20 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About Dogs


Dogs are amazing creatures that come with their own forms of comfort and communication.

All dog owners can feel the unconditional love of their pets.

These little blessings in life have their own sense of humor and special antics.

However, there are some other little hidden secrets about your dog that you probably didn’t know.

1. Dogs Can Read Your Emotions

Dogs do have their own unique ability to read emotions on the face of their human companions.

At a quick glance, your dog can tell if you’re sad, happy or angry by the look of your face.

Anyone who has had a dog for more than a couple of months knows that they are very intuitive and always know how you are feeling.

They know when you are mad or frustrated and often keep their distance in those times.

[mnleft]If you are feeling down or you have a cold and aren’t feeling well, your dog will always want to come and snuggle with you.

If you have an injury, your dog will notice and come to see if he can help you ease the pain.

They understand you and can recognize the way you are feeling just by looking at your face and your body language.

Dogs are smarter than a lot of people think, and not only can they understand your emotions just by looking at you; they also can change their behavior according to your mood.

Your dog knows when you are in the mood to play with him, but at the same time, knows when you just want to be on the couch and snuggle with him.

Many people also believe that the owner’s emotions can rub off on a dog. Lots of people report that their dogs often sympathize with them and feel down when they are feeling down.

While there might not be any scientific proof for this, dog owners know what we’re talking about.

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  • Mary Dobbs

    Please Please Please do not use chemical shampoos or flea collars to “treat for fleas” as this article says. They are extremely toxic to your dog friend and to you!

  • aussidawg

    Well, there is an exception to the flea collar thing. Rather than using pills or drops many vets are now using prescription flea collars to kill/repel fleas ands ticks. They are expensive to be sure (~$65-$70 for one collar that lasts eight months) but according to the vet they are safer than the other prescription remedies. Note: I highly discourage the use of over the counter flea/tick preparations including shampoos. They have been linked to both benign and malignant tumors on the animal in their elder years.

  • Blyan

    Dogs see muted colors, not vivid colors, but are not color blind. This article is wrong.

  • Jennifer Carr

    I was thinking the same thing. Heiring? lol really? Is that even a word.


    I have known all of these things about dogs. I have lived with dogs for over 60 yrs. They turn in circles to run off any thing in the grass or floor they are going to lay on. They know when we are happy or sad or upset, it is a special sense the have.

  • Jim5437532

    There are several false claims in this “article” that are stereotypes that are harmful in some circumstances. Most dogs if bathed once a week, would dry out their skin, could cause itching, allergy and possibly even dangerous infections.

    While in most cases it is best to keep a dog leashed when walking a dog. It depends on the owner, the dog and the circumstances. In some cases leashing a dog can be more dangerous to the dog and to people

    Some dogs become more aggressive and protective when you put them on a leash. Some dogs go into a mush mode, where they pull the owner when they are put on a leash. Sometimes the leash becomes a hazard. Under some circumstances service dogs are exempt from leash laws, because in some circumstances the leash can become hazardous or prevent the service dog from doing its duty. In some cases letting a dog run off leash help can help dog get exercise to be better physical and mental health. That’s partly why invisible leashes (training/hunting collars) are becoming more popular.

  • Stanley Tweedle

    I found the article interesting, though I did know these things.
    Instead of just saying some things about dog behavior, perhaps you could give scientific references to the studies that show these behaviors? I also notice two references to second hand smoke. Though I do not disagree, it seems like (perhaps) a background agenda when put in context to the other items on the list.

  • Mingo

    Stomach size. I think the thing that strikes me most with some people is the use of food and treats to help the person over the guilt of whatever caused that guilt towards your dog. If you have time to get the treat or fix the food, you have time for a hug or to throw a ball. Getting weight back off of a dog is one of the hardest things for people who have this idea to begin with.

  • Reside

    My grandmother told me that dogs turn in a circle to trample down the tall grass, to make a ‘nesting’ area. It’s an instinct from when they lived in the wild.

  • trackingk9s

    Excuse me? Dogs can detect cancer, follow a days old scent trail, detect gas leaks in a pipeline underground, locate hidden explosives and drugs, but they can’t smell another dog’s anal glands if its tail is tucked? Stupid.

  • Debbie

    Cancer is real, my dog has/had it. Only 7 months post dx, and just hoping for more good days ahead. Good, healthy foods are a must!

