Dogs are all around us, so it's easy to take them for granted. We think we know everything we need to know just by living with them, and for many years, scientists weren't particularly interested in studying dogs compared to more exotic creatures. So most of what we knew about them was based on tradition and conventional wisdom. But recently, there's been an explosion of scientific interest in dogs, including their behavior, intelligence, and perception, and scientists are now more informed than ever about man's best friend.

For instance, did you know that when a dog licks its lips when there's no food around, it means something about how she is feeling? And do dogs actually like baby talk?

This list presents the most up-to-date answers to questions you might have always wondered about, like whether dogs can see color and how a dog's age compares to humans. It also provides details that give a richer understanding of common knowledge: You probably know dogs are excellent smellers, but just how excellent is probably more impressive than you might have imagined. Also included are some surprising facts about history. For instance, did you know that the current concept of "purebred" only goes back to the late 19th century?

Check out these 50 fascinating facts about dogs:

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