Everyone knows that Irish Wolfhounds are the biggest dogs in the land and that a dog's brain is specialized for scent, but here are a few quirky and mind-blowing facts that you probably don't know related to our beloved pups.
Fact #1: Dogs are capable of understanding up to 250 words and gestures, can count up to five and can perform simple mathematical calculations. The average dog is as intelligent as a two-year-old child.
Fact #8: Service dogs are trained to know when they are on duty. When their harness is on, they know it's business time. When you take it off, the pups immediately become playful and energetic.
Fact #9: Tiger Woods stuttered as a child and used to talk to his dog until he fell asleep in an effort to get rid of it.
Fact #10: Seeing eye dogs pee and poo on command so that their owners can clean up after them. (The command is usually "Get busy!" and pups will pace back and forth until they do their business.) Male dogs are also trained to do their business without lifting their leg.
Fact #11:In ancient China, an emperor's last line of defense was a small Pekingese dog literally hidden up his sleeve.
Fact #13: In 1860's San Francisco, two stray dogs who were best friends became local celebrities. Their exploits were celebrated in local papers and they were granted immunity from the city's dog catchers.
Fact #19: Baks the blind boxer has a seeing eye goose named Buttons. Buttons the four-year-old goose leads her pup around everywhere either by hanging onto him with her neck, or by honking to tell him which way to go.
Fact #20: 'Frito Feet' is the name of the phenomenon in which the bacteria on a dog's paws cause them to smell like corn chips. Because a pup's feet are in constant contact with the ground, they pick up tons of microorganisms in their paws. When dogs cool off by sweating through the pads of their feet, the combo of moisture and bacteria releaces a nutty, popcorn-like aroma. Basically it's dog B.O.
8. Known as one of the loyal dogs, Hachiko dutifully met his owner every day at the train station. When his owner suddenly died of a hemorrhage, the pup still went to the train station every day at the same time for six years.
17. Lex was stationed with Cpl. Dustin J. Lee in Fallujah, Iraq. Lee was fatally wounded and the pup wouldn't leave his side.
Lee's parents adopted Lex and he lived out the rest of his days as a therapy dog.
20. The real Rin Tin Tin was rescued from a World War I battlefield. His human, Lee Duncan, trained him and the pup began work in the silent film industry.
After his passing, Rin Tin Tin's image was given to many other character dogs in film, television, and literature.