Dogs are one of the more puzzling members of the family. They can be sweet and adoring lapdogs one minute, then explode into a barking fit at the vacuum cleaner the next minute. Really, it's no surprise that there are so many old wives' tales about dogs and kids. Children seem to be the favorite topic of these tales, anyway, so of course many of them also include these baffling furry family members as well.
Whether you call them old wives' tales, myths, or folk stories, these old-school beliefs seem to come from attempts to make sense of the world. Hey, before everyone had access to Google all the time, word-of-mouth was the primary way to spread information, and sometimes the facts got lost along the way. It leads to some pretty interesting collections of info.
So when it comes to these common beliefs about kids and dogs, it's smart to step back for a minute and consider the facts. Even when your distant cousin and dozens of people on a parenting forum insist something is true, it's still wise to investigate. For the most part, though, these stories are entertaining and interesting, even if they aren't 100 percent true in the strictest sense.
1. Dogs Are Basically Ultrasounds
Dogs experience the world differently from humans, and sometimes people think this gives canines some special insight. To this end, plenty of people on online forums seem to question whether the family dog knows a baby's gender even before the parents, as noted in Wag! To be honest, it's difficult to put this belief to the test, but there really isn't any research to back it up.
2. Pregnant Women Should Beware Of Dogs
So many of the folk beliefs focus on what you should or should not do while pregnant. For instance, one old wives' tale says that if a dog frightens a pregnant women, then the baby will be born with a fear of dogs, according to Cafe Mom. There's also no research to back up this belief. Still, it's rude to scare pregnant women. They have enough going on already.
3. Dogs & Children Have Supernatural Abilities
Supernatural stuff comes up in old wives' tales a lot, too. One of the most persistent paranormal beliefs states that dogs can see ghosts or spirits, as noted in Psychology Today. At the same time, parents have reported stories that seem to prove their children can see ghosts, as noted in Scary Mommy. If both your children and pets seem to see things you can't, then maybe your family can prove this one true.
4. Dogs Naturally "Get" Babies
One of the more positive tales says that the family dog will naturally accept a new baby into your home, as noted by Dogs To Diapers. The idea is that you love the baby, and the dog loves you, so of course the dog will just accept the newcomer with no problems.
Although there are plenty of anecdotes about canines who immediately have the patience of a saint around kiddos, the reality is that most pups need time and training to make the adjustment. Babies bring about a ton of new routines, sights, and smells, and generally dogs need help adjusting to life with kids, as explained by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). The good news is that there are many ways to train your dog to make this adjustment.
5. Dogs Have Healing Properties
This one is equal parts gross and cute. One old wives' tale claims that allowing a puppy to lick a baby's face after eating will help prevent the baby from getting sick, as noted in Babble. Well, it does sound like an easy way to clean up after meal times. But you'll need to confirm this belief's truth with a vet and pediatrician for yourself.
6. Dogs Love Hugs, Especially From Kids
In the wild, dogs aren't big huggers. So it's kind of weird that some people believe dogs love hugs, especially from kids, as explained in The Dog Training Secret. In general, it's important to teach children about treating dogs with respect for their personal space.
7. Dogs & Kids Can Bond For Life
This one is completely true. The love shared between children and their canine companions is real and beautiful.