  • Mary Hunter

    Years ago I sold a Doberman puppy to a couple and when it was 4 years old they split up and the woman took the dog- both man & woman & daugher smoked non stop and the dog stayed in the house almost 24/7 except for potty breaks. The dog started loosing weight and looking bad and she ask me if I would take it back (I would always take back one of my puppies) so I went and got him. The vet I worked for and I worked over this dog for weeks but he got worse and worse and I finally had him put down. We at that time had two diagnostic labratories in the state and one happened to be here- so we took the dog to them. They told me the wanted to hold his lungs for viewing as he had the worse case of lung cancer they had ever seen in a dog and his lungs were black and coated with nicotine tars. Second hand smoke does kill and it can kill dogs but lots of people who have house dogs do not think about their dog (especially cats, birds and small dogs) and what they are exposing them to.

  • Mary Hunter

    They also roll in stinkey stuff to mask their odor so they can be a predator.

  • Mary Hunter

    sorry but I agree to disagree- MOST dogs need to be on a leash- if you had worked as a vet tech for as many years as I have and seen as many dogs run over, killed by other dogs etc because they were not on a leash you would agree too. If a dog becomes aggressive on a leash it should not be out in public. If a dog becomes a musher there are a number of cures for that. Running off leash should only be done on private property or in a other fenced safe area- I will agree some service dogs depending on their service can be better used off leash but only those trained
    to stay right by their owners side no matter what.

  • Jim5437532

    You really should read a post before you respond with an attacking tirade.

    In your fit of rage you seem to have missed the part of my post that says “While in most cases it is best to keep a dog leashed when walking a dog.”. Your personal attack on me is unfounded.

    Allegedly a few days ago a veterinary technician “know it all stole” a service dog that was tied up outside a store while it’s handicapped owner was purchasing food for the dog. The veterinary technician seemingly deluded herself. She didn’t even wait a few minutes, or check in the store for the owner, or leave any notice; she just stole the dog. She thought just because she was a veterinary technician that she had the authority to steal a service dog. She had no such authority. She broke the law. In her ignorant delusional megalomaniac mind, she probably thought the dog was abandoned, being abused or neglected. She was ignorantly eager to jump to conclusions, steal and cause pain and suffering. There are some people that go crazy given a little bit of knowledge and authority.

    You remind me of her. Ignoring experts, thinking you know it all.

    Your post seems very aggressive and trigger happy. Maybe you should be on a leash? Maybe you should ask your doctor about lithium carbonate.

  • CoyoteMan50

    That’s why we are smarter than you humans. We see more and understand more than humans. :))

  • CoyoteMan50

    Which puts dogs much higher on IQ chain than other animals. Maybe many humans. :))

  • anonymous

    Sorry to say, from a third-person perspective I also agree with Mary Hunter. I didn’t read her post as meaning to be aggressive, so you should calm down and think twice before posting. Your phrase ‘While in most cases…’ does in fact imply that “dogs usually walk off-leash but in some situations require a leash”. Mary Hunter was simply trying to clarify the situation which was made unclear by your post. Your reply back to her was unnecessary and childish. Please grow up.

  • JimboTbay

    actually, Marys reply was rather mild.. the only one having a ” fit of rage” and being ” aggressive and trigger happy” and levelling “a personal attack”.. is YOU.

    seems that YOU are the one that needs to be on a leash and go see your doctor about some medications. You should also look into some remedial english lessons, since you can’t even spell during your OWN tirade.

    What a complete jerk.

  • Dan

    where exactly did you see a personal attack rather than an honest disagreement?

  • Douglas Carlson

    It’s not that they cant smell it all. They can. But they can tell by the drastic reduction of that smell that the tail tucking dog is not wanting to socialize.

  • Russell Gitlitz

    I saw it..you’re rude and misinformed

  • Russell Gitlitz

    You are saying you took a dog back after 4 years..( he was no longer a puppy I’m guessing)?? …and then after taking ( their dog after 4 years) the dog back, you paid for a necropsy? .. I’m calling bull&$t on this story..

  • Dan

    care to cite how exactly I am being rude and misinformed?

  • Mary Hunter

    actually pigs are smarter!

  • Mary Hunter

    You are the one who needs some help=just because the person who stole the dog was at one time a vet tech does not mean anything- we all know people who are supposedly “christians” who are way overboard and try to cram their own religion down every ones throat- this is no different. Of course she had no authority as she was an idiot but that does not mean everyone who thinks a dog should be on a leash is. She did not think she had a right to steal the dog because she had once been a vet tech she just thought she was God in a blanket – I still tell l you I have seen literally thousands of dogs not on a leash, shot in a pasture, shot in someones yard, skin a small dog, kill many dogs,cows,goats, sheep, poultry, cats and hogs-tear into rabbit and chicken pens and even attack people, get run over by cars, and get bitten by poisonous snakes (had had several killed in my own fenced yard) and in our part of the country eaten by gators.Around here the most danger to small dogs is raptors- many dogs have been picked up by owls, eagles and hawks which is why my small dogs only go out on a leash even in a fenced yard- the most danger to anything larger than a Jack Russel and yes they prefer Jack Russels and Australian cattledogs (blue heelers) is “bait” hunters. My post was neither aggressive or trigger happy- when you get off your happy pills maybe you had better read my previous post before you go leaping to conclusions.Thank you anonymous you obviously actually read the post and understand the problem.

