Canine Facts

Canine Facts

Canine: relating to or affecting dogs or other members of the dog family
Facts: a thing that is known or proved to be true

Domestic dogs still carry primordial instincts including an intrinsic love for roaming through forests.

Dogs show affection in a variety of ways. They may wag their tails, follow you around, sit on or near you, or offer you their favorite toys. Or they may just look at you.

Dogs lick people and other dogs for a variety of reasons. Licking your face releases endorphins that calm and relieve your dog’s stress. Puppies will lick their mothers or owners as a sign of affection or to indicate that they’re hungry. As adults, licking becomes a sign of submission to an authority figure. So if your dog licks you, they’re probably trying to let you know that they want something—probably food and/or attention. But if a dog is constantly licking itself, they might be bored or have a skin problem you need to have checked out by a vet.

According to a Canine Researcher, Dog Intelligence is on par with a two year old child. The average dog can learn about 165 words. Super smart dogs, with intelligence in the top twentieth, can learn 250 words!

That feeling of happiness you get while watching a bunch of puppies fall all over each other is genuine. Studies have found that spending time with dogs, especially in high-stress situations, can ease tension in humans. They can also lower your blood pressure (and they like going on walks, which helps you, too).

French bulldogs can’t can’t swim. French bulldogs’ origins are murky, but most sources trace their roots to English bulldogs. Lace makers in England were drawn to the toy version of the dog and would use the smaller pups as lap warmers while they worked. When the lace industry moved to France, they took their dogs with them. There, the English bulldogs probably bred with terriers to create bouledogues français, or French bulldogs. As a result of their squat frame and bulbous head Frenchies are unable to doggy paddle, so pool owners should keep a watchful eye on their pups.

Dogs pant to cool down but also to communicate anxiety and pain.

Dogs have left- or right-dominant paws.

Dogs have over 13 canine blood groups.

Dogs can get laryngitis from barking continuously.

Dogs’s mouths aren’t “clean.”A common myth is that a dog’s mouth is a magically clean place. This is not the case: A canine mouth is brimming with bacteria. Fortunately, a lot of those germs are specific to the species so you don’t have to worry when your pup goes in for a wet kiss. That said, there are some similar bacteria, so make sure your pet has up-to-date shots.

The Collie became popular after Queen Victoria of England championed the breed in the 1800’s.

Many Collies have white hairs known as the “Shepherd’s Lantern” at the end of their tail. Historically, a Collie’s white-tipped tail would help guide a shepherd home in the dark after a long day in the fields.

American Staffordshire Terriers are strong and confident, but also sweet, placid, and good with children.

The pads on dog’s paws have a layer of fatty tissue that protects their paws when they walk on cold ground.

Tail Docking: In the past, people thought tail docking prevented rabies, and injuries in the field,and increased speed, strength and agility. Today, the AVMA stands against tail docking because of the chance of injury for a working dog with an undocked tail is less than 1%. Researchers have proven that tails are critical for many functions, including balance and communication. Most tail docking is cosmetic these days and it does hurt! In a study of puppies whose tails were amputated, 100% yelped in pain, with an average of 24 yelps per puppy.

Dog tails have their own language. A dog’s tail can tell you a lot about how they are feeling. A wagging tail doesn’t always indicate a happy dog. A loose wag from side to side means the dog feels relaxed and content. More fervent wagging with hip movements means the dog is happy or saying hello to a loved one. If the tail is straight up, it’s a sign of confidence or aggression; down and curled between the legs usually means fear or submission.

Newfoundlands are massive dogs with kind and goofy spirits.

Hair of the Dog is a colloquial expression from medieval England, which signifies having another drink to cure a hangover, originated from an old method of treating a bite from a rabid dog. People once believed that putting hair from a rabid dog into the wound (or drinking solution containing the hair) would help cure the virus.

Hunters in the 13th century employed pocket beagles, which are exactly as tiny and adorable as they sound. These miniature pups were only about 8 to 9 inches tall; today, beagles are about 13 to 15 inches tall.

A Samoyed’s thick fluffy coat protects against temperatures as low as minus 60 degrees F.

Canines have three sets of eyelids. The third, the nictatating membrance, protects the eye and produces tears.

Basenjis don’t bark. They are known as Africa’s Barkless Dog. But, they can yodel, whine, and even scream.

