The Local Dog: I left this out in my last post (which is ironic), but this is probably the most popular group of dog in Nigeria. Even though they are commonly called ‘local dogs’, the proper term for them is Mongrel or Mutt. A mongrel is a mix of two or more breeds, many mongrels have no pure breed ancestors.
Pitbulls and Locked Jaws: Contrary to popular belief, there is no mechanism anatomically that allows for jaw locking in Pitbulls or any other breed of dog. In dogs generally, the size and power of a bite is proportional to the size of the jaw and jaw muscles.
Tail Docking: I once met a guy who thought Rottweilers were born without a tail, it’s hilarious but it shows how popular the practice has become. Tail docking is the term given to the surgical removal of puppies’ tails. A lot of people aren’t aware but docking of dog tails for cosmetic purposes is illegal in a number of countries because the procedure is seen to be painful and more importantly affects the dog’s ability to communicate effectively.
Domestication of Dogs: Archaeological evidence locates the earliest dog remains along with human remains 15000 years ago at Russian Plain, Europe. This suggests that humans and dogs have co-existed as far back as this period.
Wolves and Dogs: The grey wolf and domestic dog are so closely related that they can still interbreed, producing fully viable offspring. A cross between a grey wolf and a dog is known as a “wolf-dog” or “wolf hybrid”.
Why German Shepherds are Sometimes Called Alsatians: When British soldiers brought German Shepherds to the UK after World War 1, anti-German feeling was still intense. Breeders decided it would be diplomatic to rename the breed after the province of Alsace, which was German until the war but is now part of France. Enmity towards Germany continued and it was not until the late 1970’s that British breeders recognised the breed by the name used worldwide and re-named their club The German Shepherd Dog (Alsatian) Club.
Dog Groups: There are more than 150 dog breeds, divided into 8 classes: sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, non-sporting, herding, and miscellaneous.
Dogs Do See Colour: We perceive colour through a series of receptors in the retina of our eyes called cones. Humans have three kinds, each of which is activated by a specific wavelength of light corresponding to a specific set of colours; blue, green and red. Dogs like humans that are colour blind only register blue and yellow wavelengths of light, so even though your dog can’t see red he can distinguish between various shades of yellow, blue and grey.
Sense of Smell: Dogs have roughly 40 times more smell receptors than humans, this makes their sense of smell up to 40 times more sensitive than that of humans. Bloodhounds are known more than any other breeds for their sense of smell and are bred mostly for this reason.