  • Mary Hunter

    Well you can call what you want- this dog had been at my house AROUND MY DOGAAS getting sicker and sicker for weeks- you can check with the state diagnostic lab one at that time was here in Live Oak and I still l have the report from them somewhere- the other is in the other end of the state in Kissimmee- I work for a vet and got a discount of the vets cost on sending to the D-lab but not on the labs charges. And yes of course I had a necropsy after all it had not only been with my dogs but was of the SAME BLOODLINES I WAS RAISING and it if had anything I should know about that was the only way and time to find out.

  • Tim

    And this fact coming from humans who were once dogs?

  • Tim

    The use of a leash doesn’t “depend” on anything. IT’S THE LAW.

  • Tim

    The law is not optional as some people think. Why is it even being discussed?

  • Blyan

    This fact coming from the actual study of dogs. You know, clinical studies? Veterinary behavioral medicine? Oh, never mind.

  • Tova Feinman

    I love your comment.

  • Elica Terry


  • Elica Terry

    You are so right trackingk9s…smarter than some humans…

  • Maddy

    well if God were here he could tell us everything.

  • Tova Feinman

    You seem a bit confused about what a clinical trial is and
    what an animal behavioral study is. They are very different kinds of research
    and there is no scientific overlap between them. I am a biomedical researcher
    and have been involved in pre-clinical and clinical trial research for almost
    30 year. Let me try and clarify for you. A clinical trial is a trial where the
    participants are human beings. The purpose of a clinical trial is to evaluate
    the safety and efficacy of a new pharmaceutical, medical device, or surgical
    procedure before it receives approval from the federal government (Food and
    Drug Administration) for use in the general patient population. The purpose of
    a clinical study is to improve the quality of human life when it is affected by
    disease. Clinical trials only involve voluntary participants and they are only
    for human participation. There is pre-clinical research, which involves the
    testing of a pharmaceutical, medical device or surgical procedure on animals
    prior to moving on to the clinical trial phase. No device, drug, or surgical
    procedure ever jumps from the bench lab (test tubes and computer models) to
    human beings without using an animal model.

    An animal behavioral study is predominantly an observational
    study designed to gain insight into how animals think and behave. Since animals
    do not have language, all data collected in the observational study is by
    inference. The researcher is trying to interpret what an animal thinks, feels,
    smells, sees, tastes, and tastes based on its response to various artificial stimuli
    or its interactions with its environment. The purpose of animal behavioral research
    is to study the animal. It is much more difficult to draw scientific
    conclusions in a observational study where data can only be interpreted based
    on inferring meaning. This doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It just means
    reproducibility is difficult to achieve and discerning final conclusions much
    more tentative.

  • kevinbenett

    who the hell are you to question mother nature?

  • TexasMom2012

    AS far as a dog that goes into mush mode, you can break that habit by working on loose leash walking. Put treats in your pocket. Hold one in your hand at your side and reward as the dog walks at your side. Continue rewarding when he is not pulling on the leash and you will end up with a dog who walks easily at your side and does not pull.

  • TexasMom2012

    Yeah, the sire to my oldest lab eventually had to be put down when the vet could no longer cut out the cancer in his throat and mouth, And his owner finally quit smoking last month. Although he never ever smoked inside the home.

  • glenp

    dogs do not have CONES which detect color—-you’re an arrogant ignoramus

  • Herbert Shallcross

    Evolution is a funny thing. The dogs sense of smell is miraculous, but what do they use it most enthusiastically for? Smelling other dog’s pee.

  • glenp

    you remind me why I am so happy I no longer am with the useless c u nt I was married to

  • BahiaBob

    Dropping the tail is just an indicator. Dogs drop their tail and, if stressed, close their anal glands when feeling insecure. The dropped tail actually doesn’t impede the smell. It’s the closing of the gland sac that does the trick.

  • Rick Carufel

    Actually recent studies have shown that dogs spin before pooping to align with the magnetic field so they can poop facing east. Not sure which end of the dog faces east.

  • Wolf

    Mary Hunter was not aggressive at all, you on the other hand, were very aggressive and your tone was acid in attitude. You need to learn to control yourself, sir. That was very rude of you to treat her as such just because ONE vet tech made you angry. None of her comments were “know-it-all” in the least, it was statistical fact, most dogs that come into the vet are not leashed and ran into traffic, or were attacked or did attack another dog and their owner had no control of them.

