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20 Amazing Puppy Facts for New Owners

Puppies are loved by everyone which is exactly why a national puppy day exists on March 23.

Besides the cuteness and fun, they require a lot of work and commitment.

If you are interested in getting a puppy or you already have one, these 10 puppy facts for new owners are definitely worth a read.

1. Puppies can be born green

Yes, you heard that one right. There have been occasions where puppies were born with green fur.

Usually it is only one puppy in the litter that is born like that.

The fur of a light-haired puppy can be stained by biliverdin which is a pigment in the dog placenta.

But sadly it disappears after a few weeks.

There are plenty of cases that you can read online.

Check out the beautiful Golden Retriever puppy Forest which was born bright green but the green quickly faded from his fur, making him a normal pup again.

2. Puppies can be twins

It is extremely rare that puppies can be born as twins though.

Scientists have first discovered this during a C-section on a pregnant Irish Wolfhound.

They saw that two puppies were sharing one placenta and were actually genetically identical when tested at the age of 6 weeks.

It is interesting to see how identical puppies will differ from each other when they grow up in different homes.

Will their fur change or their behavior? Will they love to play the same games and have the same peculiarities?

3. Puppies can be born by C-section

This brings me to the next fact that certain breeds are usually born by C-section.

More than 80% of bulldogs and terriers with bigger skulls are born by C-section as their proportions could lead to conflicts during natural birth.

As the mother is given anesthetics during surgery, she will have to be monitored closely until she is completely awake so she doesn’t hurt the newborns when accidentally rolling over them.

She can eat a few hours after surgery but you should be giving her only small amounts of food and water at a time, so she doesn’t vomit.

She will need about one and a half times her normal food intake.

4. Size of litter varies from breeds

Small breeds usually have lesser puppies than larger breeds.

It also depends on how old the dog is. The younger the bigger the littler.

The largest litter in the world consists of 24 puppies born to a mastiff breed dog.

The rule of thumb for wild animals is producing offspring half the number of the mother’s teats.

But domesticated animals were bred to have a bigger litter nearly up to the number of the mother’s teats.

The pomeranian has the lowest litter on average with 2,4 pups per litter while the Rhodesian Ridgeback had the biggest with 8,9 pups per litter.

Read more about when a dog is too old to have puppies here.

5. Newborns cannot poop

Newborn puppies are not able to poop by themselves.

They need their mother to stimulate the process until they are 3 to 4 weeks old.

If you are hand-raising the puppies this means that you might have to take over that part.

The mother licks the puppies around the anal area, so grab a cloth dipped into lukewarm water and massage it around the anal area.

The puppies should have some bowel movement after 2 minutes.

6. Puppies have baby teeth

Puppies are born toothless and first develop baby teeth when they are 2 to 4 weeks old.

Just like humans, they will start to lose their teeth when they get older, around 12 to 16 weeks old.

When they reach the age of 6 months old their 28 baby teeth will become 42 adult teeth.

Between this time, provide your puppy with plenty of chew toys to soothe the hurting teeth.

It is normal that he might eat less at this time due to mild pain.

You can buy a toothbrush specifically designed for puppies and gently rub it.

It will make later dental care so much easier if your puppy got desensitized to toothbrushing

Recommended Reading: How to stop Puppy Biting

7. Puppies sleep…a lot

Like human babies, puppies need a lot of sleep.

Depending on the size and breed a young puppy will need around 15 to 20 hours of sleep a day and you should assure that they get it.

Sleep is essential to their physical and emotional development.

Too little sleep will result in stress, anxiety, illness, growth issues and much more.

8. Puppies love it when you talk to them

Puppies love baby talk and really enjoy it when you tell them something.

Studies have shown that they especially react to high-pitched voices and happy sounds.

Puppies get much more stimulated by baby talk than adult dogs do.

To this day, researchers couldn’t find the reason for this phenomenon.

It might be linked to oxytocin which is a hormone that gets released while social bonding or childbirth.

But whether you have a deeper voice or not, dogs love to listen to their well-known voices and they get really excited when hearing them.

Even if your dog is deaf, you should still talk to him as it will seem more natural for your dog.

9. Their coat changes

Puppies are born with soft fur and their coat actually changes as they get older.

Around 4-6 months of age, puppies will shed their old fur and get a thicker two-layered adult coat.

The different coats can also differ in color which you will be able to see if the parents don’t look like their offspring yet.

Dalmatians are born without any spots and they will become more and more over time.

