Dogs are very popular domestic animals. They play an important role in the lives of humans and they make great pets. Dogs are known as “man’s best friend” and in this article we’ll find out why! This page contains information and 10 amazing facts about dogs for kids.
Let’s find out more about dogs…
Imagine a trip to the park…
Take a walk around the park and you may see a dog or two. There are big dogs and small dogs, dogs with long shaggy fur and dogs with smooth, shiny coats. They’re out for walks with their owners. Dogs have a lot of energy and love exercise.
A dog sniffs the ground curiously. Dogs have a great sense of smell. What can it smell? It follows the trail along the grass and towards a tree. The dog spots a squirrel and chases after it! Dogs have strong muscles that enable them to run very fast. Their natural instincts means that they love to run and chase things. Have you ever seen a dog chase after something?
Information about dogs
Dogs are mammals and one of the most diverse species in the world. They come in a huge range of colours, sizes and shapes.
The scientific name for a domestic dog is Canis Lupis Familiaris.
Males are known as dogs, females are known as bitches and young dogs are called puppies.
A Dog’s Senses
Dogs have very good senses. Their sense of smell is over 100,000 times more sensitive than a humans! This means that they can smell lots of things that we can’t. Dogs can follow a scent left by a human or an object and track it for miles. Their wet nose helps them to absorb scents too.
Dogs also have much more sensitive hearing than humans. They can hear over 10 times better than a human and they can also hear sounds that are much higher.
Dogs don’t see colour like we do. Instead, the see in mainly grey, blue and yellow.
Where did dogs come from?
The pet dogs we know today came from wild dogs, like wolves, that lived hundreds of years ago. Over a long time, they evolved and became more domesticated. Pet dogs still show some of their old instincts today. Have you ever seen a dog circle before it lies down? Their ancestors used to do this in the wild to flatten the grass.
Find out more about wolves at the International Wolf Center website.
How many types of dogs are there?
There are over 400 different breeds of dogs in the world. Each different breed has its own special characteristics.
What is the smallest dog?
Small dogs are often called ‘toy’ dogs. The smallest breed of dog is called a Chihuahua. It measures just 6-9 inches tall and weighs 3-6 pounds.
What is the largest dog?
The largest breed of dog is the Great Dane. The average Great Dane measures around 40 inches (100 cm) tall and weigh 120 pounds (54 kilograms). Standing on their back legs they can reach over 7 feet, which is taller than most humans!
Why do dogs make such good pets?
Dogs have been kept as pets for over 15,000 years. Dogs are one of the most popular pet because they make great companions for humans. They are loyal, intelligent and love to play and get attention from humans. No wonder they are often called ‘man’s best friend.’
What do dogs eat?
Dogs are omnivores. They eat a variety of foods including meat, vegetables and grains. Pet dogs are usually fed dog food which is specially designed for all of their needs.
How do dogs communicate?
Dogs use their bodies to communicate with each other and with humans. Have you ever seen a dog wag its tail? This means it is happy! If a dog is frightened it will put its tail between its legs. A dog’s face and ears are very expressive and can tell you how your dog is feeling. Dogs have 18 muscles just for moving their ears!
Dogs also use sound to communicate. They will bark, whine or growl to tell you if they are angry, sad or excited.
Why do dogs pant?
Have you ever seen a dog with its tongue out, panting? Dogs do this when they are hot. Panting helps to cool them down by circulating air through their bodies.
How intelligent are dogs?
Dogs are very intelligent animals. They learn new things quickly and can be taught to sit, lie down, fetch things and go to the toilet outside. The average dog is an intelligent as a 2 year old child.
Dogs are so intelligent that they are often given very important jobs to do.
Guide dogs can be trained to assist blind people. They can help them to navigate and carry out daily tasks. You may have seen a guide dog before – they often wear yellow coats.
You can find out more about guide dogs on the Guide Dogs For The Blind website.
Dogs have a good sense of smell which makes them great at sniffing out things that humans can’t smell. They are often used by the police to find illegal drugs and bombs.
Dogs in the wild
In some areas of the world, dogs live in the wild. One of the most common wild dogs is the African Wild Dog, which roams the plains of Africa. They live in packs and hunt animals for food.
Facts about dogs for kids
- The average lifespan of a dog is 10-14 years.
- The most popular breed of pet dog is the Labrador.
- Adult dogs have 42 teeth.
- Dogs can see in the dark much better than humans can.
- On average, a dog can run around 19 miles an hour.
- Puppies are born with their eyes sealed shut. They don’t open for 3 weeks.
- The most intelligent breeds of dog are Border Collies, Poodles, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers and Dobermans.
- A dog’s nose print is as unique as a human finger print.
- Some dogs, such as Dalmatians and Airedale Terriers are born one colour. As they get older, their colours change.
- It is estimated that there are around 400 million dogs in the world!
If you have a pet dog, spend a day tracking its activities and write it in a diary. What does it do? How does it behave? Does it show any wolf-like behaviour?
Choose your favourite breed of dog and draw a picture of it. Add its special characteristics such as colours and patterns.
Visit a local dogs home, such as Battersea Dogs Home in London and learn more about the different breeds of dog.