102 Fun And Interesting Facts About Dogs

Last updated on July 21st, 2023

75. The first dog deities appeared among the Mesopotamians. Later, other cultures followed suit. It is not unusual to find deified dogs in Egyptian, Greek, Babylonian, Hindu, Norse, Greek, and Aztec cultures.

76. Dogs joined the battlefield along with Britannia tribes when they fought against the Romans in 43 A.D. Although the Romans had their own battle dogs, the Britannia dogs were more vicious and experienced in battle. This prompted the Romans to include canine power in their military strategies.

77. The use of dogs in war prompted breeders to begin experimenting with specific breeds to fight in the Roman military. This opened a new market on the trade of warrior dogs. Many of these dogs joined the human army during battles. Unfortunately, many of the dogs who did not make the cut were forced to battle it out with other animals and humans in gladiator shows.

78. During the 12th century in England, dogs became part of a bloodsport called baiting. Larger animals such as bulls and bears were chained or tied up and dogs were encouraged to bite and torment them as a spectacle for paying crowds.

79. Christopher Columbus also used dogs during his second voyage to the New World. His team brought along 20 mastiffs and greyhounds, mainly to help test out new food items for poison. The dogs were also used to terrorize the locals. Because the dogs were an unfamiliar sight to the natives, this was an effective strategy.

80. A monk named Hubert began to breed certain dogs to later create what would become large, sturdy hounds that had a keen sense of smell. These hounds became known for their tracking ability. The monk later became St. Hubert and is considered as the patron saint of hunters.

81. Thanks to their powerful sense of smell, hound dogs were given the job as trackers of prey – animal and human. During the 16th century, bloodhounds were used to track and hunt down runaway slaves, prison escapees, and warriors/soldiers who went AWOL.

82. Archaeologists estimate that dogs were used to pull sleds as far back as 4,000 years ago in the Siberian and North American regions.

Siberian husky dog. fact file of dogs
Interesting facts dogs. Photo © Volodymyr Byrdyak

83. The first record of a dog sled race occurred in the 1850s.The route started in Winnipeg and ended in St. Paul.

84. Dog sled racing became a demonstration sport during the 1932 Olympics in Lake Placid. First place was given to a French Canadian, Emile St. Godard. He is the only sled dog racer to be entered into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.

85. Baiting was outlawed by the British Parliament in 1835. It came about after the number of bears dwindled and people began to complain regarding its brutality. Unfortunately, this opened the way for people to pit dogs against other dogs.

American Pit Bull Terrier, facts about dogs
An American pit bull terrier. Interesting dog facts. Photo © Otsphoto

86. Dogfighting is one of the reasons why we have the American pit bull terrier. During the heyday of dogfighting, breeders began choosing dogs that carried the best characteristics for fighting. As a result, we now have a dog known for its fierceness, strength, and durability.

87. In 1866, the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) was formed by Henry Bergh, a diplomat. Originally, the ASPCA was created for the protection of horses but has since become a strong voice against cruelty to all animals.

88. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was founded in 1877. It sought to identify and award the best representatives of purebreeds.

89. Originally, there were 9 purebreeds recognized by Westminster as charter breeds. These were the pointer, Chesapeake Bay retriever, Sussex spaniel, Irish setter, Gordon setter, Irish water spaniel, English setter, cocker spaniel, and the clumber spaniel.

90. The AKC (American Kennel Club) was formed in 1884. It functions as a registry for all dog breeds that are officially recognized and to regulate all major dog shows.

91. Buck, the indomitable hero of Jack London’s “The Call of the Wild”, was instrumental in creating more dog lovers, not just in America but in other countries across the world.

A German Shephard. Interesting facts about dogs
A German Shephard. Interesting dog facts. Photo © Roughcollie

92. In 1908, the big, intelligent, and highly capable German Shepherd was recognized by the AKC. It is now the second most popular dog breed after the Labrador retriever.

93. The tiny but feisty Chihuahua breed dates back to pre-Columbian times. It is Mexico’s national symbol.

94. A well-trained sled dog knows how to get out of a tangle if necessary, even while running.

95. During the 1800s, the hulking St. Bernard was brought by European monks to the Swiss Alps. The dogs’ job was mainly to sniff out people buried in the snow.

96. Toto, who braved the tornado with Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, was actually Terry, a Cairn terrier. She was difficult to train, so her owners left her with legendary movie dog trainer Carl Spitz, who turned her into a star.

97. A dog named Chips received three medals for assisting American troops during WWII. He received a Silver Star, a Purple Heart, and a Distinguished Service Cross but these were revoked when veterans (humans) complained. The medals were later returned to Chips but the War Department issued a ruling prohibiting military medals from being given to military dogs.

98. Lassie began his/her 20-year movie career in 1954. Lassie was a rough collie, a breed known for their intelligence and protectiveness.

99. The first creature in space was not a man but a dog named Laika, who rode Sputnik 2. The satellite orbited Earth, making Laika the first animal to ever orbit the planet. She was likely a mixed breed, part husky or Samoyed, and part terrier.

100. Unlike Laika, the next two Russian dogs sent to space survived. They were Belka and Strelka. They spent only a day in space and safely returned to Earth.

101. After the Russian dogs’ return from space, Strelka gave birth to puppies, one of which was given to Jackie Kennedy as a gift. The pup, christened Pushinka, mated with the Kennedy’s dog, Charlie and had puppies of her own. Her descendants likely live to this day.

102. After Lassie came Benji. A hero to many and a beloved pet, Benji did not come with a pedigree. He became one of the most beloved mutts in the United States.

Dogs are known for their undying loyalty. Some of the most famous of these dogs (at least, those that were documented) include Hachiko, Greyfriars Bobby, Bobbie the Wonder Dog, Shep, Fido, and Capitan. For these dogs and for many like them, the bond that forms with their humans will remain unbroken. We hope you enjoyed reading these 102 interesting facts about dogs.