Dogs are fascinating creatures. From their keen sense of smell, to their physical capabilities, to their incredible intelligence, it’s no wonder why we want to spend our lives with them. And, while it’s easy to love dogs, it’s also intriguing to learn how different they can be based on their breed. Here are 10 fun breed-related facts about our canine companions.

#1: A bloodhound’s sense of smell can be used as evidence

That’s right—this scent hound’s sensory abilities are so dependable, they can hold up in a court of law. To boot, bloodhounds have been known to follow scents for up to 130 miles and can detect smells that are 300 hours old. 

#2: The Saluki is the oldest dog in the world

According to the Guinness World Records, the Saluki breed dates back to 329 BC when they were kept as royal pets in ancient Egypt. They were mummified after death—an expensive process typically reserved for the wealthy. 

#3: A greyhound could beat a cheetah in a long-distance race

If a cheetah raced against a greyhound in a sprint, the cheetah, who can achieve a 65 miles-per-hour speed, would win, hands down. However, since cheetahs can maintain their speed only for about 200 to 300 yards, the greyhound, who can maintain a 45 mile-per-hour speed for long distances, would probably win the long-distance run. 

#4: The tallest dog in the world is a Great Dane

While Irish wolfhounds are the tallest dogs on average, the world’s tallest dog, reaching 44 inches from foot to withers, was a Great Dane out of Michigan named Zeus—and that’s without taking his head into account!

#5: Dalmatians are often partially deaf

Approximately 22% of all dalmatians are unilaterally deaf, whereas 8% are bilaterally deaf. The breed’s deafness is not treatable, but is usually congenital, and can be avoided with careful breeding. Deafness is not an immediate cause for concern in domestic dogs, but owners need to be extra careful with affected dogs in certain scenarios, such as around children, dog parks, or near busy roads. 

#6: Some dog breeds have black tongues

Chinese breeds like the Chow Chow and Shar-pei are known to have hyperpigmented tongues that appear solid purple or pink with splotches of purple or black. The rottweiler, Tibetan mastiff, and Akita, among others, also may have colored tongues. Don’t worry—a pigmented tongue is similar to a birthmark or freckle on your skin, and isn’t a cause for concern. 

#7: Newfoundland dogs make great water rescue partners

With their webbed feet, thick double coat, and strong stature, the Newfoundland is a working dog bred for swimming and water rescue. Coast guards around the world depend on these “lifeguard dogs” and their incredible skills to pull people ashore, and some are also trained to perform life-saving helicopter jumps.

#8: Some dogs don’t bark

Don’t get us wrong—all dogs communicate vocally in one way or another—but some breeds make special sounds to get their point across. For instance, Basenjis make a unique sound known as a “yodel,” which sounds like a combination of a whine and scream. Hound dogs like basset hounds and beagles often bay or howl to communicate, but may bark, too. 

#9: Chihuahuas often have a soft spot on their head

Much like babies have delicate areas on the skull between two growing bones (i.e., the fontanelles), Chihuahuas often have persistent fontanelles, thanks to genetics and their dome-shaped heads. While this has become a standard finding for the breed, extra care must be taken to ensure this soft spot is not injured. 

#10 Labrador retrievers are the most popular dog in the United States 

If you don’t own a Lab, you probably know someone who does. That’s because this loyal, smart, and dependable breed is America’s favorite canine. Whether you prefer the yellow, black, or chocolate variety, you can’t go wrong with a loveable Lab!

Here at WesVet Animal Hospital, we love all types of dogs. Big, small, fast, or tall, we’re here to help keep them healthy and feeling their best. Is your canine companion due for their wellness care? Contact us to find out, or to schedule an appointment.