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Facts About Your Dog's Anatomy

Updated on April 4, 2011

You see your dog everyday. You feed your dog. You walk you dog. You play with your dog. You take your dog to the vet. But do you really know you dog? Most people DON'T know their dog at all.

Below is a list of things that you might not know about you dog. Once you have discovered these things, you will begin to take a closer look and wonder why you never recognized these things before.

A dog's owner should be able to get a good estimate of how long his dog will live by looking at his face. The shape of the dog's face has a good indication of how long the dog will live. Is your dog's face round, oval, or some other shape? Dogs with sharp, pointed faces that resemble wolves are known to live longer. On the other hand, dogs with very flat faces often have shorter lives. Bulldogs fit into this category.


Unlike humans and most other animals, dogs have three eyelids. The third lid is called a nictitating membrane or “haw.” This keeps the eye lubricated and protected.

How many muscles do you think it takes for a dog to move its ears? Eighteen or more muscles are needed to move a dog’s ear. If you have a Dalmatian, did you know that thirty percent of all Dalmatians are deaf in one or both ears? How much can your dog hear? Dogs like the Saint Bernard, with big, square heads and large ears, are the best at hearing subsonic sounds.

If you have a bulldog, did you know that because of their extremely short muzzles, many of them spend their lives fighting suffocation?

Humans are extremely deficient in their smell when compared to dogs. Dogs can smell about 1,000 times better than their masters. Dogs have more than 220 million smell-detecting cells, while humans have only 5 million. That's quite a difference. The part of the brain that interprets smell is four times larger in dogs than in humans.

Speaking of your a dog's nose, did you know that some dogs can do things more incredible  with their noses than man could never do? Because of dog's keen sense of smell, they can smell dead bodies under water They can pinpoint where termites are hiding. They can also help find natural gas even if it is buried under 40 feet of dirt. By sniffing a person's breath they can find lung cancer. Dogs have also been known to detect cancer that is too small to be noticed by a doctor. Because of their wet noses, dogs can collect more of the tiny droplets of smelling chemicals in the air.

If you have a Chihuahua, did you know that because Chihuahua have very small skulls, the flow of spinal flow can be restricted? This may cause hydrocephalus, a swelling of the brain. .

A puppy is born blind, deaf, and toothless, and then develops those senses and teeth later as it grows. Dogs can see better when the light is low, and while they can see color, they see mostly like people who are color blind.

A dog can run faster than a human because a dog’s shoulder blades are unattached to the rest of the skeleton to allow greater flexibility for running. The average dog can run about 19 miles per hour. Greyhounds are the fastest dogs and can run at speeds of 45 miles per hour.

The smallest dog on record was a matchbox-size Yorkshire Terrier. It was 2.5" tall at the shoulder, 3.5" from nose tip to tail, and weighed only 4 ounces. The Basenji is the world’s only barkless dog.

Which one of the five senses do you think your dog develops first? Touch is the first sense the dog develops. The dog's entire body is covered with touch-sensitive nerve endings even including the paws. Do you know where you dog's sweat glands are? Believe it or not, dogs have sweat glands between their paws.

It is good that men and women have better methods of communication to one another than dogs. Dogs can smell other dog's urine and tell whether the dog is female or male, old or young, sick or healthy, happy or angry or leaving a message to be pursued.

If a male dog raises his legs while urinating, he will aim higher on a tree or lamppost. This sends a message to the other dogs that he is tall and intimidating. It has been reported that some wild dogs in Africa try to run up tree trunks while they are urinating to appear to be much larger than they are. Scientist discovered in Croatia that lampposts are falling down because a chemical in the urine of male dogs is actually rotting the metal.

Dogs are about as smart as a two-or three-year-old child. They can understand clearly about 150-200 words. They can understand signals and body language with the same meaning as words.

So take a fresh look at your dog like never before since you have learned these things about your dog.


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    • jennzie profile image

      jennzie 5 years ago from Lower Bucks County, PA

      This is very interesting information; I learned a lot about dogs from this. Voted up!

    • DOGS 101 profile image

      DOGS 101 6 years ago from Planet Earth

      kashmir56, Thanks for reading and responding!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi DOGS 101 very interesting and fascinating information and facts about dog !

      Awesome and vote up !!!