Only 6% of People Know All of These Dog Facts. Do You?

By: Torrance Grey
Estimated Completion Time
3 min
Only 6% of People Know All of These Dog Facts. Do You?
Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Dogs: Where would we be without them? (Changing a lot more litter boxes, that's where!) From working livestock herders to contented companion animals, there's a tremendous amount of variety in the domestic dog. Which means there's a lot to know about them, too.

For example, do you know how long it's been since the first wolves began to keep company with humans, and started evolving into dogs? Or what drew those dogs to human settlements in the first place? Do you know which breed's name means "badger dog," or which one started life herding cattle before becoming, recently, the internet's favorite dog breed? Or which one was created to protect a German tax collector on his rounds?

Pretty much every civilization on the planet has bred its own kind of dog. They appear in art, are referred to in mythology and religious works and, nowadays, compete for honors at the world's top dog shows. Let's face it, the domestic dog might have a more interesting history than humans ourselves. Certainly, they've got more genetic variety, thanks to thousands of years of selective breeding. If you're ready to prove yourself a master of all subjects dog-related, sharpen your pencil (OK, your memory), and take our 35-question quiz!

What is the earliest a puppy can be adopted?
Three weeks
Five weeks
Eight weeks
There's actually a narrow window in which puppies should be separated from their mother and socialized with humans. Prior to eight weeks is too early, but more than twelve can lead to difficulty adapting to life with humans. Puppies shouldn't stay in a litter or kennel environment too long.
Twelve weeks

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Which of these is the smallest breed of dog?
Chihuahua
Despite the advent of "teacup" toy breeds, the Chihuahua still ranks as the smallest breed overall. When born, a Chihuahua can often fit in the palm of a human hand.
Bichon Frise
Miniature Daschund
Yorkshire Terrier

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True or false: Are dogs color-blind?
True
False
This is a misconception. Dogs do see in color, just not as vividly as humans do.

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Which of these animals has greater breed diversity than dogs?
Horses
Sheep
Cats
None of these
Centuries of selective breeding have given dogs more genetic diversity than any other animal. If humans had the same variation, we'd routinely (without genetic mutation) vary between two feet and seven feet tall.

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Which of these have dogs NOT done for humans?
Detected illnesses
Protected children
Pulled carts
Dogs do all these things
If you wanted to make a list of services dogs have done for humans, it'd be a long one. Among the stranger ones: Early Chihuahuas were thought to be used as living hot-water bottles for sick humans, back in the days of the Aztecs.

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How many scent receptors does a dog's nose have?
500,000
1 million
2 million
200 million or more
Humans have about 5 million scent receptors in our noses; dogs have 40 times that. It's why they are so essential to search-and-rescue efforts.

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Which of these breeds usually tops the American Kennel Club's list as the US's favorite dog?
Beagle
Labrador retriever
That's right, the lovable Lab has dominated the list for the past 20 years. In fact, the AKC says there hasn't been a year in the past 25 that it hasn't made the top 10 list.
Poodle
Portuguese water dog

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The Irish wolfhound takes honors as the world's _______ dog.
Best!
Smartest
Rarest
Tallest
Though other breeds might outweigh it, the Irish wolfhound stands tall in the dog world. And it really did, at one time, bring down and kill wolves.

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45 percent of dog owners are estimated to let their dog do what?
Go on walks unattended
Lick their mouths
Lick plates clean
Sleep in their bed
That's right, 45 percent of dog owners share their beds with their dog. Sleep researchers warn, though, that this can lead to interrupted sleep and poorer sleep quality. (Darn!)

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A dog's eating habits are best described as ________.
Carnivorous
Omnivorous
Dogs are omnivores, another benefit of their co-evolution with humans. They can survive on vegetarian diets, unlike cats, who need dietary supplements to go without meat.
Pollovegetarian
Pescovegetarian

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True or false: It is difficult to find purebred dogs in shelters.
True
False
Up to one-third of dogs in the average shelter are purebreds. They end up there, often, because owners didn't do enough research on how big a breed will get, how much exercise it will need, or how much its vet bills can cost.

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Which of these breeds is from Japan?
Akita
Papillon
Shiba Inu
Both #1 and #2
"Inu" is the Japanese word for "dog," which gave its name to the Shiba Inu. The Akita is named for the Akita prefecture.

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Which breed's name means "badger dog"?
Dachshund
The dachshund was bred long and thin in order to go into holes after badgers. They're known to run through drainage pipes and similar, as well.
Leonberger
Affenpinscher
Cane Corso

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Which of these diseases are dogs NOT vaccinated for?
Bordetella
Diabetes
Dogs do get diabetes, like humans. But it can't be vaccinated for (it's a metabolic disease, not an infectious one).
Rabies
Parvovirus

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Which of these breeds was created by an English minister?
Basset hound
Harrier
Jack Russell terrier
The Rev. John Russell developed the Jack Russell or Parson Russell terrier. This intelligent, active breed is known for its foot speed (the Jack Russell races on YouTube are highly recommended).
Gordon setter

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Which of these dogs does not bark?
Basenji
Before you rush out and get one, bear in mind that the Basenji does "yodel." It's also an active and curious dog who will need exercise and stimulation every day.
Basset hound
Great Dane
German shepherd

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Which of these qualifies as a "bully breed"?
American Staffordshire Terrier
Harrier
Pit bull
Both #1 and #3
"Bully breed" is an informal term for a certain type of terrier -- powerfully built, short-haired, with a brachycephalic face -- of which the pit bull is the best known. Some apartment buildings that otherwise allow dogs have a "no bully breeds" restriction.

