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Fun Facts About Dogs From A Louisville, KY Veterinarian

March 1, 2024

Did you know that the average dog can learn over 100 words and phrases? It’s probably safe to say that Fido’s favorite words are Bacon, Treat, Walk, and Car Ride, and his least favorite is probably Bathtime. Our canine companions have been by our sides for possibly as much as 30,000 years. We’ve certainly learned a lot about dogs in that time. However, we’re still learning more about our furry best friends every year. Read on as a local Louisville, KY vet lists some fun facts about Fido.

Top Spot

The adorable, happy-go-lucky Labrador Retriever is extremely popular. In fact, Fido may be the most popular breed in the world: he held the top spot of the AKC’s most popular breeds for over 31 years. He lost his spot in 2022, to the plucky French Bulldog.

The Nose Knows

Does your canine buddy like leaving nose art on windows? If so, you have some one-of-a-kind masterpieces on your hands. Every dog has a unique nose print. Think of it as the doggy version of a human fingerprint: no two are alike. (Tip: if you don’t want to keep your pup’s ‘paintings,’ try using white vinegar and newspaper to clean your windows.)

Dreaming Pups

Have you ever noticed your dog making noises and perhaps moving his paws in his sleep? Yes, Fido is actually dreaming. While all dogs dream, puppies and seniors seem to dream the most. As to what Fido is dreaming about, well, it’s anyone’s guess. However, we’re guessing that squirrels, toys, treats, and perhaps the neighbor’s cat all come into play.

Time After Time

Have you ever noticed that your pet seems to know when it’s time for a walk, a meal, or bed? Studies suggest that yes, our canine pals do have a sense of time.


There are currently different 201 breeds on the AKC roster. The newest would be the Lancashire Heeler. The oldest? That honor goes to the Saluki. They have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs that were dated back to 2100 B.C.

There are also currently 72 breeds in the AKC Foundation Stock Service (FSS), which is sort of like an applicant pool or waiting list for AKC recognition. We’ll have to wait and see how many are approved.

The oldest breeds were mostly hunting dogs: The Pointer, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Clumber Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Sussex Spaniel, Irish Water Spaniel, Irish Setter, English Setter, and Gordon Setter were the first to be recognized.

Numbers Game

It’s always interesting to look at the results of various surveys, and see what others are thinking or doing. Here are a few interesting facts:

  • 45% of American dog owners let their pups sleep in their beds.
  • 70% of people with pups sign Fido’s name along with theirs on cards.
  • 47% of U.S. households include at least one dog.
  • 90% of pet dogs like to hang out with their humans as we are watching TV.

What’s In A Nose?

We can’t really write about fun dog facts without touching on Fido’s adorable snoot! Dogs’ have truly extraordinary senses of smell.

Here are a few examples:

  • Fido’ s nose has as many as 300 million scent receptors. In comparison, we have a measly 5 million.
  • Dogs’ sense of smell is roughly 100,000 times better than ours.
  • Pups can breathe out through both their mouth and nose at once.
  • Dog’s sense of smell can be impacted if they are panting or really hot. In fact, being hot or tired can cause your pet’s sense of smell to diminish by as much as 40%!
  • Man’s Best Friend can smell things as much as 100,000 times better than we can. 
  • Fido can smell the equivalent of a half-teaspoon of sugar in an Olympic-sized pool. 
  • Canine noses secrete a special type of mucus. This substance absorbs chemicals from scent molecules. When Fido licks his nose, he’ll get more information about what he’s smelling.  
  • The area of Fido’s brain that processes smells is about 40 times larger than ours. 
  • Dogs are able to smell separately from each side of his nose. Think of this as an olfactory 3D. Fido uses information from each nostril to pinpoint the location of a scent’s source. 
  • Some dogs are able to sniff out illnesses, such as cancer.


We all know that yawning is contagious, though no one has quite pinpointed why. As it turns out, Fido can also catch ‘the yawns’ from you. Research indicates that this is even more likely to happen when it’s someone the pup knows. (Interestingly, yawns also seem to be contagious among other animal species, including gelada baboons, wolves, domesticated pigs, and African lions, African elephants, domesticated sheep, elephant seals, and birds, particularly budgies.


Does your dog sometimes kick dirt or leaves to cover his waste? Many people assume that Fido is trying to cover his scent. This is why cats bury their waste. However, Fido is actually using the scent glands in his paws to claim his territory.

What’s In A Name?

Have you ever researched specific breeds? It’s interesting to learn about the backstories of our different canine companions. In many cases, the origin of a breed is reflected in the name. There are a few plot twists here, though. For instance, the Australian Shepherd is from the U.S., not Australia, and the French Poodle is actually from Germany. Similarly, the Labrador Retriever is descended from Newfoundland dogs. 

A Truly Amazing Friend

Dogs are often praised and cherished for their love and loyalty. Fido will drive himself to exhaustion for his human friends, and has even risked—and sometimes sacrificed—his life for us. As it turns out, Man’s Best Friend isn’t like other animals. Studies have shown that our canine pals are one of just a few animals who will show kindness towards other living beings.

Working Like A Dog

Does your pup seem to enjoy music? If so, try playing him  the Beatles song ‘A Day In The Life’. As a secret nod to his canine buddy, a Shetland Sheepdog. Paul McCartney included a supersonic note that only dogs can hear. It’s at the end of the song.

Doggy Physique

Man’s Best Friend has 42 teeth and 321 bones. He also runs a bit hotter than we do: the average body temperature of a dog is 101.2 degrees F.

Fido’s Furry Feet

Dogs’ paws are actually quite impressive. They act as shock absorbers, provide traction, and give your pet information about the surface he’s walking on. 

  • Fido only sweats through his paw pads. 
  • Those cute toe beans are covered in very thick skin, which offers protection from heat and cold. However, they aren’t completely weatherproof: you will need to be careful to keep your pet off very hot surfaces. 
  • Some dogs lick their paws to relieve stress. Think of this as a doggy version of nail biting or foot bouncing. (Note: licking the paws can also be a sign that Fido’s feet are hurting. Ask your Louisville, KY veterinarian about this.)
  • Just like people, dogs tend to have a dominant paw. One study showed that roughly three out of four pups use one paw more than the other. Of those, nearly 60 percent were righties, with the remainder being left-pawed. 

Be sure to ask your Louisville, KY for paw care tips! 

Love Heals

Did you know that snuggling with your canine buddy can lower your blood pressure? As it turns out, it will also lower Fido’s! 

Schedule An Appointment With Your Louisville, KY Veterinary Clinic

Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Please feel free to reach out to us anytime. As your local Louisville, KY pet hospital, we are here to help!