Think you know everything there is to know about dogs? We bet you won’t know these unreal but totally true dog facts!
Dog facts #1: There’s a sock in there
Dogs are renowned for chewing on things they shouldn’t. Most are removed before they cause any health problems. But some items are swallowed, either whole or in pieces.
Believe it or not, the most common item retrieved from a dog’s intestinal tract in Australia are socks.
That is according to pet insurance claims lodged in 2019.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is Labradors who are the most guilty of making a meal of socks.
We’ve listed the full breakdown of the most common things dogs have swallowed (and some more bizarre items!) here.
Dog facts #2: Six toes
Nope, it’s not a strange abnormality that just one or two puppies were born with. There is a breed of dog which actually has 6 toes on each foot. And all 6 toes are fully functional!
The unusual physical trait belongs to the Norwegian Lundehund (which roughly translates to “puffin dog”.
Interestingly, that’s not the only remarkable trait the Norwegian Lundehund is known for. According to the American Kennel Club, the breed also has ears that fold shut, flexible shoulders that allow its legs to stretch out sideways.
And if that wasn’t enough, they also have an “elastic neck” that allows them to rotate their head 180 degrees and touch their spine!
Dog facts #3: No dog has won an Oscar…yet
Dogs have played a key role in movies as long as movies have been made. Who can forget Toto in The Wizard of Oz, the giant performances in the Beethoven films and the try-not-to-cry true story of Marley and Me… among many others!
But no dog has ever won an Academy Award.
Why? Ironically, because one dog nearly did win.
German Shepherd Rin Tin Tin was nominated for a best actor award at the very first Oscars in 1929. In fact, he’s rumoured to have received the most votes.
However, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science changed the rules so that only people could win an Oscar.
Their reasoning was that they wanted to establish the awards as a serious, prestigious accolade and thought that giving awards to dogs or other animals would diminish their credibility.
A renewed push to recognise dogs on-screen was made in 2012. The Artist was nominated for 10 Oscars including Best Picture, but no nomination was given for one of its leading stars, Uggie the Jack Russell. The Academy stood its ground.
Dog facts #4: The biggest litter
The largest litter of puppies ever recorded is 24. That’s right – two dozen puppies in a single litter!
Accomplishing this Herculean effort was Tia, a Neapolitan Mastiff from Cambridgeshire in the UK.
The proud mum delivered 9 girls and 15 boys by C-section back in November 2004. Go Tia!
Sadly, not all of the puppies survived – one was stillborn and another three died within their first week.
Dog facts #5: Getting old
We humans are obsessed with age, both our own and that of our kids, pets, cars, homes, relationships and so on. So we couldn’t talk dog facts without including the oldest dog.
According to Guinness World Records, it’s an Aussie pup who holds the record for oldest ever dog. Bluey, an Australian Cattle Dog, reached the ripe old age of 29 years and five months – almost double the breed’s typical lifespan of 13 to 15 years.
Bluey passed away in November 1939.
However, the actual oldest dog in the world may have been even older – and more recent. The problem is that records of their birth are missing or not reliable. Media reports suggest that another Aussie dog, Maggie the Kelpie, died in 2016 aged 30.
Meanwhile, Golden Retriever August celebrated her 20th birthday in June 2020. The milestone for the US dog is believed to make her the oldest of her breed.