Unfortunately, misinformation is a phenomenon that has been haunting the dog world for some time now. People love to widely share their thoughts about important dog topics and claim they are telling the absolute truth, when clearly, that’s not the case.
This is extremely dangerous, because although some people might see the difference between a dog myth and a dog fact, not everyone does, and it can result in them following certain tips that can be harmful for their pups.
Although it’s not our mission to address every single dog myth there is in just one article, we do want to talk about the most common ones.
1. An old dog can’t learn new tricks
We have all heard this statement at least one in our lives. Many people claim that dogs can only acquire certain habits and learn certain lessons during their puppy, and this couldn’t be further from the truth.
The first months of life definitely are extremely important on a dog's learning and socialization journey, but this doesn’t mean that if they don’t learn everything they need to during this time, they won’t be able to do so in the future.
Regardless of a dog’s age, they can always learn new tricks. It might take you a little bit more practice, but that’s far from it being impossible. So if you didn’t teach your dog how to give the paw or sit then they were puppies, grab their favorite treats and start some training sessions. It’s never too late.
2. You need to be your dog’s pack leader
There are mainly two currents of dog training: the one based on positive reinforcement and the one based on dominance. Needless to say, we believe that the positive reinforcement technique brings much better results and is far more beneficial for our dogs.
The studies that back-up the dominance based training were done over 50 years ago, and were done with captive wolves. Surely this can’t be the information in which we base our relationship with our dogs.
Pack of wolves do have a leader, and dogs do descend from wolves, but clearly not everything is the same. A dog probably won’t see you as a pack leader just because you eat your dinner before you let your dog eat theirs.
3. Dogs can only see in black and white
For many years, it was believed that our furry best friends could only see the world in black white, which sounds pretty depressing, right? Luckily, this is just another dog myth that we have grown to believe.
Dogs do see the world in a different way, they don’t see as many colors and shades as we do, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t see color at all. Although it’s not easy for scientists to identify exactly what colors dogs see, they have determined a list of potentials: some shades of yellow, blue, green and brown.
If you are interested in how dogs’ sight works, you can definitely check out this article we wrote about it.
4. A dry nose means sickness
If you see that your dog has a dry nose, you don’t have to rush them to the vet, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are sick.
A dry nose can be a symptom of some health issues, but if that’s the case, then it definitely will be accompanied by some other symptoms, such as a runny nose. If you feel like your dog might be going through something, then a quick trip to the vet won’t hurt. But don’t think that if your dog has a dry nose, there has to be something wrong with them.
What is more, each dog’s nose’s wetness varies, not all snouts look the same. If your pup is prone to having a dry nose, then it shouldn’t be anything to worry about.
You can also learn more about this topic in this article.
5. Dogs only yawn when they’re tired
Although yawning when tired is one of the most common scenarios, it definitely isn’t the only one. Believe it or not, yawning is a typical sign of stress and anxiety in dogs.
Dogs express their emotion through their body language. If you are in a park full of dogs and your dog is sitting next to you, with their ears down and yawning, they are probably not enjoying themselves.
The same applies to every situation, there isn’t a general rule. You’ll know if your dog’s yawning because they are stressed because they’ll probably show other signs.
6. Dogs don’t need to have their teeth cleaned
This couldn’t be further from the truth. If a dog’s teeth aren’t cleaned, it can lead to severe conditions such as gum disease, and some uncomfortable ones such as bad breath.
The best thing is that cleaning your dog’s teeth can be extremely easy. Using a toothbrush could be an option, but some pups don’t feel comfortable with this technique. What you can do instead is use dental wipes since they are super easy to use and most dogs love them.What you must not under any circumstance is using human toothpaste, since it contains xylitol, which is extremely toxic for dogs.