1. Poodles ’ hair styles may seem like a fashion statement, but they were originally clipped to make them better swimmers. They dogs were bred to retrieve game from water and the bottom half of the body was shorn to make them more buoyant.
2. We know dogs have a powerful sense of smell and while we can just about smell a spoonful of sugar in a cup of tea, our canine friends are capable of smelling that same spoonful in two Olympic swimming pools’ worth of water.
3. They may be dinky and cuter than a newborn baby, but Shih Tzus are one of the breeds most closely related to the wolf.
4. Ever wonder why you find it impossible to resist when your pooch pleads for a treat? Well, dogs exhibit “neoteny”, which means they retain baby-like features, such as large eyes and playful behaviour, long into adulthood. And it’s thought we selected them for this – essentially to be cuter.
5. The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is now considered rarer than the giant panda. The British breed was named after a character created by Sir Walter Scott in his novel Guy Mannering. Thanks to the popularity of the book, they became fashionable and famous Dandie Dinmont owners included Queen Victoria.
6. They are known as man’s best friend – and for good reason. Research shows that dogs are more confident exploring the world when they have their owner, rather than anyone else, by their side.
7. Ever wondered why your dog ignores your commands when you are in your local park? Researchers found that dogs disregard bad advice from their owners. Dogs will leave out unnecessary actions if they have learned there’s a more efficient way to solve the task.
8. Unlike humans, dogs’ shoulder blades are not attached to the skeleton, allowing for greater flexibility for running. They mainly sweat from the bottom of their feet as most of their sweat glands are located around the foot pads. They also have a third eyelid, or nictitating membrane, which helps to keep their eyes moist.
9. Dogs see in a kind of slow motion. Their eyes take in information more than 25% faster than us, making them extra talented at catching a ball or frisbee in the park.
10. Pet dogs have been shown to match their owners in both personality and looks. Some psychologists believe this might have spilled over from the way we evolved to find mates – by choosing a mate who looks like you, it may ensure their genes are compatible with your own.