Facts About Dogs For Kids
Dogs are easily the most popular of all animals. They are loyal, easy to train, and have a natural instinct to guard. No wonder they are called ‘Mans best friend’.
Scientific name for dog is Canis familiaris.
History of Dogs
Scientists have been doing loads of research into how the domestic dog came to be.
They also discovered that dogs last shared a common ancestor with wolves around 32,100 years ago. At some point during this time they must have been domesticated.
Where does the word ‘dog’ come from?
The English word dog comes from Middle English dogge, from Old English docga, a “powerful dog breed”.
Dogs are widely used in hunting, herding, pulling loads, protection, tracking, rescue, assisting police, military, companionship, and aiding handicapped individuals.
12 Popular Dog Breeds
There are over 340 known dog breeds in the world. Out of these, 197 are recognized by the American Kennel Club. Let us have a quick look at the 10 most popular ones.
German Shepherd are very often used as police dogs, because of their good temperament and intelligence. They can also be easily trained and are very loyal to their caretakers.
This is a very popular house dog. It is versatile, homely and above all is obedient.
Beautiful friendly dog that has made a number of notable movie appearances.
Grumpy looking in a cute way. It’s sourmug face is a symbol of tenacity and courage. They are actually pretty docile and easy going
Doberman is widely considered one of the best security dogs in the world because they are sleek, agile, and highly loyal.
Affectionately called “Dobies”, they can be incredibly adaptable pets, able to live in a range of environments and with a variety of family sizes.
The Great Dane is one of the biggest breed of dogs and can weight over 140 pounds. Despite their large size, Great Danes are gentle giants who are mildly lively and get along well with children.
However, in terms of room and feeding, an owner must be willing to accept the dog’s enormous size.
French bulldogs are great companion dogs. They are smaller than traditional bulldogs that only need a little physical activity. These big-eared pooches are popular in Miami, New York, San Francisco, according to the American Kennel Club.
Poodles make excellent family dogs since they are welcoming of other pets. They’re compassionate and courteous with youngsters, but due to their hypersensitivity, they can be easily overwhelmed by noisy kids.
The beagle is a sociable, happy and affectionate dog that prefers company. If left alone, this breed can be exceedingly destructive and bark incessantly.
They were among the first dogs to be used in the military and for police work. These dogs are strong and can be ferocious, so careful training is necessary.
The gorgeous Yorkies were popular as pets in the late 1800s, but they were originally used as vermin catchers in textile mills.
German Shorthaired Pointer
Because of their intelligence and keen sense of smell, “GSPs” are well-known as excellent hunting and field dogs.
How do dogs communicate?
Dogs communicate in different ways. Scent is one method, another is physical appearance using body position, movement, and facial expression or baring their teeth.
Many of these signals are recognizable to us.
This is seriously interesting! Apparently dogs wag their tails to the right when they’re happy and to the left when they’re frightened.
Wagging low means they’re insecure and rapid tail wagging accompanied by tense muscles or dilated pupils can signal aggression.
So watch those tails. Vocally, dogs communicate with many sounds including barks, growls, and whines.
How long do dogs live for?
The average life span for a dog is around 10 to 14 years.
They can hear at a distance four times that of humans. That’s amazing! So don’t say anything bad about your dog, as they’ll hear!
If you think they can hear well, you won’t believe how well they can smell.
Their noses have millions more scent receptors than ours, so they can distinguish different smells even in concentrations nearly 100 million times lower than humans can.
Wow, no wonder they can smell when dinner is being cooked and come for a look.
Man’s nose has about 5 million receptors while a Dachshund’s has 125 million.
That’s unbelievable. It has been shown that dogs can smell disease like cancer, diabetes and the early signs of an epileptic seizure.
A dog’s nose is the equivalent of a human fingerprint, each being completely unique.
Dogs can see colors but just not as clearly as humans. They only have two cones in their eyes to detect colors, whereas humans have three.
So dogs see colors on a blue and yellow scale, but can’t tell the difference between red and green.
