64. Great Pyrenees can be nocturnal in nature, possibly because of — or leading to — his popularity as a shepherding dog.
98. Tibetan Terriers were bred in monasteries and known as the holy dogs of Tibet. They were never sold, but given as gifts to bring good fortune to the recipient.
79. It sounds like we’re making this up, but the Norwegian Lundehund was originally used to hunt puffin, he can climb rocks, can fold his ears shut, has six toes and can turn his head upside down. ALL OF THAT IS TRUE, SWEAR.
41. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever was descended from two Newfoundland-ish puppies who were discovered on a shipwreck off the Maryland coast in 1807. The breed is now the state dog of Maryland.
43. Up to 90 percent of Chihuahuas are born with a soft spot on their heads, much like human babies have. But unlike their human counterparts, the Chihuahua’s soft spots — called molera — never completely disappear.
Dogs don’t actually have it out for cats
Media portrayals of these furry frenemies would have you believe that chasing cats is hardwired in dogs’ DNA. But it’s not specific to cats; dogs’ evolutionary hunting instincts are the reason they chase after anything small and speedy, whether it’s their favorite ball or little Tiger. And dogs and cats can actually get along great, even in the same household, depending on the animals themselves and whether you introduce them the right way.
Dogs have a sense of time
Dogs can tell the difference between one hour and six hours. With enough conditioning and training, your dog will be able to forecast their daily activities such as walks and meals, as long as they occur around the same time each day.
In 2012, Max the Golden Retriever became the very first mayor of a town in California called Idyllwild. Unfortunately, Mayor Max passed away in 2013, but he was replaced by Mayor Max the II, who has been in charge of the town ever since. As a non-incorporated town, Idyllwild doesn’t have a human mayor, so Idyllwild Animal Rescue Friends (ARF) funded the town’s first-ever mayoral election.
Any resident was able to nominate their pet, leading to 14 dogs and two cats on the ballot. All votes cost one dollar, and the proceeds went to support ARF. These aren’t the only animals who have appeared on a ballot.
Every Dog Breed Explained (Part 1) | WIRED
From a teacup-size Chihuahua to a Great Dane, there is an incredible amount of variety among dog breeds. But all breeds belong to a single species, so scientists have studied the breeds to better understand the workings of evolution, and how such great variation could have arisen within one group.
The dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is far more variable in size, shape and behavior than any other living mammal, but most experts now believe that all dogs, no matter how different, originated exclusively from a single species: the gray wolf (Canis lupus) of central Asia, said James Serpell, professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and editor of “The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behaviour, and Interactions With People” (Cambridge University Press, 1995).
Its also likely that there was just one domestication event, and all domesticated dogs today descended from an ancestral wolf-dog that became someones best friend long ago. The evidence comes from a 2009 study in which a team of researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm analyzed samples of mitochondrial DNA (the DNA found in mitochondria, or energy-making structures within cells) from dogs around the world.
They found that all dogs belong to one lineage, which indicates that domestication occurred just one time. (If wolves were domesticated several times in various regions, the team would expect to find more than one lineage among modern dogs.)
Despite the fact that dogs were first domesticated about 14,000 to 17,000 years ago, most dog breeds were developed within the last few centuries. When ancient humans bred dogs for features such as a louder bark (for added protection of their owners property) or a docile temperament (so it would be less likely to lash out at its owner), they were actually already tinkering with the selection of dog genes.
One of the earliest breeds believed to be purposefully selected for its preferred traits is still around today – the greyhound. Perhaps the first fully distinct breed was the Saluki, also called the Arabian greyhound, whose name translates to “noble,” according to “Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs” (Fireside, 1980).
“Selective cross-breeding has been done since antiquity, but it really accelerated during the 19th century,” said Leslie Irvine of the University of Colorado at Boulder, who is author of “If You Tame Me: Understanding Our Connection with Animals” (Temple University Press, 2004).
Over time, because of natural mutations, climate and human preferences, “breeds became ever more numerous and specialized until they reached the point of modern classification,” according to “Guide to Dogs.” This classification is based on the aptitude of a breed in five skills: hunting, shepherding, guarding, work and company.
Now, there are about 340 breeds recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), the world governing body of dog breeds, sometimes known as the World Canine Organization. But the standards for breed recognition vary from country to country – the American Kennel Club currently recognizes only 167 breeds.
Recently, the number of deliberately crossbred “designer dogs” has been growing. These include the labradoodle (a cross between a Labrador and a poodle), the cockapoo (a cross between a cocker spaniel and a poodle) and the puggle (the offspring of a pug and a beagle).
“Dogs are constantly evolving as were continually building variants of dog breeds,” said Stanley Coren, author of “The Modern Dog” (Free Press, 2008).
“The nature of humans is to want unique things, but a unique thing is not necessarily a better thing,” Coren told Lifes Little Mysteries.