Having two different colored eyes ia a relatively common occurrence in the Alaskan Malamute.

Dogs have about 300 million scent receptors in their noses; humans have only 6 million.

The sound of a human yawn can trigger one from your dog. And it’s four times as likely to happen when it’s the yawn of a person he knows.

Scientists say that dogs like to sleep with humans because of their innate pack mentality. As puppies, dogs usually sleep with littermates, and now your dog sees you as part of its pack and wants to be close for protection and comfort. Other possibilities can be: a dog likes to be cuddled, or for attention, or for warmth if a short-haired breed. And others, just want to be close to the ones he/she loves!

Dogs munch on grass for a variety of reasons ― one being that, as omnivores, they simply crave plants.

The Cirneco dell’Etna, named after the Sicilian volcano Mount Etna, is one of the world’s oldest dog breeds.

Australian Cattle Dogs were crossbred from blue merle Collies and tamed Dingoes.

The Saint Bernard was developed over several centuries by hospice monks in the Alps.

Dogs dream. Smaller dogs also tend to dream more than larger dogs, and older dogs more than midlife dogs.

Several dog breeds are cat-friendly. If you’re a cat owner looking for a dog that won’t fight with your feline, look for one of these breeds: Japanese chins, golden retrievers, papillons, Labrador retrievers, and beagles. Of course, every dog has its own personality—so just being one of the above breeds doesn’t guarantee that Fido and Fluffy will become instant BFFs.

The practice of cropping Doberman ears originated with safety. Floppy ears are an easy target for other animals.

Dogs curl up in a ball when sleeping to protect their organs—a hold over from their days in the wild, when they were vulnerable to predator attacks.

Dogs have an amazing sense of smell. A dog can smell anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 times better than the average human. Canines have 300 million olfactory receptors, compared to our measly 6 million. Moreover, the part of the brain dedicated to smell is 40 times larger in dogs than in humans.

A dog’s nose is a miraculous gift capable of detecting conditions like Diabetes and some types of cancer. Dogs’ noses can sense heat/thermal radiation, which explains why blind or deaf dogs can still hunt.

In 1990, Bill Irwin became the first blind man to hike the Appalachian Trail. He did so with the help of his German Shepherd guide dog, “Orient”. The duo were affectionately called, “The Orient Express”. During Bill and Orient’s 259 day hike, Bill wore through 7 pairs of boots, 6 ski poles, and 3 back pack frames. Bill claimed Orient help him successfully complete the hike by learning to identify blazes and rock cairns that marked the trail.

Dogs can read your mood. A 2016 study from the universities of Lincoln and Sao Paolo found that dogs can read and respond to the emotions on human faces, even in photographs.

Border Collies, Poodles, and German Shepherds are considered to be among the smartest breeds of dog. To be placed in the top tier of intelligence, breeds must understand a new command after only five repetitions and follow the first command given to them 95 % of the time.

Dalmations are skilled coach dogs and would run alongside carriages before the days of cars. Later, they ran behind fire trucks: now they have a place of honor in the front seat.

Corgis are great at herding cattle. The Welsh used these short dogs as herders as early as the 10th century. There were no fences in those days and pastures were considered common land. In order to keep a farmer’s cattle together and separated from other herds, corgis would nip at their legs to herd them. Because of their closeness to the ground, corgis had easy access to the cows’ ankles and were difficult targets of any retaliatory kicks.

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi may be the lesser-known Corgi (68th in popularity vs. the Pembroke Welsh Corgi’s 13th-place rank), but they’re just as cute, congenial, and clever as their better-known siste breed. Unlike Pembrokes, Cardigans have a tail! They are an ancient breed that excelled at driving cattle and guarding flocks. Today, you’re more likely to find them excelling at snuggling up with their humans, “guarding” the homestead, and sniffing out treats.

It is very rare, but puppies can be born green. This can happen if a green bile, called, biliverdin, the same pigment that causes bruises to turn green, comes in contact with light colored fur in the dog’s womb. It temporarily dyes the the puppy fur green but after birth, the fur goes back to the original ― and ― intended color ― that it should be!

Dogs are not colorblind. They can see blue and yellow.

There’s a reason your dog sniffs other dogs’ butts. Dogs sniff rear ends as their way of asking, “Who are you and how have you been?” Canines can find out a whole slew of information from just a whiff. The secretions released by glands in the rump tell other animals things like the dog’s gender, diet, and mood. It’s sort of like talking with chemicals.