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Hachiko, a Japanese dog, was known for _______.
Detecting cancer with his nose
Going to a train station to watch for his deceased owner
Hachiko was an Akita who used to go to the station to meet his owner after work. He continued to do so after the man died while at work. The loyal dog's ashes are now interred next to his master's.
His amazing vertical leap
His love of howling along with music

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Which of these breeds was developed by a German tax collector?
St. Bernard
Doberman pinscher
Karl Dobermann needed protection during his daily rounds, because he carried money through the streets. In solving this problem, Dobermann also created one of the world's smartest and most loyal dogs (if somewhat feared).
Great Dane
Harrier

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Which of these is NOT a group in dog shows?
Herding
Hound
Non-sporting
Companion
Most dog shows have seven groups: Herding, Hound, Sporting, Non-Sporting, Working, Toy and Terrier. Breeds that make good companions would likely fall in the Toy or Non-Sporting Group, though any dog can make a good companion under the right circumstances.

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Which of these groups has won Best in Show at Westminster most frequently?
Hound
Sporting
Terrier
Terriers, even more than toy breeds, were the preferred dogs of America's upper classes in earlier years. This preference was reflected in show winners at Westminster. Recent years have seen upsets by the beagle and Scottish deerhound.
Toy

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Where did the Labrador retriever breed originate?
America
Labrador, of course
Newfoundland
This gets confusing. There's a breed called the Newfoundland, and it, too, is a water dog that frequently has a black coat. But the Labrador also comes from the province of Newfoundland, though it's named for the province of Labrador. Got it?
Northern England

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What is a "lurcher"?
A dog with a distinctive hopping gait
A dog that hunts by lunging out of bushes
A sighthound crossed with another breed
Where the name "lurcher" came from isn't entirely clear. Today, most lurchers are popular for hunting or for rodent control.
A rare Belgian breed

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How many years ago did wolves start to become domestic dogs?
2,500
5,000
8,000
more than 10,000
There isn't a clear consensus on when wolves began to be domesticated, but it was quite some time ago. Dogs are buried alongside humans in graves that date back more than 14,000 years.

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What is believed to have initially drawn wolves to human settlements?
Light from fires
Children's toys
Music
Trash heaps
Wolves came to human settlements to eat scraps from trash heaps. The wolves that had the least fear of humans, therefore, got the most scraps and survived to pass on their genes. This was the beginning of wolf evolution into the dog.

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Which of these senses does a dog NOT have?
Hearing
Sight
Taste
Dogs have all of these.
Dogs rely most on their smell, but they have the other senses of sight, touch and taste ... and, of course, hearing. Dogs are known for their very sharp ears.

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When humans and dogs gaze into each others' eyes, levels of which hormone increase?
Adrenalin
Insulin
Oxytocin
Oxytocin is a hormone involved in bonding (like between mothers and children). During mutual gaze, it increases in both dogs and humans.
Testosterone

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Hip dysplasia affects primarily the _____ breeds.
Sporting
Herding
Larger
Large breeds like the German shepherd are prone to this malformation of the hip joint that can cause painful disability late in life. It's one reason potential owners should think carefully when selecting a breed -- caring for a 100-pound dog with mobility problems can be quite difficult.
Toy

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How long does a female dog carry a litter, in general?
one month
60 days
This will vary depending on the breed. Still, it's a much shorter time than human pregnancy, which lasts nine months.
90 days
five months

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What is "hybrid vigor"?
The ability of small and large breeds to successfully mate with each other
The preference of humans for adopting mixed breeds
The tendency of mixed breeds to have fewer health problems
"Hybrid vigor" means that mixed breed you adopted from a shelter will probably have lower vet bills and a longer lifespan than a purebred. Adopt, don't shop!
The enthusiasm with which dogs ride around in Priuses

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About how many humans are bitten by dogs annually in the US?
300,000
700,000
1 million
4.5 million
This is a strikingly high number for an animal so many of us love and trust. It points up the need for good training and socialization.

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How old was the world's longest-lived dog, Bluey, when he died?
17 years
19 years
24 years
29 years
This isn't typical. Large breed dogs live about 10 years, with smaller breeds living to 15 or a little longer.

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Which of these breeds has a black tongue?
Chihuahua
Chow chow
Two breeds have black tongues. One is the chow chow, and the other is the shar pei.
Portuguese water dog
Gordon setter

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If you have a "brachycephalic" dog, what kind of dog do you have?
One with a pushed-in face
Pugs and boxers are two such breeds, and they are very popular. Owners should watch for signs of respiratory distress, though, in hot weather and during exercise.
One with limited intelligence
One with webbed toes
One with a stubby tail

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Which figure of Greek mythology is often depicted with a dog?
Aphrodite, goddess of love
Hecate, queen of witches
Hecate is a secondary figure in Greek mythology, not part of the main Olympian pantheon of gods. But she's still often referenced in Wicca and witchcraft, and frequently drawn or painted with a companion dog.
Hermes, the messenger of the gods
Apollo, patron of doctors

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