Only 6% of People Know All of These Dog Facts. Do You?

Torrance Grey

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About This Quiz

Dogs: Where would we be without them? (Changing a lot more litter boxes, that's where!) From working livestock herders to contented companion animals, there's a tremendous amount of variety in the domestic dog. Which means there's a lot to know about them, too.

For example, do you know how long it's been since the first wolves began to keep company with humans, and started evolving into dogs? Or what drew those dogs to human settlements in the first place? Do you know which breed's name means "badger dog," or which one started life herding cattle before becoming, recently, the internet's favorite dog breed? Or which one was created to protect a German tax collector on his rounds?

Pretty much every civilization on the planet has bred its own kind of dog. They appear in art, are referred to in mythology and religious works and, nowadays, compete for honors at the world's top dog shows. Let's face it, the domestic dog might have a more interesting history than humans ourselves. Certainly, they've got more genetic variety, thanks to thousands of years of selective breeding. If you're ready to prove yourself a master of all subjects dog-related, sharpen your pencil (OK, your memory), and take our 35-question quiz!

What is the earliest a puppy can be adopted?

There's actually a narrow window in which puppies should be separated from their mother and socialized with humans. Prior to eight weeks is too early, but more than twelve can lead to difficulty adapting to life with humans. Puppies shouldn't stay in a litter or kennel environment too long.

Which of these is the smallest breed of dog?

Despite the advent of "teacup" toy breeds, the Chihuahua still ranks as the smallest breed overall. When born, a Chihuahua can often fit in the palm of a human hand.

True or false: Are dogs color-blind?

This is a misconception. Dogs do see in color, just not as vividly as humans do.

Which of these animals has greater breed diversity than dogs?

Centuries of selective breeding have given dogs more genetic diversity than any other animal. If humans had the same variation, we'd routinely (without genetic mutation) vary between two feet and seven feet tall.

Which of these have dogs NOT done for humans?

If you wanted to make a list of services dogs have done for humans, it'd be a long one. Among the stranger ones: Early Chihuahuas were thought to be used as living hot-water bottles for sick humans, back in the days of the Aztecs.

How many scent receptors does a dog's nose have?

Humans have about 5 million scent receptors in our noses; dogs have 40 times that. It's why they are so essential to search-and-rescue efforts.

Which of these breeds usually tops the American Kennel Club's list as the US's favorite dog?

That's right, the lovable Lab has dominated the list for the past 20 years. In fact, the AKC says there hasn't been a year in the past 25 that it hasn't made the top 10 list.

The Irish wolfhound takes honors as the world's _______ dog.

Though other breeds might outweigh it, the Irish wolfhound stands tall in the dog world. And it really did, at one time, bring down and kill wolves.

45 percent of dog owners are estimated to let their dog do what?

That's right, 45 percent of dog owners share their beds with their dog. Sleep researchers warn, though, that this can lead to interrupted sleep and poorer sleep quality. (Darn!)

A dog's eating habits are best described as ________.

Dogs are omnivores, another benefit of their co-evolution with humans. They can survive on vegetarian diets, unlike cats, who need dietary supplements to go without meat.

True or false: It is difficult to find purebred dogs in shelters.

Up to one-third of dogs in the average shelter are purebreds. They end up there, often, because owners didn't do enough research on how big a breed will get, how much exercise it will need, or how much its vet bills can cost.

Which of these breeds is from Japan?

"Inu" is the Japanese word for "dog," which gave its name to the Shiba Inu. The Akita is named for the Akita prefecture.

Which breed's name means "badger dog"?

The dachshund was bred long and thin in order to go into holes after badgers. They're known to run through drainage pipes and similar, as well.

Which of these diseases are dogs NOT vaccinated for?

Dogs do get diabetes, like humans. But it can't be vaccinated for (it's a metabolic disease, not an infectious one).

Which of these breeds was created by an English minister?

The Rev. John Russell developed the Jack Russell or Parson Russell terrier. This intelligent, active breed is known for its foot speed (the Jack Russell races on YouTube are highly recommended).

