5 Interesting Dog facts you might now know

dog with brown, white and black face standing up and facing forward

We love our dogs and we probably know a lot about our own best friend’s particular breed or breeds. Here are 5 really cool things you might have not known.

1. The Basenji – Africa’s barkless dog

Dog with white muzzle, tan face and black areas around eyes looking frontwards
The Basenji from Africa

Known as the barkless dog, the African basenji tends to yodel more than bark. Before you get excited at the idea of a dog that doesn’t bark, the basenji makes up for its non-existent bark with growling, whining, whimpering, howling, yodeling, and hair-raising screams. The reason basenji, one of the world’s oldest breeds, doesn’t bark like typical domestic canines is believed to be the result of a differently shaped larynx. Some experts speculate that the dogs were intentionally bred so their noises wouldn’t attract predators to their villages. Other theories revolve around the idea that the breed is so ancient, it was before the barking characteristic, thus, basenji never developed the trait.

2. Almost all dogs have pink tongues

If you’ve ever seen a Chow Chow, then you’ve probably noticed its unique blue-black tongue. Chow Chows, as well as Chinese Shar-Peis, actually require a blue-black tongue in its breed standard. And, believe it or not, these breeds aren’t the only ones who may display a tongue color other than pink. There are more than 30 dogs with black-spotted tongues, but contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t indicate Chow Chow or Shar-Pei bloodlines in their breeding. There are a few other breeds with black or blue tongues such as the Eurasier, Thai ridgeback, miniature Shar-pie and Phu Quoc ridgeback and these are extremely rare breeds.

3. Poodles haircuts were originally for swimming

Black curly haired dog standing in short grass
Standard poodle at attention

Despite having a reputation for being polished and sophisticated, Poodles love to swim — they were originally bred as water retrievers. They have a moisture-resistant coat and webbed feet, which serve them well in the water. Their coats were originally trimmed to help with swimming while they were retrieving ducks and game birds.

4. Greyhounds can run 45mph

Greyhound fully outstretched will running with mouth open and tongue out
A Greyhound at top speed

Originally bred to be hunting dogs, Greyhounds are widely accepted to be the fastest dog breed. For decades, Greyhounds have been used in dog racing. A highly energetic breed, it comes as no surprise that their legs can carry them as fast as 45 miles per hour.

5. Shih Tzu translates(loosely) to little lion

3 small dogs with long hair tied up on top of their heads
3 Shih Tzus looking regal

The name comes from the Chinese language word for “lion” because this kind of dog was bred to resemble “the lion, as in traditional oriental art”. In contemporary Mandarin, the Shih Tzu is generally known as the “Xi Shi dog”; Xi Shi was regarded as one of the most beautiful women of ancient China.

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