Let’s face it, some pet-parents prefer being around dogs more than they enjoy being around people. Going new places and finding yourself surrounded by strangers can be intimidating for those who have more canine friends than humans. However, dogs can be a universally interesting topic to discuss, offering common ground and connections based on similar experiences. But more than just the “my Rottweiler does that too” kind of comments, here are some informative facts that will not only add insights to get a conversation off the ground, but also might feed other subjects for the future!
A great way to meet new people, is by simply being available,(i.e., taking your dog for a walk). When someone approaches you shyly to see if they can pet your pup, always say yes! Then to get the conversation started, maybe learn some unique facts about your specific dog breed, and share the fact. For example: “She is a Rhodesian Ridgeback, also known as an African lion dog. This breed is so courageous they have been known to fight off lions!” Or offer something generic like “No wonder people say statistically dog-owners are more social than cat owners. Dogs like to meet everybody!” Chatting with someone while they make friends with your pet, is a great way to get a conversation going. Here are some other ideas on how dogs can help with conversation starters!
1. Euro-dog facts: Discuss how it was recently found in Russia that resourceful street dogs have figured out how to hop on the subway to venture to other areas of the city in search for food. These kind of scrappy city dogs tend to live an average of 3 years longer than country dogs because of their survival skills!
2. Classic rock segue: Note that the song “A Day in the Life” by the Beatles was recorded with ultrasonic whistles that only dogs can hear, solely for Paul McCartney’s Shetland sheepdog at the time.
3. Taste-bud teaser: Maybe while sampling some flavorful tapas, or sipping a cocktail at a mixer, you could talk about how dogs experience food. Say something about how dogs have around 1,700 taste buds, while humans have about 9,000. It’s no wonder that dogs are so easy to please!
4. Accidents happen: Give the low down on the corrosive properties of dog urine, and how it can actually cause metal to deteriorate. After several iron lampposts in Croatia collapsed, studies found that canine urine corroding the metal was actually the cause!
5. Brave battle dog facts: Mastiffs rank as some of the most intimidating dog, but the Romans put their ferocity to good use by suiting them up in armor and commanding them to attack mounted riders in battle.
6. Lapdog protection: In wartime in ancient China, the Emperor’s last-resort weapon was a fierce Pekingese dog hidden up his sleeve. The dogs were trained to attack or distract any assailant that got too close. Wealthy people would also take to carrying around their dogs this way too, in day-to-day life.
7. Go for the grammar connection: After mentioning how complex the English language is, you could note that “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” uses every letter in the English language. And of course, any ideal sentence would have something to do with a dog!
8. Poetic nuances: A fascinating trivia piece for those who appreciate dogs and the written word, mention that Lord Byron was a man of somewhat rebellious ideals, and when he was accepted at Cambridge Trinity College, he was not allowed to bring his pet dog with him. This angered the poet so greatly, that he brought a bear instead. (Lord Byron was famous for romantic poems like “She walks in beauty like the night” and the mere mention of him and his loyalty to canines might lead to interesting conversations!)
9. The good ol’ USA: Americans love their dogs so much, nearly 72 million homes in the US have dogs, and over an estimated 1 million of them are mentioned as the primary beneficiary in their owner’s will.
10. Pull the “puppy love” card: Falling in love does exsist for dogs: a study conducted at Claremont Graduate University found that dogs release oxytocin whenever they engage with their humans or other dogs that they seem friendly too. Oxytocin is the same hormone emitted by humans when they are in love.
Let the world in on some of these interesting facts and fun conversation starters. Whether you are discussing dog grooming, history, or the oddities of your average puppy pal, dogs offer a great way to connect with other canine-crazed humans!