Unbaked yeast dough can be deadly to dogs (and cats).

Greyhounds are the fastest dog breed. Although a cheetah can get up to almost 70mph, they can only keep this going for about 30 seconds. Greyhounds, on the other hand, could easily run at speeds in excess of 35mph for seven miles. So despite a cheetah’s head start, the greyhound could easily take the lead.

A high number of dogs in the U.S. have been named primary beneficiary in their owner’s wills.

A bloodhound’s sense of smell is the strongest among any dog breed. The sense of smell is so strong and impressive that it’s admissible as evidence in a court of law.

There’s a dog breed with six toes called the Norwegian Lundehund. Lundehund translates to puffin dog. In addition to their six toes with extra pads on each foot, these special dogs have an elastic neck, and the abilty to fold their ears closed. Norwegian Lundehund are hunters and their physical characteristics are helpful while climbing the jagged, slippery rocks where puffins like to make their homes.

Most times, when dogs bow, it is a signal that they want to play. When a dog crouches forward with its elbows on the ground and its rear end in the air and wagging its tail, it is most commonly referred to as the “play bow” and best expresses how they’re feeling. It is a common body language gesture dogs use to communicate. This is the ultimate sign of playfulness.

The Yorkshire Terrier may look sweet, petite and delicate but looks can be deceiving. The breed’s Scottish ancestors worked as ratters in textile factories and coal mines. Today, many Yorkies still serve as the family rodent-chaser. Yorkies have a silky, low-allergen coat that often starts out as black and tan, but fades to steel blue and gold. Their excellent watchdog skills and affectionate, confident personality, make them a sought-after small breed. They consistently place in the top ten most popular dog breeds.

Afghan Hounds, to some, are considered the oldest dog breed. They are known for their elegance. Afghans are sight hounds. Besides their good looks, they are great with agility. They spent centuries as hunting companions, and as status symbols for royalty in Asia, Pakistan, and India. They are nible dogs weighing only 50-60 pounds. In the 1970’s, Mattel created a Barbie Doll pet ~ an Afghan Hound ~ called Beauty!

Afghan Hounds often don a snood just before mealtime in order to keep their silky ears out of the food bowl.

Labrador retrievers are the most popular dog breeds in the United States. Labrador retrievers often hold the no. 1 spot on lists of the most popular dog breeds. In fact, they’ve been the top dog for 30 consecutive years—the longest reign of any breed in American Kennel Club history.

In Japan, there are businesses that allow paying customers to rent out dogs and take them on walks or play with them. Though supporters say this is a great way for dogs to become socialized and a benefit to humans who might otherwise be unable to adopt, critics warn that being passed around between customers may stress dogs out or exhaust them.

Scientists have shown that dogs are aware of their physical size. A 2019 study gave dogs small, medium, and large openings to walk through, and presented one at a time. The dogs were most hesitant to approach the small openings (relative to their body size) and least hesitant to approach the large openings.

The Correct Formula for Figuring Out your Dog’s Age is as follows:
• A dog year is not equivalent to 7 human years because of how rapidly dogs age in their first 2 years of life.
• There is not a universal formula because of breed differences. A 1 year old dog is generally 15 by human standards and a 2 year old dog is 24.
• Each additional human year adds around 4 dog years.
• Keep in mind that as dogs age, the gap between small and large breeded dogs’ human age widens, so that at 12 years old, a small breed dog is around 64 in human years and a large breed dog is around 77.

Certain dog breeds are tree climbers. Three most well-known tree-climbing dogs are the Treeing Walker Coonhounds (bred specifically to pursue game like raccoons up trees), the The Guinea Singing Dog (a semiferal breed that evolved a flexible spine and legs for climbing trees), and the Catahoula Leopard Dog (an incredibly energetic breed that was created to hunt game in the American South). They have adaptations such as greater flexibility and sturdier claws. Russell Terriers, an agile breed, light-footed, and with a strong prey drive have also been documented climbing trees.

The Basenji hails from Africa. It is one of the oldest dog breeds. They are scent and sight hounds. Basenji’s are called “barkless dogs” who yodel. Basenji temperament is: curious, intelligent, affectionate, quiet, alert, confident, and playful. More HERE.

