11 Awesome Doggie Facts to Help You Start the Right Kind of Cocktail Party Conversation

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Americans love their dogs. According to recent studies, an estimated 89.7 million dogs live as pets in U.S. households. Almost all dog owners claim their canine fur babies positively affect their psychological and physical well-being.

The chances of you meeting dog lovers and owners at cocktail parties, networking mixers and other events are astronomical.

You better be ready to talk to them.

Instead of defaulting to the weather or complaining about your last Uber driver, try offering one of these 11 delightful dog facts at your next social occasion to spark a conversation.

1. The Boykin Spaniel became the official state animal of South Carolina in 1985.

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Small and rugged, these sporty dogs were specially bred to retrieve game birds in swampy areas like those found around the Carolinas.

2. The Flat Coated Retriever’s long head is unusual for retrievers.

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They also have lustrous coats and were once used by gamekeepers on large English estates.

3. English Setters were bred to “set” after finding game birds for English gentlemen hunters.

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A cross between pointers and spaniels, their coats sometimes contain unique color combinations of orange, yellow and blue.

4. The Brussels Griffon stands less than 10 inches tall and weighs less than 10 pounds.

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With a beard and a loud bark, this little dog is affectionate and makes a good watchdog. They can live up to 15 years.

5. Pablo Picasso owned an Afghan Hound.

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So did Zeppo Marx. This ancient breed’s beautiful, silky coat provided protection against harsh, mountain conditions.

Also, they apparently make excellent doctors.

6. Vikings loved to take their Norwegian Elkhounds along on their voyages.

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Another ancient breed, Norwegian Elkhounds were actually bred to take down elk. Of course, they sailed with Vikings. They’re awesome.

7. Rose may have let go of Jack, but a Pekingese named Sun Yat-sen survived the sinking of the Titanic.

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This little guy was bred for the sole purpose of amusing Chinese royalty. They’re so tiny, they could be carried in the sleeves of their royal gowns. Bonus points for epic survival skills.

8. Anatolian Shepard Dogs can intimidate wolves, which was useful after the passage of the Endangered Species Act protected wolves from being hunted.

Bred to protect livestock in and around Turkey, they were later brought to the U.S. to work on ranches. They chased the f*cking wolves off, man. Nice.

9. Kate Hudson had a Chinese Crested in “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”.

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Guys love these dogs because they act like cats. Kidding. They do act like cats, though. They also have crested hair-dos.

10. St. Bernards are sweet and helpful – not at all like Cujo, much more like Beethoven.

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St. Bernards were originally bred as rescue dogs in the Alps for pilgrims making the trek over to Rome.

I suppose if a St. Bernard were to contract rabies, then it could become a murderous, horrific mess. But mostly they are very sweet.

11. Chihuahuas are so tiny, they will fit in your purse.

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They love only one person, and that is you, dear owner, and you alone. Anyone else is shit. They also get cold easily.