Dog owners love to know everything about their beloved pets. This originates all kinds of questions about dogs. From understanding their behavior to getting to know more about a dog’s normal development, there are many answers dog owners look for on a regular basis.
Have you ever wondered how many teeth dogs have or why they tilt their heads? If so, these are only a few of the questions about dogs that will be answered throughout this post.
1. When do dogs stop growing?
The short answer to this question is: it depends. Dogs don’t all grow at the same rate. Smaller breeds grow up much faster than larger breeds. This happens because bigger bones and joints need more time to grow and develop.
Puppies are officially considered to be adult dogs once they reach one year old, no matter what size and breed they are. However, some puppies may continue to grow in height and size from 6 to 24 months old. They’ll keep growing until their bones are completely developed as it’s their skeletal growth that will determine their height as adults.
Generally speaking, small breeds stop growing by the time they’re 6 to 8 months old and medium breeds may take a bit longer to reach their adult size at around 12 months of age. Larger dogs usually take anywhere between 12 to 18 months to reach their full adult size, however, some giant breeds can only reach their adult size at 24 months of age.
2. How many teeth do dogs have?
Just like humans, puppies also start with a temporary set of teeth that will fall out, making way for their adult and permanent teeth. As puppies, dogs have 28 teeth that begin to appear 2 weeks after birth and are usually completely grown by the time they’re 10 and 12 weeks old. Out of these 28 teeth, puppies have 12 incisors, 4 canines, and 12 pre-molars.
Depending on the dog’s breed, this first set of teeth starts to fall out at around 4 months of age. The first ones to fall are the incisors, followed by the canines at 5 or 6 months. Finally, at 5 to 8 months of age, the pre-molars fall, and the adult molars and pre-molars start to show up. Any teeth that don’t fall out need to be surgically removed by a vet.
Adult dogs have a total of 42 teeth. Their upper jaw has 20 teeth and the lower jaw has 22 teeth. Out of these 42 teeth, adult dogs have 12 incisors, 4 canines, 16 pre-molars, and 10 molars.
3. Do dogs dream? And if so, what do dogs dream about?
Scientists believe that not only dogs but most vertebrates do dream on a regular basis. One of the experiments that support this theory is one that involved lab rats. In the experiment, the rats spent all day running in a maze while scientists monitored their brain activity. After that, scientists compared it to the rats’ brain activity during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.
The scientists found that the same areas lit up in the rats’ brains which indicates that the rats appeared to be dreaming of the maze. This indicated that animals go through several sleep cycles just like humans do. These sleep cycles include periods of wakefulness, REM sleep, and non-REM sleep. REM sleep is when the most memorable and vivid dreams happen and it’s believed to play an important role in how our bodies process memory.
While there’s no hard scientific evidence, many scientists believe that dogs most likely dream about their everyday activities such as playing with you, running in the park, or chasing squirrels.
4. Why do dogs chase their tails?
There are many reasons why dogs chase after their own tails and, as with everything, your dog showing this behavior occasionally is no cause for alarm. However, if you notice your dog is chasing its tail all the time, it’s best to check with a vet to rule out any health issues.
Some of the common reasons behind this behavior include:
- Boredom: some dogs chase their tails because they have nothing better to do and chasing after their tails is a way they have to be entertained.
- Puppy playfulness: puppies are all up for discovering the world with their mouths and when they notice that there’s something wagging attached to their backend, they’ll want to take a closer look at it. Besides, it’s fun!
- Fleas and ticks: it’s possible that there is an infestation causing itchiness. This leads to dogs trying to chase their tails and bite them to try and relieve some of the itching.
- Asking for attention: when dogs feel like they’re not getting enough attention from their owners they can pull out all kinds of shenanigans to get a reaction from them and chasing their tails is one of the options.
- Health issue: dogs that appear to be obsessively chasing their tails may have an underlying health issue such as seizures, pain, or infection.
- Anxiety or stress: obsessive and repetitive behaviors such as tail chasing can be a sign that dogs are suffering from anxiety or stress. These repetitive behaviors are what bring some kind of comfort to them and so they may start doing this whenever they feel nervous.
5. Why do dogs tilt their heads?
Dogs have a very keen sense of hearing and are able to detect frequencies and sounds that humans can’t. However, humans have an advantage over dogs. Humans with normal hearing abilities can detect sounds regardless of the direction it comes from while a dog’s directional hearing is more limited. This is why humans are able to pick up sounds from any direction. It doesn’t matter whether it’s coming from the front, back, left, or right. But the same doesn’t apply to dogs.
Dogs have ear flaps that partially or completely cover their ear canals, serving as a barrier to sound transmission. This means that dogs need to change the position of their ears in order to optimize sound detection. This results in dogs sometimes needing to perk up and tilt their heads in order to make sense of a sound and be able to detect where it’s coming from.
Making sense of it all
Of course that, there are a million more questions dog owners would like to see answers to when it comes to their dogs. But hopefully, these answers already got you a bit closer to understanding how your pup develops over time, lives and how it interacts with the world.