Winter is almost over and Chinese New Year celebrations will begin on Friday 16 February. In China, and many countries around the globe, firecrackers will mark the start of the annual Spring Festival.

In the Chinese lunar calendar, twelve years represent a reincarnation and each year corresponds to an animal zodiac - this year it is the Year of the Dog.

As "man's best friend", dogs not only bring us laughter and faithful companionship, but the much-loved animals have also achieved many Guinness World Records titles.

We've curated a list of some of the world's most extraordinary canines, to celebrate the Chinese New Year in record-breaking style!

1. Loudest bark by a dog

A dog’s bark is probably the most favourable sound to hear in China during the Spring Festival, because the sound of the bark is similar to the character “旺”, which indicates the beginning of a thriving New Year in Chinese.

So be sure to remember golden retriever Charlie, who was noticed during a barking event and was his bark was measured at 113.1Db.

2. Tallest dog living (male)

Tallest living dog

The tallest dog living is 'Freddy', owned by Claire Stoneman (UK), who was 1.035 m (3 ft 4.75 in) tall when measured in Leigh-on-Sea, UK, on 13 September 2016.

It costs around £4,000 ($5,090) a year to feed Freddy, but as a young pup, "Freddy was such a poor eater," remembers Claire. "I tried everything. I suspect I rather spoiled him!"

3. Smallest living dog – height

The smallest dog alive, in terms of height, is a female Chihuahua called Milly, who measured 9.65 cm (3.8 in) tall on 21 February 2013 and is owned by Vanesa Semler of Dorado, Puerto Rico.

4. Longest tongue on a dog

The Longest tongue on a dog measures 18.58 cm (7.31 in) and belongs to Mochi, a female St. Bernard owned by Carla and Craig Rickert (both USA) and was measured in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA, on 25 August 2016.

Mochi was rescued by the Rickert family when she was two years old. "We love her unconditionally despite that crazy, long tongue that causes people to stare and laugh," said her owner Carla Rickert.

5. Longest tail on a dog

The Longest tail on a dog measures 76.8 cm (30.2 in), achieved by Keon who is owned by Ilse Loodts (both Belgium), in Westerlo, Belgium, on 18 August 2015. Keon is an Irish Wolfhound.

6. Smallest dog living - length

Smallest dog living length

The smallest dog in terms of length is Heaven Sent Brandy, a female chihuahua who measured 15.2 cm (6 in) from the nose to the tip of the tail on 31 January 2005.

Brandy lives with her owner, Paulette Keller in Largo, Florida, USA.

7. Most flying discs (Frisbees) caught and held in the mouth by a dog

Most flying discs caught and held in the mouth by a dog

Edward Watson's dog Rose can catch seven flying discs, thrown one at a time, and hold them all in her mouth at once!

But that’s not all a dog can hold in its mouth. Almost all dogs love tennis balls, and in 2003 a golden retriever from Dallas, Texas, USA, called Augie proved this by holding five in her mouth at the same time to earn the title for the Most tennis balls held in the mouth - dog.

8. Most balls caught by a dog with the paws in one minute

The Most balls caught by a dog with the paws in one minute is 14 and was achieved by Purin and her owner Makoto Kumagai (both Japan) in Sakura, Chiba, Japan, on 22 March 2015.

9. Fastest time to pop 100 balloons by a dog

The Fastest time to pop 100 balloons by a dogis 36.53 sec, and was achieved by Loughren Christmas Star (Toby) and Christie Springs (both Canada) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on 26 March 2017.

Twinkie (below) is a former record holder for this title and our video of her attempt has been viewed nearly 90 million times on our YouTube and Facebook channels!

10. Smallest service dog

Smallest service dog

The smallest service dog is Cupcake, a female long-haired chihuahua, who measured 15.87 cm (6.25 in) tall, 36.19 cm (14.25 in) in length from the tip of the nose to tip of the tail, and 26.67 cm (10.5 in) from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail.

Bonus record

Did you know?

The Animal photographed with the most celebrities is a White Maltese dog called 'ucky Diamond who was photographed with 359 different famous faces including Kim Kardashian, Kristen Stewart, Snoop Dogg and Richard Branson. 

The count was verified on 20 March 2012, shortly before Lucky Diamond passed away.

Kim Kardashian and Snoop Dogg with Lucky