Money Matters Team

15 weird and interesting dog facts you’ll be amazed by

By Money Matters Team 15/04/2021

We all know that dogs are a man’s best friend but there’s plenty you might not know. Here’s some dog facts that might just surprise you!


  1. Nose for direction: A dog’s nose is wet so that they can tell which direction a scent is coming from.

  2. They don’t enjoy hugs: You may think you’re showing your dog love and affection when you hug them. However, in the dog world it’s a sign of dominance when you put your limbs over them.

  3. Mind your language: Dogs can understand about 250 human words and gestures. The average dog is about as intelligent as a two-year-old child.

  4. Male dogs cock their leg when they urinate as a sign of dominance: Have you ever wondered why a male dog cocks his leg and a female dog squats? For male dogs cocking their leg is a sign of dominance used as they are ‘marking their territory’.

  5. Old friends: Humans have kept dogs as pets for more than 12,000 years.

  6. When you’re ready: Guide dogs are trained to go to the toilet only when told do so. This helps to ensure their owners can clean up after them.

  7. They can detect early stage cancer: Dogs have often been known to detect when their owner is ill. It appears they can smell specific scents within the body including the compounds within lung cancer. As well as cancer, they can also detect several other illnesses. 

  8. Hear we go: A dog’s sense of hearing is 10 times better than a human’s.

  9. Spotless: Dalmatian puppies are born completely white. Their spots appear after about a month.

  10. Top dog: The most popular breed of dog in the UK is the Labrador Retriever.

  11. Strong identity: The print of a dog’s nose is unique, just like humans’ fingerprints.

  12. Your dog knows how you are feeling: When you’re upset have you noticed your dog is always there to comfort you? This isn’t just coincidence; your dog has the ability to read your emotions. By looking at you, your dog knows whether you are sad, happy or angry. Not only do they recognise how you are feeling, they alter their behaviour to fit your emotions. This means snuggling up to you when you’re upset and keeping their distance when you’re angry. 

  13. They use their tongues as little water cups: When you see your dog ‘lapping’ up water, the back of their tongue actually forms a little cup.

  14. They can detect the weather: Dogs can’t just detect illnesses; they can also detect a change in the weather. If there’s a storm coming you will often notice your dog acting strangely.

  15. Dog with a bone: All dogs have 321 bones and 42 teeth. 


Now you know some facts about dogs you may be looking for a new family member! It’s important to protect your dog with pet insurance. Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance is provided by Pinnacle Insurance plc. Explore our dog insurance policies today.

This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.