Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Some are long and skinny, like the hot-dog-shaped dachshund. Some are huge and fluffy, like the Newfoundland (Newfie for short). There are golden retrievers, black labs, beagles like Snoopy, and other “breeds” or pure types of dogs. So our fans Leah and Greyson I. asked us, how many breeds are there? It’s not an easy number to pin down, but the World Canine Organization officially says there are 339 breeds. They group them into 10 groups, like herding dogs who work with sheep and cattle; retrievers, who fetch just like their name says; and toy dogs like the Chihuahua. The question is, which furry friend is the cutest?
Wee ones: Dogs walk on 4 legs. Get down on your hands and knees, and bark 5 times like a dog!
Little kids: Dogs have 2 eyes, 2 ears, 1 nose and 1 mouth. For how many of these do we people have the same number? Bonus: Dogs also have whiskers. If a dog has 7 whiskers on the left and 8 on the right, how many whiskers does it have?
Big kids: There are 339 breeds in 10 groups. If those groups were equal, about how many dog breeds would you have in each? Bonus: If you have 22 retrievers, and half are standing on their hind legs while the rest are standing on all 4 legs, how many paws are on the ground?
The sky’s the limit: If you have 100 dogs in a row, and every 4th one (starting with the 4th) is barking, every 5th one is sniffing, and every 6th one is wagging its tail, what’s the first number dog that is doing all 3 things?
Wee ones: Bark 1, 2, 3, 4, 5!
Little kids: We have the same number of all of them! 2, 2, 1 and 1. Bonus: 15 whiskers.
Big kids: About 34 in each, since there are about 340 breeds. Bonus: 66 paws.
The sky’s the limit: The 60th dog. The first number divisible by both 4 and 6 is 12, not 24, so then you just multiply that number by 5 to get the smallest number divisible by all 3 numbers.
Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.