Dogs are truly incredible. We are constantly awed by their unconditional love for their humans (this rescue dog is one of our favorite examples). And of course, they’re just so darn adorable—as evidenced by this too-cute-for-words German Shepherd who won Best in Show at Westminster this year.
But whether you have a special pooch in your life, an imaginary puppy (an Italian Greyhound named Dingus that wears turtlenecks, anyone?), or an obsession for all things canine, who doesn’t love learning more about girl’s best friend?
Below, 20 interesting facts will have you overwhelmed with feels about the species.
1It is a myth that dogs sweat through their mouths.
Actually, dogs perspire through the pads of their feet.
2Dogs have less taste buds than we do (1700 compared to our 900), but they have us beat in the smell receptor department. They have up to 200 million compared to our 5 million.
Meaning they like food that tastes and smells good.
3A whopping 45 percent of dogs sleep in their owners’ beds.
4A dog’s nose print is totally unique, they way our fingerprints are.
Seems like you should have a record of your dog’s nose print on file. Because that would be adorable
5Dogs do see some color, just not as vividly as we do.
6A dog can see at night because of its tapetum lucidum, a receptor system that allows for vision at low-light levels.
Sadly, humans don’t have this sight capability. More reasons to have a dog!
7When dogs kick their hind legs after going to the bathroom, it’s to mark the spot with the scent glands in their feet. Not to bury their doo-doo.
8All dogs have pink tongues, with the exception of two breeds: Shar-peis and Chow Chows.
Actually, theirs are black.
9The longer a dog’s face is, the longer its life expectancy.
Long-faced pooches, for the win!
10The poodle’s haircut was not developed for looks. In fact, it was meant to improve their swimming skills, and the puffs at the joints were intended to retain heat.
11All dogs are direct descendants of wolves and are technically the same species.
Therefore, howl at the moon, brothers and sisters.
Turns out it can lower blood pressure for human and doggo, both!
13Puppies are born incompletely developed — that means blind and deaf.
Because dogs are a predatory species, this advantaged the mother, who could get back to hunting for her meals ASAP after giving birth to her litter.
15When dogs swivel their ears, they can locate a sound in 6/100s of a second.
So that’s crazy fast. Squirrel!!
16The most popular dog breeds in the U.S. are the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, Beagle, and Dachshund.
17The most popular dog name is Max.
And followed by Molly, Sam, Zach, and Maggie.
18The Basenji, a hunting dog breed that originated in Africa, does not bark — but it can yodel.
19A dog’s whiskers are scientifically known as vibrissae, and they are so touch-sensitive they can pick up on tiny changes in airflow.
Who knew they were so sensitive?
20Finally, dogs are one of the few species that offer voluntary kindness without reward.
Don’t we know it <3.