The name beagle could help explain their loud bark. The word beagle most likely comes from the French word begueule, which means “open throat.” The name is pretty accurate: Beagles have impressive vocal cords that are much fuller and louder than those of other dogs. Beagles are so talented at vocalizing, they do so in three different ways: There’s the standard bark for everyday things, like the doorbell or getting a new treat. Then there’s baying, which sounds a lot like doggy yodeling. This throaty yowl is used on the hunt to alert fellow dogs that they’ve picked up an interesting scent. Finally, there’s the forlorn howl. Beagles will howl if they are sad, bored—or if others are howling first.

Dog names have changed a lot throughout the years. In 2021, the most common dog names included Bella, Luna, Lucy, Max, Charlie, and Milo. If you’re curious about how much dog name trends change, here are some popular ones from Medieval times: Blawnche, Nosewise, Smylfeste, Bragge, Holdfast, Zaphyro, Zalbot, Mopsus, and Mopsulus.

Some dogs will look like puppies their whole lives. Although rare, some dogs can have pituitary dwarfism. As a result, the dogs are puppy-like forever, keeping their puppy fur and staying small in stature. While this condition makes them look like adorable teddy bears, it comes with a whole slew of health problems.

Löwchens are petite, long-haired dogs that have been a popular breed since the Renaissance, and even showed up in some paintings from that period. It is one of the most expensive dog breeds.

Some people claim that dog feet smell like popcorn. If you think your dog’s feet smell like popcorn or corn chips, you’re not alone! Dogs have a lot of bacteria and yeast that grow on their paws as a result of moisture that gets caught in the many folds and pockets between their toes. These microorganisms create a variety of smells. The bacteria Proteus or Pseudomonas are the likely parties guilty of giving your hound’s feet that distinct tortilla smell. There’s no need to go wash your pet’s paws just yet, though—a subtle smell is completely normal.

Hot dogs are named after weiner dogs. The deli product hawked by street vendors was originally known as a dachshund sausage because it resembled the short-legged Dachshund hound. How the name switched is up for debate, but some believe the name was shortened to hot dog when a befuddled cartoonist could not spell the original name.

Golden Retrievers have “soft mouths,” meaning they can carry things in their mouths without damaging them—an important skill for canines tasked with retrieving their masters’ hunting trophies. They’re so gentle, in fact, that some can be trained to hold eggs in their mouths without breaking them.

Puppies are functionally blind and deaf at birth. On day one, a puppy’s eyes are firmly shut and their ear canals closed. Why? In brief, it’s part of an evolutionary trade-off. Because pregnancy can hurt a carnivore’s ability to chase down food, dogs evolved to have short gestation periods. Brief pregnancies meant that canine mothers wouldn’t need to take prolonged breaks from hunting. However, because dog embryos spend such a short time in the womb (only two months or so), puppies aren’t born fully developed—and neither are their eyes or ears.

Labrador Retrievers aren’t from Labrador. They actually come from Newfoundland. In the 18th century, Greater Newfoundland dogs bred with smaller water dogs to produce St. John’s water dogs. These smaller canines looked a lot like modern day Labs, but with white muzzles and paws. The St. John’s water dog eventually went extinct, but it served as the ancestor for the Labrador retriever.

A Labrador Retriever’s color doesn’t depend on its parents. Regardless of the parents’ color, a single litter of Labs can include black, yellow, and chocolate puppies. There are two genes that cause the pigmentation of the coat, so the variation can be just as common as different hair colors in a human family.

In 1979, a Labrador Retriever-Boxer mix named Jimpa took a 2,000 mile trek across Australia including a traversal of the dangerously arid and treeless Nullarbor Plain. Fourteen months earlier, Jimpa had accompanied his owner to a temporary job on a farm in Nyabing in Western Australia. When the pair became separated, the owner had to eventually return to his home in Pimpinio, Victoria, without Jimpa; you can imagine the surprise upon seeing Jimpa turn up! Jimpa‘s journey was not without reward. As of 2023, Jimpa is still the holder of a Guinness World Record for the farthest distance that a lost pet dog has traveled to find his way home!

