5 Old Wives' Tales About Dogs & Babies Because Both Are Pretty Weird

by Cat Bowen

I am a dog person. I can't think of a time in my life where dogs didn't play a huge role. I always had a dog growing up, and I was grateful for their companionship and their antics. As an adult, I got a dog the minute I moved out of the house, and I've had one ever since. At first, I was concerned for my pups when I brought home their first human sibling, but they were awesome about it. They loved him as much as they did me. And luckily, the old wives' tales about dogs and babies are fascinating enough to make you want to add to your brood as well. (OK, some are kind of creepy, but just don't focus on those.)

Old wives' tales are mostly myths, but they are a ton of fun. I mean, as a mom, I'm not a huge fan of the old "step on a crack, break your mother's back" rhyme, but broken mirrors, ladders in my path, and north winds are all things I actively try to avoid. That being said, I have two black cats, so I guess I'm not totally superstitious. But when it comes to the old wives' tales about dogs and babies, some of them are hilarious, and some of them are downright strange and maybe a little scary.

1.Beware The Barghest

This one is hilarious and terrifying. In ancient times, there was something called the legend of the "barghest" or hellhound. According to my undergraduate medieval lit professor, if you saw a black dog hanging outside your window at night, it was there to snatch your baby. This later got twisted by folklore, as it is wont to do, and led to a fear of black dogs. Apparently, that fear still lasts today, because according to Petfinder, black dogs have a harder time being placed than any other type of dog. But if you're going to keep that superstition in mind, you should also know that if you tame a hellhound, that power is yours. I'm just saying.

Plus, my best dog and sweetest pup ever was a black Rottweiler named Frankie. He was extra dumb, and if he was hanging outside my window, it's just because he couldn't figure out the doggie door.

2.They Know The Gender Before Your Baby Is Even Born

"Move over, ultrasound technician who can't see between my baby's legs, I'm going to ask Rufus what we're having." If only dogs could talk, right? Apparently some people believe that dogs are able to predict a baby's gender in the womb by scent alone, according to Wag. I mean, they do spend an inordinate amount of time sniffing genitalia, so maybe there's something to their ability. However, I've never seen a talking dog, so getting the information might be hard.

Babies & Dogs Can Both See Ghosts

Many people believe that babies can see and sense things we cannot. It seems as though people believe that dogs can do the same, Animal Planet reported. So if you ever notice your baby and your dog staring coldly into the same blank space, I'm not saying you need an exorcist, but I'm not saying you don't either.

Perhaps watch out for cold spots and lost keys.

Dogs Know When Your Baby Is Fussy, Even If They're Not Crying

A popular old wives' tale I learned from friends is that babies give off subtle cues that dogs pick up on before we ever do. I absolutely believe this. Any time I'd notice my babies would start to get fussy, my akita was already there, waiting. She'd be staring at me like, "Geez, Mom, could you have taken any longer? I've been standing here for minutes and my new tiny hairless creature is clearly upset. Do you bipedal beasts know nothing of caring for your puppies?"

If she had an Instagram account, she'd have been the one telling everyone their car seat is attached wrong and artificial colors in food cause sickness, that's for sure.

Dogs Make Great Nannies

I've heard this one over and over again. "My dog is the best nanny for my baby." Nope. Wrong. Try again. It may have worked for the Darling children in Peter Pan, but dogs and babies should never be alone and unattended. According to the website Dog Gone Safe, a site dedicated to keeping dogs and human happily interacting, dogs and babies need care together. You may know your baby, and you may know your dog, but that doesn't mean your baby won't spook or aggravate your dog to the point where they act out of character.