24 Myths About Dogs

24 Myths About Dogs

You've heard them everywhere and even read them on the internet. There are so many myths about dogs that millions of people still know to be true. 

But with tons of new research and with dogs becoming more and more popular in homes, there are quite a few dog myths that have been debunked. Let's take a look at 24 myths about our furry friends and how they've been proven wrong.

Debunked Myths About Dogs 

  1. One Dog Year Equals Seven Human Years - This one is probably the most widespread dog myth, but did you know that there's no scientific evidence that proves it? With so many different factors that calculate how long a dog lives, like size and breed, there's no definitive answer for how long your dog believes a year to be. The American Kennel Club teaches dog owners how to accurately tell their dogs age with their easy-to-read chart.  
  2. You Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks - While this saying is often used as a metaphor, many dog owners still believe that senior dogs can't learn new things. While a puppy learns tricks and commands faster, dogs of all ages can learn as long as they are given proper motivation and have the chance to practice multiple times a day. 

  3. Dogs and Cats Hate Each Other - We've all seen a dog chasing a cat on television or in a movie. However, there is no objective evidence that suggests that dogs and cats naturally detest one another. While cats and dogs may be wary of each other when they are first introduced in the same home, cats and dogs typically get along just fine.
  4. A Dry Nose Indicates That Your Dog is Sick - While there are a few illnesses where a dog could experience a dry nose, there's no need for panic when their nose lacks moisture. Unless other symptoms accompany their dry nose, there's no need to call the vet. 
  5. Dogs Only See in Black and White - The myth that dogs are colorblind started in the 1930s when Will Judy remarked that dogs only see in varying shades of black and grey. Recent studies have proven that dogs can see colors, but just a specific and small spectrum of colors. 
  6. Playing Tug of War Can Make a Dog Aggressive - We're not sure where this myth started, but it's not exactly true. With proper training and by setting some ground rules by teaching your pup what is right and wrong, tug of war can be a fun game for your furry friend. It's also a good exercise for your dog and can help the two of you bond as you play. 
  7. It's Good For the Wound When a Dog Licks It - While a dog's saliva does contain some antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, licking a wound can do more harm than good. "Why?" you may ask. Well, licking can reopen wounds and lead to irritation which can later turn into serious infections. If your pup has an open wound, do your best to keep your dog from licking it. 
  8. Dogs Eat Grass If They Are Sick - You might notice that your dog enjoys the occasional roughage, but there's no need for concern here. Some evidence suggests that dogs eating grass is actually good for them as it can add fiber to their diet. If grass eating becomes a problem, talk to your veterinarian about your concerns to see if you can add something to their diet for more fiber. 

