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15 Astounding Facts About Dogs That'll Blow Your Mind

Your dog is probably a better doctor than you'll ever be.

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1. Just like us, dogs dream, and they possibly dream about doing doglike things.

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Just like humans, a dog's sleep cycle has an REM phase, where most of our dreaming occurs.

Stanley Coren, author and professor of psychology, told Live Science, "What we've basically found is that dogs dream doggy things. So, pointers will point at dream birds, and Dobermans will chase dream burglars." ADORABLE.

2. Dogs can literally smell out certain human diseases.

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The human nose has about 5 to 6 million olfactory receptors, compared to 220 million for a pooch.

A 2009 study in which dogs tried to detect cancer by smelling breath samples of patients had a success rate of around 90%. That's incredible to think about.

3. Here's what dog vision is like, compared to ours.

Shayan Roy / Via dog-vision.com

It was once believed that dogs could only see in black and white. But a recent study showed that while humans have three sets of color receptors, or cones, in their eyes, dogs only have two. This hampers their ability to distinguish between certain colors.

Shayan Roy / Via dog-vision.com

It was once believed that dogs could only see in black and white. But a recent study showed that while humans have three sets of color receptors, or cones, in their eyes, dogs only have two. This hampers their ability to distinguish between certain colors.

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Shayan Roy / Via dog-vision.com

It was once believed that dogs could only see in black and white. But a recent study showed that while humans have three sets of color receptors, or cones, in their eyes, dogs only have two. This hampers their ability to distinguish between certain colors.

4. But also, dogs can see in the dark far better than humans.

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While dogs have fewer cones in their eyes, they have more light-sensitive cells, or rods, toward the center of the retina. A larger pupil also lets in more light.

Don't go by this GIF, though. It must have been hella dark.

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5. The Labrador is the most popular breed of dog, in terms of ownership.

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According to the American Kennel Club, the Lab has been the most popular canine in the US for a staggering 26 consecutive years. German shepherds and golden retrievers come in and second and third, respectively.

6. A dog's noseprint is as unique as a human's fingerprint.

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It is widely believed that no two dogs have the same noseprint, and the Canadian Kennel Club has been accepting noseprints as proof of identity since 1938 (for dogs only).

7. Dogs like rolling around in smelly things because, to them, that shit smells ~divine~.

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Not only do dogs have way more olfactory receptors than us, but they're probably designed differently as well.

This means they perceive smells differently, and it might explain why it's a delight for your dog to roll around in their own doodoo, but not acceptable for you to do the same.

8. When dogs curl up in a ball to sleep, it's due to their instinct to protect themselves from predators.

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Clinician Margaret Gruen says that a dog will curl up while sleeping if they're cold, but it may have something to do with instinct as well. "It also protects their most vulnerable organs in the abdomen from would-be predators,” she adds.

This means that if your dog is sprawled out on your floor, they're either feeling super hot or super safe.

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9. The saluki, the oldest dog breed still existent today, has been hanging around humans since 329 BCE.

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Some historians identify the saluki as a distinct breed of dog as early as 329 BCE in Egypt. For some perspective, that was around the same time when Alexander the Great invaded India.

That would make the saluki breed well over 2,000 years old.

10. Some dogs, like the Newfoundland breed, have webbed feet.

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Breeds that tend to do a lot of work in water, like the Newfoundland and the Portuguese water dog, have specially modified webbed feet to help them swim better.

11. They can gauge your emotion by listening to your voice.

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The human brain has an audio cortex which differentiates voices from other sounds, and reacts based on the emotion expressed in the voice. A study found that dogs have one too, and it's located in a very similar area of their brain.

This makes sense, since humans have been breeding dogs for centuries, so at least a portion of their brain must go toward interpreting human cues.

12. Chinese nobles would hide Pekingese dogs in their sleeves as a form of attack.

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Pekingese dogs were bred as guard dogs for royals in imperial China. Emperors would carry the smallest and fiercest ones in their sleeves and release them to scare away any shady characters.

They were ancient pepper spray, basically.

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13. Despite those puppy eyes, dogs feel no remorse.

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Veterinary scientist Susan Hazel believes that "it’s pretty clear that dogs don’t feel or display guilt." They've just learned to act that way to appease their masters when they're angry.

So don't trust those puppy-dog eyes after they've broken something in the house. THEY DON'T GIVE A SHIT.

14. If you're over 30, you were alive before every dog living in the world today.

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This isn't so much a scientific fact as a shower thought, but it's still true AF. The longest a dog has ever lived is 29 years, so by that math, every dog alive today was born at least after 1987.

If you were born in or before 1987, congrats! These dogs look up to you as some sort of god.

15. And there is a place on earth that, quite literally, looks like doggy heaven.

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Territorio de Zaguates, or "Land of the Strays," is a volunteer-run shelter in Costa Rica. They have about 900 dogs there, and they have special hikes across the hills with you AND THE DOGS. OH MY GOD.

Every one of the dogs in the shelter is up for adoption.