Especially long-haired breeds might not shed evenly leaving them with some weird looking patches of fur.

10. It’s never too early

Many new dog owners write to me and ask when they could start with puppy training and the answer is always immediately.

Young puppies are eager to learn and now is the time where they get the strongest experience from their environment and you can show them how to behave in it.

They can also learn simple commands like “sit” and “come” which can be taught in a couple of days.

Interested in more facts? Here are 10 more facts that are also interesting for owners of adult dogs.

11. Dogs can feel jealous

Studies have shown that dogs are able to feel genuinely jealous when you pet another animal.

Since jealousy can turn into aggression quite quickly, you should always look out for warning signs and not endorse any negative behavior.

Teach your pup early on that it’s not okay to guard any resources, even if it’s just your attention that your pooch wants to keep for himself.

12. Dogs have a sense of time

Ever wondered why your pup is getting more nervous over time the longer you are away from home?

That is because they actually have a feeling of time so they can understand that four hours are longer than one hour.

How do they do that?

Research has shown that dogs are able to smell density changes in the air and while not having the same concept of time as we do, they notice passing time.

If you have a solid routine your dog follows, he can easily recognize differences in walk or feeding time.

That’s another reason to avoid free feeding and to introduce a feeding schedule where your dog gets food twice a day only, for example.

13. Some dogs actually hate rain

Many dog owners, like myself, have the problem of getting the dog outside for a quick pee when it’s raining.

That’s not because they don’t want to get wet but because the sound of the raindrops hitting the ground actually hurts their ears.

That’s why an umbrella will make it even worse because the amplified sound is so much louder to them.

Other dogs just don’t like getting wet though. My Rottie girl avoids puddles like it’s the plague.

14. Your dog is as smart as your toddler

A dog’s intelligence can be compared to the brainpower of a 2 year-old toddler.

They both can learn roughly 250 words and gestures. That’s why they usually get along so well.

Especially guarding breeds love their family and the kids. Remember that it’s never a good idea to leave your child unsupervised with any dog though.

15. Dog sitting/laying on your feet

This is mostly a subtle gesture of affection. More on that in my blog post about seven dog sitting positions and what they mean.

Sitting on your feet means that your dog claims you as his own according to experts.

It is a form of territorial behavior that is deeply rooted and shouldn’t bother you too much. It isn’t a sign of dominance.

16. Dogs can read emotions

Dogs can recognize different emotions through facial expressions and vocal sounds.

They can categorize positive and negative emotions, an ability that is normally only observed in primates which makes dogs a highly social species.

Dogs also have the ability to smell feelings through subtle changes in your scent.

17. Dogs have low-light vision

If you ever took a picture from your dog with a flashlight in a dark room, you will notice that his eyes are “reflecting” the light.

That effect is caused by a tapetum with a mirror-like structure in front of the retina.

It enables the dog to see better in darkness than humans.

That being said, their night vision is not as good as most nocturnal animals.

18. You are a parent to your dog

Dogs love their owners. Scientists found out that dogs interact with their owners in the same way a baby would with their parents.

If scared or worried, a dog runs up to their caregivers unlike a cat or a horse would.

Dogs are the only animals, besides primates, that look humans in the eyes. They do not seek eye contact with their biological parents but with people.

That’s why you should always strive to maintain and improve the bond you have with your dog.

19. Your dog loves to smell you

Believe it or not but dogs actually love the smell of humans more than anything else.

If a dog picks up the scent of his owner, it connects with the brain’s “reward center” called the caudate nucleus.

Sometimes your dog will try to roll around in your clothes to pick up the scent and take it with him.

That may also be one of the reasons why your dog loves sleeping on your pillow.

20. How dogs sweat

Most people believe that dogs sweat through salivating.

But unlike humans, dogs actually only sweat through their paw pads and nose because that is where they have sweat glands.

Dogs mostly get rid of heat by panting.

Let me know in the comments which of these facts you find the most interesting.

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Disclaimer: This blog post does not substitute veterinary attention and does not intend to do so. I am not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If your dog shows any sign of illness, call your vet.

About Danielle

Equipped with 5+ years of expertise as a Rottweiler owner, I partner with licensed veterinarians and trainers to share research-backed and actionable advice for you and your furry friend.

Bruce Merrian

Monday 7th of October 2019

Puppies can be born green? Wow did not know that. I would like to see that!


Sunday 7th of July 2019

What a great post! My boyfriend didn't know any of these haha


Tuesday 9th of April 2019

I didn't know any of these!