Dog ownership is rewarding but it can be challenging. Sorting out fact from fiction is crucial for your and your dog’s health and happiness. By busting these ten myths about dog ownership, you’ll make your life (and your dog’s) much easier.
As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to take care of your animals to the best of your ability. From how your dog communicates to dog aggression and skill learning in old age, these ten myths cover nearly every aspect of dog ownership.
Dog breeders are unethical
Many dog lovers claim that all dog breeders are unethical. While it’s impossible to judge every dog breeder with the same terms, many dog breeders, like Snowy Pines White Labradors, focus on providing their animals with outstanding veterinary care, enough space to run and play, training, socialization, and a balanced diet.
Some dog breeds are always aggressive
Many people believe that certain dog breeds are always aggressive. This myth about dog ownership is widespread and still proves popular today.
Despite what you might’ve heard, dogs of a specific breed are not necessarily aggressive. Due to their depiction in television and movies, breeds like pitbulls, rottweilers, German shepherds, and other large breeds are often considered dangerous.
The truth is that it isn’t the dog breed that makes an animal aggressive. It’s how the dog has been treated throughout its life, its situation from one moment to the next, lack of socialization, poor training, and more.
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks
You may have heard that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. This age-old adage is entirely untrue. It certainly is possible to teach an old dog new tricks.
Many vets recommend that you at least attempt to train your dog. Helping an older dog learn a new trick, or experience something new, will keep their mind sharp and active. Interactive toys are another great way to keep an older dog active.
It’s easy to tell when a dog is sick
Thinking it is easy to know when a dog is sick is another myth that, if true, would make dog ownership far easier. In reality, you’re not going to be able to tell whether or not your dog is sick from how they behave.
Your dog may act entirely normal despite doing something wrong. It’s not in their instinct to show weakness when they’re not feeling 100%. It’s critical to bring your dog to the vet regularly and have a vet tell you how healthy it is, rather than interpreting your dog’s body language.
A dog wagging its tail is happy
Dogs wagging their tail to show happiness is another widespread myth that is, unfortunately, not true. Although it might seem like it, from popular depictions of dogs in television and movies, a dog wagging their tail is not always happy.
It often indicates excitement or joy, but, in other instances, a dog might wag their tail out of fear or when they’re on guard. For example, if their tail wags slowly to the left, they may feel agitated.
Making sure you have a solid grasp of your dog’s body language is one of the best ways to learn how to communicate with them. You might interpret tail wagging as a sign that they’re happy, but they’re trying to tell you they’re afraid of something.
Only bad dogs bite
You may have also heard that any dog that bites is a bad dog. This myth has plagued many a sweet pup who, in a moment of fear, has lashed out. Just because a dog bites or tries to bite doesn’t mean they’re aggressive or bad.
Like all creatures, dogs feel fear and may react in a way that surprises you when they do. If your dog feels threatened or as though someone is threatening you, they might lash out and try to defend themselves or you. If your dog has a habit of trying to bite new people or even you when they’re scared, some consistent training is likely to help.
For the safety of yourself and others, if your dog has a bite history, it’s a good idea to muzzle them in public or at the veterinarian’s office, where they might be stressed.
It’s okay for a dog to eat table scraps
All pups get a scrap or two from the table every once in a while but only feeding your dog table scraps or always letting them clean your plates is not the way to go. Dogs have a very different diet from humans, and feeding them this way can result in health issues as they age.
You should always stop your dog from barking
Barking can be a serious annoyance, especially in an apartment complex or suburban neighborhood. All dog owners have found themselves annoyed at their own or a neighbor’s pet at one time or another.
Barking may seem like something you should prevent, without any exception, but, in reality, dogs do not need to be prohibited from barking altogether. They use it as a way of expressing themselves, whether that be fear or joy.
Getting angry at your pup for using their only language will not improve your relationship. Instead, if your dog seems to be barking unnecessarily, especially at night, reward good behavior, take them to a training class, and try to understand that barking is the only way they know how to talk to you or express themselves.
One dog year is seven human years
You might be surprised to learn that a dog’s age is not accurately calculated based on humanity’s perception of time. The rate one dog ages will not be the same as the next. Dog breeds, large and small, have shorter and longer lifespans. Saying that your dog is seven years old in human years doesn’t make sense when you look at it from afar.
Also Read This: Five Best Dog Breeds for Seniors
Dogs don’t see color
So, can dogs see color? We often hear that they can’t. However, this common myth is not true. Dogs can see color, but they have fewer color receptors in their eyes than human beings do. Some of the colors are less vibrant, and they may not be able to see quite as many colors, like red and green.
Many myths have plagued dog owners for years. Some of these can be highly detrimental to the chance a specific animal has to be adopted and how dogs are cared for at home.
Knowing and dismissing these myths is one way to improve your relationship with your pup and ensure they have a great life.