Expelling 5 Myths You Thought Were True About Dogs

There are many beliefs and myths about dogs that we all, if not now, at some point believed were true. I remember being told that if you fill up soda bottles with water and leave them on the lawn the dogs won’t crap near them. Well, one of our dogs nearly crapped on top of it. So, lets look at some other myths about dogs that have been spread but are not true. Lets expel these 5 myths you thought were true about dogs:

Old dogs can’t learn new tricks

This has been ingrained in our lives since forever. Our grandparents told us about this saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Interestingly enough, this is one of the oldest idioms in the English language! No wonder we believe it. Apparently, it is from as early as 1546!

Where did this come from you may ask. Here is the first written record of it in old English:

and he [a shepherd] muste teche his dogge to barke whan he wolde haue hym, to ronne whan he wold haue hym, and to leue ronning whan he wolde haue hym; or els he is not a cunninge shepeherd. The dogge must lerne it, whan he is a whelpe, or els it will not be: for it is harde to make an olde dogge to stoupe. From John Fitzherbert’s The boke of husbandry, 1534. https://www.theidioms.com/you-cant-teach-an-old-dog-new-tricks/

Rather interesting to read. Old English is funny!

Since then it hasn’t changed much, except for the spelling. We have just always stuck with it, but in actual fact it is false. Old dogs can learn new behaviours. It may be hard to change their behaviour, for instance if your dog begs for food, trying to stop it doing that can be difficult. However, training it to do something completely new isn’t that hard. Give it a go! Here is a link to another blog of fun tricks to teach your dog.

I’ve also made this cool video of an old dog learning something completely new!

Dogs are colour-blind

You’ll often here people saying that dogs are colour-blind and that having colourful toys for your dog is pointless. Not so much. Dogs can in fact see colour, however, they can only see a limited spectrum of colours and not the broad variety humans can see.

This picture below shows the colours dogs can see:

Dog colour vision myth
Source: https://splashanddashfordogs.com/blog/can-dogs-see-color/

So the next time you go to buy your dog a toy focus mainly on blues and yellows. Here is an awesome blog on what toys to get for your dog.

One human year equals 7 dog years

This is another story we have always been told since we were kids. For every year a human lives it is equal to 7 dog years. Which means that your dog will turn 100 dog years when it is just over 14 human years of age. Now, many of you will be thinking well I know a dog that lived that long and yes there are humans that get there too. So, its not that far fetched to work it out that way. However, different size dogs age differently. Many smaller breeds live longer than larger breeds. A jack Russel for instance can live much longer than 14 years. While a great Dane or German shepherd will be extremely lucky to live to 12. As a result, the smaller breeds could be worked out to average out to about 17 years which we can call 100 dog years. This means that one human year equals roughly 6 dog years. While larger dog breeds live on average to about 10 years of age. That would work out to be 10 dog years to 1 human year.

In conclusion, if you have a larger breed dog it will unfortunately have a much shorter life span than a small breed dog. Like I said though, it is all very breed specific. If you would like to find out about specific breeds, here is a cool link to check out.

Dogs eat grass when they are sick

This is honestly one that I haven’t heard much about, but apparently is a frequently asked question at vets. Apparently, many dog owners worry that if their dog is eating grass there must be something wrong with the dog. This concern is understandable, its obviously not a natural thing for a dog to do some grazing on your lawn. There are many studies that suggest a variety of reasons for dogs eating grass, including trying to supplement their diet, aid digestion, rid themselves of worms, and adding fibre to their diet. The dog may also just like the taste of grass. Whatever the reason, it is suggested that only 10% of dogs that eat grass are actually sick. So, if your dog looks and seems healthy but is eating some grass don’t worry too much about. *please note that this is not medical advice. If you are genuinely worried about your dog eating grass, please consult your vet.

Only male dogs hump

This is a myth I have heard many times and have witnesses it being dispelled just as much. The reason for dogs humping is an interesting one. This topic is often brought up in Canine body language discussions and I have actually just recently finished a course in advanced canine body language. I am, therefore, very interested in this topic. There are firstly, multiple reasons for dogs humping. Dogs do hump for sexual purposes and this is only in males generally under a year of age and unneutered according to Sandy Eckstein from webmd.com. Other reasons for dogs humping are excitement, and incorrect socialisation. Some people say that it is a dominance-based reaction to other dogs, this is in my view an incorrect opinion and many people will agree and disagree. This can be discussed another time. Secondly, both male and female dogs can be affected by excitement and incorrect socialisation. We can therefore kick that myth to the curb. The reasons why dogs hump when excited is due to what is called a coping mechanism. This means that when the dog gets too excited for whatever reason it will do something to try and cope. Some dogs lick, some dogs shake, others will hump.

In concluding

This has been quite an interesting topic and I have enjoyed exploring it. If you have another other myths that you would like me to address please leave your comments below and I will get to them in a timely fashion. If you would like help with dealing with any issues your dog may have, namely humping, please contact me and we can talk through how to address these issues. I am always willing to help and make the human canine relationship as smooth as possible😊