We took a look at our Fi database and were not shocked to learn that Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Siberian Huskies are the top three dog breeds in almost every state. These three trusty breeds are favorites for many obvious reasons, but we researched some of the lesser known facts about each of the breeds below:
- Ever wonder why your lab LOVES to swim? Their webbed toes act as tiny scuba flippers, so they’re naturally great at it.
- Swimming isn’t just for fun. In fact, Labs were originally used for fishing! Labrador retrievers were bred to be the perfect water dogs: beyond their webbed toes, they also have double-coats, one layer that keeps them warm, the other that acts as a water-resistant layer. Originally, fishermen would train Labs to recover fish and pull in fishing nets.
- Labs are the most common breeds working as guide dogs. They have a natural desire to please, so when given a task, they strive to excel. The Guide Dogs of America organization says 70% of guide dogs are Labradors.
- Perhaps most impressive, Labs have been trained to sniff out and identify early stages of cancer. These literal lifesavers are the only known way to detect early stages of ovarian cancer - and the earlier cancer is detected, the better the rate of recovery is.
If you're interested in joining the millions of Americans with a Labrador Retriever - check out our Rescue Partner PEAK Lab Rescue!
- Americans have German Shepherds because of World War 1. During the war, Germans used this breed in combat, as delivery dogs for medical supplies on the battlefield, as messengers and guard dogs, as well as for emotional support of injured soldiers nearing end of life. American soldiers in Germany fell in love with the breed and brought many back home at the end of the war.
- They almost lost their name. After each World War, non-Germans were hesitant of anything labeled German. The AKC instead called them ‘Shepherd Dogs’, but the breed has since returned to its original namesake.
- German Shepherds are considered the 3rd smartest dog breed, behind Border Collies and Poodles. They can understand a new command after just 5 repetitions, as well as follow the command 95% of the time.
- German Shepherds are the reason we have service dogs. Buddy, a female German Shepherd in the 1920s, became the first seeing eye dog in history and made way for service dogs of all sorts that we know and love today.
- There is such a thing as a Panda German Shepherd. You’re likely used to the black/brown coat variations on German Shepherds, but there is a single bloodline within the breed that can be born with a partially white coat (hence the Panda name).
- Huskies are bad guard dogs. Sorry, but it’s true! They are super friendly and trusting, so they have very little sense of stranger danger. They’re the perfect breed if you want to make friends with folks at the dog park, however.
- Their features keep them uniquely warm in cold climates. Like some other breeds, they have a double coat that keeps them insulated and water-resistant. But more significantly, their almond-shaped eyes (rather than big round puppy-dog eyes) allow them to squint, but still see, through the snow. Their bushy tails are used to wrap around their faces while they sleep to keep warm breath in and cold weather out.
- They need Fi collars. They’re infamous escape artists and have a high rate of escaping fences and slipping out of leashes. Their adventurous spirit pushes them to explore beyond the bounds of their own yard.
- You can hear them from TEN miles away. You’ve likely seen hilarious videos of huskies chit-chatting with their owners, or even singing along to a tune.
- Huskies are the only breed that can alter their own metabolism. It’s still a bit of a mystery to scientists, but they’re somehow able to draw energy from multiple sources within their body without needing to break for rest or snacks (that’s why they’re great long distance sledding dogs). Humans, we’re not like huskies.
Fi has an extensive network of Rescue organizations nationwide that we provide Fi collars (and Fi Nanos!) to during a dog’s time in foster care, and eventually extend this safety net to their new forever families. This allows the organization to keep an eye on the location & activity of each dog within their care, ensuring that every pup is where it’s supposed to be and getting the appropriate amount of physical activity. If you know of a rescue who we should be working with, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.