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie: The saying originates from the idea that waking a sleeping dog was dangerous, especially if done suddenly. This applies to an even greater extent to guard dogs who once awoken would likely attack. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie applies to many situations in which one might poke something that’s better left alone. Some scholars have suggested that the phrase dates back to the 1300s, specifically to Geoffrey Chaucer, who used it in Troilus and Criseyde. In this volume he wrote the following: “It is nought good a slepyng hound to wake.” Later, the phrase was included in A Dialogue Prouerbes English Tongue, published in 1546. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie was also used in French even earlier in the 14th century, in Proverbia Vulgalia et Latina, where the saying is: “Ne reveillez pas le chien qui dort.” Translation: Do not wake the dog that sleeps.

Dog whiskers, called vibrissae, function kind of like insect intennae, helping dogs detect changes in their environment. The follicles at the base of the vibrissae contain nerves that send messages to the brain. You should never cut or pluck a dog’s whiskers.

Vizslas were developed as a pointing-retrieving breed in Hungary, where they learned to stick close to their hunting owners. This trait has carried over to the present day; Vizslas are known at “Velcro” dogs because they tend to stay attached to their humans. They are superaffectionate, love to learn new skills, and need plenty of exercise. Read more about the breed HERE

The smartest dog breeds, measured by obedience level, are: Border Collies, Poodles, and German Shepherd Dogs. This data was collectd from 100’s of dog obedience judges. Hound-types, including the Basset Hound, the Afghan Hound, and the Beagle, ranked furthest down the list. One theory is that these very old hound breeds were developed to find something using sight or smell, rather than to obey a command. Hounds tend to do well in tests of “instinctive intelligence” which assesses how well dogs perform the taske they were bred for.

You Should NEVER Leave your Dog Alone in a Car. According to the American Kennel Club, a dog should never be left alone in a car—with no exceptions. Not only will your dog miss you but, the temperature inside cars increases rapidly regardless of whether or not the car is parked directly in sunlight, and dogs overheat extremely easily!

Dogs DIG to Beat the Heat … When stuck on an open lawn with little to no shade, unearthing a fresh layer of dirt untouched by the sun is a quick way to cool down.

Dogs Also DIG to Hide their Stuff. If your dog gets bored with chewing his favorite bone but knows he wants to come back for it later; instead of leaving it out in the open where anyone can snatch it up, he decides to bury it in a secret place where only he’ll be able to find it. Whether or not he’ll actually go back for it is another story.

Guide Dogs do their “business” on Command. Guide dogs are extremely well trained and only go to the bathroom on command. Usually the owner will have a specific spot for the pup and use a command like, “go time”, “do your business,” or other, so they’ll know when and where to clean up.

Dogs Circle Around before Lying down on Instinct. Dogs do it as a behavior that evolved from their wild ancestors. Their nightly routine involved pushing down tall grass, which scared off bugs or snakes while forming a small bed.

Dogs Can Get Jealous. Anyone with two dogs will probably tell you that dogs definitely feel jealousy. A 2014 study confirmed that your pet gets a little miffed when you start petting other dogs on the side. Dog trainers say gentle training can help you manage the behavior. If your dog is jealous, they may whine, bark, growl, or push other pets or people away from you. Dogs may get jealous because they don’t want to lose your attention and affection to someone else.

When dogs feel vulnerable or uncomfortable, they may flare the whiskers on their face by pointing them forward. “Whisker flaring” changes a dog’s body language and can indicate a defensive posture and attitude to other dogs.

Dogs need more sleep than people, and some napping is typical. It’s not unusual for adult dogs to sleep 14 hours a day. Puppies often sleep closer to 18 hours each day, although sometimes all this sleep happens in a lot of little nap sessions rather than a few bigger ones.

Research shows that dogs place a higher value on physical touch such as petting, than vocal affirmation, such as “good boy!” ― but adding a vocal affirmation to physical touch or food rewards can teach dogs to value verbal praise. If you want to make sure your dog loves the sound of your voice, try giving your pet scratches and food when you’re praising him The triple treat should teach him to seek out your vocal affirmation.

The Golden Retriever was developed in Scotland as a gundog able to handle the gloomy weather and difficult topography of the Scottish Highlands. In the early 1900’s, Goldens were shipped outside of Scotland and became more common in England, Canada, and America, easily winning over hunters with their skill, breeders with their looks, and pretty much everyone with their good natured personality. These medium sized dogs weigh up to 75 pounds and are instantly recognizable by their distinctive shaggy golden coat, as well as their broad smiling face, and eager, expressive eyes. They are still very popular ranking in the top five breeds in the US.

