Myths. Fables, Legends… old wives’ tales … call them what ya will…. But this is Animal Facts, so we’re gonna call ‘em busted…. Like a can of biscuits. It’s highly likely that you’ve heard every myth on this list. Most of them you’ve probably believed at one time. You might still believe them. Here are ten myths about dogs that won’t go away. Let’s get to busting some Dog Myths.
Let’s get started. But, before we start, take a moment to like and subscribe for more fun, fauna facts.
10. Playing Tug-A-War with Your Dog Can Cause Aggression
Actually, the truth is quite the opposite. It is a healthy display of your dog’s predatory nature and an excellent mental and physical workout. Tug-of-war is a great way to reinforce a bond with your canine companion.
According to many professional dog trainers, Tug-of-War actually decreases aggression and other dominant behaviors in dogs, acting as a vent for pent-up energy.
Your dog may truly enjoy playing tug-of-war, and there is nothing wrong with that.
9. Your Female Dog Should Have One Litter Before Being Spayed
Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.
There is no reason your dog should be bred once before being spayed. And, no, you don’t need to wait for a heat cycle.
In fact, spaying a dog after she has gone into heat or had a litter can raise surgery risks. According to Jim Young DVM, by allowing her to have a litter or her first heat cycle, you increase her risk of mammary cancer, uterine infections, and ovarian tumors.
Listen, there are enough unwanted dogs that die abandoned or euthanized. Let’s put this myth to sleep for good.
8. If A Dog is Wagging His Tail, He is Happy
Your dog’s body language can be quite complex. We can compare it to a language where you know some of the words, but that’s it.
Yes, wagging his tail may mean he is happy. But it can sometimes be a sign of fear, anxiety, or another potential precursor to aggression.
You should pay attention to a dog’s overall body language to determine its mood, not just his tail.
7. You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks
We’re not sure this one even applies to dogs anymore. It seems it’s more often used to discuss a stubborn person, more than for dogs. But, none the less, it’s false.
While it may not be as easy to teach new things to an older dog, it can be done.
Unless your dog suffers from cognitive dysfunction (which is basically senility), as long as you can keep his attention and not exceed any physical limitations, older dogs are perfectly trainable.
6. Dog Myths: Your Dog Ages Seven Years for Every Human Year
Some suggest this one may have been a marketing ploy more than a myth to start. A veterinarian at Kansas State University told The Wall Street Journal: “It was a way to encourage owners to bring in their pets at least once a year.”
Nonetheless, this myth has persisted and is inaccurate on a few levels. In reality, the first year of your dog’s life may see him maturing as much as a human does in 15-18 years.
Secondly, the rate at which your dog matures and, ultimately, how long he lives depends largely on the size of the breeds, along with other factors. But, your dog does see the effects of age less rapidly after the first year or two.
And keep in mind that your one-year-old dog can reproduce. A 7-year-old human – not so much.
5. Your Dog Eat Grass to Make Himself Vomit
We’ve covered this one before. Indeed, dogs will often throw up after eating a lot of grass.
Some experts believe that your dog’s taste for grass goes back to the days when a wild canine would eat his prey’s stomach contents, which was usually plants like grass and leaves.
Or, t could be just because he likes the taste. But, he doesn’t eat it to make himself puke.
4. Your Dog Sees in Black and White
Many people still believe that dogs only see in black and white or shades of gray.
No, your dog doesn’t see color the way you do. As a matter of fact, he sees color more strongly on the blue side of the spectrum. His vision, or at least his ability to see color more closely, resembles red-green colorblindness.
Your dog also doesn’t observe detail as much as you do, but if something moves, he’s on it.
3. Dog Myths: A Dog in the Pound or Shelter is Damaged Goods
We can’t say we’ve ever heard anyone say this out loud, but actions speak louder than words with some myths.
A myriad of reasons a dog can find himself behind bars, from simply wandering off to finding himself in an abusive home.
Many dog rescue organizations have foster programs and socialize dogs before they become eligible for adoption. Volunteers may come in to spend time with these abandoned pooches to help them transition from shelter life to forever homes.
As a matter of fact, you may find that a rescue is much easier to live with than a puppy as many are housebroken, and most have reached maturity.
Both of our dogs Brody and Maisy, are rescues. Both are amazing.
2. Your Dog’s Mouth Is Cleaner Than a Human’s
You’ve probably been told this once or twice by the owner of a dog that was a bit too eager to give kisses.
Your dog’s mouth contains plenty of germs, not to mention other “icky” things, and we’re pretty sure that most Animal Facts viewers don’t dine from the garbage can or sample the delicacies in the litter box.
Overall, your dog’s mouth contains more germs than you probably want to think about. But the good news is that the germs in his mouth are usually dog-specific and pose little risk to your health.
1. Dog Myths: A Dry Nose Means Your Dog is Sick
The “dog nose” myth has been around for ages, sometimes putting dog owners in a panic.
Here’s the truth: The temperature or moisture of your dog’s nose is less than a good indicator of anything. Your healthy dog may have a warm or dry nose while a sick dog could still have a cold, wet nose.
Your dog keeps his nose cold and wet by licking. The moisture on the nose helps intensify scents and gives him the ability to determine which directions smells are coming from.
It is normal for a dog that has just woken up to have a dry nose. This is simply because your dog was not licking his nose in his sleep.
The bottom line on this myth: If your dog’s nose happens to be dry or warm, but he otherwise acts normal, don’t panic. However, you should contact your veterinarian if something doesn’t seem right with your dog.
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