pink tongue - the chow's tongue is jet black.
Every year, $1.5 billion is spent on pet food. This is four times the amount spent on baby food.
For Stephen King's "Cujo" (1983), five St. Bernards were used, one mechanical head, and an actor in a dog costume to play the title character.
French poodles did not originate in France. Poodles were originally used as hunting dogs in Europe. The dogs' thick coats were a hindrance in water and thick brush, so hunters sheared the hindquarters, with cuffs left around the ankles and hips to protect against rheumatism. Each hunter marked his dogs' heads with a ribbon of his own color, allowing groups of hunters to tell their dogs apart.
Inbreeding causes 3 out of every 10 Dalmatian dogs to suffer from hearing disability.
It has been established that people who own pets live longer, have less stress, and have fewer heart attacks.
Korea's poshintang - dog meat soup - is a popular item on summertime menus, despite outcry from other nations. The soup is believed to cure summer heat ailments, improve male virility, and improve women's complexions.
Lassie was played by several male dogs, despite the female name, because male collies were thought to look better on camera. The main "actor" was named Pal.
Lassie, the TV collie, first appeared in a 1930s short novel titled Lassie Come-Home written by Eric Mowbray Knight. The dog in the novel was based on Knight's real life collie, Toots.
Marie Antoinette's dog was a spaniel named Thisbe.
Most pet owners (94 percent) say their pet makes them smile more than once a day.
Pekingese dogs were sacred to the emperors of China for more than 2,000 years. They are one of the oldest breeds of dogs in the world.
Prairie dogs are not dogs. A prairie dog is a kind of rodent.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt's most famous canine companion was his Scottish Terrier, Fala, who is part of the Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C. But during Roosevelt's 12 years and one month as president, 11 dogs lived in the White House. They included a Bullmastiff, two red setters, a retriever, a Bulldog, a Llewellin Setter, a Scotch Terrier, a Great Dane, a Sheepdog, and a German Shepherd who tried to rip the pants off the British Prime Minister.
Researchers studying what dogs like to eat have found that the appetite of pet dogs is affected by the taste, texture and smell of the food, and also by the owners' food preferences, their perception of their pet, and the physical environment in which the dog is eating.
Scientists have discovered that dogs can smell the presence of autism in children.
'Seizure Alert' dogs can alert their owners up to an hour before the onset of an epileptic seizure.
Seventy percent of people sign their pet's name on greeting cards and 58 percent include their pets in family and holiday portraits, according to a survey done by the American Animal Hospital Association.
Small dogs are rapidly gaining popularity, according to American Kennel Club registration statistics. Three toys breeds are among the top 10 in popularity on the most recent list: the Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua, and Shih Tzu rank sixth, ninth, and 10th, respectively. A decade ago, no toy breeds were in the top 10.
Some 39 percent of pet owners say they have more photos of their pet than of their spouse or significant other. Only 21 percent say they have more photos of their spouse or significant other than of their pet.
The calories burned daily by the sled dogs running in Alaska's annual Iditarod race average 10,000. The 1,149-mile race commemorates the 1925 "Race for Life" when 20 volunteer mushers relayed medicine from Anchorage to Nome to battle a children's diphtheria epidemic.
The Canary Islands were not named for a bird called a canary. They were named after a breed of large dogs. The Latin name was Canariae insulae - "Island of Dogs."
The common belief that dogs are color blind is false. Dogs can see color, but it is not as vivid a color scheme as we see. They distinguish between blue, yellow, and gray, but probably do not see red and green. This is much like our vision at twilight.
The dachshund is one of the oldest dog breeds in history (dating back to ancient Egypt.) The name comes from one of its earliest uses - hunting badgers. In German, Dachs means "badger," Hund is "hound."
The English Romantic poet Lord Byron was so devastated upon the death of his beloved Newfoundland, whose name was Boatswain, that he had inscribed upon the dog's gravestone the following: "Beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, and all the virtues of man without his vices."
The expression "three dog night" originated with the Eskimos and means a very cold night - so cold that you have to bed down with three dogs to keep warm.
The first dog to star in an American movie was Jean the Vitagraph Dog, a Border Collie mix, who made his first film in 1910.
The first dogs to hunt in packs and the first small companion breeds were probably bred in ancient China. Written records more than 4,000 years old from China show that dog trainers were held in high esteem and that kennel masters raised and looked after large numbers of dog.
The first seeing-eye dog was presented to a blind person on April 25, 1938.
The largest and the smallest dogs to live in the White House where both there during the tenure of president James Buchanan. The president had a Newfoundland named Lara. And his niece, Harriet Lane (who served as White House hostess because the president was unmarried), had a tiny toy terrier named Punch.
The last member of the famous Bonaparte family, Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, died in 1945, of injuries sustained from tripping over his dog's leash.
The name of the dog from "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" is Max.
The name of the dog on the Cracker Jack box is Bingo.
The only dog to ever appear in a Shakespearean play was Crab in The Two Gentlemen of Verona
The phrase "raining cats and dogs" originated in 17th Century England. During heavy downpours of rain, many of these poor animals unfortunately drowned and their bodies would be seen floating in the rain torrents that raced through the streets. The situation gave the appearance that it had literally rained "cats and dogs" and led to the current expression.
The smallest breed of dog recognized by the American Kennel Club is the Chihuahua, which stands six to nine inches at the top of the shoulders and weighs two to six pounds. The largest is the Irish Wolfhound, which stands 30 to 35 inches at the top of the shoulders and weighs 105 to 125 pounds.
The smallest of the recognized dog breeds, the Chihuahua, is also the one that usually lives the longest. Named for the region of Mexico where they were first discovered in the mid-19th century, the Chihuahua can live anywhere between 11-18 years.
The term "dog days" has nothing to do with dogs. It dates back to Roman times, when it was believed that Sirius, the Dog Star, added its heat to that of the sun from July3 to August 11, creating exceptionally high temperatures. The Romans called the period dies caniculares, or "days of the dog."
The theobromine in chocolate that stimulates the cardiac and nervous systems is too much for dogs, especially smaller pups. A chocolate bar is poisonous to dogs and can even be lethal.
There are 701 types of pure breed dogs.
There are more than 100 million dogs and cats in the United States. Americans spend more than 5.4 billion dollars on their pets each year.
Though human noses have an impressive 5 million olfactory cells with which to smell, sheepdogs have 220 million, enabling them to smell 44 times better than man.
Using their swiveling ears like radar dishes, experiments have shown that dogs can locate the source of a sound in 6/100ths of a second.
Walt Disney's family dog was named Lady. She was a poodle.
While small dogs are gaining in popularity, the top dogs are still the big ones. The Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, and German Shepherd Dog are first, second, and third on list of the American Kennel Club's most popular breeds.
Who first thought of using dogs to guide blind people? At the end of World War I, the German government trained the first guide dogs to assist blind war veterans.