Over the past thousand years, men and dogs have lived together. We have gained a better understanding of their behavior.
Dogs are our secret keepers, colleagues, and best friends. And we just love our fur pals so much. They are our family, we share a special bond with them.
They have spent so much time with people that it makes sense that we’ve developed some myths about them. Typical humans!
You know that your dog is the cutest, funniest, most lovable pooch on the planet, but there’s probably a lot you don’t know about man’s best friend. Over the decades, a surprising amount of misinformation has been repeated enough about furry little creatures to make it seem like fact.
You can call them legends or even “old wives tales”, but don’t call them facts. Some of these sayings about dogs have been around for centuries. In reality, many are simply myths that amount to bad advice. Whether it’s fodder from the neighbors or beliefs that passed down through the generations, some dog myths are just that – myths, not truths.
People believe these absurd myths and follow them religiously, which can be really dangerous both for them and for their dogs.
How many dog myths have you heard over your lifetime? I’m sure a lot!
For every fact about dogs out there, there’s a litter of dog myths running around.
So, here I separate fact from fiction and debunk some of the most common dog myths.
1. Dogs Only See in Black, White, And Gray
It was once believed that dogs could see only in black and white (and shades of gray). Many people still think this is the case. It is difficult to know where this myth came from since none of us can see what a dog sees.
There is no evidence behind the origins of this famous, but maybe this is because of the old science.
It is possible that scientists came to the conclusion that the dogs see in black and white before they fully understood the canine eye (or even the human eye for that matter) and the function of cones.
We have seen many movies trying to convince us that dogs are completely colorblind, that actually is not true. They are partially colorblind. Although they can’t see the world the way we can see, the canine retina does contain 2 of the 3 photo receptor types necessary to see colors.
Our fur pal can see several colors, including different saturation of blue, yellow and gray. Hence, they are not completely colorblind.
2. Nose Tells About The Health of The Dog
This one is probably the biggest dog health-related myth around. Somewhere along the line, people came to the conclusion that a wet and cold nose implies the good health of the dog, and a warm and dry nose means the dog is sick.
This is simply not true. Wetness, dryness, and temperature of your dog’s nose can vary with normal daily activities. The temperature and moistness have nothing to do with your dog’s health. It also can not indicate whether or not your fur pal has a fever or not.
Dryness can also be due to allergies, sunburn, or dehydration, and some dogs’ nose tends to get dryer as they age.
A dog’s nose is often dry and/or warm if he has just woken up, and this is perfectly normal.
However, the dog’s nose health is not concerning, if you notice your pet’s nose is constantly dry, cracking or running (not simply wet), make an appointment with your veterinarian.
3. A Dog’s Mouth Is Cleaner Than a Person’s Mouth
NO! Of all the myths you hear, don’t believe this one at all! Dogs explore their world with their mouths and noses, and because of that, there’s no telling what’s been in your dog’s mouth that very day. Just think about where that mouth has been.
And if your dog is like mine, litter box treats are his favorite snacks.
This myth originated probably from the observation when dogs lick their wounds, they seem to heal faster. In reality, this happens not because of the dog’s clean mouth but because the process of licking debrides away the damaged and dead tissues and stimulates the blood flow. This, in turn, promotes faster healing.
A dog’s mouth is a fairly equal amount of bacteria. But, dogs lick many things that most people would not want on or near their face.
Most dogs are willing to lick their own or other dogs’ nether regions and eat anything from the ground.
It is unlikely that your dog’s mouth is cleaner than yours.
4. One Dog Year Equals Seven Dog Years
This generalization is not true at all. This fuzzy formula would mean that a ten-year-old dog is comparable to a seventy-year-old human.
It takes less than a year for a dog to reach the adult stage, and after that, it takes nearly six years for it to move on to the mature stage of its life.
Dogs age faster than humans when they are young and this rate slows down as they age. This formula is just an over-simplified way of describing the rate at which a dog ages.
5. Dogs Wag Their Tails When They’re Happy
If you think your dog is showing you how pleased he is that you’re home when slaps his tail from side to side; you may be right. But, a wag represents a lot more than that.
This common misconception can lead to an unfortunate dog bite. Yes, dogs tend to wag their tails when they are excited and happy, but it can also mean alertness, or it can signal fear, anxiety or be prelude to aggression. Canine body language is complex and can be misinterpreted.
So, rather than looking just at the tail, it is best to pay attention to a dog’s overall body language to determine its mood.
Better yet, never approach a dog that you do not know or without the permission of the owner.
6. Old Dogs Can’t Learn New Tricks
Perhaps the most famous myth is an older dog’s inability to learn anything new. This is absolutely incorrect. Pups’ brains soak up new information like sponges and they learn very quickly but, while it takes a little longer, you can certainly train an adult dog.
Old dogs can learn new things, they just don’t want to. Just like us, as our fur pal grows old, they can get less interested in learning new activities. Also, some older dogs have decreased vision and hearing or joint issues which can make training a little more difficult.
But with time and patience, your older dog should be able to learn any trick a younger dog can, just within the limitations of their physical ability.
Dogs learn best with motivation, so grab some high value, tasty treats like chicken and hot dogs, and get ready to praise the good work.
7. It’s Ok to Leave Your Dog in a Car With The Windows Down
A Big NO to this one! It is never okay to leave your dog in a hot car, even with the windows down. Never ever.
The temperature inside a parked car can become extremely hot or extremely cold, very fast. Heatstroke or freezing are both very real risks, and having the windows open doesn’t make a difference.
Remember, these are your fur children, and just like human children, never leave them unattended in a locked car.
8. Dogs Eat Grass When They Are Sick
It is true that some dogs often eat grass when they are sick or nauseous. However, many dogs eat grass due to some other including boredom, displacement behavior, and opportunity. Some dogs just like eating grass because it is fun and tastes good.
So, as long as your dog is eating small amounts of grass and it does not make them sick, there’s no need to worry.
9. Tug of War Causes Aggression
There has been much debate over playing tug of war with your dog. Some say it causes aggression and dominant nature in dogs. But the truth is just the opposite.
Many dogs truly enjoy playing tug-o-war, and there is nothing wrong with that. It is a healthy display of their predatory nature and an excellent mental and physical workout.
Though a game can go out of control, remember your dog is just playing rough, not acting out of aggression towards you. If you don’t like the style of the game, stop immediately and let your pup calm down.
These myths are made and circulated by us, humans. They are like rumors, so don’t believe these myths and have a playful life with four-legged fur love. No matter what we think about dogs, there is no denying that they provide us with unconditional love and comfort. For this very reason we can find a rise in people with an emotional support dog these days