Thirteen Amazing Dog Facts and Stories


Charlie Bear, photo by Nicole Mlakar Photography

id=”attachment_151″ align=”alignleft” width=”200″ caption=”Charlie Bear, photo by Nicole Mlakar Photography”

Wow your friends, win trivia contests and maybe a few bar bets with these facts and stories about dogs:

    • The average body temperature of a dog is 102 degrees Fahrenheit.


    • Sight hounds like the Greyhound and Saluki are among the oldest known dog breeds. Pictures (in gold of course) of King Tutankhamun (1341-1323 BC) hunting in the marshes of the Nile with a Greyhound-like dog were found in his tomb; one of King Tut’s 18th dynasty ancestors had a leather dog collar among the goods in his tomb.  If you will be in San Francisco between now and March, you can see both the pictures and the dog collar on tour as part of the “King Tut and the Golden Age of the Pharohs” exhibit. You can even buy a replica of the dog collar!


    • Another ancient breed is the Irish Wolfhound—which is also one of the tallest dog breeds. The average Wolfhound is three feet high at the shoulders; some of the biggest ones are the size of a small pony. While their ancestors fought the Romans in the British Isles, the Wolfhound today is known for its quiet, gentle nature.


    • The average life span for purebred dogs varies between just over 5 years for the Dogue de Bordeaux (aka French Mastiff) to 14-16 years for many toy and terrier breeds. The oldest confirmed dogs lived to be around 24; a dog named Bluey who died in 1939 was reputed to be 29 ½ , but this was anecdotal.


    • The ancestor of the Dogue de Bordeaux and all other mastiff breeds (not to mention breeds with mastiff blood like the St. Bernard and Rottweiler) from England to Tibet was a Roman dog called the Molossian. The Molossian was used as a guard dog, a war dog, and—like two-legged Roman legionaries—may have helped haul loads in camps. To this day, mastiff-related breeds are sometimes called “Molossers.”


    • The tallest and largest dog ever recorded was an English Mastiff named Zorba, who weighed 343 pounds and measured 8 feet nose to tail.


    • We don’t think of dogs as beasts of burden, but dogs were used by North American tribes to help haul loads and people before the introduction of horses.


    • On September 13, 2009, a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog named Ali hauled 4982 pounds (over 50 times her own body weight) for 14.81 seconds—setting a new record in a weight pulling competition.


    • The smallest dog living (in terms of length) is a Chihuahua named Heaven Sent Brandy, who is about 6 inches long from nose to tail.


    • Hungarian pianist and composer Franz Liszt (1811-1886), while still well-known today, was a music superstar in his lifetime. While the state of photographic technology in the 19th century meant Liszt didn’t have to worry about the paparazzi, he did get many requests from fans for a lock of his hair. Instead of using his own hair, Liszt frequently sent out locks of his dog’s hair that he passed off as his own.


    • As one of his first acts after being sworn in in July, Senator Al Franken of Minnesota led a bipartisan coalition in Congress to pass the Service Dogs for Veterans Act, to provide vets with dogs for both physical and mental disabilities. Franken was inspired after meeting a veteran with severe PTSD who was able to attend President Obama’s inauguration thanks to his service dog.


    • The partnership between human and dogs is a long one, but just how long is a matter of debate. DNA evidence suggests that dogs and wolves split as separate species about 100,000 years ago; the earliest clear evidence of domestic dogs is about 30,000 years old. A site in Germany that dates back 14,000 years has people and dogs buried together—suggesting a very close partnership by that time. One thing is clear: dogs were the first domesticated animal.


Contributed by Jay Robison


By |2017-08-23T17:43:50+00:00February 12th, 2010|Articles & Info, DogBoy's Staff, dogs, facts, trivia, Uncategorized|0 Comments

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