Border Collies are workaholics, this breed is the world’s premier sheep herder, prized for its intelligence, extraordinary instinct, and working ability.

Siberian Huskies are arguably the most stubborn breed. Their short attention spans make them challenging to train and unsuitable for first-time pet owners. Huskies need a strong leader, significant exercise time, and other incentives to make training effective.

According to the CDC, pit bulls are responsible for most dog attacks in the United States, accounting for approximately 66% of all fatal dog injuries. The pit bull breed has a muscular build and strong jaws, and their bites can result in severe injuries such as deep tissue wounds, broken bones, and lacerations.

According to the Guinness World Book of Records, the longest-living dog ever recorded was Bluey, an Australian cattle dog, who lived nearly 30 years!

Paleontologists and archaeologists have determined that about 60 million years ago a small mammal, called Miacis, the genus that became the ancestor of the animals known today as canids: dogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes. Miacis did not leave direct descendants, but doglike canids evolved from it.

Like humans, pets’ bodies can be donated to science. Pet cadaver programs provide invaluable training, including anatomy, pathology, and surgery skills, for animal caregivers. And the knowledge that their dog is helping to advance health and science can help owners better cope with sadness. It might feel morbid and uncomfortable to think about this sort of thing, but if it’s something you’re interested in, reach out to your local university or veterinary school for more information.

Great Danes sport the nickname the Heartbreak breed because it is prone to a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy. As a result of this condition, the heart becomes so thin, weak, and large that it cannot pump blood to the dog’s body properly.

The term “Designer Dogs” generally refers to hybrid breeds of two or three established breeds. Popular designer dog breeds include the Labradoodle (Labrador Retriever and Poodle), the Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever and Poodle) and Puggle (Pug and Beagle); and the Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel and Poodle). Designer Dogs are a controversial subject. Many experts say excessive demand for these crossbreeds leads to inbreeding that causes genetic health problems. It is also difficult to control breed characteristics, meaning that some Puggles may have the low-key personality of a Pug, while some may have the high-energy prey drive of a Beagle. The most important thing to keep in mind is that dogs shouldn’t be treated like trends or fast fashion. Too many Designer Dogs end up in Shelters!

The Bernese Mountain Dog was famed in Switzerland as a drover of cattle, a drafting dog with the ability to pull extremely heavy loads, a farmyard guardian, and beloved family companion. When it comes to farm work Berners can do it all. They are a large breed, standing 27 inches tall, and weighing up to 115 lbs. Their coat is their trademark: plush, smooth, and tricolored with black, white, and rust-brown markings, and a white blaze down their face. These smart, hardworking people pleasers are always up for an adventure.

The Shar-Pei has a genetic mutation that gives it thicker skin, excessive wrinkles, and frequent fevers. Research conducted in 2011 showed that all Chinese Shar-Pei dogs have the genetic mutation that causes their wrinkles and thick skin. The more copies of this gene mutation they have, the higher their susceptibility to frequent fevers, called “periodic fevers.” Scientists think the link could help us understand why some people suffer from periodic fevers like familial Mediterranean fever. (Fun fact: Shar-Peis are born with their wrinkles and grow into them as they age.) See More about the Shar-Pei HERE

LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE is the well-known proverb. It has been used for centuries. The phrase is a reminder not to bring unnecessary risk or danger upon oneself. The saying originates from the idea that waking a sleeping dog was dangerous, especially if done suddenly. This applies to an even greater extent to guard dogs who once awoken would likely attack. Some scholars have suggested that the phrase dates back to the 1300s, specifically to Geoffrey Chaucer, who used it in Troilus and Criseyde. In this volume he wrote the following: “It is nought good a slepyng hound to wake.”

Black Cats and Dogs

Black dogs and cats wait four times longer to get adopted from shelters and rescues as their more colorful and lighter counterparts. This phenomenon is called Black Dog and Cat Syndrome.

Some reasons for the shun is that people are superstition. There is an absurd belief that black cats are bad luck or black dogs are dangerous and evil.

Additionally, black cats and dogs are more difficult to photograph. Their features don’t translate as well to film unless the lighting is excellent (not always an option) and eye-catching photos play a vital role in promoting shelter pets via social media.

