- The Animal Encyclopedia for Kids


Dog Facts

Size 7-27.5 inch (18-70 cm)
Speed Up to 43 mph (70 km/h)
Weight 1.1-154 lb (0.5-70 kg)
Lifespan 10-13 years
Food Carnivore
Predators -
Habitat Everywhere in the world
Order Carnivore
Family Dogs
Scientific name Canis lupus familiaris
Characteristics Evolutionarily related to the wolf

Main Characteristics

About 10,000 years ago, wolves joined the humans because they allowed them to feed on their delicious food leftovers. Several hundred small and large dog species originate from the wolf. Do you want a dog? In our pet section you will find detailed profiles for 32 dog breeds that are suitable for beginners and families with children.


The heaviest dog was the eight year old Great Dane Zorba in 1989 with 341 lb (155 kg). A two year old Yorkshire terrier was the smallest dog weighing only 0.2 lb (100 g). Two Australian cattle dogs named Max and Bluey were the oldest dogs and reached an age of 29 years, which corresponds to a 203 year old human. Max was a Beagle-Dachshund-Terrier-Mix and Bluey an Australian Cattle Dog.

Dog Dog - Photo: otsphoto/Shutterstock


Dogs Are Life Savers!

Dogs have incredible capabilities. If trained accordingly, they can recognize epileptic fits (= convulsive fits) of humans in time or, like the Saint Bernard Barry at the beginning of the 19th century, save people buried by an avalanche.

Even small dogs can become heroes if their owner is in danger. The Yorkshire terrier Oliver weighed 12.1 lb (5.5 kg) and defended an elderly woman against a Japanese Akita weighing 79.3 lb (36 kg). This is similar to a human weighing 165.3 lb (75 kg) and fighting against a 1,080 lb (490 kg) opponent.

There is hardly any limit to the loyalty of dogs. The German Shepherd Orient guided his blind owner for 2,112 miles (3,400 km) along the Appalachian Trail in the USA.

Senses and Abilities

Dogs Have Facial Expressions

Dogs have more than 100 facial expressions. The ears play an important role in them. No doubt, at least 99 looks say: “Uh, I’m such a poor hungry dog! Please give me a treat!” Bulldogs and Pitbulls only have about ten facial expressions due to their breeding. This means that they are frequently “misunderstood” by other dogs, which quite often leads to fights.

Fun Facts

A few stunning facts on an animal we all know so well:

  • Dogs can be right- or left-pawed.
  • They are a million times more sensitive to smells than humans.
  • Their sweat glands are located on their paws, not on their tongue.

The Dog Is Related To:

  • Coyote
  • Jackal
  • Wild Dog
  • Wolf

Animals in the Same Biome:

  • Coyote
  • Jackal
  • African Wild Dog
  • Wolf

Dog Dog - Photo: LeventeGyori/Shutterstock

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