8 February 2016

Dog Myths vs. Dog Facts

There are a lot of misconceptions about our favourite furry friends, so we want to help set the record straight. You may be surprised once you find out what’s true and what isn’t.

Dog Myth: Your dog can understand you when I talk to her.

Dog Fact: Chances are she can learn between 100 to 200 words. When she cocks her head with that mystified look, this often means she’s trying to understand what you are saying. Remember that she doesn't speak or comprehend language, and you don't speak dog very well. She will associate words with certain actions, is reading your body language and facial expressions, and is listening to your tone of voice.

Dog Myth: Dog training works best when it relies on dominance and punishment.

Dog Fact: Dog training should not rely on punishment or treats - these result in short term changes in behaviour versus long term results. The Bark Busters method of dog training relies not on punishment or treats. Instead, any dog training method should rely on educating a dog in a language she understands using respect and trust versus bribery, distraction or inhumane techniques.

Dog Myth: Dogs that growl are mean.

Dog Fact: A growl is a dog’s natural way to communicate that she feels vulnerable, threatened or afraid. Dogs need an owner to provide meaningful guidance and education in situations where they feel worried and to ensure they are not put in situations that make them feel their safety is at stake.

Dog Myth: Only male dogs "hump" or lift their legs to urinate.

Dog Fact: Female dogs may also lift their leg to urinate and "hump" other dogs or objects, especially dominant female dogs and even if they are spayed.

Dog Myth: Indoor dogs don't need heart worm prevention.

Dog Fact: Heart worm disease is spread by mosquitoes, which can come inside. Also, even indoor dogs are outside sometimes…or at least they should be.

Dog Myth: A warm or dry nose means your dog is sick.

Dog Fact: Actually, whether your dog's nose is dry or wet, warm or cold isn’t an indication to her health. For example, when a dog wakes up her nose is often dry. If you notice your dog's nose is crusty, this may be a sign that you should contact your veterinarian.

Dog Myth: Your dog can only see in black and white.

Dog Fact: Dogs can see colour, just not the way that humans do. It is believed that dogs see primarily in blue, greenish-yellow, yellow and various shades of gray.

Dog Myth: Your dog ages seven years for every human year.

Dog Fact: Many dogs live to 15, which would make them 105. That’s not likely! Although dogs age at a faster rate than humans, it seems their rate is faster in the early years and slows down as they get older. How quickly they age also depends on their breed and size.

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