Others believe the way black pets are depicted in literature and movies is another reason people don’t choose them. A lot of killer canines were pitch black. Like human villains in films who often wear black and spout dark beards, the “bad” dogs on the big screen are usually black.

However, Black Dogs and Cats make great pets! Ask anyone who has one, or more.

The word MUSE comes from the Anglo-French muser, meaning “to gape, to idle, to muse.” (Amuse has the same source.) The image evoked is one of a thinker so absorbed in thought as to be unconsciously open-mouthed. Those who muse on their pets’ musings might like to know that muser is ultimately from Latin musus, meaning “mouth of an animal”—also source of the word muzzle. The sister goddesses of Greek mythology known as the Muses have no etymological link: that word, which in lowercase refers to a source of inspiration, comes from Greek Mousa. The ultimate Greek origin of the word museum translates as “of the Muses.”

The Irish Terrier is special. It’s one of the oldest terrier breeds, one of just a handfull of breeds hailing from Ireland, and the only terrier with an all red coat. Irish Terriers generally weigh about 25 lbs and have wiry, rough fur with a moustache and beard, and signature flopped-over triangular ears. They excel as watchdogs, hunting dogs, family companions, and herd guardians. The Irish Terrier’s nickname is the “daredevil” a nod to the breed’s courage, mettle, and “try anything at least once” attidude.

The West Highland White dog hails from Scotland, where for centuries they were bred as “earthdogs” whose job was to extermninate rats, mice and other vermin on Scottish estates. They have also been known as both the Poltalloch and Roseneath Terrier, but the West Higland White label, referring to the northwest corner of Scotland, was the one that stuck. Westies weigh up to 20 pounds and have pointy ears and an erect tail. Though their white tail looks fluffy, it’s quite rough – a reminder that this adorable toy-size dog is a hardworking terrier. The breed is friendly, spirited, loyal, and bright.

Dalmations are one of the most recognizable breeds. Though researchers aren’t sure where they originated, perhaps because they traveled cross-continent with the traditionally nomadic Romani people, Dalmations get their name from a coastal region of Croatia once known as Dalmatia. One of the only dog breeds to serve as coach dogs, Dalmations once guarded and guided horse-drawn carriages – which translates into their more modern work as fire station mascots.

Dalmations are nicknamed “Spotted Dick” and “Plum Pudding Dog.” Spotted Dick and Plum Pudding are both traditional British baked suet puddings. They are usually studded with dried fruit like raisins or currants, giving them a spotted appearance that resembles the spots on a Dalmation’s coat.

Dog breeds are susceptible to the “Dalmation Effect” ― a surge in popularity after being featured in pop culture, followed by a surge in shelter drop-offs. After Disney releasted the 1961 film, 101 Dalmations, people flocked to Dalmation breeders to buy puppies. However, Dalmations can be very high-engergy and strong willed, and as cute, mischieveous puppies turned into headstrong full-grown dogs, many eneded up at the shelter. Siberian Huskies fell victim to the same trend after Game of Thrones featured the Husky look-alike “direwolf.” Other examples include Legally Blonde’s Chihuahua, Lassie’s Collie, Men in Black’s Pug and Lady and the Tramp’s Cocker Spaniel.

Designer Dogs generally refers to hybrid breeds of two or three established breeds. Popular Designer Dog breeds include the Labradoodle (Labrador Retriever and Poodle), Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever and Poodle), Puggle (Pug and Beagle), and Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel and Poodle). Designer dogs are a controversial subject. Many experts say excessive demand for these crossbreeds lead to inbreeding that causes genetic health problems. It is also difficult to control breed characteristics; meaning that some Puggles may have the low-key personality of a Pug, while some may have the high energy prey-drive of a Beagle. The most important thing to keep in mind is that dogs should not be treated like trends or fast fashion. Unfortunately, too many designer dogs end up in shelters.

Kennel cough is a highly contagious illness that can be caused by either bacteria or a virus. It is called kennel cough because it quickly spreads through dogs when they are in close contact with one another, much like dogs in boarding facilities. Kennel cough is most common in middle to late summer.

According to Guinness World Records, a Great Dane named Zeus is the world’s tallest male dog. Zeus is 3 feet, 5.18 inches tall and the shortest dog ever recorded was Pearl the Chihuahua. She measures 3.59 inches tall.