But if you’re out on a night time adventure, take them with you as they can see better in the dark than we can.
What do dogs eat?
Domestic dogs are omnivores; they eat a variety of foods including grains, vegetables and meats.
Packaged Dog food which includes processed meat, fish, vegetables and cereals is frequently fed to pets. Chocolate should never be given to a dog since it can make them sick.
Puppies are born with their eyes closed and are unable to see for at least two weeks. After 6 weeks, a puppy’s hearing develops. Puppies learn to walk between the ages of two and five weeks.
Puppies don’t get their first set of milk teeth until they’re 6 weeks old. These will eventually fall out, and permanent teeth will replace them.
Puppies learn to use their sense of touch right after they are born. They can sleep up to 19 hours per day.
Dogs in Service
Dogs have jobs because they are so bright. These jobs assist us in a variety of ways.
In nursing homes, hospitals, and even schools, therapy dogs are used. They are used to entertain guests. You’ll always feel better after a dog stroke!
Because they have a far stronger sense of smell than we have, they can sniff out clues! As a result, they are frequently utilized as guard dogs. They are also widely used for police work.
Service dogs can assist people with a variety of tasks. There are guide dogs that assist the blind and will lead them to their destination. Dogs have heigtened senses and are very intuitional, so much that they often have a feel for when their owner is about to faint or have a seizure and need to sit down.
Interesting Facts about Dogs
Dogs reach adult size between the ages of 12 and 24 months.
Dogs still share behaviors with their wild relatives. Both defend their territories and mark them by weeing on trees etc, to signal that an animal is invading its territory. A warning to stay away!
Many pet dogs bury bones or favorite toys for future use, just as their wild relatives sometimes bury a kill to secure the meat for later feasts.
Bet you didn’t know this! Even though it seems completely gross, it’s apparently perfectly normal for dogs to eat poo, as in the days before they were domesticated. Yuck!
Dogs only have sweat glands in their paws but their main form of cooling down is panting.
If a dog’s feet smell like corn chips or popcorn, this is called ‘frito feet‘, and it happens when sweat and bacteria builds up in the paws.
A dog’s unique smell is secreted in its glands which are located in their rear ends (bottoms).
You’ve probably noticed, but dogs love sniffing one another in the rear to identify other dogs and to mark their territory.
Puppies grow to be half their original weight in just about 4 to 5 months.
Research in 2012, suggested there are 525 million dogs on Earth and the cleverest breed is the Border Collie, then poodles, German shepherds, golden retrievers and Dobermans.
Dogs can count, understand over 200 words, and even trick people or other dogs to get treats. Wow! Did you know that?
Every dog has a distinct nose print, similar to how humans have distinct fingerprints.
When dogs are hot, they pant to help circulate air through their bodies and cool down.
The Greyhound is the fastest breed. They’ve been observed to reach top speeds of 44 mph.
The Norwegian Lundehund has 6 toes on each foot, no other dog has this.
Dogs can actually detect Cancer in humans. Incredible.
The trailing results of a Blood Hound can be presented as evidence in court.
A professor at Claremont Graduate University in California found that a dog’s brain releases oxytocin – the love hormone – when they interact with us or other dogs. This is just the same as in a human brain, when we hug or kiss.
Dalmatian pups are born white and gain spots as they get older.
Dogs, like people, have dreams.
The most common health issue in dogs is obesity.
The German Shepherd, formerly known as the Alsatian Wolf Dog, is the most wolf-like of all European dog breeds.
Just moving their ears requires the usage of 18 distinct muscles in dogs.
In the United States, more than 30% of families have a dog as a pet.
Dogs have been observed pooping towards the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field.
No dog has ever been knighted. In Australia however, nine animals (all dogs except for one donkey), were awarded the Purple Cross. This was established in 1993 to recognize the deeds of animals that have shown outstanding bravery and fortitude in the service of humans. Wow, now that’s super cool!
Explore more Animal facts.