Dogs are affectionate, loyal, great companions, protective and a lot of fun to play with. But as most pet owners will agree, dogs also have some quirky and surprising traits that few are aware of.

Dogs have three eyelids
The eyelids on the top and bottom of the eye, plus one in the inner corner. The primary purpose of the third eyelid is to remove mucus and debris from the eyes.

Dogs are not as dumb as many believe them to be
IQ tests have shown that their intelligence capabilities are on par with an average two-year-old human. In theory, this means that they have the capacity to learn more than 150 words and gestures.

Dogs really do love their owners
Studies have shown that during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, when a dog is presented with the scents of various people and canines, the reward centre of the animal’s brain is more responsive to the smells of people, especially those they are familiar with.

Dogs dream
This appears to be linked to the brain attributes and behaviours shared by dogs and humans. For example, the structure and occurrence of electrical impulses during the deep-sleep (dream) stage is similar in humans and dogs.

A dog’s paws may smell like popcorn or corn chips
There is nothing appetising about the reason behind this though. The aroma is caused by bacteria that the animal may have picked up while out walking. So make sure that you wash your dog’s paws (and the rest of the animal) on a regular basis.

Dogs make great listeners
According to some studies, dogs may even understand what is being said to a certain degree. They might not actually understand the meaning of the words but they can pick up on certain sounds and the conversation’s overall emotional tone, such as happiness, sadness and anger.

Every dog has a unique nose
Just as humans can be identified by their fingerprints, dogs can be told apart by their nose print, which has been used for identification purposes for more than 80 years. A kennel club in Canada, for example, has been recording its canine members’ nose prints since the 1930s.

Dogs can see better at night than humans
While their night vision may not be as sharp as that of a cat, a dog’s ability to navigate in the dark is far superior to that of a human. The reason behind this is a dog’s pupils are bigger and the central retinas have more cells dedicated to light sensitivity, rather than colour detection, which enables them to see objects in dim light better than humans.

A dog’s sweat glands are in its paws
Dogs don’t sweat as much as humans do. While the latter have sweat glands all over their body, to help maintain a normal body temperature, dogs only have sweat glands in their paws. A dog cools itself through panting.

A dog’s fur is handy during winter and summer
During the hot months the fur acts as insulation, keeping the heat from reaching the body. It also protects the skin from sun damage. In winter, dogs rely on their fur to keep them warm.

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