5 Weird Facts You Didn't Know About Certain Dog Breeds
1. Natural births are rare for French bulldogs.
Not only can they not "put the bun in the oven" themselves, but they rarely can get the bun out of the oven too! That’s right, our sweet, little, wrinkly, smooshy Frenchies often require artificial insemination for the highest chances of successful breeding. But why?! It’s all in the hips. The confirmation of Frenchies with their hips narrower than the upper body makes mounting difficult for the males. Even worse, their predisposition to overheating might make stamina a limiting factor. For greater chances of success, breeders will resort to artificial insemination. As I tell ANYONE that’s planning to breed an animal (this includes pet owners that risk not spaying their females and excludes those who chose that based on a medical issue), be sure to set aside savings for emergency pet care, such as difficulty giving birth, which can lead to the worst case, a C-section. It’s not fun having a pricey emergency (like $1000+ emergency surgeries) slapped on you when you’re unprepared. You never know when you might need to help the momma out, so always be ready! This goes especially for ANY brachycephalic (smush face) animal, like Frenchies! Some breeders will even go so far as to schedule planned C-sections for the safety of the mom and pups.
2. A Miniature Pinscher is not a miniature Doberman Pinscher.
I know, I know, it looks JUST like a shrunken down Doberman...ears and all. The truth is that Min Pins are actually a descendent of the German Pinscher that was potentially mixed with Dachshunds, Manchester terriers, and Italian greyhounds. In Germany, they were used to hunt vermin. Makes sense because “Pinscher” is the German word used for dogs that are guardians or vermin hunters!
3. Dalmatians are all white puppies and develop their spots with age.
Admittedly I didn’t know this until I saw newborn Dalmatian puppies after a C-section and thought they had a strange genetic mutation. I guess I forgot about the all-white puppies shown in 101 Dalmatians! We always see classic images of adult Dalmatians on firetrucks, but have you seen how cute these little white puppies are?! These guys and gals are the only breed used for “coaching,” or riding along a horse and carriage for protection. This carried over into their use for firetrucks. After 3-4 months, most of their spots will develop, but they can develop new spots at any point as they age!
4. Shar Peis are literally genetic mutants (really cute ones).
Ever wonder how those squishy, wrinkly Shar Peis got their characteristic wrinkles? It’s indeed a genetic mutation of the hyaluronic acid synthase 2 (HAS2) gene. This mutation means the body produces WAY too much hyaluron, which acts as a “gel” between skin cells and gives skin elasticity and hydration. While hyaluronic skin products are hot for combating aging human skin, sometimes you can have way too much of good thing! This mutation also leads Shar Peis to have a myriad of other health issues like Shar Pei fever, amyloidosis, skin infections, entropion, and allergies. PLEASE do your research on the health issues and temperament of these squishy manatees before adopting. If you're a current or future Shar Pei owner, you’ll also want to remember the name Dr. Linda Tintle and her website covering important Shar Pei info.
5. Australian shepherds didn’t originate in Australia.
Okay, now this is just downright crazy talk?! How did we get here? Well, the history is murky at best. We do know that Aussies developed in the western USA in the late 19th century. One theory is that they may have emigrated there via Australia. But here’s what’s confusing, Aussies were initially called a variety of names including the Spanish Shepherd, Pastor Dog, New Mexican Shepherd, and California Shepherd. When it comes to how we arrived at Australian Shepherd, well, we may never know!
Well folks, that proves it! All dogs are not created equal and dog breeds have differences in genetic makeup to make them unique. So next time someone tells you a dog is just a dog, you can whip out this list and tell them they're barking up the wrong tree!
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