There's a lot of ridiculous things said about man's best friend. While I'd like to think the hyperbole isn't vindictive, I do think it's time to clear up some common misconceptions about our furry friends. It's 2018, my friends, so we might as well clear up any prevailing myths about dogs that simply aren't true.
According to The Spruce Pets, and online site that helps would-be pet owners navigate everything from pet adoption to training to daily care, there are more than a few old wives' tales about dogs that aren't even remotely true. While some of these "misunderstandings" are harmless, others can actually hurt your precious pup... if they are to be believed, of course. For example, and contrary to popular belief, dogs don't eat grass with the intention of throwing up. Instead, it's probably a sign of an illness that requires your attention.
Dogs are highly intelligent companions that can be trained to work as emotional support animals, police officers, soldiers, and rescuers. They're also snuggly furry friends who simply love a good game of catch. They also require our love and care, which is why it's time to kick the following myths about dogs to the curb, once and for all:
Myth: They Don't See In Color
According to the Connecticut Humane Society, dogs (and cats) see in color — just not in the way we might think. According to the site,a dog's eyes see in dimmer light and mostly in shades of gray, yellow, and blue because they have "more rod cells on their retina compared to humans."
Myth: A Wagging Tail Means Joy
One common misconception is that a dog wagging their tail automatically means that dog is happy. That "happy tail" can mean contentment, sure, but your dog's overall body language and the position of their tail is really going to tell you how they're feeling. According to Paw Culture, a wagging tail can also mean your dog is experiencing anxiety, frustration, and nervousness.
Pay closer attention to the way your dog stands, the position of their ears, and the intensity of their eyes before assuming they're happy to attempting to pet them.
Myth: One Dog Year Is Equal To Seven Human Years
According Priceonomics, dogs do age faster than humans, but the exact ratio isn't known. The idea that a dog year is seven human years is a myth that spans all the way back to the 13th century. There are lots of theories and formulas, sure, and some date has shown that smaller breeds live longer than larger breeds, but even that data is inconclusive.
In other words, the seven year thing is only a hunch.
Myth: A Female Dog Should Have Pups Before She's Spayed
Shelters are overpopulated as it is, so this myth definitely needs to go. According to Petful, there isn't a health benefit to giving birth before having the procedure. Getting your dog spayed before they're able to get pregnant, however, does reduce the frequency of certain health issues. For example, spaying your dog reduces the risk of infections of the reproductive tract and mammary tumors.
Myth: Some Breeds Are Inherently Dangerous
Humans are not born knowing how to hate, and neither are dogs. Any dog, no matter the breed, can be aggressive, just as so-called aggressive breeds are fully capable of being the sweetest, most gentle dogs ever. Research has shown that pit bulls, for example, aren't any more aggressive than any other breed. It all depends on the specific animal, their environment, and their owns, so the laws passed stigmatizing breeds like pit bulls, Rottweilers, or German shepherds only isolates them further.
Myth: Dogs Hate Cats & Mail Carriers
If your dog and cat are socialized, there's no reason they can't be friends. Every pet is different so, of course, their social interactions will be different. As for the mail carriers, dogs like to protect their people and their home. It doesn't matter who's approaching your house, a dog will likely become territorial and defend it. In other words, it's not personal.
Myth: Tug-Of-War Creates Aggression
You know what a good old fashioned game of tug-of-war does? It strengthens the bond between you and your dog. Even when your dog appears to be a lot more into it than you'd prefer, according to The Spruce Pets tug-of-war actually decreases aggression and dominant behaviors. If you let them win, they'l feel more confident. And if/when you win, it reminds your pup that you're the Alpha.