Which of these dogs does not bark?

Before you rush out and get one, bear in mind that the Basenji does "yodel." It's also an active and curious dog who will need exercise and stimulation every day.

Which of these qualifies as a "bully breed"?

"Bully breed" is an informal term for a certain type of terrier -- powerfully built, short-haired, with a brachycephalic face -- of which the pit bull is the best known. Some apartment buildings that otherwise allow dogs have a "no bully breeds" restriction.

Hachiko, a Japanese dog, was known for _______.

Hachiko was an Akita who used to go to the station to meet his owner after work. He continued to do so after the man died while at work. The loyal dog's ashes are now interred next to his master's.

Which of these breeds was developed by a German tax collector?

Karl Dobermann needed protection during his daily rounds, because he carried money through the streets. In solving this problem, Dobermann also created one of the world's smartest and most loyal dogs (if somewhat feared).

Which of these is NOT a group in dog shows?

Most dog shows have seven groups: Herding, Hound, Sporting, Non-Sporting, Working, Toy and Terrier. Breeds that make good companions would likely fall in the Toy or Non-Sporting Group, though any dog can make a good companion under the right circumstances.

Which of these groups has won Best in Show at Westminster most frequently?

Terriers, even more than toy breeds, were the preferred dogs of America's upper classes in earlier years. This preference was reflected in show winners at Westminster. Recent years have seen upsets by the beagle and Scottish deerhound.

Where did the Labrador retriever breed originate?

This gets confusing. There's a breed called the Newfoundland, and it, too, is a water dog that frequently has a black coat. But the Labrador also comes from the province of Newfoundland, though it's named for the province of Labrador. Got it?

What is a "lurcher"?

Where the name "lurcher" came from isn't entirely clear. Today, most lurchers are popular for hunting or for rodent control.

How many years ago did wolves start to become domestic dogs?

There isn't a clear consensus on when wolves began to be domesticated, but it was quite some time ago. Dogs are buried alongside humans in graves that date back more than 14,000 years.

What is believed to have initially drawn wolves to human settlements?

Wolves came to human settlements to eat scraps from trash heaps. The wolves that had the least fear of humans, therefore, got the most scraps and survived to pass on their genes. This was the beginning of wolf evolution into the dog.

Which of these senses does a dog NOT have?

Dogs rely most on their smell, but they have the other senses of sight, touch and taste ... and, of course, hearing. Dogs are known for their very sharp ears.

When humans and dogs gaze into each others' eyes, levels of which hormone increase?

Oxytocin is a hormone involved in bonding (like between mothers and children). During mutual gaze, it increases in both dogs and humans.

Hip dysplasia affects primarily the _____ breeds.

Large breeds like the German shepherd are prone to this malformation of the hip joint that can cause painful disability late in life. It's one reason potential owners should think carefully when selecting a breed -- caring for a 100-pound dog with mobility problems can be quite difficult.

How long does a female dog carry a litter, in general?

This will vary depending on the breed. Still, it's a much shorter time than human pregnancy, which lasts nine months.

What is "hybrid vigor"?

"Hybrid vigor" means that mixed breed you adopted from a shelter will probably have lower vet bills and a longer lifespan than a purebred. Adopt, don't shop!

About how many humans are bitten by dogs annually in the US?

This is a strikingly high number for an animal so many of us love and trust. It points up the need for good training and socialization.

How old was the world's longest-lived dog, Bluey, when he died?

This isn't typical. Large breed dogs live about 10 years, with smaller breeds living to 15 or a little longer.

Which of these breeds has a black tongue?

Two breeds have black tongues. One is the chow chow, and the other is the shar pei.

If you have a "brachycephalic" dog, what kind of dog do you have?

Pugs and boxers are two such breeds, and they are very popular. Owners should watch for signs of respiratory distress, though, in hot weather and during exercise.

Which figure of Greek mythology is often depicted with a dog?

Hecate is a secondary figure in Greek mythology, not part of the main Olympian pantheon of gods. But she's still often referenced in Wicca and witchcraft, and frequently drawn or painted with a companion dog.

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