> Skip to content

Article  •  30 May 2017

 

Dog facts

Eight surprising doggy details from Laura Vissaritis’ Dognitive Therapy.

Did you know… a dog’s mind bears similarities to a 2½-year-old human child’s? Research shows that dogs are highly intelligent, can understand up to 250 words and can even count.

Did you know… there are more than three hundred dog breeds across the world? Among those there are ancient breeds, genetically divergent from modern dogs such as pugs. These include dogs such as the akita, chow chow, malamute, Afghan hound, dingo, husky and of course the greyhound. Interestingly, it’s thought that the name greyhound came from improperly pronouncing the German word Greishund, which means ancient dog.

Did you know… dogs will urinate on objects that stick up, such as trees and poles? The taller the better. It has been reported that dogs urinating on poles is so common in Croatia that many street poles have decayed and collapsed because of the acidic chemicals in dogs’ urine!

Did you know… the most common command across the world is ‘sit’? In French it is ‘assis’, in German it is ‘sitz’, in Spanish ‘siéntate’ and in Italian it is ‘seduto’. No matter where a dog is from, they all speak the same language. The universality of their language makes me wonder if dogs are better linguists than we are.

Did you know… the dog has long been a symbol of loyalty? Depicted in portraits across history and most notably during the Renaissance, with Leonardo da Vinci adorning his artworks with the majestic dog as a mark of faithfulness.

Did you know… dogs can read our emotions in our facial expressions? Thought to be a combination of thousands of years of domestication as well as learning what facial movement goes with what consequence, dogs are attuned to our thoughts better than we realise. Research has tested this theory, finding that dogs respond with anxiety and uncertainty when we furrow our brows and with excitement and anticipation when we smile and soften our eyes.

Did you know… one female dog and a litter of her female pups can produce up to 4372 puppies over seven years? This is one of many reasons to spay and neuter dogs and prevent hundreds of thousands of dogs being exposed to shelters or becoming homeless. Spayed dogs generally live longer, are less susceptible to disease and are reported to be happier.

Did you know… dogs having wet noses is an ancient adaptation for animals with an acute sense of smell? The wet surface allows them to absorb scents more effectively, helping them determine what is around them. Even the most primitive ancestor of man had a wet nose for the same purpose. Are dogs and humans more alike than we thought?


Dognitive Therapy Laura Vissaritis

To change your dog’s behaviour, first you must change yours. A mindful approach to training your dog from Australia’s leading dog behaviourist.

Buy now
Buy now

More features

See all
Article
How your dog sees you

Laura Vissaritis explores the view from a canine perspective.

Article
Beyond Hairy Maclary

Hairy Maclary and his friends are known and loved all over the world. But how familiar are you with Dame Lynley Dodd's other creations? There are plenty to discover, and just like Hairy Maclary, they all feature Lynely's uniquely exuberant artwork and gorgeously readable rhymes! Here are some suggestions to get you started.

Article
A sneak peek at our 2021 kids books!

After an exhausting and unusual 2020, we’ve got plenty of reasons to be grateful for a new year, not least because of the stellar line up of children’s books we have coming your way over the next few months!Read on for a sneak peek at some of the best new children’s books we’re bringing to you in 2021.

Article
Beautiful NZ Picture Books from 2020

Sometimes a story is best told alongside a beautiful picture, Here's a small selection of some of our favourite 2020 picture books from local creators. 

Article
Sophie Gray's top tips for a cracker Christmas

If you’re planning to head to the shops for a last-minute Christmas here's what destitute gourmet wants you to think about! 

Article
5 audiobooks for your summer road trip

If you’re new to the world of audiobooks and aren’t sure where to start or if you’re looking for the perfect book to listen to on your summer road trip adventures, we’ve got some great suggestions for you! 

Article
Themes from A Promised Land

From the influence of family to his political rise and the world events that shaped his presidency, Barack Obama covers enormous ground in his Presidential Memoirs, Volume 1: A Promised Land. Here we break down some of the key themes and turning points.

Article
A Promised Land: key events

From inauguration through to Operation Neptune’s Spear, take a look at the milestones covered in Barack Obama's riveting memoir.

Article
Children's books loved by the Obamas

Here's a selection of children's stories that have received a big thumbs up from Barack and Michelle Obama. 

Article
Meet Slinky Malinki and friends!

Ever wanted to know a bit more about Slinky Malinki's friends? 

Article
Meet Hairy Maclary and his friends!

Meet the characters from the beloved children's series. 

Article
Where to start with Rick Riordan's books

Rick Riordan's books are perfect for 12+ readers who love action, adventure, and a good dose of humour from their books. We've outlined some of Rick Riordan’s most impressive, imaginative worlds so you can decide which adventure to go on first. 

Looking for more articles?

See all articles