  9. Thick Fur Coats Keep Dogs Protected from the Cold - Admit it, there's nothing quite like watching our dog run and play in the snow. And while we love to see a pup having a good time, dogs are still susceptible to getting frostbite on their paws, nose, and other areas where their coats aren't so thick. Let your doggy enjoy the snow, just not for too long!
  10. Some Dog Breeds Are More Aggressive Than Others - Of all the myths about dogs,  this one can be frustrating. Breeds like pit bulls and rottweilers get a bad rap for being aggressive, but it comes down to proper training and socialization in reality. Any dog can have aggressive tendencies without adequate socialization. Our take on the subject: all dogs are friendly dogs with the proper training. 
  11. Spaying or Neutering Your Dog is a Bad Thing - If your goal is to breed a healthy dog with another healthy dog, have at it! If you do not have breeding intentions, having your dog fixed is entirely normal and even encouraged by vets
  12. You Need to be the Alpha in the Human-Dog Relationship - The idea of being the "alpha" comes from the notion that dogs are descendants of wolves. However, studies have shown that dogs don't necessarily respond to an alpha as much as they would to a parental figure that takes care of them. While it's imperative to train your dog, you do not have to do so in a way that demonstrates dominance. 
  13. All Dog Bones Are Suitable For Dogs - This is one of the most common myths about dogs that are still widely accepted as truth. The truth is, some dog bones, such as rawhide, can be harmful to your dog's digestive system, while other dog bones can be too hard for their teeth. As a rule of thumb, always do your research before giving your dog anything outside their normal diet. 
  14. There's No Need to Brush a Dog's Teeth - Just like humans, dogs can have gum and teeth issues. Periodontal disease is pretty common amongst dogs but can be easily prevented by frequent teeth brushing. You can brush their teeth at home, have their teeth brushed at the groomers, or give them a treat or toy that's designed to "brush" their teeth. 
  15. Your Dog Is Destructive When You're Away to Get Back at You - Many pet experts will tell you that dogs do not act out of spite simply because they don't think with that amount of complexity. If your dog is destructive or has accidents in the house while you are gone, this may be a sign of separation anxiety.
  16. Dogs Wag Their Tails When They Are Happy or Excited - Don't you just love it when your dog wags their tail when they see you? In this instance, your furry friend is most likely wagging their tail out of happiness and excitement. However, dogs use their tails to communicate a range of emotions. These emotions include joy, nervousness and anxiety, and submission. When your dog is relaxed, his or her tail will also be. Look for the position of the tail when interpreting the emotions of a dog. Holding their tail down and wagging means they feel anxious or threatened. A high wagging tail indicates excitement. And a curious dog will likely hold their tail straight out.  
  17. Big Dogs Can't Live in Apartments - It's easy to think that big dogs want more space, but realistically, they just want more exercise. If you live in an apartment building and are looking to adopt a big dog, you totally can. Just make sure to do your research on the breed and how much exercise they require. Then make sure to fulfill those requirements daily, especially in those puppy years when they have the most energy!
  18. All Large Dogs Make for Good Guard Dogs - While there are large dog breeds that make for good home protection, not all large dogs are ideal for that role. There are many friendly large dog breeds like golden retrievers, labradors, sheepdogs, and collies that are much more affectionate than protective. While these types of pups will end up becoming your best friend, they probably won't be the best option for alerting you when you're in danger. Other large dogs like german shepherds and mastiffs, among others, make for great protective companions.   
  19. Two Dogs of the Same Breed Will Have Similar Personalities - The breed of a dog does not determine your pet's personality. Like humans, individual dogs develop their own personalities over the first few years of their life. While dogs within a breed have similarities, not all of them will have the same mannerisms. While training your dog can get them to behave the way you want them to; make sure you love and embrace their personality. After all, your pup sure does love you for you!

  20. Treats are the Only Means of Motivation for a Dog - Let's say you're out and about with your dog, and you feel that it's time to reward them. But wait, you forgot the treats at home. That's okay! There are non-food rewards that dogs respond to as well. Some dogs enjoy physical affection as their reward (think scratches behind their ears or belly rubs). Others enjoy going on walks. In contrast, some dogs respond really well to toys. If you're looking to cut back on the number of treats, you give your dog while training them, try out these non-food rewards and learn for yourself what your dog responds to. 
  21. Indoor Dogs Don't Need Heartworm Prevention and Vaccinations - While your dog might spend most of his or her time indoors, there's always a need to go outdoors. Whether it's for exercise or to simply go to the bathroom, your dog will likely have interactions with other pets and animals more than you might even realize. To protect your furry friend and others, make sure to take your dog to routine checkups and keep their vaccines and heartworm prevention up to date.
  22. Rescue Dogs Aren't Trainable Because They're Set in Their Ways - Going back to the myth that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Well, it turns out you can! While rescue dogs may take more time to adjust and learn new things, they are still trainable with the right amount of effort. So take in that rescue dog and get to work!
  23. Letting Your Dog Outside is the Equivalent of Giving Them Exercise - Depending on your dog, they'll likely need a good amount of exercise, especially in the first few years of their life. While letting your dog outside to run around for a few minutes might temporarily wear them out, you should know that most breeds require more than a few minutes of exercise per day. Dog owners report that running, walking, and hiking with a dog are great forms of exercise and will even give time to bond between you and your dog. For the days when it's too cold, play fetch, tug-of-war, or work on teaching them new tricks indoors until your pup is properly worn out. 
  24. Punishment Fixes Bad Behavior - Last but not least; this is one of those myths about dogs that is all too common in the dog community. Instead of punishing your dog, studies have found that they are more likely to respond to positive reinforcement. For example, if you catch your dog doing something naughty, like getting into a trash can, swiftly tell them "no!" and demand their attention. Once your dog is calm, give them a chew toy which is what they should have been playing with all along. When you find them enjoying their chew toy, give them positive reinforcement, like a simple "good boy/girl" accompanied by a friendly pat on their head. 

Shop with Plush Paws Products 

At Plush Paws, we are all about the health and wellness of your furry friend, even if that means we have to disprove some myths about dogs for you. Check out our line of car seat covers that can help protect both your car seats and your pup. You can also shop our line of health products, specially created for keeping your dog happy and healthy! We're passionate about all dogs, no matter the breed, size, or location; that's why we ship worldwide and have products that are suitable for every dog. Shop Plush Paws Products today!

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