All dog lovers think that they know a lot about dogs. But sometimes, most of what people think about canines is actually not true. They are only myths which have been passed on from person to person by word of mouth. They have no scientific proof as. These myths originate because people themselves try to explain certain behavioral patterns of dogs. Since dogs cannot talk, there is no way of knowing what is on their mind or what the motive behind their actions might be. Hence the simplest way people find is to assume.
Top myths about Canines
1. Only happy dogs wag their tails
When dogs are happy they do wag their tails but this might not be the case always. To them, wagging their tail is a sign of aggression or excitement. A dog that wags his tail slowly and moves his rear end or crouches down in the classic “play bow” position is usually a friendly dog. Tails that are wagged when held higher, twitches or wagging while held over the back may be associated with aggression.
2. Dogs understand what is being said to them
This is partially true. Generally, dogs have the capacity of understanding about 500 human words. So when we talk to them, they focus on just a few familiar words and decide on how to behave by ascertaining the tone of our voice, our facial expressions and our language.
3. Dogs that growl and bite are ferocious.
When dogs growl or bite it is a sign that they are scared and nervous. They feel threatened and will stop behaving like this when the threat is gone. So we must try to understand what the dog is trying to say and try not to intimidate him.
4. Dogs feel guilty
Dogs never experience guilt. When they have made a mistake and they put their ears down, tail between their feet and have a sad look on their face, it is not because they are aware of their fault. That is because they notice from your body language that you are angry and they only want to calm you down and escape punishment.
5. Training requires punishment
Punishment is never the way to teach anybody to behave, be it humans or dogs. The idea of rewarding them when they do something correctly is the best way to train them. Dogs do not understand the rules of the human world. So we must treat them with love and kindness.
6. Dogs can only see in black and white
Although dogs have limited color vision they are not colorblind. Their vision is very different from human vision. A dog’s color vision leans more on the blue zone of the color spectrum. It is difficult for them to see oranges, reds and green. But they can very well perceive yellows, blues and violets.
7. Warm noses indicate sickness
It is often believed that a dog’s nose must always be wet. However, this need not be the case. Sometimes they do tend to have warm and dry noses and this does not necessarily mean that they are sick. When dogs wake up their noses are warm and dry. The only way to find out if dogs are sick is to measure their temperature with a thermometer or to take them to the vet.
8. Female dogs must have a litter before they are spayed
There is no health difference between dogs that are spayed with or without having littered before. All spayed dogs are at a lesser risk of contracting breast cancer or uterine diseases.
9. One dog year equals seven human years
This is an absolutely incorrect way to measure a dog’s age. Dogs age quickly during their first two years and then their aging slows down. The measurement of age for each dog is different depending upon its breed and size. Bigger dogs tend to mature slower than small dogs although their lifespan is shorter than that of small dogs. Mixed breeds tend to live longer due to greater genetic diversity while some pure breeds are prone to diseases.
10. You can never teach an old dog new tricks
Older dogs may not possess the energy or reflexes of young dogs but they have more experience and a better attention span. Although it may not be simple to teach an old dog new tricks, with patience from its trainer that can be accomplished.
11. All dogs like to be hugged and petted on their head
Having another animal’s “paws” on them is a sign of the former’s dominance to dogs. So not all dogs may like that. But some of them do.
12. Licking wounds is better for healing
When dogs lick their wounds, it does help them to a certain extent. But if there is too much of licking then that may cause infections and actually hinder the process of healing. So it is better to stop your dog when he is excessively licking his wounds.
These are few of the many things that cause people to have a wrong impression about their dogs. I’m sure that all of us have had at least one of the above misconceptions. Therefore we must always base our thinking only on prior and proved research.