17 Dog Myths That Are Totally Untrue

Dogs are one of America’s most beloved pets, so it’s no surprise that we hear a lot of things about them. But did you know that a lot of the things people commonly say about dogs aren’t actually true? Let’s put these 17 dog myths to bed once and for all.

Spaying or Neutering Early is Always Best

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In the past, people were commonly advised to spay or neutetheir dogs as young as possible to prevent future behavioral issues. However, thankfully, more dog specialists are spreading the word that, in many cases, it can actually be more damaging to do so earlier rather than later. This is especially true for fearful or aggressive pups, as the surgery may exacerbate their issues.

Dogs Only Eat Grass When Sick

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It’s a commonly held belief that if your dog is eating grass, that’s a sure sign that he or she is feeling sick. But the truth is that dogs often eat grass for various reasons besides illness, including enjoying the taste or searching for fiber.

Treats as Bribes Improve Training

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We all know that most dogs can’t resist a good treat. But that doesn’t mean we should be bribing them with food every time we want them to do something. Treats are best used as rewards and combined with other training methods for the best results.

Purebred Dogs Are Smarter

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There’s a lot of unnecessary stigma around “mutts” and purebred dogs, with many people thinking that purebred dogs are naturally superior and smarter than mixed breeds. In actuality, genetic diversity can enhance a dog’s health and intelligence. According to a project at the California State Science Fair, mixed breeds are actually smarter than purebreds on average.

A Dog’s Mouth is Cleaner Than a Human’s

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Most of us will have heard at some point that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s, but this isn’t necessarily the case. While canine saliva is slightly more alkaline than human saliva, it’s not considered antibacterial.

Old Dogs Can’t Learn New Tricks

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You’ve probably heard the saying that an old dog can’t learn new tricks. But this simply isn’t fair to our older canine companions. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, age does not prevent dogs from learning new skills and tricks.

Dogs Should Eat Like Wolves

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Some people believe that a dog’s diet should ideally closely resemble the diet of their wild ancestors. While both species are primarily carnivorous and share many similarities, dogs have evolved to have significantly different dietary needs than wolves.

Rubbing a Dog’s Nose in Accidents is Effective

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Some people believe that if your dog has an accident indoors, rubbing their nose in it will effectively prevent it from repeating the behavior. However, this is a myth that could actually do more harm than good in the long run. According to American Humane, it may make your dog fearful of you and exacerbate behavioral issues.

Dominance Training is Essential

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Quite a few dog trainers preach the importance of making sure that your dog knows you’re the “alpha” of the family. However, while it’s possible that some dogs’ issues stem from their desire for dominance, this training method is now commonly considered outdated and unnecessary.

Two Puppies at Once for Companionship

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Many people believe that raising two puppies together is the best option for ensuring that both dogs are well-socialized and healthy. But in actuality, this can often lead to training challenges and being overly dependent on one another. While this certainly can be done in a healthy way, it’s not a better option than a dog raised on its own.

Love Solves All Behavioral Issues

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Some dog owners mistakenly think that as long as they show their dogs enough love and affection, they’ll be free from behavioral issues. But on the contrary, limitless indulgence can actually create more problems in the long run. Training and boundary reinforcement are essential aspects of raising a happy, well-trained dog.

Dogs Age Seven Years for Every Human Year

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We’ve all heard of the phrase “dog years,” and many people make the generalization that dogs age seven years for every human year. In reality, this varies significantly among different breeds and sizes.

Tail Wagging Always Means Happiness

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Tail wagging is a universal sign of doggy joy. But that doesn’t mean that a dog is happy every time it wags its tail. A wagging tail can be used to express a variety of emotions, including anxiety and insecurity.

Physical Exercise is the Only Need

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Some people overlook the numerous needs every dog has, mistakenly believing that all they need to be happy and healthy is food and physical exercise. However, mental stimulation is also incredibly important for dogs, making puzzle toys and games a great option for keeping your pup happy.

Dry and Warm Nose Indicates Illness

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There’s a commonly believed myth that the dryness or warmth of a dog’s nose is an indicator that it’s probably sick. However, there’s no evidence that these factors can be used to reliably tell whether a dog is healthy or not.

Avocado is Deadly for Dogs

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There are many things in our kitchens that are unsafe for our canine friends to consume. But contrary to popular belief, avocado isn’t one of them. It’s actually the pit, rather than the pulp or skin itself, that’s toxic to dogs.

Shaving a Dog Cools It Down

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While it may seem like a logical assumption that shaving a dog could help keep it cool in the warmer months, this is a false belief. A dog’s fur helps it regulate its temperature, and shaving it off can actually be harmful to its health.

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18 Misunderstood Acts The Bible Says Aren’t Actually Sins

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