We’re head over heels for dogs here at Sophie Allport. There’s a fair few wagging tails and muddy paws at home with us – too many to count, in fact. Fox Red Labradors, Golden Retrievers and Terriers are among the most popular, and did you know that one of Sophie’s very own pooches is a Terrier called Ted? (Ted’s a girl, which is just as well… Sophie’s a bit outnumbered with a husband and three sons otherwise)!
But how much of an expert are you when it comes to dogs? Do you know your Bassets from your Beagles? Your Pointers from your Pugs? We’ve researched ten amazing dog facts you didn’t already know and might not even find out at Crufts this year..!
1)Ever wondered why dogs circle before they lie down? Scientists think it’s due to the fact that in the wilderness, they’d need to mat down tall grass and kick out any bugs or snakes that might be lying in their chosen spot!
2)Golden retrievers are believed to be amongst the top 5 smartest canines in the world. Border Collies nab the top spot, with Poodles close behind, German Shepherds third and Golden Retrievers fourth.
3)Did you know that your dog’s nose can be used to prove his identity, just like your fingerprint? Yep! A pooch’s nose print is as unique to him as your fingerprint is to you. No two noses are the same, and the Canadian Kennel Club has been accepting dog nose prints as a form of identity since 1938.
4)Can you guess what age the oldest canine on record lived for? It was an Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey who lived for 29 years and 5 months! In human years, Bluey was more than 160!
5)Do you know why Labradors are called Labradors? It’s not because they originate from Labrador, as people commonly believe. Instead, Labradors were bred to work in Newfoundland and spent their days working in the Labrador Sea off the coast of eastern Canada.
6)Ever wondered why fleas tend to eat your four-legged-friend rather than you? It has something to do with dogs’ high body temperatures… the average body temperature of a dog is 38 to 39 degrees Celsius, which fleas prefer. Phew!
7)Do you know why small dogs don’t eat much at once? It’s because small breeds of dogs, like Chihuahuas, have a stomach no bigger than the size of a walnut.
8)Have you always believed that dogs see in black and white? It’s not true! Dogs actually see in colour – just not as well as humans. They have two cones to detect colours in their eyes compared to humans’ three, which means that dogs can see on a blue and yellow scale. The only thing they can’t distinguish between is red and green, but it does mean that they have better night vision us.
9)Did you think poodles were a French breed? Think again! Poodles are actually German dogs, but the French nobility quickly became enamored with them.
10)Finally, in ancient China, people used to keep warm by putting dogs up their sleeves. Really! This is where the smallest Pekingese variants get their nickname ‘sleeve dogs’ from. We imagine it kept the dogs pretty toasty too.
Do you have a dog at home? Let us know – we’d love to hear about yours!