    You are delusional to think it was a personal attack. Do you always bite people who point out why safety is a good option to consider? It’s the same as seat belts, they stop fatal injuries and even death most of the time.

    You should cool off and stick to being antisocial and off-line away from communities you so willingly attack in every post you make, attacking people is a sign of insecurity of ones self and a true telling sign of self-importance.

    Be nice to people, your attitude chases off intelligent people who rely on fact rather than stories of “maybe it happened because they are a professional so they think they are better or have more authority”, so in short, your attitude stinks.

  • PDuncan12345

    What? The article doesn’t state that dogs are color blind, it states that they are NOT! I was a Veterinary Technician and this article is correct about dogs seeing colors, just not the full spectrum. They lack the cones in the eyes that allow them to see red, so they cannot see orange either, or other variations. I WILL say that whoever wrote this is a terrible writer, there are many incorrect words, and they may even only know English as their second language, but they are not wrong about dogs seeing colors.

  • PDuncan12345

    Wow, Jim543… there was nothing “attacking” about Mary Hunter’s reply. I think someone needs a nap.

  • Wolf

    Silent dog whistles are not silent, I can hear them. They are horrible, and cause stomach aggravation.

  • john

    according to my vet, a dog would almost have to eat its weight in chocolate for it to kill it

  • Traci

    Actually dogs can only see shades of blue and green.

  • jimmyjimmy

    HEy Russ, why not play in traffic with your pants down, that gets attention too.

  • Bill Pardue

    i do the same thing

  • houndhelper

    Most of what is written in this article about being a “pack leader” has been disproved. Do a Google search “dominance theory debunked” and you will learn why this outdated training style is based on a false premise.

  • Barbra

    I’ve heard the same thing. I’ve tried to “monitor” it just out of curiosity, and she almost always does face East as a matter of fact.

  • Guest

    Wow. Great cut and paste. Don’t believe a word came from your brain.

  • Guest

    Google is a wonderful thing. Cut and paste is even better.

  • Guest

    I didn’t bother reading your entire rambling.

  • Blyan

    Tova: don’t know you, don’t believe what you cut and paste from Google Search.

  • Meechief Native

    I am 75 yrs. old so would like to believe I can find out new & helpful information about dogs. But all these comments on different argue about politics, religions, or race. Drats. My dogs live to almost 20. Buster is now 17,well mannered,, and is given so much LOVE.

  • fred123

    Gawd your webste SUCKS!! Crashed several times – WAY too much freaking advertising!! I will never visit again.

  • DJ

    Read the article again Blyan.

  • Blyan

    No. I’m good.

  • Blyan

    Sure thing, Doctor.

  • antiCesarproPositive

    was enjoying the article until #19 quoting Cesar Millan – “eat before your dog” and other bullsh*t so wrong & outdated.

  • Krissanne Cattrell

    All mammals eyes contain rods and cones, it is the reduced or increased number of either that determines the efficacy of certain attributes. i.e.: Decreased number of cones = shorter range of visible colors; Increased number of rods = increased light refraction and better night vision.

  • Krissanne Cattrell

    You got that right!

  • Krissanne Cattrell

    I’m gonna weigh in here for both you and Mary. You’re BOTH correct – and I’m not just being diplomatic. Jim, you’re correct in cases where both the dog and owner have worked together to build the kind of “pack bond” that supports the owner as the alpha and prevents the dog from disobeying the alpha. This bond can take months or years to form. For this reason, many “average” dog owners do not have this bond with their dog. A dog that shares this bond with his alpha/owner will: not approach others without approval; not accept food/treats from others; walk behind or beside, but not ahead of the alpha (unless the alpha is, determined by the dog, under threat); always be alert to commands (hand, voice, clicker) and obey immediately; not leave the alpha’s side; anticipate (usually correctly) commands in situations, among many others. This type of dog does not require a leash (except where leash laws are in place and enforced). Unfortunately, this type of dog is rare. This is the reason Mary is correct. The average person with a job, family and social life does not have, or cannot make, the time it takes to create the “pack bond”. Nothing against the “average person”, it literally takes spending every waking and sleeping moment with your dog, for months. Just like a pack would. So, not an easy task, but worth it if you can. The “non-pack” dog absolutely requires a leash, because they lack trust in their alpha (they will run off to do their own thing) and the owner lacks trust in their dog (they fear he will run off and do his own thing). The leash is a substitute for the “bond”. It eases stress and fear in the owner by mimicking control of the dog and creates trust for the dog by providing the alpha’s feedback through the leash tension, angle, and pulls. Leashes are an excellent tool for creating and maintaining a bonding experience with your dog. Remember, the leash is a mirror of your mood. Leash tense = you’re tense, leash relaxed = you’re relaxed.